Guided only by his kaleidoscopic vision; moving through shimmering, contemplative electronica, to deep and urgent techno, leftfield melodic accents and quirky pop refrains, Rodriguez Jr. is the by-product of an untamed brand of creativity and a thirst for the new and unexpected. Drawing inspiration from artists as diverse as Stockhausen, LFO, Carl Craig, Eric Satie, Kraftwerk, and Michael Polnareff, Rodriguez Jr.’s spirit of adventure translates as soaring creativity, and music that cannot be pigeonholed.
We had the chance to talk with Rodriguez Jr. ahead of his performance at Toronto’s We Are Lost Festival on August 11th. Grab your tickets here.
Electronic Groove: Hello, Rodriguez Jr., thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Tell us, where are you right now and what have you been up to in the past week?
Rodriguez Jr.: Hello! At the moment I’m home in Paris, I just got back from Budapest and touring throughout Europe and I’m getting ready for the upcoming North America tour where I’ll be hitting Toronto as well as New York and Washington. Recently it’s been lots of remixes, new releases and a new EP coming out soon on Anjuna Deep.
EG: Your new EP ‘Malecon Azul’ was recently released on Mobilee. What can you tell us about the inspiration and production process behind it?
Rodriguez Jr.: These tracks come straight from the road, from the heat of the audience and the fluidity of the live performance. They’re filled with the energy they collected on tour. I’ve traveled so much these past few years so I’ve been kind of forced to work on the road but then I get to test them onstage and alter them as I see the reaction of the crowd. It’s the first time I work in this manner. ‘Malecón Azul’, named after the sea-side esplanade in Havana, captures the intense and unique experience of being under the sun, in front of the sea, in a faraway place that suddenly feels like home.
EG: How much do personal emotions and your surroundings affect the outcome of your music?
Rodriguez Jr.: It’s my fuel, electronic music is often so overly calibrated that it risks losing its substance and urgency, so I try to infuse my music with my real lived experience. In general, an artist should have the courage to be himself because it’s the only way to be distinguished as unique.
EG: Moving onto your live performances, you will be playing at Wearelo&st Festival in Toronto. What are your expectations of playing at Guy J’s gathering?
Rodriguez Jr.: I’m looking forward to connecting with the Canadian crowd and being a part of the line-up that was curated by Guy J which seems to be very promising. I have a lot of respect for his music and DJ skills, I feel close to his sound which is emotional and melodic. We played together a few times, the last time was in San Fran alongside Nick Warren who’s another legend, and I think it’s a great combination music-wise.
EG: The lineup packs a very interesting lineup. If you have some free time, who would you like to hear?
Rodriguez Jr.: I hope to catch my friends HOSH, Audiojack and Guy J of course!
Grab your tickets here.
EG: What do you think makes this festival different from others?
Rodriguez Jr.: I think the fact that these DJs are behind the curation of the line-up will certainly give it an original identity and a feeling of community, but I’ll really know the answer to this question after I play 🙂
EG: Going back to your productions, what is your favorite piece of equipment right now?
Rodriguez Jr.: At the moment I’m obsessed with my new acquisition, the ARP 2600 which I can’t venerate enough, this machine is like a Swiss Watch, such precision and power. It’s a childhood dream for me. It’s one of the first portable synths alongside the mini Moog. The one I have at home dates to 1972 and I can tell you there is absolutely nothing that compares in sound.
“I’m a perfectionist, I’m never satisfied but producing music is sometimes a source of bliss for me”
EG: How do you balance touring and producing? Do you have any time management techniques?
Rodriguez Jr.: Turn the internet off and leave the phone outside the studio. There’s never enough time, but I manage.
EG: What is the easiest and hardest part of being Rodriguez Jr.?
Rodriguez Jr.: The easiest is that I’m a perfectionist, I’m never satisfied but producing music is sometimes a source of bliss for me. The hardest is that I’m a perfectionist, I’m never satisfied and producing music a sometimes a source of anguish for me.
EG: Thanks for your time!
My pleasure! See you in Toronto!