10 Questions: Suso Flores

Words by: J Gamp
Posted: 16/6/17 13:45

Suso Flore LOVES to make electronic music - but he approaches his house music with a slightly more technical, DIY aesthetic. The Galacian producer and DJ incorporates design, hacked technology and even circuit-bent toys to form the backbone of his work. The rest is created on the fly.

He's just released his new EP '2ality' on Francesca Lombardo's Echolette Records, so Ibiza Voice thought it high time to fire 10 questions over to the rising producer, to talk his fondness for 'messy' music, his cassette-based Massage Brain Cult imprint, signing up with Francesca and how much he loves his technology. And when we say love, we really do mean love.

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Hi Suso, thanks for talking to us. How are you and what have you been up to recently?
Hi, I'm well thanks! Studio-wise, I have been making lots of new music and working through all the various setups that are possible using the equipment I’ve got – I’m always trying to find a slightly alternative methods to construct tracks and live performances. One thing I’ve been obsessing over is injecting ‘Control Voltage’(sending via a jack output, the voltage that one instrument has to another instrument that has a control voltage input point) into my circuit-bent toys (electronic toys that I modify to get a wider spectrum of sound).

I still haven’t tried it in a performance but I'm really keen to develop this method further. I’ve also joined a band and we rehearse every week. Daniel Paleodimos (drummer & main organiser) and Marco Marotta (saxophonist) are great motivators and we have a fantastic bass player as well, Ollie Hopkins. I play the modular synth and 'mooded' (modified) toys!

Where are you from? What is your home scene like?
I was born in A Coruna, Galicia, a country on the northwest corner of the Spanish state. It’s a magical place, where the sea hits the rocks, creating a really peculiar coastline. It has a very green and fertile land; it rains a lot in winter and summer is not too hot. Galicia is 1 of the 7 Celt countries. This relaxed atmosphere is the perfect contrast to where I live now, London. Right now in A Coruna there are not many clubs, but there are some people like FANZINE that continue to organizse honest, quality events.

Last December they curated a festival where I had the opportunity to play live before Legowelt and Ceephax Acid Crew -it was amazing to listen to them talking about nerdy stuff - there where some things even I couldn't follow!! From the beginning of the 2000s, I have really good memories of my musical experiences there before coming to London. Really nice hard techno and an abundance of interesting house music was present in clubs all around the north/north west of Spain. A truly legendary place in my city next to the sea (still open , having played electronic music for 15 years) is O PORTINO, where I enjoyed many after-party. In A Coruna there are also some good producers and really good veteran DJs, such as Grobas who planted a futuristic nostalgia melodic, experimental seed in me which has kept on growing and growing! The scene has become slightly corrupted by larger parties and financial drives, but I see a brighter future, with lots more experimental AV events.

Other than in clubs, the scene can be revitalised in cosy cafes/community centers/squares and parks. 

Can you tell us a little bit about your studio/live setup and how you go about organising it?
As I was saying in the first answer, I’ve been trying a real range recently, most of them setups without computer/Ableton sequencing. A setup I especially like is with the Korg SQ-1 sequencer sending midi out to the Microkorg for melodies...and then sending this to a Electro-Harmonix 3880 looper for locking loops and manipulating some desired ones.

With the SQ-1, if you want tonality changes on the steps you have to be intuitively pressing buttons almost continuously, but if you are very careful and focused, you can make nice melodic transitions (which is one of my main concerns on my live sets without computer). This can incite sudden and very fulfilling restructurings of the piece you're working on. So we have the Korg SQ-1 sending midi out to the MIcrokorg and the also sending Control Voltage and gates to some modules (in this case MI Tides to Befaco Spring Reverb and inputting CVs from Make Noize Maths too). Then, this goes to the VCA on my modular synth (if I am using more than one synth, I don’t like to keep a complicated patch on my modular, otherwise if I'm in a rush performing, I can easily get lost as to what’s going on!). This feeling of confusion can not happen for more than five seconds whilst performing – for me, that’s a must - if that happens, I just change to another new idea and move on.

