#UR64: Gus Van Sound (Moog / Polybius Trax)
written by Razeed (Geométrika FM)
translation by David Juárez
Techno has been sustaining since its inception, as far as dance is concerned, basically on two pillars: the raves and clubs. In the future surely it touches us to talk about raves, but today we will interview one of the residents of MOOG, one of the biggest techno clubs in our country: Gus Van Sound for the next podcast of URBANNOISE
We usually fill our heads imagining parties in European clubs like Berghain, Tresor, Concrete … but in Spain we are lucky (saving the subject of opening times, of course) to have a club that has been open tirelessly since the mid-90s and is a benchmark of European Techno scene, not only for their great programming in weeks as the OFF-SONAR, but as a benchmark for many days of the week throughout the year.
The MOOG is one of those clubs that you always listen to the public talk about, or read in Dj’s interviews, making clear that the large number of epic and magical nights that have lived within its walls are not by chance.
Razeed: When you began to hear electronic music? Which album was the one that made you say “Yeah! this is what I like!”
Gus Van Sound: Well, I started in 1994. I came from the hardcore scene/skater/rock, and the only electronic music I knew was “Makina” and “Bakalao” ( Spanish way of cataloguing certain musical styles like dance Progressive mid 90s) and was not to my liking, everything that smelled electronic, I rejected it. Until one day, there appeared a fellow skater named Joan (aka “Curras”) and put a session not remember who or where, but it sounded as if someone had done a session with the legendary Trance Europe Express compilation plus some handful of tracks on the same roll.
Discs were marked by me.. Orbital’s second album, also called “Brown” and the album “Dubnobasswithmyheadman” Underworld.
R: You are a resident of Moog, so … obvious question: How does it feel being a resident Dj of one of the Techno clubs probably more important in Europe?
G: Well, I feel very lucky and privileged because, really, apart from fame the Moog is likely to have it is a great pleasure to be able to mix in that dj booth. It is very enjoyable for the place, the public and the freedom we have when it comes to playing music. Besides, it gives me the opportunity to share the dj booth with great DJs and producers who come to act.
R: In the case of those that do not know you, who is Gus Van Sound and how did he come to Moog?
G: I’m a DJ who has spent 20 years playing mainly in Barcelona, where I have had numerous residences, to highlight the “La Paloma” and currently I practice in the Moog, and it was not until the latter I have had some impact. I came to Moog by way of Omar Leon, who knowing me, without being great friends, opted blindly for me.
R: Tell us, how is the Techno scene in Barcelona. Many times it may not seem like Barcelona audiences that filled clubs like Moog to listen to Techno, but you are lucky that the foreign audience is filling Techno clubs.
G: For the Techno scene in BCN it is better than it had been lately, because the techno BCN has never enjoyed a big scene. But now there are many DJs/Record Labels/ very good producers and several clubs and festivals (though still not enough) that give hope that things grow more.
And as for the foreign public, yes it is true that helps us a lot, but only during the summer months, or maybe a little more, from May to September. They are only five months with foreign people. The rest of the year, some seven months, amounting to about 210 nights, the club is open and works with a public majority of the city. I think we’ve achieved that the indigenous clubbers return to Moog. If it was so we could not open every day of the year without exception.
R: You run two record labels with “Kapi”; “Clásicos del Ruido” and “Polybius Trax”. What does each of them to the scene?
G: “Clásicos Del Ruido” is more focused on cold, dark and hypnotic sounds. It’s music halfway between the dance floor and listening on the couch, packaged in an elegant design. The operation will be alternate re-releases as the first references by “Miedo escenico” and NLK ( Projects from Manel Ruiz A.k.a Sistema) and new works from people like Drvg Cvltvre, Snuffo, In Aeternam Vale, Alessandro Parisi, Kid Machine, Hyboid, Synth Alien and more artists that will fill the upcoming record label references.
