by Collaborator Nayeli Hernández @Nayeeii
Photohgrapher Fernando Calderón @effet.ca
In his debut at Mutek Montreal and minutes before his presentation at the Places des Arts, the Catalan producer Sau Poler talked about his new projects and his deep passion with football, passion that he shares in his most recent EP titled Dribble in which he names the tracks with brands of balls but without leaving aside the elegance, the bright and yet dark sounds to use them on the dance floor. Delicate notes hipnotizing any receiver, subtle but continuous movements just to say goodbye to the summer and the sunny evenings of the city of Montreal.
The perfect scene!
Bizzarre: How did you start to make music?
Sau Poler: Since I was a kid I was pretty geeky, I grabbed the tape recorder and assembled batteries with cardboard boxes and stuff like that, I recorded with a keyboard that I had and well, annoying my parents and siblings basically.
I started to do some music with no plan, just to experiment, when I was 13 a friend of my brother had a program to make music, he gave it to me and start playing as if it was a video game.
B: Which program was it?
SP: FastTracker, which was like making "Maquina", that's how we called this kind of music in Spain, Hard-Core Techno in Holland and Belgium, was a pretty hardcore music pum pum pum! you know? then I started to make beats with some kind of hip hop and so, I was like this for years without doing anything until a friend in the school gave me the program FL Studio "Fruity Loops" and then I started to produce almost every day until now, I had several projects since then, including this as "Sau Poler" which I started it in 2013.
Fast Tracker II
B: Which is the concept behind Sau Poler?
SP: pff! It's very big nonsense, one day we were watching football, a Barcelona match with a friend, it was a crap game, super boring so we started to change the acronym of all players, and fuck! how would be my name Pau Soler or Sau Poler; I thought at that moment "If I start something I'll call me like that" , A good concept? ... right now I do not know, because I do not like to typecast or describe my music in genres or anything, I do as always, music, I start to produce with the sampling because I do not have many musical knowledge , I mean, I produce a little bit of everything and to try chords and notes, what Im trying to do is a hybrid of all the records that I am sampling with more electronic instruments and to make a mixture of a sound, electronic with acoustic and organic ... I do not know !
Right now I'm working on the first LP and I'm doing things a bit more ... not experimental but a little further away from the track, a little more to hear at home and I'm good there trying out stories.
B: What do you like to listen when you are alone?
SP: Well, I listen to a lot of old music, especially records that I'm discovering.
Now I'm listening a variety of genres like new wave and strange records that I find. But I hear everything, artists like Frank Ocean the truth is that the last LP is very good. I try to hear different things.
B: Which instruments are you using in your new production?
SP: I do almost everything through the computer but now I have some external instruments like a Rhodes that has a very warm sound if you pass it through effects pedals, you can get cool sounds; then I have a Korg ARP Odyssey synthesizer and the Teenage Engineering OP-1 which is a smaller synthesizer that can make quite funny sounds.
B: What did you prepare for your show at Mutek Montreal?
SP: When I do live shows like this, I do it a little more focused on the dance as a continuous session, I go with the Octatrack which is a sampler / drum machine, the OP-1 and then I shoot things from the computer.
B: How does your live performance flow? Do you think that when you connect with the people, you play and interact with their interior?
SP: I just follow a speech or a path through music, sometimes you find yourself in places - clubs festivals, parties - that maybe there is no such connection and it is a bit fucked up moment for the one who is performing, sometimes is like, shit! what's wrong?, you try different genres of music and there is no connection, but when you find it, believe me, it is a very special moment, the one that makes you feel that it really is worth it do what you do.
Now it comes to my mind in the Trans Musicales de Rennes France I went out and made a live that to the people went crazy, I was freaking out of the roll to see how people were taking it, it was the best direct in terms of feeling finished and saying how cool!
B: You are working hand by hand with your compatriots John Talabot and Pional, Tell us what is happening in the Spanish scene?
SP: I think the problem we have, is that there isa lot of people making very good music but it is very hard to have attention outside Spain, also the circuit of clubs and scene in Spain is very small, there are few clubs that really give support for local people and people a little more underground. Yes, it is a country that does many festivals but for outside artists and a little impact for the Spanish artists, but anyway, I think there are super good local artists that deserves much more recognition than they have right now, we will see with the time this can change. I think we need to leave Spain, not to America or Asia, at least playing in Europe, that would be interesting. There are artists who do not leave the city where they are from. Promoters do not take risks in putting them at peak times of the festival, is a bit fucked up.