Then some output from MI Tides go to other DIY sound devices -in my case, it goes to a mooded Stylophone (Tasos Stamou’s mood design), also with CV input. Then, the sync output of the SQ-1 sends a gate to the BSDM Bareback Bass Drum - 000 module, sending a gate every 4 beats. This gives you a straight kick for when you need it. The kick output then gets sent to a sound effect device on a breadboard called RAD FI delay. This is for making the beat repeat in different times/offsets/pitch/probabilities (giving it more life and
energy).

So with this set up we can have a full spectrum track with lots of changes if you want them! I also recently picked up the YAMAHA RS 7000. I mainly use this as a MIDI sequencer. I am still learning – I got it because this machine can manipulate MIDI and sequence it in great detail without the need for a computer! EOD recommended it after I asked him a midi splitter device question! Some of the readers may love this, for some it might sound like gobbledigook. Sorry, I just love talking about set ups, thanks so much for asking me!!

Could you name 3 records you are really into right now and why?
In my DJ set, I do not really like to play linear tracks. I like quirky, naïve, often quite messy tracks.

Nebullarosa - 'Nebulullaby' EP is a good example of that. This is quite close to the experimental intentions I resonate with. I love X-Name's label - she is an outstanding electronics university teacher and powerful improvised DIY performer. Since I first listened to Roland Kayn, I felt great connection with him.He is a super forward thinking musician from the '70s that passed away in 2011. He is the one who greatly applied the Cybernetics concept of systems that regenerate and play by themselves.

I really recommend smoking/ vaping a spliff and listening to ‘Simultan, Monostatile’ (1970, 1972) – it’s such a trip of incredible textures that really gives you goose bumps. I'm just listening to it now and freaking out!

I also really liked the new Aphex Twin release on Warp called ‘London 03.06.17’, released at Field Day Festival. He is such an inspiration.pic2.jpgWhat do you do outside of music to relax?Sometimes, not enough!! I work in SEN schools in London between 0830 - 1600 weekdays, and then I come home to my studio which occupies me until bedtime. On the weekend, if I don't have a show or some other one-to-one tuition work, I tend to do the same - I just love being in my studio! That’s it; making music and observing and modifying electronic stuff relaxes me. It's a bit weird but I love my comfort zone BIG TIME!

Electronic music shifts and changes so fast these days, how do you keep musically relevant?
I don’t try to keep anything relevant, I really don’t give a damn. Sometimes my music has confused people, because it’s been so eclectic and inconsistent in a way (there are connections between everything, but not in the sense of fixed genre names). Some of my projects have been successful and relevant (like ‘Techno Para Meninos’) and some haven’t!I like to swap projects every few months. I suppose I subconsciously get bored of them because of the intense obsession that always kicks a new phase off. My label Massage Brain Cult is different and has a slightly more consistent output! The one that just came out on MBC is from a good friend called Eazykill – check it out here.

Tell us about '2ality' and the inspiration –it’s got a very heavy acid feel to it.
I made this track the day after a break-up actually! The acid bassline is a Sylenth preset with automations and some FX. Then the rhythmic elements come from the Electribe SX and and the dreamy pads from an Albino VST. This track also has another layer of the same track on top of it, creating a sort of phasing effect.

Okay, nice. How did you get picked up by Francesca Lombardo in the first place?
We have known each other since 2006. We always liked each other’s music and character. To be a part of Echolette is a nod to the friendship I feel fortunate to have developed with Francesca.

What’s the ethos of her label in terms of music and style, and how do you see yourself fitting in to it?
I feel it is an eclectic, coIourful and socially engaged label. I love to think in colours and when I Echolette, I see BLUE. Since she appreciates my sort of quirky braindance-inspired sound, I'm keen to support her project; whether this be through a release like this, or through other co-operative projects.

Finally, what else is coming up for Suso in the foreseeable future?
Hopefully something a bit more carefully made! On a serious note though, I’m looking forward to splitting my time between the studio and teaching. I’m always trying to innovate and find new ways to make sounds that tickle my eardrum – I love this because it’s a personal obsession and also something I can share through my work with younger people. It’s always amazing to see the sudden realisation that music and electronics can spawn from absolutely anything, not just expensive confusing pieces of equipment. I’ll also be focused on my cassette label, Massage Brain Cult, and preparing music for a forthcoming Stupid Color Squad release.

The '2ality EP’ is out now on Francesca Lombardo’s Echolette Records.


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