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Ivan Aliaga [Interview]

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Rising out of Argentina's electronic underground and making his much anticipated Replug debut is Ivan Aliaga. Hailing from the talent-rich region of Cordoba, Ivan's musical palate takes reference from the progressive genre's vast spectrum; in turn creating an authentic voice that is discernibly his own. Noted for his attention to detail, tough kick drums and electric design quality, Ivan's craft shines through vividly, making each one of his creations an exhilarating experience. On the strength of releases via Mango Alley, Meanwhile, Or Two Strangers and The Soundgarden, Ivan has earned the praise of genre trendsetters Cid Inc, Guy J, Hernan Cattaneo, John Digweed and more. Now, following his latest Mango Alley vehicle 'Blue Shade', Ivan makes his Replug debut with a two-track showcase entitled 'Lonely World'. 

Progressive Astronaut caught up with Ivan to learn more about the release of ‘Lonely World’, his studio process, DJing, future plans, and more. Enjoy.

Hi Ivan, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hey how are you? I'm Ivan Aliaga, I'm 22 years old, At the moment I'm very happy for this interview. My the last piece of music that I listened was 'Land Of Goshen' by Khen

How was the winter season in Argentina and what are your plans for the coming week?

The winter season in Argentina was very good, at the beginning of it I have traveled to Europe where I had my first international tour, I have played in Spain, Japan and Pakistan.

My plans for the next week are to visit my family and friends.

Do you consider yourself a DJ or producer first? And which do you enjoy more and why?

I think it's a very difficult question, I can't choose between dj or producer, in both I feel at home and I think the essence of my music depends on both, I enjoy spending time in the studio as well as on the dance floor.

How did growing up in Argentina influence your music taste and direction? Or did it at all?

Growing up in Argentina has greatly influenced my musical direction, as well as the academy where I studied “Academia Orbital ”, where my teachers were the well-known duo called "Analog Jungs".

When we ask most artists what is responsible for the popularity of progressive music in Argentina the overwhelming answer is Hernan Cattaneo, would that be your feeling also? And if so please speak on that, also to add to that, who else from Argentina inspired you when you first discovered the music.

This is a very good question, regarding Hernan Cattaneo, most of the djs and producers have been inspired by him, it is not my case, I value him a lot as a dj but I have been inspired since I was little with figures like "Guy J and "John Digweed" and regarding Argentina I have always been influenced by "Analog Jungs".

If you were a tour-guide for nightlife in Argentina, what would be the clubs you’d take the people to see and what local DJs do they need to hear?

I think that if you travel to Argentina you have to know our clubs or festivals, I will make a list about them

Forja [Cordoba]

La Fabrica [Cordoba]

La Estación [Cordoba]

Fruta [ Cordoba]

Mandarine Park [ Buenos Aires]

Club The Bow [Buenos Aires]

Metropolitano [Rosario]

And local djs you need to hear are

Ezequiel Arias

Analog Jungs

Kevin Di Serna

Nacho Varela and Cruz Vittor

If you are not DJing or socializing at clubs, where do we find you? And doing what?

On the contrary ! I spend all my time in festivals or clubs listening to new music so I can get inspired.

When you were first getting started in production did you have someone help you or are you completely self-taught? And what would you recommend new producers do to help with the learning curve of production?

I have always been self-taught in production, without forgetting my best help Analog Jungs.

I believe that the new producers have to understand that the key to everything is to be patient, everything comes in due time, they just need to try as many times as necessary, that is the only key . I started production at the age of 16, today I am 22 years old and that is my best advice, time

You have a new EP ‘Lonely World’ out now via Cid Inc’s Replug Records. Tell us a bit about the release and who’s been playing it.

“Lonely World” is a very special release because since I was little I have always dreamed of belonging to the "replug records" family, today that dream came true and I am speechless. the EP has 2 originals, “Speed” and “Lonely World” , 2 tracks that express a lot of love and energy.

Let our readers inside your studio for a moment, what is your current setup and what studio tools are featured heavily in your recent productions and more specifically your EP for Replug?

My recording studio is based on my "Korg ms 20" synths which I use to create my bass lines, then I use my "Behringer Deepmind 6" where I create my melodies, pads and effects, if we talk about technical settings I like to use plugins of the brand "Sounds Toys" and "Waves" and regarding the rhythmic part of the song I create everything through my "Korg Volca Drum"

Let’s talk about production a bit more for a moment, where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do often-quoted sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play in writing music for you?

This is a very important question. The sources of inspiration are something that I am constantly renewing. As a name, previously I like to go to festivals or clubs to listen to new sounds. I also really like to go to the forest or surround myself with nature. The color green is a A source of great inspiration for my songs, like the rich aromas, a source of great inspiration throughout my career is "Lost and Found" the record label of "Guy J" as well as "Bedrock" the record label of "John Digweed"

Once a piece is finished, how important is it for you to let it lie and evaluate it later on? How much improvement and refinement do you personally allow until you’re satisfied with a piece? What does this process look like in practice? And who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback?

The first person who hears my finished song is my girlfriend, I like her comments and her criticisms, that helps me to modify and evaluate the track, then I like to try it on the dance floor and finally, I don't listen to the track again after a month to be able to listen to it with fresh ears

What is the task you enjoy the most when producing and what would you prefer someone else to do?

I really enjoy all the tasks and steps involved in creating a music track, but if you ask me, what I like the most is the rhythmic base, I love the groove, the groove is the forte of all my songs, I always start my songs from the base rhythmic.

I create my songs from beginning to end, musical production, mix and master

What would be a musical extravagance for your studio you would pay for, if you were very wealthy?

If I were very rich I would like to buy all the synthesizers in the world, they are like my toys

Now let’s talk about DJing for a moment, it’s a unique discipline at the border between presenting great music and creating something new with it, between composition and improvisation to an extent. How would you describe your approach to it?

My focus in this regard on my dj session, is to use the 4 cdj, 4 channels above, 4 loops, use a single track which is accompanied by 3 loops, I love creating live musical moments, generating new rhythms or different dynamics, making my set not just about playing songs, but my set being one thing, telling a story from start to finish

Can you tell me a bit about how your work as a DJ has influenced your view of music, your way of listening to tracks and perhaps also, your work as a producer?

My work as a producer has influenced my dj sessions, since when producing you know the entire structure of a song, therefore when it comes to being a dj, I can generate different mixes or unconventional mixes since I have that information about the analysis of each track generate mixes that no one expects

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

Nice, my festival will be

Guy J

Maceo Plex

Jeremy Olander

Sahar Z

Patrice Baumel

Current top five tracks?

Best tracks

Land Of Goshen - Khen

Crystal Forest - Kevin Di Serna & Ditian

Nirvana - Guy J

Dizzy Moments - Guy J

Day Of Light - Guy J

What’s a book you’ve read or film you watched that has left an impact on you, and why?

My favorite movie is Alice in Wonderland, I always get inspiration from fantastic movies, they generate beautiful things for me and make me want to create melodies instantly

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Apart from music, I love climbing mountais, I love the forest .

What does the remainder of 2023 hold for you in terms of releases and gigs? Anything you can share with us?

Regarding 2023, 3 days ago I just returned from Europe where my first international tour was [Spain, Japan, Pakistan]

Now in Argentina , I have 7 gigs and in October im going to Sri Lanka for a gig .

I have “Lonely World” and the I have a remix for the new Alex Orions Label !

'Lonely World' is available now via Replug: https://bit.ly/484Lgaj

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