A Sit Down With DJ Paco Osuna
With a career spanning more than 20 years, Paco Osuna is one of the most renowned artists in the industry. As a DJ he is lively, intelligent and sophisticated, with a deep awareness when it comes to sound aesthetics. For Paco, all sessions are important and it is a requirement of his to invent and renew every time he steps onto the stage. Musical monotony has never been an option. He has also been recognised with several of the most important awards in Spain: Best Artist, Best Techno DJ and Dj of the year (Vicious Music Awards, from 2011 to 2014); Best Producer and Best Remix: Plastikman-Ethnics (DJ Mag Sp 2011).
"I feel very proud of my country and its music scene, and if this derives to the idea that my style is associated with Spanish sound, thats great."
Youre probably the largest Spanish ambassador for techno. Do you a Spanish techno sound has developed, like the Berghain sound or New York sound?
I have never felt attracted to label things, so I dont like to define my music as Spanish Sound. I feel identified with the music I play. The quantity and variety of music nowadays is so that the best option is to take a little bit of everything you like and build your own sound.
How have you evolved as a DJ from when you first started?
I've changed like I changed my life. Just like 20 years ago, we were watching TV with a VCR -- music is the same. You have to follow the new sounds and get ready for what is coming to you. Otherwise people will forget about you. You cannot play the same music you were playing 10 to 15 years ago. My original sound was more techno, but with the new movement that's happening right now with all the new music like minimal, house, and tech-house, you can listen to my sets and hear a hard techno track and then a deep house track. But one thing about me is that all the tracks I play have to have a funky bass sound. That is something I must have -- always.
Technology has made it possible to stretch ideas without limiting ones imagination. Tell us about your new hybrid DJ/Live set up and how it allows you to translate your ideas to produce dynamic sets?
I don`t know, my dj sets always depend on the crowd and the atmosphere. Sometimes I do sets where I focus more on the music than on the effects and sometimes I do sets creating crazy effects all the time. It depends on the crowd but I always try to use the technology for the maximum possibilities, because for that it was created and I like not to be obvious and to surprise people with new things.
The Techno scene has been in a grow spurt the last few years, the digital movement has developed new ways to perform through products as Traktor, Ableton, Serato etc. What do you think about this development? How do you manage to stand out from the crowd?
Well, I think the technology is in our hands for use. But sometimes, in the case of the vinyls, I miss going to the shops each week a lot to find new records. At the same time I love to play a track right after its finished, so I totally recommend and support the new technologies.
And what if we talked about people who contributed more to the formation of your musical personality?
Without doubt the first was Raul Orellana, the one who made me want to play, he made me fall in love with this profession. Subsequently, as a DJ, there are two people who have deeply marked my style, one was obviously Richie Hawtin and the other Marco Carola. Actually, I think they make up fifty-fifty of the influence I've had. Then, without a doubt, Hawtin is the one that most of all taught me to personalize, to make mine what I played. From him I learned how to use fifty effects on a single loop and make it different every time, he really led me to evolve in production, as a person and also as a DJ. It has always been one step ahead of everyone, and it is not something that is said so much to say, it is not a sentence made, it is the truth! Whenever I play with him I learn, always. I do not copy, but I learn, that is different. And every time I learn something, the next time I learn another..
You started by playing at Amnesia back in the 90s. What was it like performing there during that decade? Has anything changed since then?
Many things have changed in Ibiza. The techno scene in those days was at a minimum, you could count with the fingers of one hand the clubs and promoters supporting techno. Nowadays the music and the scene has evolved and is bigger, there are a lot of styles on the island but I believe the techno is now the sound with the greatest presence. The 90s in Ibiza were about trance, house or Balearic sounds. Today Ibiza is totally techno within its different variants, more soft, more housey, or harder, but the main sound is techno.
Are there any Dutch producers you would like to work with?
Of course with many of them, starting from Speedy J and Steve Rachmad, or more recently Kabale Und Liebe, Daniel Sanchez, Olene Kadar, etc love his sounds.
Do you get the chance to relax and have time off in Ibiza much? What do you like to do with time off there?
It really doesn't happen so often, but for two weeks every season I like stay with my girlfriend and my dogs, catch up with friends and make my famous paella!
How was your first gig there - did it live up to expectations?
It was awesome! Actually I never put expectations because then I dont expect anything, and everything I live is positive. But the truth is that I was a little nervous to come back to the Main Room of Amnesia after so many years, nervous because I wanted to give my best for Marco and to the Music On team for their trust in me. The result couldnt be better, the first 30-40 minutes I was testing and observing the public reaction not just in the dance floor but also in the tables and I connected with them so quickly it was a big party!
Does the dance music scene in Barcelona have its own unique flavor and vibe? Or is it miming the action over in Ibiza and the Balearic islands? What are your favorite things about being a DJ in Barcelona?
The scene in Barcelona is always unique and different, at least from the rest of the cities in Spain. The sound there is more underground, and has its own personality. I cannot compare it to any other city. The thing I like most about DJing in Barcelona is that I feel free to play what I want -- anything from deep to mainstream.
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