Barcelona-based Karcelen has long been crafting deep and minimal soundscapes, as perfectly exemplified late last year by his superb ‘Jazzpanese’ album on Dreams On Wax. Now, it gets reinterpreted by a selection of underground names who fuse together a mix of old-school and contemporary sounds, all with their own identity. We caught up with Karcelen to learn more about his creative process and his influences to electronic music as well as his latest remix album.

Hi Karcelen, Welcome to Music Is 4 Lovers! How’s your 2024 been so far?

Hi Music 4 Lovers – My year has started very well. I have been between Dubai and Barcelona, working on new projects, creating a lot of new music, and preparing to launch my label, Dachshund Recordings, which will see the light pretty soon.

Are there any records in particular you listened to on repeat in your formative years?

Indeed, there are some…

UB40 – Guns In The Ghetto

Paul Simon – Graceland

Bob Marley – Natural Mystic: The Legend Lives On

At what point did electronic music start to play a pivotal role in your life? And have you had any formal musical training?

My brother and I started playing drums and guitar when I was about 9 or 10 years old… Since then, the guitar has always been my instrument, but I’ve learned in a self-taught way, drawing from blues, metal, and jazz. Later, electronic music became significant through my best friend Sergio, who introduced me to the sound of Sideral “Tocotronic” and later to Berlin techno. I was also heavily influenced by reggae and dub due to my roots, and the Rhythm & Sound project by Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus, which I loved since I first heard it around 2000 – 2001, was a big game changer to me.

In 2000, my mom bought Tourist by St. Germain. That summer, I only listened to that album… and I still do.

Jazzpanese is a mesmerising album that takes the listener on a captivating journey where old-school, deep, minimal sounds collide with contemporary jazz sounds and form their own identity entirely. What can you tell us about the remix album coming out on Dreams on Wax?

This second part takes the original ideas to the dancefloor with deep grooves and space sounds by artists whom I respect the most. The package delivers the true essence of the club and minimal sound, as I understand it. I wanted to bring together DJs and producers whom I greatly respect for this project and experiment by entrusting my original ideas to these talented producers to see the results. I LOVE IT.

Is there a particular remix from the album that you’re most fond of?

I love all the remixes of the album, really. But the one by Johnny is the one that I’m playing the most now. Additionally, Johnny was the first remixer of the project; in a big part, he is responsible for this second part of the project…

You have been crafting and perfecting deep and minimal soundscapes for many years. Is there a particular piece of equipment or plugin that helps to facilitate your sound? Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?

I work a lot with Roland Cloud, where you can find many original sounds from classic machines. I also use the Moog Subsequent 37. 

I typically start with the rhythmic part of the track; kick and bass have to harmonize to develop the second creative part, which is something more between pads and textures.

What can we expect from you in the next few months? Are there any more exciting projects lined up for you?

I’m going to be based in Dubai this summer, so I’ll be doing some DJ sets around there. Also, there’s a lot of new music coming from my label, Dachshund Recordings, with some great artists involved!

Lastly, What would be your desert island disc?

I need these two…

Keith Jarrett – The Köln Concert, January 24, 1975

Rhythm & Sound – w/ The Artists

Karcelen ‘Jazzpanese Remixes’ is out now via Dreams On Wax. BUY HERE!

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