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Jorge Viana [Interview]

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Based in Argentina, Jorge Viana has continued to impress since first emerging in 2018. With a sound that often lands in the creative space between progressive house and melodic techno, the Rosario resident has notched standout releases via Balkan Connection, Dopamine White, Freegrant Music, Mango Alley and Transensations. Now on the cusp of unveiling his own imprint Coanda Records, we catch with Jorge for an exclusive interview. Enjoy! 

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

Hi guys, thank you very much for the invitation.

I feel very good emotionally, going through a beautiful stage in my life as a producer and looking forward to what is to come.

The last pieces I heard were promotions that they send me, and some sets in which my music received support.

How’s your year been so far? And what are your plans for the coming week?

This beginning of the year has been very promising, some striking proposals came to my mind and I hope they will progress in the best way.

For the next week I have some works to finish, continue working on mastering/mixing, and continue giving production classes.

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

I consider myself a producer before a DJ, since I feel identified in this way, and I have been in this world of production for more than 14 years.

Either way you enjoy it a lot, either finding that melody and groove you were looking for, as well as having fun mixing tracks and seeing the bodies move on the track because of the music I put on. I think that each one has its own, but being able to mix the works of your authorship is unique.

Talk to us about growing up and living in Argentina, how has it affected your musical taste and the music you make?

Here in Argentina the Progressive and Techno genre is massively consumed. So I am affected by these. Although I don’t pigeonhole myself into one or the other, I can say that my music is a mixture of both.

What are some of your best memories from first going to clubs? Were there specific nights or sets that really made you feel you wanted to pursue electronic music?

I started like most of my colleagues, for friends and for “underground” parties at home or in bars that were very nice. Later, I faced the parties of electronic music, but John Digweed’s in Rosario in 2017 was very important in my life. Although I already had my own tracks, and had dabbled in deejing, that was when I decided on this. Simply by filling with people, I wanted to achieve that one day.

Progressive music is well known for being hugely popular in Argentina, how did your country become the genre’s mecca over the last 10-15 years? What would you attribute that to?

The answer is obvious, but mentioning Hernan Cattaneo is paramount. It was he who made Argentina a progressive mecca, both for the level of mixing, and the constant support for national producers in their sets. That prompted producers to squeeze their skills which reflects local talent.

 What have been some of your favourite venues to perform or attend events at in Argentina, and why?

Without a doubt, one of my favorite places is the “Metropolitano” in my city. It’s a bubble when you get in there, you can clear everything and immerse yourself in the music. It should be noted that the best sensations are very small parties and full of friends. they are the ones who give you the best vibes when you are playing. there is no other sensation like this one.

How do you feel about coming up in a country with so many new and talented producers? Is it inspiring? Challenging?

I find it beautiful that new talents emerge all the time. It is a challenge, because you are constantly trying to improve and innovate so as not to be left behind. But it’s not a bad thing, on the contrary, it’s healthy competition.

You’ve gained some nice notoriety within the world of progressive house since first emerging around four years ago, is there a release or track you could point to which had the most impact on your career thus far?

-Luckily, I have noticed a constant support in each of my releases, weekly I receive words from followers and supports of my tracks in sets from various parts of the world. I like to highlight the track “Enceladus”, which had the support of Hernan Cattaneo, it happened at a very beautiful stage in my life and it is a very special work for me.

I can also name the track “Analog Moon” as it reflects my character when it comes to producing, and many people identify with my music because of it.

Talk to us about your new record label. What led you to start Coanda Records? And is your first foray into running a record label?

It’s my first foray into managing a label.

From the beginning, I see the common factor that to belong to a label you must limit yourself to sounding like them, sometimes it is right, other times it is guessed, but always within the parameters they manage.

By forming Coanda, I can have the freedom to express myself as I want, and let each producer within the label express his character without fear.

The first release is out this week and it’s an EP from yourself entitled ‘Micelio’, tell us about the release and how it showcases your sound

I have saved this release for a few months because I wanted to achieve unity between the three works.

Since I started to sign works, a constant intensity can be noticed, with some exceptions. This time I wanted to show that same intensity but from another side, the groove is maintained in all three works, but with more organic and synthesized tints, with more human touches, off-centering the quantization, to make the sound more natural, sweeter.

The track “Micelio” fervently shows this character, the organic and the groove, coexist perfectly, designed for the dance floor after the set time, as a break towards pure dance.

“Morgensen” can be thrown on the track at the climax, it has a breakdown that forces us to continue dancing, leaving only the essential groove of the work.

Finally I conclude with “Brocken Spectre”, one of my favorites, in it, I can show various stages, various moods. The breakdown is fundamental, because it reflects light and hope, to open up again to the dance no matter what or how, with brighter tints and give closure to the EP and to perfectly close a set.

What does your set-up like? Do you favor physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of this EP?

I use daw Fl Studio, I feel very comfortable with the software. I have been using it for more than 15 years. I can pretty much do anything I need to.

I have 4 midi controllers, headphones, a sound card, 8-inch studio monitors, a synthesizer and 3 screens to be able to see everything comfortably.

I prefer digital because of all the advantages it has: convenience, multi-platform, having several instances of it, saving time, automation, etc. Furthermore, nowadays, it is very difficult to distinguish the analog from the digital, at least in the world of electronic music.

