James Hutchins, - on 23/2/12
AFFKT is Spain's Marc Martinez Nadal, a prolific producer with over 35 releases on some of the world's finest electronic labels. Not content with making music, the DJ and producer has just finished a film which documents his personal and musical journey in the making of his latest album, released tomorrow February 24th, on Sincopat Records, which took him to Cuba and saw him collaborate with the likes of Mathias Kaden, Radio Slave and Marcin Czubala. More an artist than just a DJ or producer, we thought it was time we pinned down the globe trotting AFFKT to get his thoughts on the new album, visiting Cuba and why Pink Floyd is one of his biggest influences.
With your debut album ‘Punto 0’ set for release on Sincopat on February 24th, what were the high/low points you faced during the production process? The album took me one year and half. Every thing start with I trip I made to Cuba, I was expecting to find some musicians there, and being lucky to come back with interesting recordings I could work with in the studio. My days there were so special and I worked with such amazing musicians, people looking to the future but keeping their African roots. This was the beginning of this album. This album reflects my life and feelings during all this time, some of the music came after good moments and other from not so good ones. I made so much music for this album, that at some point I have to select the songs that allow me to tell my story and work deeper on this ones. To mix all the tracks properly took me a while, is hard to be objective in a project you work so much, at the end I arrive to a point I was happy also with the mixes. This is the longest and difficult project I ever made, not just for the album, there is also a Documental about my time in La Havana directed by me and produced by my good friends of ‘Doing’. And all the Sincopat worked hard to release this album.
Following the ‘Gran Misterio EP’, what differences can we expect to hear from your previous releases? This is an album made to be listened from the beginning to the end. All the story has the right sense when you listen all the tracks in this order. This is the principal big difference the album and all the EPs and remixes I did until now.
Even when there are some Dj friendly tracks inside, this is an album to be listen in many situations. I always try a positive feeling in all my tracks, but this album is sometimes also melancholic, I thought it was interesting to travel between different moods along the album, also because is such a long time you have mny different feelings, this could be another big difference to the tracks I made before which are just reflecting a short period of my life.
You’ve worked with the likes of Mathias Kaden, Radio Slave, Remute and more! Tell us about your collaborations for this project. To work with other people is something I like. Apart of all the Cuban musicians I work in La Habana, ‘Punto 0’ includes collaborations with dOP, Mathias Kaden, Marcin Czubala, Analog People in Digital World, Darlyn Vlys and Sutja Gutierrez. Some of them were made working together others were made via Skype, but I have enjoyed and learned so much working with this people. Is like a dream come true!
You must have a favourite, no? I think in this album is quite difficult for me to choose just because as I say for me the most important was the whole concept. If I have to choose just one I take Hecuba the last one, because has so much life inside is not one of the Dj tracks of Punto 0 but for me is the perfect ending of my story. But probably I could feel the same without the 15 songs there are before, so at the end I am not sure.
Is there a predominant sound that inspires you? Tell us about where you draw influence. The album is full of influences, from the music I was listening when I was child from my parents to the last track I was listening during the album process. Is like a big shake of influences, in some of them there is this African roots I was looking for in Cuba, in others there is a of 80s and 90s electronic music, in the track ‘El flautista’ with dOP is inspirated by tradicional music from Valencia. Sabroso with Marcin Czubala is really a Soul track for me. Looking back and trying to be objective with the inspiration for the album I can listen a bit of Pink Floyd, Warp records music from end 90s people like Boards of Canada, a bit of the music from Akufen, to just say a few.
We have to ask you about the studio! Is there a piece of kit that you particularly love using through your productions? I didn’t use it for the album because I just got it, but my new TL Audio M1-F really changes my way and flow or work. I decide to get the mixing console because I realize after mixing the album that I could not sound better with the equipment I had. I am really happy with new this piece of the studio. Something was really important during the process of this album was the UAD plugins are just an amazing tool! I use a lot the tape emulation to give this warm sound to the entire album.
You’ve created a film to coincide with the album. How does this film showcase your journey throughout making the album? In fact making the documentary we present with the album was planned before the album. You have to think that we went to Cuba without knowing what we were going to find there. The film is tribute to the people we find and talks about how they are fighting with their art one day after the other. Of course you can see also how I was recording the album but for me the most important thing to show the world how is the situation there.
So this album took you on a personal journey as well as a musical one. Where was your favourite place recording took you? The most special place was La Havana, I worked in different places during all the process but working there with such a great people was something really special. The album has the flavour from every place I work: La Havana, Berlin, Sao Paulo and Valencia.
For those unknowing ears, what can we expect to see in a DJ set from AFFKT? My Dj sets are always really colourful, I like to not be afraid to play anything I feel. As my music my Dj and Live sets are always really eclectic, really depending on the feelings I have this day. Sounding fresh and surprise the people is always my leitmotiv.
Are there any particular shows you’re looking forward to playing this year? I am now working in my new live show, I didn’t play live for more than 2 years and I am so excited to do it again. I will present it next 25th of February in Barraca, also looking forward to all Lives and Dj sets of this year. I do not like having any kind of expectation about any show, is better to try to do all of them really special.
After this album, I’m sure it will be full steam ahead with plenty of shows filling up your calendar. But what’s next for Sincopat? Any forthcoming releases/ collaborations you can fill us in on? Sincopat is on fire now. We are working in the next EPs from Darlyn Vlys wich is ready and will be the next Sincopat 07 and includes remixes from Alli Borem and David Labeij, we have also EPs from Kid Culture, Samuel Dan, Martin Patino and I am working together with UNER for later this year. After my first album we will have the album remixed with all the tracks remixed by many different producers I respect. Our Been Touched and Up Side Down series will have also new releases this year. The sound of the label is becoming more mature with every release, we are just one year and half years old but we are now great team of people working to release the music we love.
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