Aitor Ronda’s concrete roots can be traced back to 90’s techno. His personal commitment to the mutant and clubbing techno has been in force since 1996, when he began to play his first vinyl records. Now he is an important producer, DJ, label manager… A true leader of a barrier-free techno sound, with a respectful but winning philosophy always. Aitor’s personal quote is “Work hard, the impossible only takes a bit longer”
We had the chance to talk with Aitor Ronda about his latest projects and releases.
Electronic Groove: Hello Aitor, thanks for the time and welcome to EG. Tell us, where are you right now and what have you been up to in the past week?
Aitor Ronda: Hello! It’s my pleasure, thanks for having me. Currently, I’m working full time in my studio at home, located in the middle of the mountains outside Barcelona. I’m actually pretty busy, locked down here working on my forthcoming releases and also on my new live act. I’ve been also enjoying the natural environment that I have around, taking care of my fish and having some real quality time with my girlfriend, dog and cat as much as I could. I’ve been cooking every day, which is my second passion and of course have eaten it all, which is my third passion 😉
EG: You’ve been quite busy this year with plenty of releases including your latest ones on Filth on Acid and Elevate. What can you tell us about your production process and your sources of inspiration?
Aitor Ronda: Yeah pretty much, very excited and motivated. I am always thinking about the next track. The last 4 years I’ve been very focused on my career working hard 24/7 in my music. I love to make music almost every day but I’m only human and sometimes I need a break. I don’t have a work schedule really; weekend gigs and during the week just eat, sleep, studio and repeat for last few years. As I said I really need to live in a quiet place, surrounded by nature and my animals. When I’m working here, isolated in my garden, it’s like my yoga, I charge my batteries for the next studio session. I usually have one track going on, although some nights, I do a bit of brainstorming and I write different ideas cause I feel more inspired.
I rarely turn off the computer, so I get into the studio with a new idea any time without having to wait to turn it on, which is much handier. You never know when inspiration will come up, but normally I work mostly during the night. In the day time, I do my personal stuff, meetings and office work mainly. My inspiration has always been the crowd. I just imagine a club or a festival and I try to see what do I want to tell and make people feel with a combination between the elements I am using and the sequence I am gonna give to it. My main source to make music is the 41 years experience listening to all kind of music and 20 years producing or playing techno… so I put it in a shaker and there it goes; my personal techno view. I don’t look into a rainbow and some banger comes up to my head doesn’t work like that for me. It’s when I have the first bits when it starts to inspire me something… also because I am very eclectic it depends on my current mood on what I am gonna create. Sometimes I’ve been doing a lot of melodic and one day I radically change and I start to do groovy tools or something super hard. I feel comfortable doing different styles as long as I feel it. I believe techno has got a huge range of possibilities beyond all these absurd labels that, depending on the bpm, melodies, vocals, intensity or if it’s dark or pink. Techno is bigger than that!
EG: When producing, are you influenced by your surroundings? For example, different seasons or places?
Aitor Ronda: Yes, of course. It is really important to me. As I said it’s crucial when I am in my creative process. It’s imperative for my whole life. My studio has been always in the same place where I lived, so it goes altogether. I always loved living close to nature in a very quiet place where I can choose silence and I don’t have to see anybody if I don’t want to.
EG: As you are an experienced techno DJ. What is your perspective on the current scene compared to the early 2000’s?
Aitor Ronda: It’s still the same on my side. I’m having the same passion than when I started at first. I am a techno obsessed, focused always to chase my dream, which is to leave a musical legacy. I am sure I will keep doing the same for a long time, going into the studio every day and keep learning how to improve my sound. In the end, it’s all about passion, work, constancy and practice to get to see some results. It’s super exciting to keep developing a sound and growing up as an artist. I always have loved to make music and play it loud to the crowd and that’s all that I care about. To be honest, everything became very big and many things have changed in the scene, but for me, it’s all about music still. My challenge has been always to surprise people with my next work.
“My main source to make music is the 41 years experience listening to all kind of music and 20 years producing or playing techno”
EG: And looking forward, what are your plans for the winter season in terms of production and gigs?
Aitor Ronda: Working on the forthcoming parties of my own brand WHACK in Barcelona city-centre. The premiere was a success, so I’m looking forward to the next one. Also, we are planing my debut touring in South America which is awesome. And last but not least, I’m working hard on my live act, but can’t tell yet when it will be ready.
EG: Moving into your studio, what is your favorite piece of equipment right now? And why?
Aitor Ronda: In my career, I have gone to many different times with studio equipment. Right now I’ve been producing all virtually with my computer and a couple of midi controllers. I am going to be getting new hardware very soon for my live act and also for the studio to try to improve my sound. I’ve got a Motu Ultralite sound card which would be the most important thing right now in my studio, is been with me over 10 years and works perfect, it’s a beast. I use Live Ableton since the third version of this software because I find it very intuitive. My favorite plugs are; waves, fabfilter proQ and sonalksis compressor and the synth I’m currently using the most are: prophet, dune, ana, diva, and sylenth.
EG: We know that touring and producing can be quite hectic. How do you find balance?
Aitor Ronda: Most of the time it’s by taking a break to disconnect and spending time out of the business doing other activities with my family and friends. It’s very important to know when you must stop, especially if you feel tired or stressed. But in my case, I believe I have a perfect balance I design my own weekly routine and I am so lucky to work in such amazing environment, surrounded by nature, peace, good weather and better food. Taking care of my garden, my ponds, aquariums, fishes, dog and cat and doing what I love the most, making music anytime, whenever inspiration comes is all very important. Finding a good balance for the crazy touring weekends is absolutely necessary.
EG: What advice would you give to those who are looking to venture into the music world?
Aitor Ronda: Trust yourself, do what you feel. Passion over fashion. Patience and constancy. Be picky too, don’t settle. Fail early and often. Be real!
EG: Can you share with us some of your fav 3 tracks on rotation?
Aitor Ronda: Sure they are,
- Wigbert – Recognition (Original Mix)
- Ultra – Heerhorst (Original Mix)
- Everything Connected – Jon Hopkins – (Stephan Hinz Remix)
Aitor Ronda’s ‘Hunter Moon’ is now available on Senso Sounds. Grab your copy here.