Following the huge international success of her Octopus Recordings label debut back in 2019, Spanish techno icon Indira Paganotto has become something of a regular fixture for the iconic LA-based imprint ever since. Fresh off the back of her most recent outing on the label with her four-part Death Valley EP in October, the hotly-tipped Madrilène now makes her eagerly anticipated return to Octopus, this time to curate her very own ‘Invisible Connections’ compilation.
Having recently delivered an incredible 60-minute mix for our Select Cuts Podcast Series, we caught up with Indira to find out more about her life under lockdown, the recent launch of her label Phase Insane, her Invisible Connections compilation and more…
WWD: Hello Indira, and welcome to When We Dip! So lovely to have you with us 🙂
The pleasure is mine and thanks for inviting me to your magazine!
WWD: Dare we ask – how have the past twelve months been for you so far?
Until now it has been a roller coaster of emotions and actions, in terms of work the truth has been crazy, cancellations of complete tours, months without DJing, locked at home without being able to leave! Oh my!
But in my specific case I have known how to channel it by looking at the positive side. I have focused all my energy on creating some really cool new livestream concepts, releasing music on some amazing labels, and of course the launch of my new imprint Phase Insane Records with my friend and excellent Madrid producer Unkle Fon.
WWD: Congratulations on the release of your brand new compilation ‘Invisible Connections’ on Octopus Recordings. Can you tell us about the release?
Thank you! Invisible Connections is a 15-track compilation featuring 5 brand new originals from myself and 10 exclusive new tracks from some of my favourite techno artists, including Simina Grigoriu, Fatima Hajji, Heerhorst, Loco & Jam and many more.
I was so happy when I was asked to create this compilation as Octopus is a label I have so much love and respect for, ever since my first release back in 2019. I’ve built a great relationship with Sian and the team over the past few years and I was delighted to be able to put this package together for them.
The opening track from the compilation, Yellow Lambo, in particular is a very special track for me, so definitely watch out for this one!
WWD: Starting at the beginning, can you tell us how you got into electronic music?
I started with my father, since he was a DJ in the 90’s in Goa, India; I had a lot of Psytrance and acid jazz vinyls at home and when I was 15 years old I started mixing at home. Then at 17 I got into production and when I was just 18 I released my first vinyl in 2011 on the Ian Pooley label, with remixes by Jef K, Gwen Maze and Ian Pooley himself. The following years I continued releasing EPs on vinyl and digital and I moved to Madrid where I now reside.
WWD: How would you best describe your brand of techno for those who may not be familiar?
I’m not really into labeling, but let’s say that my style is a mixture of these ten years of researching my own sound locked in the studio. It has been a search journey without any complex in delving into different styles. My principles, which were house, which, as I have told before, releasing on the Ian Pooley label, was a very important and solid base on which to start developing as an artist. Then my sound became a bit more acid and dark, resulting in a more psychodelic techno. Also influenced by Goa music that accompanied me during part of my childhood and adolescence. My current productions are always surrounded by acid and traveling touches, propgressive and hypnotic bass and fast rhythms but always with groove. I like to tell stories both in my sessions and in my productions. In fact, in the quarantine something that I loved was creating a different environment every week to do my stream, developing an idea and materializing it is what I am passionate about, whether in music, art or with a cooking recipe haha .
WWD: Who or what were your biggest musical inspirations growing up?
In my childhood and adolescence, my ear became accustomed to the mixture of Goa music (with its cavalier and infinite basses and its Indian melodies that I heard from my father’s vinyl) to the opera and classical music.
To be honest, I have never noticed anyone when producing or DJing. I like many artists on the scene but I have never been inspired by any of them, I have always wanted to have my own musical language and I have worked completely alone in this constant search for my sound. More than artists, what have been influential for me have been musical styles. For example psytrance is a style in which I have investigated and learned many things, there are thousands of subgenres within psy, each with its own language.
WWD: Can you share some memories from the days you started raving/DJing?
It seems it was centuries ago, more than 10 years in this industry give many stories! I remember that innocent illusion and nervousness when I had my first bowling, it was something spectacular. There I discovered 100% what I would like to do for life, make music and travel playing all over the world, expressing and sharing my language, and see that the public receives it in a unique way each time, to be able to read messages from people from all over the world who thank you for brightening their day or reviving positive and energetic feelings, is what gives me life.
WW: Can you talk to us about the vision behind your label Phase Insane and why you decided to set it up?
Phase Insane is the union of forces of two friends with a common illusion. It is a label focused on techno, we are going to do all the releases on vinyl and digital, because the romanticism of having the physical EP is still in us. The covers will be miniatures of real paintings by the Madrid artist David Morago. It is a very careful project in which each release. A very personal vision and wanting to publish what we like, out of all normal market and clichés. It’s going to be focused on techno, but as we all know, techno nowadays is a very broad word, so if we want it to be something very personal in terms of sound and aesthetics, we could say that each release will be a gem, hahaha.
The first release of the label’s presentation is the collaboration of Unkle Fon and me with two originals, and two impressive remixes of two pieces by artists like Flug and Ricardo Garduno.
Now available to purchase in vinyl format you can expect a great techno and psychedelic journey, directed directly to mind and soul, where the analog sound is the protagonist.
WWD: What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not touring the world or making music?
I live in the mountains surrounded by many animals, I love hiking in summer and snowboarding in winter, I have the slopes a few kilometers from my house so if there is snow I usually go up almost every day. Another of my passions is surfing and cooking.
WWD: What’s your favourite part of being an artist?
Being myself, traveling around the world, having my own hours during the week and being able to create and materialize the ideas that come to mind. It is a language with myself, it helps me to know who I am as a person and to be in constant evolution.
WWD: And your least favourite?
Downtime at the airport stopovers! That used to drive me crazy hahaha
WWD: Do you have any other recent releases you can talk to us about?
Of course ! Apart from the release of my label Phase Insane Records, I recently released my “Jungle” EP on OFF Recordings in January 2021. It consists of two originals and an amazing remix by Oliver Deutschmann.
WWD: Any final words for our When We Dip readers?
Big love for all you all guys ! Be strong !
Indira Paganotto – Invisible Connections compilation is out now via Octopus Recordings