Born and raised in the small province of Toledo, Spain, Alberto better known to the dance music community as Cicuendez, began his love affair with the underground at just 10 years old. Posted up by the radio with a cassette in hand, Cicuendez would fervently record tracks that echoed through the radio airwaves. By the time he was 14 years old, he focused his attention towards mixing. Inspired by the likes of Raresh and Barem, and mixing skills of Cristian Varela, Cicuendez has mastered the sexy, hypnotic quality of 124 techno. Today, we are honoured to have him takeover the Godzilla Disco Podcast, but first– a few words from the man himself:
Tell us a bit about the mix you’ve created for us here today.
Hi! Thanks for this interview. When I record a mix I try to focus it on a public that hears it in his house or when he is traveling. My mixes are usually dark and atmospheric, with a small progression. I finish it with a sound that is a little more focused on the sound that I play in the club.
We first came across your work when a friend of our’s showed us your mix for Hatch Recordings — we fell in love with your sexy, minimal sound. What type of environments do you most enjoy playing in? Where do you feel you can creatively explore the most with an audience?
Whenever I have the opportunity of playing in somewhere, I always try to enjoy myself to the fullest. It doesn’t matter if I play to 100 or 1000 people, although I feel most comfortable playing in small clubs, in a space that is dark and not very high.
In the small clubs you connect more with the people, generally the cab [booth] is at the same height as the dance floor and you can talk with the people before or after your set.
When I have played in bigger clubs, the cab is very high and since I’m not very tall, I can’t see the whole dance floor and is colder.
You have your very own personal label ‘Dez’ — when did you begin this project? Is the plan to keep it as a personal portfolio for showcasing your work, or do you plan to release with other artists too?
I started preparing it in the middle of 2016. My idea was to release the first EP in the beginning of 2017, which it was. At the time I focused on creating the first three EPs and then I contacted the distributor. When they accepted my label, I only had to send the first EP to master and choose a release date.
The label is exclusively for my music. During the time I have produced for other labels, I have noticed that most of them (not all) disappear when they have the music and don’t appear until they want new music. This is why I chose to create my label, to release all my music. Although it is exclusive to my music, right now I’m working on an EP which will be the result of a collaboration with different artists.
I always try to enjoy myself to the fullest. It doesn’t matter if I play to 100 or 1000 people.
We understand that you began your musical journey at just 14 years old. Where did that journey begin? What sorts of musical experiences were you immersing yourself in during the initial years?
It started before, but I didn’t realize that I wanted to learn to mix until 14 years old. When I was 10, I spent a lot of hours listening to music on the radio. At that time, it wasn’t as easy as it is today to access music, so I had to prepare a cassette. When I listened to a song I liked, I had to record it on the cassette.
Then, I started to frequent a club which hosted people like Óscar Mulero or Cristian Varela, to name a few. I used to go with a friend to his radio program in the local radio and then we went to a little club in my town where we played some records.
You reside in the small province of Toledo, Spain. Tell us a bit about the musical climate there. If we were to visit, which clubs would you recommend we check out? Who are some of your personal favourite local DJs holding it down?
Where I live is a small town and there aren’t clubs, only two pubs where the people go to disconnect and have some drinks. The closest club is in another town (Sonseca) and it’s name is Family club. It’s been open for more than 25 years and has been nominated as the best club in Spain during the 90s. It used to be open every Saturday and was always full, having the possibility to see the best national and international artists. It is still open, but only once a month because right now, it is complicated to fill a club in a town. I don’t know any clubs in Toledo as famous as Family.
As the ‘underground’ world continues to grow, who is one DJ-Producer that you deeply admire and feel continues to push the creative boundaries?
I always have had a great admiration for artists like Barem or Raresh, although I have never seen someone mixing like Cristian Varela.
As producers, I could say more than 1000. In more than 15 years of listening to music, I have known a lot of producers of different styles, but to name a few, I’d say Billy Dalessandro and Mikael Stavöstrand.
Looking ahead to summer 2017, what sorts of projects have you got in store? Any releases/ tours/ gigs that you’re looking forward to?
On July 24th, I’ll release third EP on Dez. I have two remixes that will be released on vinyl too. One is for P.U.N.C.H.I.S. Records and the other is for Platform 7even. Apart from this, I have finished 10 tracks and I’m going to select 3 for the fourth reference of Dez. Then, I have to think about what to do with the others…
When can we get you to Toronto? Any plans to visit North America?
Hopefully someday I would play in Toronto, but now I have no proposal.
This year I had two proposals to play in San Francisco at the end of May, but we wanted to have more gigs in order to be able to make the trip, so my Agent tried to contact with more promoters and we are still trying to get gigs to do the tour. Maybe, at the end of the year we can try again.