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He is an artist made by music. His mixes, selection, and production leave many people amazed. Hailing from Ecuador, Slurm has a wide spectrum within the line of house and even the most groovy techno, which together travel through a variety of emotions, a fresh and dynamic sound. His sessions have led him to perform in different parts of the world, such as Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, USA (Seattle and San Francisco), Paraguay and to be part of the BPM Festival in 2017 in Mexico, Ocaso Festival in Costa Rica 2018, 2019, 2020, Full Moon Nicaragua and Electronic Art Festival in Barranquilla.
We caught up with Slurm to discuss his new album ‘Rebirth’, his experience during these times in Ecuador, his label, and new projects.
Electronic Groove: Hi, Joshua! How have you’ve been? We’re really happy to be able to sit down and catch up with you. What a year we’ve left behind, right? How do you feel about it? Have you made any personal balances?
Slurm: Hello, and yes, what a year! It has been something difficult for humanity, but little by little it is improving. Personally, I have a lot of family time and space to create music. In a time without gigs, everything has been focused on production and future planning.
Electronic Groove: So, you’ve been quite busy this past year, and it’s now time to present ‘Rebirth’, your debut album. Why the title? What does this particular concept mean to you?
Slurm: ‘Rebirth’ came from an idea in the studio, completing the album, in the middle of the chaos while creating the title track that has the same name as the album. I think that many people after these awful times will start again. These pandemic times (quarantine) bring a lot of meditation too, to revisit ideas, paths, and projects. In ‘Rebirth’, I express a new beginning for me producing music and for everyone in our lives.
Electronic Groove: Musically speaking, we’ve noticed that ‘Rebirth’ goes down a series of tangents, exploring the different shades that inhabit between House and Techno. Was this planned out thoroughly? Or did you just go with the flow until it was all done?
Slurm: For a few years now, several musical genres within the line of house and techno have been part of my sets. I think that staying in a single genre would be very indifferent on my part. Since I like, enjoy, and play different styles, I started in a very house / deep tech line, but life and his trips have led me to discover the Progressive, Afro, Techno, Breaks, and Chillout sides of electronic music. I wanted to express an infinite universe of music in the album, creating songs of different genres but all with a personal touch and vibe.
Electronic Groove: Have you ever attempted to create something as ambitious as ‘Rebirth’? Was it a more daunting task than expected? What unexpected challenges did you come across during the process?
Slurm: I have always tried to give my best within electronic music, something that I am very passionate about, something I love a lot and respect. Since I am involved in electronic music, I started producing events and also doing festivals in my hometown Guayaquil, Ecuador. I was also able to make a record label, Savia Park, and I think that launching an album was something fair and necessary in my career, and everything was given so that this album can emerge in these times.
About the task, in fact, on the contrary, it has been a very encouraging task with great hope that humanity will do better, and soon we can do what we like the most and dance together.
The challenge was to get the music to the greatest number of people. Fortunately, there are groups involved in the electronic music scene in charge of distributing the musical material to the most important DJs and producers as well as a challenge to work on social networks and media. From the press of my country, it was a challenge to spread electronic music in the midst of all the chaos, but I remain true to my word: music is healing, music is a greater force that will always encourage us to do things better. It was a great encouragement to be able to do this album at the moment. How good is that that music always accompanies you!
“I wanted to express an infinite universe of music in the album, creating songs of different genres but all
with a personal touch and vibe”
Electronic Groove: How do you feel about releasing a dance-driven album at a time when most clubs and venues are closed due to the pandemic? Are there any juxtaposed emotions?
Slurm: It is different, it is an album that you can listen to at home or also at parties. I would like to release it at other times, but the time that was given to me was this one. I am still happy with the result, its reception, and those who have been able to listen to it. We can also enjoy music in our environments like we’re doing now. Most of the clubs and venues are closed, but even so, we are still passionate about listening to music, and this is a good remedy for these difficult moments.
Electronic Groove: The pandemic has put music artists in a very weird spot, in the sense that they create music but can’t or aren’t able to showcase all they have done in a live setting, with their fans. And, generally, there’s a notion that we discard music too fast, especially in the electronic music scene…Do you think fans not being able to consume music immediately and artists having to delay the chance to showcase all the work done previously will affect how we perceive and consume music from now on?
