Born in Geneva, Switzerland, to Spanish parents, Mendo is a DJ/producer with an undoubtedly colourful upbringing. It’s a fact that’s reflected in his music, and regardless of whether he’s dropping peak-time bombs or putting his hand to ethereal, slo-mo house, his is a sound that’s always draped in a sophisticated quality. What’s more, he’s been keeping incredibly busy of late too, with his debut album, Avalon, having just dropped on his own Clarisse imprint. We pulled up a stool with him ahead of a recent gig at Egg London on 7th December, with everything from his the album process to his plans for 2014 on the agenda…
Your latest EP, Speech, has just dropped. What’s it like working with Yvan Genkins?
It’s always a great pleasure to work with my friend Yvan because he is such an incredible producer and he always finds completely crazy ideas that surprise me every time. We’ve worked together for a few years now, and in spite of working remotely, we always manage to finalize productions that really please both of us. Thanks to Skype we can work as if we were next to one another, and when I’m fed up of looking at him, I can just click a button and he disappears too!
Tell us about the inspiration of the tracks and are you happy with the results?
We worked the 4 tracks with words around ‘’Speech’’, and we wanted to make an EP with slower tracks than our usual productions. This allowed us to work with fewer audio tracks and to make more simple arrangements, but it was still well done regarding effects and the quality of the sound of every version.
Now, about the album. What was it like to create your first full-length piece?
For my first album I wanted to experiment with musical styles that I’d never explored previously. That’s why it was a pleasure to produce tracks like “Waterborne”, “Avalon”, “Amazone” and “Libelllule”, which are quite experimental for me. But, of course, I didn’t forget to produce “peak time” tracks such as “la Krika”, “Clavelito” and “Samba” – which are more like the ones I used to produce. And finally, I made tools such as “Mintro” and “Interlude” to have all elements for an album.
What was the most difficult task within the album?
Creating an album can be quite stressful. One year I worked on nothing but the album. Also, such periods can be synonymous with fewer bookings but during that period I was fortunately ok. Working on new musical styles was a great challenge too, and it was a real pleasure to me because I’m really satisfied by the results.
Do you have any specific inspirations from the album or favourite tracks?
If I’d not met Luciano it might have all been very different. Certainly, I wouldn’t have produced the album, because he was a huge source of inspiration to me over the last four years. I would say that tracks such as “La Krika ” and “Clavelito” are the most beautiful examples of his influence.
Now, onto your gigs. You’ll be back at Egg London this winter. What is so special about the venue in your eyes?
There is a real family spirit at Egg with all the team. They also were among the first people to book me in London and let me express myself through my Clarisse residency. Every 3 months I play and I invite an artist from my agency and another big headliner every time.
What can we expect from a Mendo set in the capital?
It’s going to be a special night, because I’ll be playing with some guys who I’ve already plated with at our Clarisse Nights night in Ibiza. For a start, there’ll be the incredible Nakadia from the label, who will be joined by Markanotinio and Mark Reeve who’ll be playing on the ground floor. Then there’ll be Guillaume and the Coutu Dumonts who will perform his amazing live set, followed by my own set on the terrace.
Do you have top 5 tracks that your playing in your sets right now?
Roger Sanchez – My Roots (Technasia Remix) – Stealth Records
Green Velvet – Bigger Than Prince – (The Martinez Brothers remix) – Circus Recordings
George Morel – Keep it Rolling – Clarisse Records
Nick Curly – When The Wild Horse – Cocoon Recordings
wAFF – Ibiza – Hot Creations
Christmas is nearly upon us, what would you like in your stocking?
I’m not really a material guy and I’m already incredibly lucky in that I do the best jobs in the world, play the best clubs in the planet, travel to the nicest places and work every day with awesome artists from my team: Yvan Genkins of course, but also Nakadia, Lando, Miguel Matoz, Eppu, Clio and Timid Boy from France, the boss of the famous Time Has Changed label who recently joined our booking department a few weeks ago. He is a fantastic DJ too – I don’t really need much more.
A good bottle of red wine and a nice girlfriend to share it with would be great! But I don’t think that Santa Claus will be able to fit her inside my stocking! But as I have a chimney, he could make her slide down it and I shall catch her, I hope that Santa Claus will read this article, I’ve been a good boy this year!
Finally, what’s next for you? Can we expect a big 2014?
Yes, I’m going to find a girlfriend, marry her, have children and open a pizzeria! In all seriousness, I think that 2014 will also be a very good year. In any case, I hope so. You have to believe in yourself, work hard and to have people who radiate positive energy around you.
I also hope that my album will be appreciated, and that it will allow me to listen to it on tour everywhere around the world. Regarding Ibiza, I’m very happy because I have already many dates confirmed for next summer and my 2013 season is not over because I play for the second Housepital party at Pacha Ibiza on Thursday the 5th of December.
And naturally, I shall continue to work hard with my artists and my label on news productions and a lot of new Clarisse Nights everywhere.
Mendo plays EGG London for Familia’s Clarisse Records Showcase alongside Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts, Markantonio, Mark Reeve, H2 and Nakadia on Saturday December 7th. Tickets are available below.
To buy tickets for this event please visit the events page: Familia: Clarisse Records Showcase w/ Mendo, Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts, Markantonio, Mark Reeve, H2, Nakadia tickets from Skiddle.
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