Mauricio Barembuem AKA Barem perfectly personifies the new breed of electronic musician who has grown up in the digital age, spontaneously expressing ideas and emotions through his productions and dj sessions.
After a successful DJ and Producer career Barem continues to move forward founding his own label, FUN Records. We recently had the chance to speak with the Argentinean artist about his current and future projects.
Electronic Groove: Hi Barem, thanks a lot for joining us. You’ve had a busy summer with shows dotted all over the world. How’s it been for you so far? Any particular shows you would like to mention as a highlight?
Barem: Thanks to you for having me! Yeah, it was pretty nice. My three highlights were playing the Main Stage at Movement Festival in Detroit, Our Fun Showcase with the Unleash guys in London – Boat Party first and Village Underground Later- and finally Ernesto Ferreyra’s Loosen Up party at Club Der Visionaere in Berlin, with Franco Cinelli and Federico Molinari. It Was great to team up with the three of them for the first time.
Electronic Groove: You are part of Unlock Recordings ‘Collaborations ‘’ compilation. How did this project come together?
Barem: I’ve known Gonzalo Solimano since 2003. He was the first person to release one of my tracks at the beginning of Unlock Recordings. We’ve been very good friends since then. Later on I moved on first to Foundsound and later to M_NUS, but we always kept in touch. Now that he’s releasing these nice V.A. EP’s we both thought it was a good idea for me to go back to my roots and include one of my latest tracks in there.
Electronic Groove: Speaking about Argentina, how do you feel about the current electronic music scene and the festival sanctions that took place a few months ago?
Barem: It’s all very sad. Particularly around this time where there were so many parties, festivals and probably the biggest interest on electronic music ever in the country. What happened is terrible and should never happen again. I honestly think things must change radically, both for the safety of the crowd and for the proper development of the scene. Argentina is a country were rules are not always followed and authorities fail to carry out efficient controls, when they’re not corrupt. In fact, both ends are negligent in cases like this.
It hit all local artists very hard and I believe most of us realized that sometimes we should also alert about certain circumstances, specially regarding capacity. We are also responsible for the well-being of our fans.
“Damage control and drug testing at events could save lives, and politicians are not willing to pay the price of going down that unpopular road”
However, I’m a strong believer that the organization is only half of the problem. Damage control and drug testing at events could save lives, and politicians are not willing to pay the price of going down that unpopular road. It would openly mean that they’ve lost the battle, which they have anyways, but when it comes to public opinion they only care about votes.
Lately they’ve been banning events, but it will eventually go back to normal and probably nothing will change unless we all push towards that.
Electronic Groove: Let’s talk about your own imprint, FUN Records. So far it has 3 releases. What’s the label’s philosophy and what you do differently when you produce for it?
Barem: Well, the philosophy behind it is exactly the name of the label. Ideally it’s some sort of chilled playground with no pressure to release anything in particular and at no particular moment. The music is also like that. Mostly laidback jams. The artwork suggests to some people that it’s a party label, but for us it represents more of the naïve and relaxed ideas behind it.
There’s really no difference these days. I make tracks and whatever fits there goes there, whatever doesn’t, maybe goes somewhere else or even to the trash. I have a very unpreoccupied way of doing things this year. I’m much happier than before because I’m doing only what I want to do musically and not what I’m supposed to like when I was younger. Time will tell if it’s the right way to go, but at the moment I’m definitely enjoying life better.
Electronic Groove: What’s in the pipeline for FUN?
Barem: Next one is from a fellow Argentinean guy called Nicolas Neik, with a very strong Mike Shannon Remix. The following we’re not sure yet. We keep looking for tracks, but it will probably be Alexis (Cabrera) and I together again. We’ll see what we come up with!
Electronic Groove: We have seen you develop through the years. First with M_nus, then as a top Dj and now running your own outlet. What do you think have been the turning points to move forward and what would you say are the keys to successfully build a music career?
Barem: Well, joining M_NUS was definitely a turning point. It shaped me as a professional artist and helped me to be known by lots of people. Within M_NUS I took a different path when I moved away from playing live sets and started DJing again like when I was a local DJ in Buenos Aires. That also made me change musically because eventually and heavily influenced by the Mannheim sound I started playing deeper and housier. After that when I left the label some years after was another turning point because I began depending on myself and sometimes it wasn’t and isn’t very easy, but I got used to it and I made the best of it.
“…don’t get obsessed with social media. It is important but music is way more important”
I’m never sure what to advice people when it comes to building a successful career because things are much different now than when I started. What I did was never aiming too high or too low, always trying to maintain a slow but constant growth. It’s not easy sometimes but it always helps to talk to the older guys. They’ve been there before you and they know better what to do in every particular situation. Though I think the most important is to have a clear idea of what you want, and follow it as much as possible. Also being in touch with your old friends and family helps on never forgetting who you are. Sometimes this environment makes you lose it a bit, especially at a young age. Lastly and this is a current one, don’t get obsessed with social media. It is important but music is way more important.
Electronic Groove: What was your favorite summer track?
Electronic Groove: What’s next for Barem for the rest of the year?
Barem: At the moment I’m trying to make as much music as I can before I leave on a 2 month long South America Tour. After November it’s all gonna be heavy touring again away from the studio so I need to focus as much as possible for the next month.