Rodriguez Jr Talks Us Through Back To Back 7
With an already accomplished live set up due to evolve further in 2013, Rodriguez Jr. has proved a welcome addition to the Mobilee family and it was no surprise that he was entrusted with their acclaimed annual Back To Back compilation for its 7th edition. After delivering what we feel might be the strongest Back To Back yet we caught up with Rodriguez Jr. so he could talk us through his selections on the album. Check out his thoughts below.
“It was a big challenge and a lot of pressure to be in charge of the new Back to Back compilation, especially after the huge success of the last one by Pan Pot which included an outstanding documentary.
I decided to develop a concept, as I wanted to push the label forward. The idea was focused on producing one hour of original music, using loops, samples, and sounds from mobilee in-house acts – in my mind, it was like doing a huge jam session all together.
It’s been very challenging as I’ve had a lot of material to handle in a very short time: I had four months to collect tracks and samples, and then to produce the album. Honestly, it almost killed me, but I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished here!”
01. Rodriguez Jr. & And.Id – Roads
“I’d already produced a track with Andreas for my album ‘Bittersweet‘ two years ago. The process is always the same; I’ll send him a couple of tracks, he chooses the most inspiring one and records some cool trumpet takes, including lead lines and harmonies. I began writing this track on the piano with some basic, minor chords, but And.Id ended up bringing this warm Mediterranean feel – this gave a perfect balance between melancholy and optimism.”
02. Rodriguez Jr. – Manama
“Ever since my album ‘Bittersweet’, I’ve really enjoyed writing songs with vocals, and I can see myself doing more in the future. I sang myself on this one, as with my previous tracks ‘Satellite’ and ‘Shapes I See’.”
03. Rodriguez Jr. – Hartwood
“A few months ago the mobilee crew, including Anja, Sebo and me, went to Tulum for a pre-BPM Festival NYE gig and a well deserved family vacation. There I had my best food experience ever in a restaurant called ‘Hartwood’; top notch food with only fresh organic products, cooked in single open fire without any other help. It was such a revelation to me that I decided to name this track after it.”
04. Anja Schneider & Sebo K & Rodriguez Jr. – Rancho Anthem
“This is a bootleg I did for my own early morning sets, using bits and bleeps from Anja & Sebo’s ‘Rancho Relaxo‘ and the vocals of ‘Muppet Anthem‘. It perfectly fits the concept of this compilation so we decided to include it.”
05. Safeword & Rodriguez Jr. – Nuages
“Top notch producers. I like these guys, not just because they produce amazing music, but also because they’ve been so fast and efficient here. They sent me an incredible amount of tunes and tracks a couple of days after I sent my first proposal to the crew. I could have produced two albums with their material alone!”
06. Ray Okpara & Rodriguez Jr. – Ghetto Blaster
“Ray is a cool dude who has a very personal way of producing music. He’ll build fat grooves, combined with loads of old dusty detuned samples, that are deeply rooted with a lot of attitude and soul. I already had the opportunity to work on a remix last year (on ‘Chi This Wonder Up‘ from his album ‘Good Times‘) so I knew how to handle his material. I thought it would be cool to slow things down here and to produce this old-school epic house track.”
07. Rodriguez Jr. & Tassilo feat. Diego – O Amor
“Tassilo studied sound engineering at the Berlin SAE, which is actually where he met Thomas, the other half of Pan Pot. So he has a really keen ear for production. I was blown away by the quality of the material he sent me, even though it was only a draft he built with Logic Pro’s bundled plugins! I was instantly hooked by the mesmerizing organ sound and this slow deep groove, so I just added some little details, percussions, and my usual signature 101 bass. Diego, our beloved agent, also appears here with nice sexy Portuguese vocals. One of the easiest sessions in this project.”
08. Anja Schneider & Rodriguez Jr. – Henry & Lars
“Although the original concept was about using samples and loops transferred by email, we thought it would be interesting to work together in the real world for this one. Anja is one of the few friends who has been brave enough to visit my studio in the deep cold countryside, so she deserves kudos for that! We had a lot of fun here for two days, messing around with loops, playing keyboards, drinking coffee and listening to a lot of records. Being a DJ and radio presenter for such a long time, she has an unbelievable musical knowledge, not to mention a very strong creative vision. I also must mention a funny detail; Lars & Henry are the names of mine and Anja’s childhood stuffed animal toys – they met in Mexico during BPM!”
09. Rodriguez Jr. – Leaving Quintana Roo
“Another kind of groove here. I was a huge fan of WARP Records in the 90s, with acts such as LFO, Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada, and I still appreciate this open minded and forward thinking approach. Nowadays, I find the same kind of feeling in Burial’s music, for instance, and this is where I found the inspiration for this one.”
DIGITAL BONUS. Sebo K – Scenario (Rodriguez Jr. Remix)
“Sebo had the great idea to send me the individuals parts before I had a chance to hear the original track, so I could do my own version without being influenced his. It’s an unusual way to proceed, but it’s been very stimulating. I feel close to Sebo’s musical universe as we have the same kind of influences; his music always finds its roots in early Detroit & Chicago, although it’s always modern sounding and forward-thinking.”
DIGITAL BONUS. Rodriguez Jr. & Dan Curtin – Turn It Up
“Dan is a legend. I remember buying his album ‘Art & Science‘ on Peacefrog in 96! He has a very personal way of building grooves with unusual samples, something that might be related to his hip-hop influences. When I received his material, I instantly had the idea to blend it with the rough beat of ‘Music Don’t Lie, a track from my previously released album. Once again it’s been all about trying to find a good balance between these old dusty sampled elements, and the hammering, Chicago groove underneath.”
Mobilee presents Back to Back Vol.7 presented by Rodriguez Jr. is out now check it out below.