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Interview: Cristian Varela on his Black Codes Experiments project and the authenticity of Techno.

On November 27th, he brings his beloved Black Codes Experiments party to one of London’s most sought-after venues, E1.

Interview: Cristian Varela on Black Codes Experiments, the authenticity of Techno & more

When it comes to the world of Techno music, few names have been as prominent over the last few decades as Cristian Varela. Originally gaining DJ fame for playing standout techno sets on four vinyl turntables, many do not realise Cristian is also a successful composer scoring soundtracks for film, theatre and television. He has even recorded a symphonic album at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London.

Later this month, he brings his beloved Black Codes Experiments party to one of London’s most sought-after venues, E1. Ahead of the event, we caught up with Cristian to talk more about the party and his celebrated 30+ year career as one of Spain’s pioneering techno producers and promoters:

Hey Cristian, thanks so much for joining us. Let’s begin by talking about your upcoming Black Codes Experiments event at E1 London. 

Interview: Cristian Varela on Black Codes Experiments, the authenticity of Techno & more

What can you tell us about the party, and how does it feel to be bringing your brand back to one of the UK capital’s best club spaces?

It’s a pleasure to share our music in the UK for a long time and promote artists like Regis, SNTS, Pär Grindvik or Ian Axide in a proper place for the Underground Techno like E1. 

After five years in London, Black Codes Experiments (created in 2001) now has a very special crowd growing and growing just with the motivation for the pure Techno.

Was there any particular goal you wanted to achieve with the programming and planning the lineup for this party?

The most important goal is always to show our experimental music to the new generations together with the old school followers and then create a unique atmosphere with atemporal or timeless music.

What does E1 offer over other venues that made it the perfect choice for hosting this milestone party? 

Mainly the sound system, lasers and lighting system but also because E1 is a really underground club with different rooms and lots of possibilities for the promoters. 

You’ve been at the forefront of techno music for the best part of thirty years now. How much have you seen it change throughout that time, and what was your favourite period?

Everything changed a lot but the essence of Techno is always one of the most important roots of the electronic. Festivals, clubs and promoters are extremely professionals in the last two decades but for me, the 80s and 90s was the hatching of music in general. At that period TALENT was the main skill of the artists. Now is all about marketing and Social Media, which is also good but followers forget sometimes what is the important essence of a real artist.

You have proficiently marketed yourself and your brand throughout the decades. Do you have any advice on artists looking to cement their place in the industry for the long haul?

The best advice is to try to find their personal and original ‘sound’ and way to express themselves, try to be unique! Never a copy.

What does ‘Techno’ mean to you, in its most simple explanation?

A way of life and one of the most powerful styles to express our feelings.

You have played at most of the most respected venues in clubland throughout your career. Are there any places you still dream of headlining?

All my dreams came true!

Lastly, are there any other exciting things happening for you soon that you would like to share with our audience?

My new exciting live show with six turntables, it’s a project created 2 decades ago but I think now I am ready and trained to do it. It’s a beautiful way of creating music with vinyl. Something like a live show with turntables instead of machines. I am proud to be supported by Richie Hawtin, all his team and of course by Playit Differently- MODEL1

Interview: Cristian Varela on Black Codes Experiments, the authenticity of Techno & more

You can catch Cristian and his Black Codes Experiments event at E1 on Saturday, 27th November. Tickets and more info are available via Resident Advisor.

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