Polybius Trax It is meant to sound purely for the dancefloor, with a more festive and rogue air, where they come styles like acid, breaks, ghetto, UK Hardcore … with artists such as Mark Archer, Andreas Gehm, 6tma, Posthuman, Automatic Tasty, Umwelt, Minimum Syndicat, Roger Van Lunteren, Cream Soda …
R: I read your interviews out there with which I identified, you mention that dance is something therapeutic … almost as a way to face the reality that you don’t like. Still with this thought? When mixing, how do you approach this vision?
G: Certainly I continue with this thought, but now I dance less. But I maintain that therapeutic factor when I’m mixing.
R: As an important DJ in a city like Barcelona, what do you think of the democratization of this dj world? More and more people wanting to produce, Djing…
G: I find normally given the popularity that has taken the world of electronic and DJ, and especially thanks to the development of production systems that facilitate DJ and access the whole thing but that, in my view, is not worrying. What is worrying is that the public and promoters of the clubs don’t have the sufficient criterion to differentiate the good DJ, the real DJ from the pseudo DJs or amateur Dj’s with a dj controller, or producers who make good music but don’t know how to mix. Because ultimately, the public and, above all, promoters are those who have the power to decide who mixes in the clubs.
R: Gus Van Sound that we follow is more dedicated to techno, but what else can we expect from your sets?
G: For a bit of everything in the electronic dance music. The styles that I mix are techno, house, acid house, booty house, electro, breaks, IDM, darkwave, synthpop, EBM, nu disco, italo disco … But the truth is that right now and summarizing a little, you could say that I have many types of sets, while perhaps 4 or 5 the most.
– One more focused techno in all its forms and enter the podcast where I’ve done for you.
– A second focused more thugs sniffer sounds like acid, ghetto house, breaks, UK hardcore, jack, groovy electro and other styles. Such sessions 100% fit with the concept of Polybius Trax.
– Another type of set, where would I opted for sounds and styles colder and darker as the Dark Wave, Synthpop, Nu Beat, EBM, Italo Disco (but more dark and hypnotic), Techno Pop and even if necessary something Industrial and harder sounds. This set type fit with the philosophy of “Clásicos Del Ruido” and the session “Dark Side Of The Moog”.
– The 4th would be one in which I mix various styles that have previously mentioned for the sole purpose of improvising as happened on the dance floor, leaving a little aside the stylistic prejudices, avoiding the typical conceptual set unique style / sound, thus enhancing the wow factor.
– And the last set type would be the opposite; more conceptual and focused on one style or sound, such as the House, Electro or any of the styles that I like. Usually the moments when I warm up to an artist I’m very focused on one style / sound, or performances in very specific places where the musical roll is very marked.
R: What kind of artist do you recommend we hear?
G: As current techno artists, some of them are Donato Dozzy, Ancient Methods, Rrose, Kobosil, I/Y, Blind Observatory, Fabrizio Lapiana…
R:Describe that moment in the DJ booth which you had to breathe deeply twice not to scream from satisfaction.
G: Fortunately they have been and are many times when it happens, and moments of bristling hair or getting excited so that therapeutic exercises in me that feeling of which we spoke earlier.
And come words that Angel Molina told me not long ago, the last time that we agree Djing together. He basically said: “Djing techno keeps you young.” And I think it’s 100% true.
R: Who are your musical influences?
G: As for DJs, especially it has been people from here. The most Sidereal, Omar Leon, Zero, Angel Molina and System.
I have always believed that the closer have concerning the better to soak up and share with them. Having close to such great people has motivated me and made me better.
R: What is your fetish song today?
G: the truth is that I have no fetish theme.
R: How long do you see yourself fighting for your way of understanding this world?
G: The truth is that I see me fighting, until they stop me. The day that the things does not work as I think it should be done, then I will do something else, so I am very clear. It is that I respect enough music and what I do to stop devoting myself to it, if I can’t do it the way I think it’s right … well, if I have to sell myself, I think I would leave this profession.