Today we are chatting with Depaart. This unusual duo from Madrid has been seen before in labels at the level of Sacha’s Last Night On Earth, Stil Vor Talent or Sincopat, and now they are back to business with their latest ‘Division EP’ in Solomun’s Diynamic Music and a forthcoming self edited and fractionated album this May.
WWD: As a quick introduction, who are you guys?
Hola gente! We are Guille Marraco and Fran Zaragoza, two dudes from Madrid in their early thirties that met organizing raves at Uni and that eventually gathered up under the name of Depaart in 2016 after playing together for years but under different names. We really don’t want to grow up so we work very hard on becoming DJs, famous enough to pay the rent, and eventually an old Porsche or a high mileage SUV.
WWD: Congratulations for your last release, how did you make it happen? How is it like to release during the current situation with the pandemic?
This is a fun one. You might think that we had some contacts there already, but we actually sent “cold door” to their demos Gmail, the one shown on their SoundCloud. Part of the job as a producer is to send tailor-made demos to the labels you are after. We rarely produce tracks specifically for a label, we’ve tried and it didn’t work! So better look at yourself in the mirror and make the music that you like, might end up on a big label. We are super happy, rather release in Diynamic now than never. It would have been great to play the tracks at a decent party but we’ll get there!
WWD: What would you tell a young DJ and producer that’s working hard at the moment to get ready for the club nearby re-openings? could you give them 5 tips?
Keep it up or run fast. Manage your expectations, it turns out that there’s just a small bunch of people living out of this decently so as long as you are fine with that, really like making music and playing it, and you are happy spending all your pocket money in tools it’s fine. Just make sure that you enjoy the whole ride. Ask yourself this question: what if I quit at some point during the journey? Make sure that the answer is: ‘at least I had a lot of fun!!’ Now seriously these could be very good tips if we look back:
- If you are making a duo or band think about it twice. We hate each other but fake it quite well.
- All emerging artists really want to release music ASAP, we’ve been there. Make sure that you like your first productions after a few weeks or months if possible without listening to them or you might regret that release, and eventually you’ll ask for it to be taken down or you’ll end up changing your artist name.
- You don’t need a logo in most sub genders.
- You don’t need a manager at the beginning, just good advice.
- As with any other art it needs to be sold, so don’t be a fool! it’s an industry, there’s money involved, there are many interests involved. It is what it is, if you just like making music and don’t want to put up with the business side think about it twice.
WWD: What are you really bad at?
Music language. We both got the basics since we’ve been playing in bands before and can get around some instruments, but there are some challenges around it that remind us that we’ve got no clues outside the basic scales and chords. FACT. We are also very bad at replying on social media and WhatsApp, but we are really nice people in real life!
WWD: What do you think about the latest evolution in EM trends if any?
There’s many actually! First of all we are a bit happy that cheap tech-house is – or seems – to be gone since there’s no point in listening to empty soulless loops at home for most of the people. Dark disco is on the rise too and there are also lights and shades, super cool retro tracks and super refreshing new tunes with retro taste (check out Mister Sweatband – Leopard, tune!) but also formula imitators. Ethnic-downtempo-house or as you want to name it is apparently the biggest thing now since it really works in mid and low-energy environments as well as for dancing. But it’s becoming a bit mainstream and losing sort of it’s originality. We don’t really know where we are at but sure we get influenced by trends in a way or another.
WWD: Let’s talk about Covid. Do you guys think that clubs should be open with restrictions? Will you get the shot when the time comes or are you skeptical about it?
We openly think that big farma sucks big time, but denying science it’s like saying that 2+2 makes 5, it’s just not true. Like it or not (we don’t) we’ll have to wait until it’s safe to gather up again. We’ve been repressed for too long and we might be facing the crazy 20’s just right ahead of us, but partying and clubbing is about letting go, so the pandemic conditions are key for that. Our thoughts to everyone affected by it directly or indirectly. Sure we’d get the shot, make it two and leave the salt and lemon in the kitchen. It’s for sure less bad than our chain-smoking habits!
