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Alex Stein Interview + Exclusive Mix

16 min read

Hi Alex, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today, where are you living now and how long have you been producing and DJing?

Hey Guys, thank you for having me. I am living in São Paulo, Brasil at the moment and have been DJing for a little over 12 years and making music for around 10 years or so.

So you were born in Brazil but now have German Citizenship, how did that come to be?

I’ve always had a German Citizenship actually. I was born in Brazil but my family moved to Germany when I was only a few months old and I grew up there until I was 6, before returning to Brazil. That’s how I got to have dual Citizenship and speak both languages.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of living and working between such diverse continents?

Well, first and most obviously the dual citizenship is a big advantage. I can come and go into Europe as I wish and stay as long as I want. For me that is one of the best things about it. As both Germany and Brazil are countries that have little trouble with anyone else, it usually means I can travel to most places on earth without the need for a Visa. It also gives me the chance to spend more time in certain places as I see fit, meet local producers and the local culture itself. This has allowed me to immerse myself in different cultures and meet so many cool people that I honestly don’t see any disadvantages in it.

How did you get your productions to the level they are now? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs to help and did you get help from fellow artists? And if so who?

Yes I studied audio engineering almost 10 years ago. It has helped me a great deal with a lot of stuff in the audio world. I’ve learned about acoustics and was able to design and build my own studio as a result of that. But to be honest to get your production to the next level it just takes hours and hours in the studio, there’s no fast way around it. That sound that you’re looking for just comes over the years as you polish your ears and your production methods. I’ve learned a lot by collaborating and making music with my friends the likes of my buddies Victor Ruiz and Kalil, and also by doing studio sessions with artists that have later become friends such as D-Nox & Beckers, Boris Brejcha and even spending a day in the studio with Antonhy Rother. As I said, it just takes time and effort.

It's no secret you're known for techno and standing proudly behind the genre so tell us, what does the term 'techno' mean to you and what is it about the genre which appeals to you the most?

Honestly I just like to wear black. No but seriously jokes aside, it is just a genre that speaks to me, in every possible variation and form. I like it is straight to the point, no-nonsense music. But there’s still the possibility of having vocals or even complex melodies and taking people on a melodic trip without losing that strength and drive that only Techno has, at least in my opinion.

Looking back over the history of the genre, what time periods stand out for you and why?

The best period, to me, are always the ones we are living in right now, at this moment.

Like Gui Boratto and Victor Ruiz, you're from Sao Paulo. How did you get involved in electronic music there? and are you close with your fellow Brazilian artists like Gui and Victor? And If so, who else?

Yes Sao Paulo is a very big city full of very competent producers. I got involved in the scene just by going to parties, basically meeting people and wanting to know more about how music was made and who were the DJs behind it all. Soon enough I was DJing at some smaller parties and that’s about the time I met Victor. We kind of kicked it off and have been good friends ever since. At the time we started making music together learning,2 experimenting together and from there on I just kept meeting more and more people gathering more and more experience and the rest is history. We have a very healthy scene and Sao Paulo so so most of the producers know each other and their friends. Kalil is a very good friend and I’ve been lucky enough to meet people like Wehbba, Anna, Andre Salata, Thomaz Krauze and so many other wonderful people.

Who would you say are the top up and coming techno talents at the moment?

My good friend Kalil is definitely one of them. There is an abundance of good up and coming artists at the moment so it’s hard to name them all, but I really like some of the stuff that Skober, Blackroof, Hidden Empire, Hatzler, Drunken Kong and André Salata are doing. That’s really to just name a few.

We know you play quite a lot in Brazil and South America, which are your favourite clubs & festivals?

There are a lot of good clubs in South America and Brazil but some of my favourites would have to be Hardpop in Mexico, Crobar and GAP in Argentina, Baum in Colombia and of course Clash Club in São Paulo and El Fortin in Santa Catarina, both in Brazil.

What memory from a club or festival really stands out for you now looking back?

I’ve had so many good experiences over the years but I think that my presentation at Electric Parade in Melbourne this year was really notorious to me, because when I got there to play it was not very full and there weren’t many people there so I was really sad and thought that the turnout wouldn’t be so great. To my surprise when there were only 15 minutes left to the start of my set people started showing up out of every corner and in about five minutes the whole floor was packed and everyone was really excited to see me there.

you've just released on Suara and you have forthcoming material on Oliver Huntemann's Senso Sounds label. Why do you think those labels believe in your sound and where do Brazilian labels fit into what you do?

I am so very very happy about my release on Suara and very excited and proud about my upcoming EP on Senso. I’m not sure why those labels believe in my sound but it is a very forfulfilling experience to have people that you look up to like and support to your music. It was a long time dream to release on those labels as it was with other releases I’ve had. There are a few good labels in Brazil and I wish I could release more on, but I have plans to start my own label in the not so distant future so keep your eyes and ears open.

Do you ever draw on life experiences or specific moments, maybe in a club or the feeling of a certain country for inspiration when writing new music?

Absolutely. To be honest I think those experiences and the things we live on the road are the ones that influence me the most when I’m in the studio. One of the best feelings is to play somewhere you’ve never played, meet people you have never met and experience their culture and their way of reacting to music to then come home to the studio with all that in mind and put it down on a track. My trips are the things that inspire me to most for sure.

Let's end with this, what's the one track you're guaranteed to play in every set right now?

Alex Stein – Zeit :)



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