We had the chance to have a little talk with the amazing producer and live performer Rodriguez Jr. just before his gig in Toronto Electric Island season finale this past weekend. He told us a bit about his electrifying remix of Eli & Fur’s ‘Night Blooming Jasmine’, which he opened his set with, his recent performance for Le Cercle, and much more.
WWD : Hey Rodriguer Jr. Hope you’re doing well. First thing off, tell us, where are you in the world right now and where did you come from? What does a regular day look like for you after the weekend?
Just got back from a crazy weekend of shows in Georgia (echowave) & Ibiza (Woomoon). Not yet fully recovered, but no time for that…. I’m back home with a lot of projects to finish up before next weekend. In fact it’s an exciting pace, not too much time to think, more time to DO.
A regular day begins with coffee brewing while I turn on the machines and get back into whichever creation I’m on at the moment, whether it’s a remix or original stuff. Then there’s a break for emails and feeding the social media monster, but I mostly leave that dirty work to my manager in Berlin. Back to music, then maybe a beer, and at some point I go to bed. I also water my plants and pet the cat.
WWD: You released a remix on Anjunadeep recently for Eli & Fur – Night Blooming Jasmine. What can you tell us about the project? Has your remix approach changed much from the beginning of your career?
I like what they do, their approach is interesting, they come from more of a songwriting angle rather than just beat-based creations, and I realized there could be a creative dialogue between us. Music production is directly connected to the evolution of technology and machines and so as I acquire new dream synths and new equipment, I explore the terrain with my new toys. In general I keep very little from the original track for my remixes, not more than 2-3 elements and I try to give another perspective on the original content using my own ingredients.
WWD : You recently played live for Le Cercle at some stunning cliffs in France, how did you find the experience?
It was a breathtaking experience, I was impressed by the quality and the audacity of Le Cercle’s production, making this kind of broadcast possible is a huge technical endeavour, we had to carry every piece of equipment and cable up to the cliffs ourselves. It was a day of hard work for one hour of magic. It was also the very first show that I did with Liset Alea and it was at this moment that I realized that we had a much deeper creative mission to accomplish, the connection and creative trust between us was palpable and telling of things to come. We have since created a project called “RJLA” in order to accomplish more of this magic. This month we released “Radian – Cercle Version” which was improvised live in this video, afterwards we listened back and recorded a final version. A lot of improvisation happened on the cliff. It’s where the magic is. When I watch it today, I still get goosebumps.
WWD : This weekend you are playing Electric Island in Toronto, what do you expect about this uprising event on an Island in the middle of Lake Ontario?
An island in the middle of Lake Ontario sounds heavenly to me. I’m very excited to play on the Moog Audio stage alongside my old friends Nature of Music, they were the first ones to bring me to Toronto.
WWD : Have you ever been to Canada? If so, what makes it such an amazing destination?
Yes I’ve been to Canada many times, I hold lots of good memories, in particular of the warmth and enthusiasm of the people there. I have friends in Toronto and Vancouver, and what makes Canada special to me is that it’s a mix of cultures, and Canada has a rich musical history, music is the connecting line between it’s people.
WWD : Outside of music – One change you hope to see in 2018?
More tolerance and less sterile debates.
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Here is the line-up of Electric Island that happened this weekend.