It's an absolute pleasure to present yet another interview with a shining star in the techno universe, Ramiro Lopez. Just over a year ago, Ramiro sat down with our very own Kirk Williams for his first interview with Magnetic. Since then he has forged even more first-rate releases for some of the most reputable labels in Techno like Bedrock, Intec, Terminal M, KD Raw, Toolroom (and Toolroom Trax), and of course, Suara. He just played both the Suara and 1605 nights at ADE and is currently gearing up for some international tours. In addition to hearing about future tours and productions, we talked about the history and inspiration behind his success as a DJ and producer. Here he is, Ramiro Lopez.
When did you know that you wanted to make music?
I remember playing a lot with toys that made percussion sounds when I was a child but the real moment was when I started going clubbing. I was watching DJ performances live and felt the vibes at the club. From that moment I started to imagine myself doing the same someday.
My understanding is that you were a DJ for about 10 years before you started producing music. What inspired you to learn how to DJ and how did you master your skills?
For me, watching DJs live in the club made me fall in love with it. Feeling the energy, the connection with the audience, making people happy with the music… for me, it's the best job in the world. One friend of mine lent me 2 turntables and, along with my brother, we bought a simple mixer plus our first vinyl records. We used to spend every moment we had practicing and were super excited about every little achievement.
My first official gig was in 1999 if I'm not wrong, doing b2b with my brother in a club called 'Timba'. It was located in the area where we lived, Toledo. I still have the poster of the party somewhere.
If you could take a time machine and go back to that gig, is there anything you would say to your past self before he got behind the decks?
Yes, “take a deep breath and relax, focus on the music and the people on the dancefloor and forget about everything else. This moment is unique.”
What inspired you to start producing music?
Being a DJ is a good way to express yourself but I felt I'd needed to go deeper. I've always had a lot of ideas in my head, so I started with some basic production lessons. My life changed and since then, I've never stopped learning, improving and thinking about music everyday.
What D.A.W.s do you use? Do you have any favorite plug-ins?
I work with Logic Studio. I've worked with Ableton a few times but I feel more comfortable with Logic. I also have a Maschine. My favorite plug-ins are the Native Instruments ones. Especially Reaktor, Massive, and Absynth. I don't have any analog synths at the moment but I'm about to buy my first. There are so many awesome ones out there, which makes it hard to pick one.
Typically, what is the first thing you start on when sitting down to create a new song?
I tend to start with a groove, at least a simple one. Percussion, Kick, hi –hats…. I kind of need this to have the flow of the idea. Then the bass, melody, vocals , etc.
In no particular order, what are three of your favorite cities to play in?
Do you have any gigs coming up that you're looking forward to?
Yes! Many great gigs ahead. On 30th October I'm playing in Slovenia for the first time with Umek's 1605 Family. I've heard great things about the crowd there. BPM Festival is coming in 2 months and it's gonna be awesome. I'm also playing at the opening of Magdalena, a famous club in Berlin, and my agencies are working full on right now so many exciting gigs are coming in Asia, South America and more.
It sounds like you are going to be getting a lot of stamps on your passport soon. Anything in the works for us in the U.S.A.?
I finally got my USA artist's visa last month and we are already working on a tour. [I] Still don't have concrete dates but I can tell you it will be happening soon. I can't wait to play there!
Lastly, can you tell us about any productions that we can look forward to?
I have a remix of a classic track from Chus & Ceballos and Richie Santana coming up on Boris' label Transmit next month and a new EP on Octopus at the end of the year. In addiction, I'm working on new EPs for Suara, Intec and some other surprises. There's a lot of stuff coming for the next year that I'm excited about.
And we are looking forward to all of it! We aren't done quite yet everybody, Ramiro has also provided us with 5 of his current favorite tracks for a Magnetic Magazine Artist Focus chart. Let's take a look at his crates.
Ramiro Lopez Artist Focus Chart:
Joseph Capriati – "This Then That (Coyu Remix)"
I've been playing this one since Coyu sent it to me. Bomb track.
Adapter - "Trinity "
This is from the new release from Sian's new label. I'm really loving it, especially this track.
Frankyeffe, Enrico Sangiuliano – "Celebration"
[Break New Soil]
These two Italians are killing it right now, I've been playing a lot of their stuff lately. This new one is superb.
Andres Campo - "White (Loco & Jam Remix)"
Loco & Jam are totally on fire and so is Andres which makes a great combination. This remix is one of the many tracks I'm playing from them.
Kaiserdisco - "Jet Stream (Christian Smith & Wehbba Remix)"
I'm digging all the stuff from Kaiserdisco's label. This remix is one of my favorites at the moment.
And there you have it! I want to thank Ramiro for taking the time to talk with us again. We look forward to watching his career grow and, of course, hearing the music that he will be creating in the future.