B: What does the Mediterranean gives on your music?
SP: In my case I live in Badalona in front of the sea, is a super quiet place, nothing happens ever, is a bit slowly place that does not have much to do and there is not many people around, it makes you flow a little more your imagination and push you to be more creative.
B: How does Art influence Sau Poler?
SP: I have Art studies, I really like shooting a lot in analog, everything is connected, Joan Miró is someone who is very much in the Catalan culture and his works inspire a lot in Sau.
I really like Berlin and New York because of the type of movements that are generated and to be creating something new inside aesthetics.
The music I use to get out of my day to day, is something I've done for more than half of my life, it is a necessity that I have to do always, in fact when I am without making music I am missing something is a way of expressing myself and of removing feelings that you have inside. Sometimes you can say more with a song than talking.
B: In June of this year you released Dribble, an EP that combines your two passions; the music and Football.
SP: Now we are in a little fucked time, since I was little I played football and I wanted to make an EP with subjects that had enough punch, something that gets a little like football, in the end it is a concept little abstract and absurd, but I always wanted to do something crazy like this and associate the songs with names of balls. I guess someone already did it, maybe with names of footballers but I thought of a global concept.
“Dribble EP is an ode of 3 club tracks inspired by classic football players and some legendary balls that I grew up playing with. Each track has a connection with those pieces of leather: “Etrusco” refers to the rawness and strength, “Questra” the evolution and euphoria, and “Mitre” the magic and unique spirit of English football.”
The painting on the cover is also pretty cool, it's from a girl named Julia Mariscal and she well expressed the idea that I brought.
Organic and optimistic with a tinge of melancholic wistfulness,
Sau Poler's music feels bright, modern and intimate. Grooving basslines, shuffling beats, and taut samples coalesce around a unified sound that melds house, pop, R&B and techno into a fluid and distinct feeling, one that also imparts a nostalgic twinge and uncanny but reassuring sense of déjà vu.
Growing up in Badalona, close to Barcelona along the Catalonian coast, Soler started out producing instrumental hip hop and downtempo but has since evolved his sound. In the past few years he has played on stages around the world, including many venues in Europe, Mexico, NYC and at Barcelona’s own Sónar.
Since 2013 he has released several EPs on Amsterdam’s Atomnation label as well as remixing a plethora of artists. One of a new wave of electronic producers emerging from the cultural hub of Barcelona, along with peers such as John Talabot and Pional,
Sau Poler makes accessible and uplifting dance music with a subtle balearic undertow.
Live he ramps up the pace, keeping the pedal to the metal, focussing on the groovier, clubbier side of his work with an energetic laptop set.
B: In Dribble, you talk about the euphoria of the fans. How do you compare it to the dance floor?
SP: Well yes, I think everything has a connection but in the EP I thought more about making a "Club Tools" than just use to play them and that's it! but then
I saw that I had coherence and build the football thing, but it was never premeditated.
A night club can look like a soccer field when they score a goal and when there is a euphoria, there is a connection.
The barça lived great moments with Pep Guardiola, with the vision that if you really believe in what you want you can get it, no matter the tools you have, it is a just about the little desire and will you put on it.
B: What is coming for Pau Soler?
I will releasd an EP with Pedro Vian, is another musician from Barcelona, will be out in November we are closing a tour through Europe and Spain!!
Now I'm pretty focused on spending hours in the studio to finish my
LP at the end of this year, looking forward to do some collaboration with other artists, I am now into the Danish New wave, a little bit dark, I want to get someone there which has a genre of music and put it in a different context, try to see if all this works, try to publish cool things, I think creating music without any pressure.
A little trip with my music let's see if people will join. Wish me luck…
Let's burn the Place des Arts.
Barcelona's electronic musician Albert Salinas Claret and his collaborator the visual artist Alba G. Corral, presented their work for the first time at Mutek Montréal.
His performance was part of the Inter_Connect Barcelona program.
With a mesmerizing music and spectacular visuals that stimulated all our senses.