A Sit Down With DJ Barem

13:49 Mar/07/2018


Mauricio Barembuem (a.k.a Barem) burst onto the radar of electronic enthusiasts in 2006, swooped up from his native Buenos Aires as Richie Hawtin's newest minimal techno protégé. The years that ensued were a valuable learning period for Barem, who, guided by Hawtin and his seminal M-nus imprint, quickly developed a sense of musical sophistication and artistry to his productions while simultaneously making a name for himself as a skilled DJ.

 

 "I love percussion and that's my second main resource."



 

Last year you started your label Fun Records with Alexis Cabrera. What’s the idea behind the label and what can we expect in the near future?

The idea for the label is to create a laid back platform to release cool jams. The music we’re releasing is pretty simple, but we love it. We somehow try to release records that contain all we like from the past, but with a current approach in terms of sequencing and the new sound possibilities you have today. Ideally we want to build a little family with people that share the same feeling. I felt it was a good time for me to start my own playground after a bit over a decade of working for other labels. It’s a lot more work, but it’s very rewarding. 

Speaking about Argentina, how do you feel about the current electronic music scene and the festival sanctions that took place a few months ago?

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.

You are a young DJ who has a long career. How did you start producing electronic music?

I started just playing. I was 17 years old. I used to go out and I liked the music. I found a free software to learn producing my music. Then I started to play and I got new and serious software. My first session was when I was 20 and my first tour was when I was 21 or 22, I went to United States.

You've played in the most famous locations and clubs: Ibiza, Miami, Timewarp ... for example. What do you think of the Italian clubs and festivals?

I love playing in Italy. It reminds me a lot to Argentina. The crowd is very similar in a way. Very enthusiastic, friendly and loud. The italian fans will do just about anything to go see their favorite acts and I find that to be very cool.

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?

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.

Do you see DJing as your career or more as a musician who DJs to pay the bills?

I am a DJ, no question. I enjoy playing music a lot more than making music. I also enjoy making music but it’s not something I can do all the time. I sometimes spend half a year without even making a single loop. Some people think of me as a producer, ’cause when I started touring I was only playing LIVE. But I did it ’cause if promoters were booking me for the music I was releasing, then it was fair to play that music at their parties.
I switched back to only DJing after two years, when promoters started booking me not only for the music I was making, but because they trusted already on me and anything I would do.

Do you ever see yourself taking your music in an entirely new direction?

It might happen. But as I said before, I’m trying not to think about it and let things happen when I feel they should happen. For example, in my last minus ep (Kolimar) I included a deep house track. It was my first deep house track ever and I just made it ’cause I felt like making a deep house track, not thinking on minus or anything else. It was interesting to see how in the end minus supported me on that change and to see that the general crowd also liked it, specially DJs who were not playing any minus tracks and were sort of against the label.

Last year you started your label Fun Records with Alexis Cabrera. What’s the idea behind the label and what can we expect in the near future?

The idea for the label is to create a laid back platform to release cool jams. The music we’re releasing is pretty simple, but we love it. We somehow try to release records that contain all we like from the past, but with a current approach in terms of sequencing and the new sound possibilities you have today. Ideally we want to build a little family with people that share the same feeling. I felt it was a good time for me to start my own playground after a bit over a decade of working for other labels. It’s a lot more work, but it’s very rewarding. 

Who the artist that has been your inspiration?

Josh Wink was the artist I liked it by far. Thanks to him I discovered Richie Hawtin, Ricardo, Luciano…

Your style is very languid, percussive and rich in nuances. Do you see this sound as a result of years on the road or something you have desired all along?

I always try not to think about it, and just do what I feel at a certain moment. I have a lot more experience now and of course it helps, but I just try to keep that knowledge somewhere at the back of my brain and hope it to come out naturally without calculating or analyzing too much.

Talk to us a bit about your summer so far? Have you had any stand out gigs? Anything that you have done personally that you’ve enjoyed?

It’s been a bit of a different summer for me compared to other years. I used to do lots of shows in Europe and then go back to Buenos Aires for the South American summer and take it easy there. Now the South American calendar is very strong, so I need to find a balance, because I don’t function well when I have no breaks. That’s why I’m now trying to take weekends off during the year and live at a less frenetic rhythm. I must say I’ve been enjoying it this way much better than in the past. The best event was the Fun Records Boat and afterparty at Village Underground we did in London in July with the Unleash crew. It’s always a bit more special when it’s your own party.

https://soundcloud.com/barem/sets/live-sets



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