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Polo (AR) [Interview]

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With releases via Hoomidaas, Shanti Radio, Tale & Tone, The Soundgarden and Watergate, Buenos Aires resident Polo (AR) continues to impress in the world of progressive and organic house. This week finds Polo making his debut on Flown Records with his much anticipated 'Bruto' EP

Progressive Astronaut caught up with Polo to learn more about the release of 'Bruto', his background, nightlife in Argentina, creative process, DJing, and more. Enjoy.

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

Heyyy! thanks for having me!

Actually I’m better than ever. It’s summer down here so I returned to my home in Pinamar, a small and mainly touristic beach town. so family and asados all the way.

I think the last song Ive heard was “Another Case” by Tora. so stylish, so cool.

How has your year been, how have you been enjoying the summer in Argentina and what are your plans for the coming week?

It has been a HUGE year for me. Major changes on how I see and interact with the world and also some big milestones career wise. all of this while I was accompanied and inspired by my boys: Agustin Ficarra, Kabi, Cocho, Facundo Losardo and Maezbi.

As for the summer, as I previously said, asados, family and friends. Im also reconnecting with surfing, which I practiced as a kid/teenager but got kinda separated from it when I started clubbing. so yeah, getting some proper rest after a great year in Buenos Aires.

Take us through a typical day when you’re not travelling, what does a day in your life look like?

When in BA, I wake up early in the morning for some yoga and soon after (and with a mate by my side) I work on music, whether producing, listening to my crews latest projects to share my thoughts or simply digging for some new (most of the times old) music for my shows.

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

I believe Argentina itself didn’t influence me directly but it influenced my dad, who is the responsible for a big part of my music taste. He went to countless Charly Garcia’s concerts, Cerati among other Argentinian greats. I also consider Argentina as a regional powerhouse If we are speaking of art, so there’s constant inspiration and some kind of pride on fellow countrymen. Just being here makes you want to push some boundaries.

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?

My first rave was DAVI at the bow on 2018, my second year in BA. before that I really thought I didn’t like the nightlife at all. dear god i was wrong. Days after I was downloading Traktor on my then shitty pc. That one night has a special place in my heart.

Also, Guy J’s set at the first We Are Lost party in Arg on 2020 (days before the lockdown started) showed me a totally new, agressive, dark approach to progressive music.

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?

We all know the big club names such as The Bow or Crobar, or the biggest event organizers, but personally I believe a must-go party has to be the “arre crew” events around Buenos Aires. The guys (appart from playing wonderful music) ended up making a fabulous community of passionate ravers that follow the events everywhere they go. Not related o a specific club or venue. Just a sweet party that can make you feel that you’re dancing on a pre-instagram dancefloor.

Being a Buenos Aires resident, how would you say the nightlife differs from Buenos Aires to the other major cities in Argentina? Or is there a difference at all?

I believe every city has its own personality when it comes to the dance floor. Buenos Aires specifically has kind of a “little groups” vibe. Theres so much people on the big parties and this results on little groups of people taking care of what is theirs and not much about the others. I don’t think of this as a bad thing, more as a consequence of being the biggest city in the country, and of course the uprising of electronic music as an entertainment form for the weekend.

In other cities like Cordoba I have felt more embraced by unknown ravers which was nice.

The wildest dancers are for sure in Rosario and in Mendoza.

When we ask most artists what is responsible for the popularity of electronic 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.

It’s impossible to separate what is happening on our scene right now from Hernan. He’s the creator of this progressive oasis we live in.

Argentina as a country has always had a fine palate when it comes to art. He set the standard of fine electronic music and now theres no other way but up. The audience demands it so smaller artists have no other than to try and pursue excellence. This levels us up from the big fish (like other international touring Argentinian DJs) to the small fish (like me 😅🐟).

Being an organic house artist would you say the genre goes through certain trends the way melodic house and techno does? And if so, how important is it to stay relevant with these trends?

I personally wouldn’t prefer to be tagged as a sub genre artist. Actually I would prefer not to be tagged at all haha. In the end, we’re all making house and techno. As for staying relevant, I would say that if the aim is there, there’s something wrong. Art is expression and communication. Working with the sole purpose of giving an audience what they want misses the whole point of communication. If there’s no message from within, theres no communication, just advertising.

You’ve had an amazing start to your career with releases on Watergate, Shanti Radio and Tale & Tone, amongst others, so what might be some goals you have for the future, or is this something you think about at all?

I see this milestones as a consequence of a well ridden ride. Signing music is quite a task and being accepted on prestigious labels is always a treat. But I don’t see this as something to be sought after. If the music has value and the creator has patience, time will put things in it’s place.

You have a new EP ‘Bruto’ out now via Flown Records. Tell us a bit about the release and how it showcases your current sound.

Bruto is my angry self. I started showcasing that sound with my set “Modulor 01” last year. All three tracks of the EP are there.

I tend to work on several projects at the same time. Each one aiming for a different mood so if the day comes and I’m feeling this or that way I can honestly pour my heart out in that way.

So I like to think of my current sound not as a specific sub genre or mood. More like an undefined ever changing thingy, kinda like myself hehe.

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 ‘Bruto’ EP.

Well, there’s not much on my studio. A good PC, a cool UAD Apollo, my Adams t7v, a suuuper good Roland electric piano I use as MIDI contoller for its sensitivity and my Arturia synth.

