From John Talabot to Pional to Eduardo de la Calle, it’s no exaggeration to say that we’re currently living through a golden era of Spanish electronic music. Another such DJ/producer who emphatically belongs in said company is Daniel Kyo. Born and raised in Valencia, Kyo is a multifaceted musician whose works have appeared on a host of renowned labels, with Poker Flat, Drumpoet Community and NRK Music just some of the esteemed imprints he’s graced over the years. Nonetheless, it’s Kyo’s latest release – out soon on Primavera Sound’s recently established Nitsa Traxx – that might just be his best work to date. We caught up with the man in question recently, as he talked us through the release, his relationship with his hometown of Valencia and his future plans.
Hi Daniel. Can you tell us a bit about growing up in Valencia? Was it an inspirational place for house and techno?
Valencia is one of the places in Spain with a great history of electronic music. The scene here from the early 80s to the late 90s was huge. However, as happens a lot of the time, the underground soon turned in to something quite commercial.
My first memories of music are from a time closer to that last period, so I grew up with lots of Italo music and Belgian stuff too. Anyway, I’m happy to have seen so many good local DJs playing around here, all of whom influenced me in some way. Although I couldn’t experience it personally, I have been researching the early 80s music scene in Valencia and it’s still something I’m very proud of.
A lot is made of Barraca and how influential the club was. Is it a place that’s close to you heart?
Barraca is a special place for most of the clubbers over here, but it was never an easy place for the DJs. In the early days, just a few DJs played there for long sessions (often lasting more than 12 hours in many cases), leaving no space for the new generation. More recently, the place has been ran for years by people that don’t care that much anymore about music and this resulted in a big loss of personality. I have played several times there but, to be honest, I have never felt much support from them. However, I can feel how influential it was in its early years of existence.
About the new release – how long were you aware of Nitsa’s plans to launch a label, and how does it feel to be chosen to be the debut artist?
Being the first artist to release music on the new Nitsa label is quite of a dream come true. Since I met the guys they have been supporting me a lot. I’m really thankful for this and I´m already working on new tracks for them.
Do you think the format of Primavera Sound and its wildly eclectic line-ups give it a unique edge over other festivals? Are there any other festivals you’d particularly like to play?
Primavera is an example of how to make a big music festival without having to go to commercial. For many of us, it’s just the perfect festival now, where the best bands together with top electronic acts as well. There are some other festivals I’m interested in to and of course I would like to play such as Dekmantel or Unsound. I think we are in a moment where there are more interesting festivals for electronic music than ever before.
So did you get to play at the festival this year? How was it?
I didn’t play this year as I played last year. I played rat the same time as Radiohead at the main stage but I still had a big crowd dancing for me. Something I won’t forget soon!
The track itself is quite atmospheric – did you produce it with the festival in mind?
I knew they just wanted clubby tracks for the label, quite close to a classic minimal house sound, so I kept that in mind when working on it. It was easy and quite fast too and they thought it was perfect since the first listen… so everyone was happy!
What has the reaction been like when you’ve played the track? Do you always road test your tracks like this?
I’m not one of those producers that play their tunes a lot, but occasionally I like to test my tracks amongst others I especially like. I’m quite critical with myself and my music, but lately I’m more and more happy with the work I’m making and with “Nacht Drei” too.
You naturally have a wide range of tastes and influences. How important do you think it is to be open to various genres and how does this affect both your DJing and productions?
I’m not sure if it’s so good to have a wide range of influences as I believe that always doing the same thing is better for the people to recognize and remember your work. Anyway, I can’t help adding more and more different influences as I need that to keep the interest up, especially in the studio. I’m quite eclectic when DJing too so, yes, I think it’s very important for me.
Marc Piñol’s remix of Nacht Drei is a darker, more hypnotic affair than the original. What prompted you to turn to him?
Marc is one of the main guys from Nitsa’s family and also one of my best friends from the scene so I was very happy when he said He would love to remix it.
What would you say has been your most memorable moment in music to date? And where does this release rank?
I think this EP is probably one of the highlights of my career in the last years. It’s not out yet and I already got some good feedback from important people from the business. The fact that is being distributed by Kompakt also tells me that everything should work fine.
Will you be releasing any other EPs through the label at any time soon? Or where else will you be releasing music?
We have been already talking about another releasing with them so I’m sure we will sign some more stuff soon. Nitsa is definitely one of my priorities right now. I’m also very excited with the releases coming out soon on Melomana Records or Rotten City Trax, both Spanish labels that have been working well recently. I also have some more important releases coming out before the end of the year so this 2017 is looking really good.
Aside from music, what else is really exciting you right now?
My passion is music but I need to be healthy and focused to do my best in the studio and when DJing so I try to eat well everyday and play some sport. Apart from music, I’m also into reading books and watching movies. I also love to travel too.
And finally, what three tracks will be constantly in your bag this summer?
Shinichi Atobe – Regret. DDS
Costin Rp – The Queen. Pressure Traxx
Evigt Mörker – Krans Av Stjärnor. Evigt Mörker
Daniel Kyo’s “Nacht Drei” EP (featuring Marc Pinol’s remix) is out soon on Nitsa Traxx