Alongside his remarkable contribution to the series, we sat down with Ricardo Garduno to find out more about his story, his music, and his upcoming projects.
- Hi Ricardo, we are glad to host you in Paradox. How is it going for you at the moment?
Hello guys, glad you invited me, thank you. Everything is going great at the moment, been a bit busy which is a good thing.
- You said in an interview that people who listen to Techno know well the other musical genres. What are the genres you were familiar with before listening to Techno and what was the trigger event that made you fall in love with this genre?
Well, in my personal opinion I think people who listen to Techno have also had the chance to explore other electronic genres before or at the same time. I think Techno isn’t an easy genre to digest right away like others. It’s definitely not a ‘masses’ genre. Everyone I know who likes techno, including myself, are also into other genres, like House, Progressive House, Tech house, Deep house, Trance, Psytrance and others, what I mean is that they know what else is out there. People just getting into electronic music take their time finding their way to techno, it’s like telling a guy that has just got into electronic music listening to this new EDM stuff to listen to Jeff Mills’ stuff, chances are he won’t enjoy it, maybe this person should start listening to DJ Sneak before listening to Jeff Mills, just an example, hope you understand my point.
My first contact with electronic music was listening to House and around the same time, a couple of my friends showed me a bit of techno and I fell straight in love with it. but of course when I was little I listened to a lot of High Energy, Italo Disco, Synthpop etc
- Running four labels, working under several aliases… That makes it a quiet busy life with all those ongoing projects. How can you find the balance between all those ongoing projects?
I am definitely busy with all that, but I like what I do, I used to clean tables and bathrooms so I can’t complain about working on something that I love. The labels are doing good, two busier than the others and as for the aliases, I had two projects on stand-by, right now I ‘m just trying to focus on Ricardo Garduno and another project.
“I wanted to prove that people without rights can also reach objectives and become successful”
- Let’s talk a bit about Illegal Alien… We are curious to know more about the label genesis and the artistic lines you want to give ?
I stared Illegal Alien in April 2007, so this year the label will be 10 years old. At the beginning it was a more open genre label, we released Techno, Tech house, “Minimal-Techno”, then with time just techno. Right now, we are focusing on more hypnotic / deep / raw / musical / atmospheric / dark sounds and the plan is just to keep going the way we are, we are happy with what we are releasing and we are happy with the support we get from fans and colleagues.
- By the way, is there any political significance in the label name?
I was an Illegal Alien, years ago I used to live in U.S. for some time and I was an illegal immigrant, the people with this status were called Illegal Aliens by the system. It was a pride thing, I feel that I wanted to prove that people without rights can also reach objectives and become successful, you know.
- How about your other imprint, Abstract Mechanisms, what is this other platform intended for?
When I started it, I was only focused on my music, but a couple of years ago I decided to release many other artists and this the line is more musical, Techno but a bit softer.
- How would you describe the evolution of electronic music in Mexico from your first steps until now?
Unfortunately I didn’t start my music career in Mexico but I know from some colleagues that there was quite a big techno scene earlier on. Mexico hosted Love Parade, Mayday and other important festivals, but somehow some way, the movement faded out a little, now though I am happy to witness the techno movement making a comeback, slowly but surely, we’ll see what happens, and in other genres it’s been solid and right now it is very strong.
- Few weeks ago you’ve released your debut EP on Oscar Mulero’s Warm Up which can be considered as a consecration in one’s career. What other iconic labels you feel the closest to you musically?
Yes, I had the pleasure to release my music on Oscar’s Label, which I ‘m very thankful to him for the opportunity. It is a very important release for me to be honest. There are also obviously many other great labels out there that I really like and would love to release my music on but we’ll see, let’s be patient and when the time is right things just happen. Right now I ‘m also focusing on Illegal Alien. We have a beautiful family, consisting of Fixon, Aleja Sanchez, Mari Mattham, Fixeer and DJ Saint Pierre and we are very happy and excited about everything that is happening, we are working hard on making the label grow and also ourselves as artists.
- I know it’s hard to pick up one special gig from your European tour but if you had to speak about the most memorable experience which one would it be?
I believe they all are special, some of them with hundreds of people, some of them with 10 people, for me every single one of them is a learned experience and I’ve enjoyed all of them, so I can’t just mention one.
- In July you have gig planned in Japan but it seems like it’s not your first time there ? How was your first experience there?
Yes, I’m very excited to be back in Japan, I had the pleasure to play there last year and now I’m going back in June. The first time was amazing, I had such a good time, the organizers, the people, the food, everything was great and the country itself is beautiful, so I have no doubt it will be another great experience.
- I guess you’re receiving a big amount of demos for your labels. What is the current trend of sounds that you receive at the moment?
That is correct, we really appreciate the interest of artists sending demos to the labels, but it is impossible to release everyone, right now the schedule of Illegal Alien is pretty much full for this year, because we’ve already saved spots for the family and regulars, plus the music that we get and fits perfectly on the label from upcoming or established artists. For IA Black Label and Abstract Mechanisms we are definitely taking demos, they are not too busy right now, so if the music fits on the labels, they are more than welcome.
- As a label manager what were the main challenges you faced from the start?
I don’t think there any challenges. I think all it’s part of the process, it’s the way it is, maybe when you are inexperienced on this you can say they are challenges, but with time, you realize that all “obstacles” you had were just normal and again, we’re just part of a process of the Label, which is still in process, we are still learning and growing.
- What upcoming artists would you recommend to check out at the moment?
There are a lot of new artists making amazing music, we’ve just released some music from a guy named Osse, we really like what he is doing, also from Portugal, Norbak and ViL, we also released their music on Illegal Alien, both making very solid tracks.
- Can you give us a glimpse about your future projects?
Sure, like I told you, this year Illegal Alien will be 10 years and we are working on a very special release, which is a triple Vinyl VA, including some great established artists and of course the Illegal Alien Family. For this year we have scheduled 9 vinyl releases and also lot of great music on digital on all the labels. As an artist I have some releases signed, some of them on Vinyl and Digital some just digital, they’re coming out on Illegal Alien, Nachtstrom Schallplatten, Dead Rose, Northellsen and other labels that I will announce soon, also I ‘m back in Europe in March and April, June and July I will be in Japan, Colombia and Argentina and am also planning to be back in Europe In October as well, plus we’re doing some events in Mexico City with some international guests, so yeah definitely a fantastic year this year.
Thanks a lot Ricardo, we hope to see you very soon somewhere, keep the deep spirit up!
Love and respect