The tools that stand out the most when composing the EP are the synths that I usually use; Diva, Massive, Hive, Dune, etc. Also my first Sample Pack. each and every one of the sounds, were made by me.

Please walk us through the production process on one of the tracks, whichever you prefer.

I’m going to summarize it as best I can.

I start with the drums, pick a good kick, work on the claps and size them up in the mix. I continue with the cymbals and percussion for the groove. The bass is essential, but I usually don’t change the note, because I like it to be concise.

From there, I put together a structure. and I add tensions, environments, pads, until I reach a melody that tells me something.

then I go for the breakdown, I need him to catch me and want the drop to come. I always try to anticipate at the beginning of the track, some sounds that are going to sound at the climax, whether they are lead notes, or arpeggio sounds.

once I have the structure ready. I go on to fine tune, improve transitions, change sounds if needed, add fx and fill sounds.

then I proceed to mastering, and I take a break for a few days making annotations of corrections. All in all, my way of producing is to mix as I place channels, so it’s easier for me in the end. I am very fast to do things. and I try to finish as fast as possible, so that the reverse effect doesn’t happen, not knowing what to do and not finishing the track anymore.

In terms of DJs and artists who would say are the biggest sources of inspiration for Coanda Records?

I love the sound and the way Stan Kolev produces. It seems to me that Coanda points to that type of productions, striking and inclined to a progressive and melodic sound.

As much as the first release is not exactly what I say, I gave myself the pleasure of being able to release something of my own on my label.

the rest of the releases fully point to that sound.

What advice do you have for artists hoping to get signed to Coanda Records?

I advise you to express your best face in the releases you want to release. that nothing is saved and that they have no limits of expression when composing.

Is big DJ play a factor in signing something? From someone like Hernan Cattaneo or Nick Warren for example.

I think it generates much more visibility that a big dj can use some work of the label. I already have several high caliber DJs in my contacts to have more chances of this happening.

What is your thought process behind remixer selection on a given project for Coanda? and how many is too many in your opinion?

I plan to remix at least one track from each release. I tell that to every producer who contacts Coanda. I want to work with the label alongside my personal projects.

Still, the perfect number is one on each track. if there are 3 tracks, there are 6 works, a good number.

Generally speaking, do you find it more difficult to come up with original tracks than remixing a track from another artist?

­It is more complicated to make an original than a remix, for the simple fact of having to decide on each sound that you are going to use. instead a remix, you already have something established, but it’s not easy either, because you have to know what to do and how to do it. In particular, when making a remix, I really like to use as main what is not very noticeable in the original. either percussions, or some sporadic melody that the producer used, giving it my personal touch.

What’s the task you enjoy the most when producing and what is something you’d rather have taken care of by somebody else?

I love doing everything from sound design to mastering. I really enjoy composing the drums and the groove. but if I have to name something for someone else to do, it’s mastering. I usually do it myself, but I’ve heard the mastering of the other engineers and the difference is negligible, so I wouldn’t care if I did it or not.

How much road testing or friend feedback is done before you’re ready to say a track is finished? And who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback?

I usually don’t share my tracks with many people, it’s a very personal thing and I save it for the impressions to arrive at the time of the release. Even so, when I have doubts, I usually do it with colleagues and friends, who usually approve my tracks or correct me on certain issues. But I only correct them when I feel that the errors are obvious or give me a different point of view.

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?

I will select artists that I really like. For the Opening I would like a local artist, like Rocio Portillo for example. handles the track very well.

The next would be Sasha, giving color to the event, in the middle, he would put Hernan Cattaneo, keeping people active, then he would continue with Guy J, who raises the masses even more, and would end with John Digweed without a doubt. He is the owner of the track.

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

I would love to have a mixer with very large automated faders. Even if I don’t use them all the time, it would be fun to see them move, haha.

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

I could name many actually. but I prefer the movie Interstellar. I am a fan of astronomy and physics, they can be seen reflected in some of the names of my works.

The simple fact of thinking about the sizes, energies, distances, etc. of space, time phenomena, light and so on. They impact me a lot and make me rethink our existence.

What’s a superpower you wish you had and how would you use it?

I wish I had the power to change shape. That would give me all the other superpowers, wouldn’t it?

If you could travel anywhere for one day, all laws and limitations void, where would it be?

I would love to see Norway. I see such a fantastic place to enjoy its landscapes.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest risk you’ve taken and what made you do it?

The biggest risk that I have assumed today is opening the label. I still don’t know what I’m going to find, but I have to assume all the responsibilities, the time and the hours it takes to handle it, but I’m very optimistic about it, and if it goes wrong, I’ll take away a very important experience.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

It makes me very happy to be able to have my whole family together and enjoy my nephews, see my loved ones forming their lives as they should. I also enjoy my pets, I have 2 dogs and several black cats.

What does the remainder of 2022 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

2022 is full of music, I’m closing dates to go out with everything on the dance floor and spread my style everywhere. I am part of a DJ agency that is putting heart and soul to spread new artists and DJs who were not given the opportunity to get into a booth, as well as artists who are of great stature.

‘Micelio’ is available now via Coanda Records: https://bit.ly/3xIiBs4

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