Bruto is the most synth based song on the EP. I used my only synth, Arturia Minifreak for the sequence and noise stabs. Like many other artists, once I patch a sound I like, I tend to perform some takes on it. This can lead you to some honest results if you get carried away and also you raise your chances to encounter some happy accidents.

For Big Rob and Master of Disaster I went for more in-the-box techniques. Ripping samples appart with built in FX. The bright pads on MoD for example are some bells destroyed by the Soundtoys Crystalizer.

Talk to us about where your inspiration comes from, and was there anything in particular which inspired the tracks on this EP?

Then again, anger inspired me. No specific targeted anger to someone or something, but a accumulation of different situations or experiences. As a non violent person I believe anger is stored somewhere I’m not able to reach easily. Music lets me release it in a somehow healthy way.

This is your first EP for Flown Records and you are quite selective with where your music is released, so what was it about the label which made you comfortable to do an Original project with them?

I’ve had good relation with Emi (Scippo) for some time now and I believe it was time to put some creative energy on local imprint.

The freedom I had for this project was nothing alike other experiences I had with labels. I even got to choose the release date for my birthday on January 27th!!

Great labels are the ones that care for the music and the artist. Flown is one them.

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

I had a hard time thinking about this one. I think I love every bit of the process, but it depends on the day. Sometimes I’m creative and enjoy finding melodic/harmonic material I can explore and eventually turn into a song, sometimes I’m creatively exhausted and prefer doing some more technical stuff like mixing advanced or already finished projects. Sometimes I’m feeling groovy and all I want to do are drums and let them all set and ready to use. This lets me produce almost every time I want to. There’s almost always something to do.

Also I became friends with the “drought”. If there’s nothing to be said, I accept it and go for other experiences and thought processes to try and let my brain melt these concepts passively. I learned to have faith on that process. It’s not necessary to be constantly productive, actually it’s rather unhealthy to live like that. At least for me.

I keep art close to me so inspiration is (or might be) almost always around the corner.

You’re quite active across Argentina as a DJ, tell us your approach to programming a set and all the factors which go into what you end up playing on a given night.

Oof, Im kind of a disaster when it comes to that. Given that late last year my career kinda started taking off show-wise I started to sort the music I want to play to each specific show.

Prior that I traveled to everywhere I played with ALL of my music. Selections from the time I started playing so from 2019 and on.

Now I try to organize my music for each gig and the important ones get a special treatment.

But all in all, each show is still an improvisation and a result of whatever dialogue we establish with the crowd and setting.

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?

Facundo Losardo b2b Maezbi for the open and warm up.

Cocho as the header

Kabi b2b Agustin Ficarra as closers.

A dreamed line up for me. I also wouldn’t mind playing alongside them, who knows? It might happen soon.

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

Possibly wasting time watching silly stuff on youtube haha. I don’t really know what to say. At the moment you can find me sun bathing or surfing at the beach. I’m usually hanging out with my friends and family on my time here.

In Buenos Aires I’m quite more productive due to the solitude big cities ironically force you to live in.

If you were not a DJ/Producer what do you think you’d be doing with your life?

Art is a must in my life, so I believe films would have been the way to go. Not exactly sure what to do in that business but cinematography would have been it.

Current top five tracks?

(in no specific order)

Slow Down, the vintage culture remix with Jorja’s vocals on it. So sexy.

Shook Ones pt. III by Nick Morgan, a damn good idea.

Oliver Hutemann’s Tranquilizer remixed by Illja Djokovic. MASSIVE drop super well produced.

The One by Ross from Friends. Such a creative beaut. It feels young and unprejudiced, just what I need for this point in my life.

Only Human by KH (four tet). A massive timeless bomb. Super simple and creative, been playing it since I started playing and it works everytime.

What are some of your favourite TV series? Both recently and all time?

I really enjoyed Atlanta recently, I find the photography and absurdity of it marvelous.

Im a big fan of animation so Bojack Horseman has a special place in my heart. I started it by the time I moved to BA and it accompanied me on this solitude process a big city forces into a person.

Now I’m watching the new netflix one, Carol and the End of the World. Really love how the most dull and uninteresting features of a being can be turned into something beautiful if they are looked closely enough.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

I’m a grateful person with a beautiful life. Almost everything/everyone I decide to keep close to me makes me happy. My family is tight and loving, my friends love me as much as I love them and I have lived a considerable time on my own so I learned to love myself enough to be at least at ease almost all of the time. Living my life makes me happy.

What does 2024 hold for you in terms of releases and gigs? Anything you can share with us?

Following Bruto, a suuuper deared project will come out. Nostalgia del Presente on manjumasi by mid march this year. One of my favorite songs I made alongside a gorgeous collaboration we did with Atish. Working with him was beautiful, he’s super kind, attentive and professional. Big shoutout to the Manjumasi team, one of those gems you find in the industry if you are lucky enough like me :)

There is another song there to be released in collaboration with a big artist but let’s talk about that later ;)

As for gigs, planning to get back to Mendoza by February with my boys Cocho and Agus Ficarra. I went there alone last November and it was INSANE. So more than hyped to get back and make some noise with my dear friends.

Guys thank you so much for having me. Those were some beautiful questions. best wishessssss ♥️

'Bruto' is available now via Flown Records: http://tinyurl.com/458jv4x4

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