Slurm: It depends a lot on the artists. Many of them during the pandemic are being left behind. Many artists were affected and their careers were neglected; a career that is very difficult to maintain if we are not actively playing, but others have done well, streaming, doing online interviews, even being teachers and spreading knowledge, using social media more and more than anything those who have succeeded. Most of them are those who have continued to release music despite the times we have lived. It affects many, but it raises the level of others. There are more collaborations, there are more connections. Those who have tried by their own means to stay active are the artists who have remained in the hearts of their fans and have accompanied them at home with their music and good energy despite everything. The fidelity in this musical genre is something so pure and so beautiful. This is one of the magical things about electronic music.
Electronic Groove: What’s the situation looking like in Ecuador? Do you feel like the light in the tunnel is just around the corner? Do you think clubbing will undergo major changes going forward?
Slurm: The government in Ecuador has allowed the province of Santa Elena, which is a province with a lot of tourism on the country’s coast, to open clubs, with limited capacity and security measures. It is the only province that has enjoyed this ordinance since the last quarter of 2020, due to its economic strength in tourism, there is the world-famous Lost Beach Club which is open every weekend and which has long been visited in this times by Doc Martin, Nastia, Latmun, Michael Bibi, wAFF, Richy Ahmed, De La Swing, Detlef, Dennis Cruz, Amine Edge, and Dance, among others and more to come.
In Guayaquil, an important city in Ecuador, there is the iconic Monovox electronic club, which has already been allowed to function with the following regulations: attendees must be seated at tables, dancing is completely forbidden, the sale of alcoholic drinks is up to 10 pm and the venue closes at midnight.
In the capital, Quito, the events are expected to take place in April with strict security measures. There are open clubs and resto-bars with limited capacity, with security measures. There is also a great boom in outdoor events, organizing new groups with a high level of logistics and security measures. We take care of each one. The Antenna Festival in this city is scheduled for the month of December. Organizers are not yet sure if limited capacity is allowed for those dates. We hope things improve at that time. We hope things will be better at that time.
For example, in Cuenca we have ROTOFEST, a festival declared by the Ministry of Culture as an emblematic party of Ecuador, and which attracts more than 25,000 attendees in its previous editions. This year they had to choose to make their edition online, and they hope that by the end of the year they can hold a private event with limited capacity and with all the security measures. They look forward to 2022. They are looking forward to 2022.
In the night scene, beyond the parties, there are many people who depend on it, it is their livelihood, and this pandemic has affected this sector immensely, we hope that things will get better soon.
Electronic Groove: What is the one track from ‘Rebirth’ that you just can wait to play live? Why? Have you dreamt about the crowd’s reaction?
Slurm: ‘A Guide To Bliss’, which is the first track on the album. That song is a journey. When I produced it, I only thought about playing it in a warm-up or at a sunset or at sunrise. The song has a lot of good vibes and a path to get a meditation state, at least, it is what I wanted to project.
“The fidelity in this musical genre is something so pure and so beautiful. This is one of the magical things about electronic music”
Electronic Groove: Can you give any tips to producers thinking about embarking on their first album? What things should they consider?
Slurm: An album deserves a lot of work, being very detailed in all fields from its production, mastering, its graphic art, to its promotion. It is a lot of work that has to be worth it, striving to reach the largest number of ears is a priority, take the time that is necessary to send a quality product that has great reception. It is something that must be taken very seriously and put a lot of love and dedication into it, that is reflected once is on the air and is always appreciated by the faithful followers.
Electronic Groove: What can we expect from Slurm for 2021? What are your next objectives?
Slurm: Start playing in permitted spaces, continue to publish music through my record label Savia Park, which in the coming months will feature the releases of the EP by Caribbean from Barranquilla, Colombia, MAR-K from Ecuador, and a compilation of remixes from my album that will feature Fran Bartolossi from Brazil, Koko from Paraguay, and local colleagues. We will also finish a new EP that is due out later this year with international vocal collaboration.
Keeping me with good energy and hope for a future full of music, parties, and dancing.
Electronic Groove: Thank you so much for sitting down with us! We wish you the best going forward and hope you have a great year!
Slurm: Thank you for the space and the opportunity to be in your magazine. Long live Electronic Groove!