The underground dance music scene in South America is slightly different than that of their northern neighbours. While the Richie Hawtin, Dubfire middle-ground is still the biggest mass mover, there is also an impressively large following for a softer and slower take on house and techno. It is in this environment that Ezequiel Arias grew up and developed his musical palette.
At 25, Ezequiel reflects on his musical upbringing and the on-going struggle to create his own sound. “As a kid I played the guitar and piano, while living in Mexico I started making noises with LIVE,” he says. “Along with a friend, we started making something that resembled music.” Upon returning to his native country, Argentina, Ezequiel continued to pursue his interest for electronic music, taking production lessons with Kevin Di Serna. “That’s when I began digging-out my own sound.” After years of personal growth and endless hours in front of the computer, Ezequiel admits that he is just starting to feel like he creating something unique.
Recently returning to his musical roots in the form of the piano, the young producer says he enjoys pieces from the romantic period. It’s the ideas and elements of classical composition that he draws upon in his music. “Chopin is my main influence on this branch of music and his are the pieces I enjoy interpreting most,” he says. For more direct electronic inspiration, Ezequiel draws from producers like Khen, Bedouin, John Charnis, Gorje Hewek, Izhevsky, Guy J, Cid Inc, Guy Mantzur and Kevin Di Serna.
Speaking about his music, Ezequiel admits that he tends to focus on what will sound best in the clubs. However, he also spotlights different aspects of his music for different occasions. “When I build sets in the studio for my own, or any other podcast, I focus on the emotions each track transmits,” he says in reference to low BPMs, and more avant-garde music. “Here I am not so focused on the dancefloor”; with his podcasts, Ezequiel hopes to create music you can listen to on any occasion. Instigating particular emotions through music, he believes he can invoke memories and invite people to keep listening.
The podcast isn’t all, nor is it the centre of his attention he explains. “I like the club setting, places like Bahrein in Buenos Aires.” The club is a tiny basement, with industrial light tubes running across the ceiling, where local residents like Deep Mariano and Martin Garcia play to a regular crowd of Buenos Aires youths. “I think the music I make is club music, there’s a groove with a good dose of energy that can keep you moving.” Keeping the crowd alive and on their feet is important, but it’s not all. While a strong bassline is usually what keeps a club grooving for hours, Ezequiel admits he’s got a soft spot for melodies. “I always look for a special place to make the melody the centre of attention, to make people feel things they don’t expect.” Those are the feelings we often find engraved in our memory, time and time again.
There’s no better way to understand these feelings than listening to his latest release on Proton, a remix of Cid Inc, Shake Before Use. Feeling honoured to remix a track for Cid Inc, he expands on his production. “I tried to build a piece that sounds modern,” he says. Rightfully labeled Space Mix, “The track focuses on an intense groove which gets lost in a series of pads that make you feel like you’re floating in space.” Hearing this on a big club sound system, it is no surprise this track’s been getting support from Hernan Cattaneo for months, fitting it in his sets from Awakenings Chile to his Never Get Out of The Boat party during Miami’s WMC.
Talking about an original release on Golden Wings label, Look Inside You, Ezequiel mentions the importance of double checking what he produces with others and with himself. “Upon finishing a track I usually send it to Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Warren, Mariano Mellino and Fernando Ferreyra to a name a few”. The opinion of professionals is obviously important to Ezequiel, however, he says that what they say is not the law. “My opinion matters also, you have to like what you do.” Every year, Ezequiel says likes what he does exponentially more, as he finds his sound and place in the industry.
Look out for his latest release on Proton, Alien, coming in September with support from Guy Mantzur and Hernan Cattaneo.