ITW : ALDERAAN [DANZA NATIVA]

Alderaan is the artistic name of Franco De Michele, artist of sound from Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the year 2011, he began with the study and experimentation of the sound, starting to publish his own material towards 2014 in the dutch label Planet Rhythm: Vexations EP, getting the support of the biggest artists of the global scene, and then releasing music in physical format (12”) on the english label Weekend Circuit. From there on, he has a varied discography of techno and ambient music in labels of different countries of the world.

Looking back: What was your relationship with music in your teenage years? When did you first began to gravitate towards electronic music?
When I was a teenager I spent a lot of my time searching for music on the internet and learning song lyrics, reading band stories, watching documentaries, etc. I used to listen to Creedence, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, U2, Deep Purple or Depeche Mode.
I started to like electronic music when I was 16 or 17 years old, when I started going to dance and experience what that sound was in the context of a club. I was always very interested about it but I didn’t start making music until I was 19 years old.

How did you come up with your alias Alderaan and what does it mean to you ?
My alias Alderaan occurred to me in the most obvious way, watching Star Wars. I was at a time when I had enough music made and I felt it was time to start showing it to the world, but I didn’t know what alias to choose. So I investigated a lot in one of the things that I love the most: the cinema.
I am a big fan of science fiction, movies like Blade Runner, 2001 or Solaris are some of my favorites. I think the relationship between this and the alias I chose is that I like the idea of creating songs that make the listener feel like they are entering into a different reality.

You released a lot of tracks on well-know labels likeWarm Up, MindTrip Music, Danza Nativa or Oecus. Out of all of your releases, which are your top favorites and why?
Well, Warm Up is probably one of my favorite releases. I worked on each song for a long time and I was very happy with the result of that one. Of course, having the support of Oscar Mulero means a lot to me. Also my EP for Danza Nativa, since being the label that I co-run with my friends has a very special value. I specially like the song ‘Gracia’.

When did you start to produce and what was the learning process like? Would you consider yourself as a mainly self-taught artist? What advice would you give to a beginner?
My first step was to study with Jonas Kopp, and then I spent a few years studying a degree called Electronic Arts in college. But during all those years the most important thing was spending hours and hours in the studio, trying different processes, experimenting a lot and working hard.

The most important thing was spending hours and hours in the studio, trying different processes, experimenting a lot and working hard.

I also studied a lot on my own. I think that the internet offers you many possibilities, everything you want to learn is there. Youtube is actually a great tool for learning.
My advice to someone who is starting to produce is to study as much as you can, be true to yourself and be patient. The world of sound is infinite and there is still much to do.

When you produce – do you have a clear idea of a track in mind beforehand or rather, does it evolve in the process of making?
There are very few times that I have a clear idea of what I want to do before sitting down to produce. Most of the time I open the live and start to try new things, effects that I do not know or just start playing and recording sequences that I like. A while after doing that, I probably already have something cooking.

You own Danza Nativa with Forest On Stasys and Kyntral. Can you briefly tell us the debuts of your record label and how the label have evolved over time?
Well, we are friends for a long time and we always had the idea of creating our own platform. It sounds crazy to even think about it, but it took us years to plan and carry it out. I think that thanks to that time we take, we have a label that the three of us are proud of.
We started editing our music, and then we met Vanoni, who is Argentine and we didn’t know him until he started sending us music. We immediately planned a meeting and realized that we had the same vibe, so we were very happy to be able to edit their music in the label.
After that, on the 5th release we released a remix pack of international artists, which I think exceeded our expectations. We were pleased to have remixes by great artists like Oscar Mulero, Luigi Tozzi, Svreca or Kaelan to name a few. Then we started also a podcasts series in the label. The first one was from Claudio PRC and then we had Efraim Kent also. Both very nice mixes. So we’re always kind of thinking whats the next step.

You are also a member of Oecus, a Berlin agency and label. What’s the story behind your collaboration?
I met the Oecus guys in Berlin in 2017. They booked me the first time I went to Europe and my first gig there was with them. We instantly became friends and the party was excellent. I liked the way they worked and also the fact that they are really nice people, that’s really important for me. Since that time we have always been in contact.

What have you learned through your music projects both professionally and personally?
Professionally to always be open to new ideas, to learn new things and listen to new stuff constantly. Also the cliche of being true to yourself is so important. There is nothing better than to create what you really like and not follow any tendencies.
Personally that everything changes and you have to enjoy the journey.

Is self-doubt something that you have to deal with often in your creative process or are you confident in your vision as artists?
I think self-doubt is something I have to deal with and I actually like to do it. I wouldn’t want to do something and assume it’s okay and leave it at that. Many times after finishing a song I listen to it a couple of times and wonder if there is something that I could change to make it better.

What emotions are the hardest to convey through music?
I do not see myself as someone who wants to capture in music the most classic emotions such as happiness, joy, sadness, anxiety, etc. I think that what I am looking for is always to bring myself to a different mental state while producing, rather associated with full consciousness. That is my goal when I create music, to get into a state of ecstasy with the music.

What question would you like to be asked in an interview and what would you answer?
“What techno records marked a before and after in your life?” Almost the entire discography of Milton Bradley’s Do Not Resist The Beat was very important for me. In particular the EP ‘Uncontrollable Desire’ is one that I love. It is very dark and at the same time transmits a lot with few elements, the idea of repetition is very present. I remember being 20 years old or something like that and listening to his music everyday.
Also ‘Shifted – Crossed Paths’, ‘Silent Servant ‎– Negative Fascination’ and ‘Abdulla Rashim – Asayita’ are some records that really got me (just to name a few).

What’s coming next for you, any plansor exciting projects you’d love to mention?
Right now I am working on my next EP for Danza Nativa which will be out this year. Also some remixes and tracks for different compilations.

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