“I was playing football in Argentina, then I started “producing” with Fruity Loops and a new world opened for me. I quit football in 2004 and just focused on music and my DJ career” – KINTAR

One of Argentina’s finest exports in dance music and an ex footballer has a face and a name that goes by Kintar. Unique from the start, his music is as diverse as taking influences from cultures that have extraordinary range, snaking through Arabic strains to going Balkan and even African impressions, it’s hard not to get fascinated by his ethnic leanings prominently spattered on his music work yet he has current musical aesthetics discoursing class via coolly exotic compositions and shine on the charts to ultimately down at the floor where there’s never a dull moment when his tunes play out. He is a master of his own label Sudam Recordings, tracks such as El Camino and Answer sing out percussive delight for his fans and followers, to remixing with the same enthusiasm tracks Rheecon with fellow DJ/Producer BOg on his own imprint, to Sophie with Matter and Delum on Beat Freak Recordings as examples, are sure to create mixed up emotions inside you. I caught up with the man with the game face on for a quick chat to see the literal and metaphorical costs involved with remaining true to a vision, we touch on his music, his gear, to how he started back in the early days, his thoughts veer to how he sees more for himself musically and also his grand residency at Ibiza’s hot spot..

When I ask what made him move to Ibiza, even though born in the dance capital of the world Argentina, he is matter of fact in saying – “Well, I wanted to see a change in my life and career, so I decided to come to the white isle to understand the industry better and also expose my sounds to a different audience. Also, our house in Buenos Aires was looted and that pushed me and my wife to leave the country.” I also need to ask the obvious question which tackles his distinct production style that is steeped in an ethnic web would tightly in to electronic dance sounds that really make him stand out from other artists in the circuit and if he is consciously doing so to be that way and not fall in the ordinary ‘oh I have heard that before category’, moreover he has carved a niche quite splendidly among st all the biggies to stand out on his own and he quips – “Well, my music is not mainstream even if top DJs are playing it at the best venues, I have a particular way to see the music industry and I will stay loyal to my vision. I feel music can’t be boring and repetitive. Dance music is repetitive, that’s why I like to add stories to mine.”

I do tinker at his no nonsense veneer to try and crack it and really try to see the man behind the machines, and the obvious just trails out when I want to know about his formative years and if he can recall the time he decided that this is what he is meant to do, it’s simply a curiosity factor as to what those times must have been like for a man who is quite the enigma and Kintar doesn’t flinch an inch to be short and tight and gives us a very little known fact –

“I was playing football in Argentina, then I started “producing” with Fruity Loops and a new world opened for me. I quit football in 2004 and just focused on music and my DJ career. I must say they were amazing times.”

At my query of which DJs he was listening to back in the day and if any of them created an impression he rambles on to add a tad bit more – “My favourite club in 2000 happened to be PACHA Buenos Aires, the atmosphere and the music played there was my school, DJs such as Jimmy Van M, Martin Garcia, Timo Maas, Deep Dish, John Digweed and Hernan Cattaneo go on to top his list. It was an amazing experience, the first years of the digital era and all those magic moments created by the artists, I remember that I was so connected with the sound; I was using Napster, Soulseek, and all those P2P platforms. Plus a few Vinyl online stores to check what’s going on, it really felt great. There was no need for Youtube, Google or Shazam at all. Just you with your intuition and knowledge.” And what about his first few gigs, how did those go and when I goad him to share some of his early memories in this regard he digs in – “My first paid gig was in a small club called Jacko’s, with Sol Solar, truly underground organisers dedicated to exposing local artists like me. I was playing with Rex in a b2b called KINTAR & REX. We did a 2 hours set with vinyl and an old CD turntable. Dark sounds from the likes of Moshic, Mavi, Yunus Guvenen, Deep Funk Project, we brought an ethnic and dark vibe to the city.” But what’s surprising and a fun fact is that prior to this I had only played twice on this format. It is interesting in more ways than one to understand what machines he chose to set up his studio in his early days and whether he got any kind of professional training in production and he trails on – “Well I started producing with a 2001 Compaq Presario and 2 small speakers from the same computer. I was producing on this till 2004, and then I bought 2 JBL studio monitors and a sub-woofer. There wasn’t information like how it is now, even for that matter places to learn in Argentina, so it was all about do it yourself.”

There’s something about being raw yet it has all the contemporary trimmings and traits of high quality polish an on-going process at his imprint which brings me to ask about what were the ideas behind Sudam his label and the music projects under it, if there were any particular soundscape or elements, or even vibe he likes to showcase from under his brain child –

“Sudam is a label where we have always wanted to showcase deep music mixed with organic percussion and ethnicity which brings a great amount of variation. A bit dark, even emotive. Our aim was to create a family of music producers that love this and create a wave with them. I think we are able to do so at the moment and aiming for big things for the label in 2019.”