WWD: What have you missed the most during the Pandemic?
The random factor. Trust us, this is the result of our own thesis and long discussions! If you meet with 3 or 6 friends or whatever it’s allowed at that time and place, you know who’s starting and ending the party. We miss discovering that random dude from Canada that ended up at our friends afterparty for instance. Also the dancing part, big time. Dancing to loud music that you really like, energetically, quiet, just dancing… we miss that a lot. We’ve been into electronic music all our adulthood and it really it’s part of us, of our culture, and of our freely chosen way to enjoy life. Aside from that Spain hasn’t been that strict in some places, especially in Madrid where daytime bars have been open for most of the time. But you have to be in small groups, sitting down and with masks… so it’s better than nothing but still sucks.
WWD: Have you thought about quitting at all during these hard times?
Not at all to be honest. Luckily we had just updated and synchronized our computers before the Pandemic started. This means that we had the same version of Ableton, same version of plugins and so on, so we worked quite well during the hard lockdown from our homes using Splice (thanks for remaining free, Splice!). We got quite motivated for having the time to sit down and to make tons of music, but we got especially motivated with the new live set. To get a bit nerdy this will be our third live set together as Depaart, so there’s been plenty of testing before. We bounced in 4 tracks each of the 35 songs (Lows, mains, perks and extras), then clipped them all and organized them. Then we designed and built a DYI Midi controller to fulfill some needs (faders and knobs, plenty) and added some more tweaks to the synths that we use with a new patching. It’s taken ages, literally, but now we have something unique, super well balanced between “safe” and “random”. This way we’ll be able to perform unique shows every single time and to drive the sound harder or softer as we move through the set. It’s pretty cool, can’t wait to show you more! It’s something that we wouldn’t have done back in the Old Normal for sure.
WWD: How’s business been during the last year? You were quite active before as promoters in Madrid with Tortilla and Fluido, how did you manage the crisis?
It’s been tough! For promoters, it suddenly meant zero income, but for the venues, it’s been even worse because there’s other costs like rent, taxes, and so on. Tortilla is our Saturday afternoon party, small, intimate, and with plenty of tortillas. We did some sitting-down events at the beginning and the experience wasn’t very good to be honest. We also played in two or three sitting-down events to try it out but the same weird feeling, at the end of the day a DJ is supposed to make people dance. It sucks because we went from sort of being the center of the party to being almost like furniture if people can’t dance. If it’s just listening to music that you are after you can put a Spotify list, and unless it’s a super-skilled DJ, a unique music selector or someone very innovative there really isn’t that much to see on a DJ set, you wouldn’t stare at it for 1 hour under normal conditions. So… not the best time for DJs either.
WWD: What’s on your calendar for the next months?
We’ve just released our last EP (Depaart & Mister Sweatband – Divided EP) in Diynamic Music, it just came out last 2nd of April, it’s a shared EP with Atlanta’s Mister Sweatband with two originals each and we truly love the result!. Next 7th of May we are releasing in our own label our ref. DEPAART02 ‘QMCP Pt.1’ with 4 original tracks and conceived as a fractioned album. Pt.1, against some trends now, is designed to make people dance. And in August we have an EP in Berlin’s Exploited that we are super happy with too!
WWD: What’s Depaart beyond your music? What do you guys do in your time off?
Fran plays PlayStation, cooks quite well, and can be seen playing golf with the elites from his hood. Guille obsessively cleans his new motorbike, checks out bitcoin’s performance and makes music with his sister Teresa. Regular people.
WWD: Thanks for chatting with us guys!
Thank you so much for having us in When We Dip and please dear reader, don’t get offended by any of the stupid things that we said. Stay safe, eat well and sleep because when clubs reopen a new era kicks in and FOMO will be here to stay for a while 🙂