Mendo: "It looks like the quantity is more important than the quality nowadays..."

Words by: Ralph Turner
Posted: 3/12/13 8:16

MendoSwiss man Mendo is a man of many talents. A globally renowned DJ/producer, he’s also the brains behind the Clarisse imprint - and one of Luciano’s closest confidantes in the Cadenza family. The past few years have been kind to him too, with his tracks ‘’Aventuras", "Madrugada" proving a hit with tastemaker DJs the world over.

With his debut album, Avalon, having just dropped, we thought it a good time to catch up with him ahead of a gig at Egg London on the 7th December

First off, we need to start with the album, Avalon, are you happy with the results?
Yes I'm really happy with it! Even though I’d finished it by the end of 2012 and it took me a lot of time to to release it, I'm still satisfied about all its tracks.

What was behind the decision to create a full length EP?
The idea to make an album came from Luciano in 2010. I was sending him so many new tracks that he told me "regarding the speed you produce them, you could make an album for Cadenza".

I began to work on several tracks, the first of which were "Aventuras", "Madrugada" & "Inocencia". When I had about 8 tracks done, I sent them to him to for feedback and he told me that he loved all of them, but that I needed to have more variety in my style for an album. Indeed, the 8 tracks that I had sent to him were mostly dancefloor stuff, but he was waiting for an album that was more personal and eclectic.

I continued to work on it until one day, a friend called me to say that my track "Aventuras" had been ripped from a set and was downloadable on the Internet for 2 months and that many DJs were already playing it. That changed all our plans and we had to make the decision to remove this track and "Madrugada" from the album to release them as an EP as quickly as possible.

Avalon LP
The success of the EP was so huge that some of the biggest labels began to ask me for remixes and originals.
And that, it made me work harder on my album because I started working back on it in 2012 having moved to Málaga in Spain. I naturally had to build a new recording studio, which again postponed the release of the album.

Tell us about the title, what was behind that?
It’s always difficult to find nice titles! It takes time, at least for me, because the ideas for my titles often come to me when I'm travelling. Looking at advertising hoardings, cities names, and, as soon as I find a nice name I record it on my iPhone. But with the Avalon title, I found it by chance, by consulting a page on Celtic mythology. I really loved this name, that's why I decided to use it as my album title.

Creating an album can be a very stressful process. How did you approach it?
It’s definitely stressful, because during that year I worked only on the album over a whole year and I didn’t release anything else. But I have no regrets. That's why I really had pleasure to produce tracks like "Waterborne", "Avalon", "Amazone" and "Libelllule" which are quite experimental for me. But of course, I didn't forget to produce "peak time" tracks such as "La Krika", "Clavelito" and "Samba" which are more like the ones I normally produce. And finally, I made tools such as "Mintro" and "Interlude" to get all the elements for an album.

Do you have any tracks from the album that have specific inspirations?
Well, if I’d never met Luciano I would certainly not have managed to produce the album, because he was of a very big source of inspiration for me over the last 4 years. I would say that tracks "La Krika" and "Clavelito" are the most beautiful examples.

Moving onto your gigs, Egg London has been one of your favourite places to play. What makes the club so special?
There is a real family spirit at Egg with all the team, and Nick Tcherniak and his Familia parties always make me feel like home when I play there. They were also among the first ones to rely on me and to give me the Clarisse Nights residency, with one artist from my agency and one or several big headliners we invited each time.

You'll be playing in December, what can we expect from the show?
The night will be really special for me because I’m going to be able to play with two artists with whom I have already worked this summer in our Clarisse Nights in Ibiza.

The incredible Nakadia from Clarisse Records will accompany me with Markantonio and Mark Reeve on the ground floor, and Guillaume and the Coutu Dumonts who will be doing one of his amazing live shows on the terrace.

Can we see you perform anywhere else in the UK?
I play every 3 months exclusively for Egg in London - but I remain open to any other proposal for the rest of United Kingdom!

Tell us about your label Clarisse, are there any productions coming from the label we should know about?
I constantly receive a great deal of demos for my label, and it’s still not easy to find music that pleases me. I find it's a pity that many producers became lazy and don’t make the effort to surprise us. It looks like the quantity is more important than the quality nowadays.  That's why I like to work with DJ s/producers from my label and my friends such as Yvan Genkins, George Morel, Eppu and Nakadia to name a few. As my album has just been released, I am going to take my time before deciding what will be the next release on Clarisse Records and certainly work on some of them as a remixer.

Finally do you have top 5 tracks that your playing in your sets right now?
01. Roger Sanchez – My Roots (Technasia Remix) - Stealth Records02. Green Velvet – Bigger Than Prince – (The Martinez Brothers remix) – Circus Recordings03. George Morel – Keep it Rolling – Clarisse Records04. Nick Curly – When The Wild Horse – Cocoon Recordings05. wAFF – Ibiza – Hot Creations

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