Is he happy with the way things are going at the office and does his day to day role bring him the desired satisfaction he is quick with his response and with a childlike enthusiasm – “I think it’s going so well at the moment, I felt happy enough this summer, that sensation where you need to stop the time to see if it’s real. I’m so dedicated to my career and label, sometimes I can’t sleep thinking about what’s next.” That previous glee is not fleeting when I try to get closer to his personality and day by day activities he shows up with more words– “There is not a typical day in my life, I do so many things with music, events, and label work that every day is a fantastic new day for me. Sometimes I’m taking free time for the studio so we don’t take booking requests to focus on my music (Like a month or so). That’s the life that I want to live, music, music, and more music.”

It’s time to find out what his ideal DJ console should boast of and he is clean to the core in his choice – “3 Pioneer CDJ 2000 nexus NXS2 + Pioneer DJM-900 Nexus. I’m happy enough with that.” I tell him to pick out his favourite music making gear, equipment that he cannot do without and the love shows for – “My Vacuum Tube Mastering compressor handmade for me. I love the sound going out of that machine.” Offering glimpses of his start to make a track process seems the way to go and its quite an eye opener when I take the opportunity and ask him about the ideas that he goes first with and if there’s a rule he adheres to – “It depends on the track, but I like to start with a kick and then create the groove always, It’s a kind of ritual for me to go with the flow. Sometimes I have a melody in my head and I start with that first and then produce the rest.” There’s a certain light in his eyes when you try an emotive reminiscence in terms of recalling his first few tracks and if there’s a special one hidden there which he is close to and Kintar looks back fondly to a memory of another day mumbling how he is an old producer and adds –

“My first tune that I saw someone playing for 10k or more was – “Natural Selection”, which he recalls got dropped by none other than Hernan Cattaneo just before John Digweed in 2004 in Argentina. I was only 20 years old and when I saw the reaction from thousands of people with my music, it was a definitive lit moment.”

Aside from all is there anything exciting him in the island he has made home for years now and to get his thoughts on the clubbing scene in Ibiza his reaction warrants disbelief when I hear him say largely due to the stigma attached to the place being too commercial for many, he stands out with his words – “I came to Ibiza in 2010 for the very first time, but I must say the music scene is much better now, quality music everywhere, underground sounds are winning again. Also, many events are focusing on music with melodies and deepness.” I can’t help but say it out loud that often people say the town is steeped in commercial music and how purists do shake their head about the vibe leaning towards money making acts, if it’s true or false he retorts – “Of course, it’s a business and some DJs play more “cheesy” tunes in their sets. But I think it’s not about the industry as much as it’s about the crowd wanting so. People rule the market.” As things stand Kintar is a crucial member of the Isla Baleares, whose music is as emotive as it’s powerful on the floor he shares instances of being the altogether star resident of the town’s latest dining, art and clubbing temple and the man gets to create a story of his own on the nights he gets under the spotlight, it is amazing to know his feelings toward the music and experience he brings along with him –

“As a DJ it was a challenge, I played my tracks and the reactions insane, people at Heart treasure the ethnic and Afro sound and vibe. My sets are a kind of Progressive landscape where I’m driving it through across genres such as Deep House, Afro, Deep Techno and some. Always deep and always with emotion involved, that’s my signature. First act this summer was a live performance that I did with two singers – Romana and Paz Shanti and Afro Percussions through Wontanara. It was just something else for Elements Ibiza nights at Heart.”

At this point does he look for improvements on his career and he exposes – “I feel I need to get more exposure as an artist, marketing is the key in any business and I think I need to see improvements there. I can’t wait to be leading the international scene.” Lastly is dance music at a happy place and he evaluates with great honesty – “I think is a good time for Electronic Dance Music in general. We have the opportunity of maintaining this and are top notch. But it’s a business and since us talking about it I must say there is a wave of Reggaeton that is affecting Ibiza and it could be a signal of 2019 season where all the major clubs start to bring these acts to their nights. Scary.”

Kintar will be playing at MUSE by Lehar and Musumeci at Esto Es Tulum on 14th January.

Tracks:

01. Kintar, Dorian Craft – Absentina [Promo]
02. Ran Salman – Horizon [Sudam Recordings]
03. Kintar, BOg – Tribelune [Watergate Recordings]
04. Kintar, Delum – Island Mood [Promo]
05. Andreas Horvat – Mandinka Woman [MoBlack]
07. Id – Id
08. Toshi, Afro Warriors – Uyankenteza (Dark Matter Remix) [Promo]
09. Dark Matter – Jaffa Trip [Promo]
10. Nebs Jack – Moments [Promo]
11. Kintar, Delum – Never Doubt [Promo]
12. Okean Elzy – Obiymy (Kintar Remix) [Promo]

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About the author

Priya is based out of Mumbai and is a DJ/Producer plus contributor to Decoded Magazine, plus hosts her own monthly radio shows in multiple music channels internationally.

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