As one half of the infamous duo Exium, Héctor Sandoval has been in the game for over two decades, and boasts an impressive catalogue of releases.
In 2014 he launched the Tensal label to showcase his solo material, and his stripped back, functional techno has been well received across the board.
This month saw the release of Tensal’s ‘Cause Effect’ EP on Pole Group. It’s a collection of four dance floor ready bombs, each with it’s own particular sense of dissonance and tension.
We sat down for a few words with the man himself about his work process, ideas for the future and thoughts on the scene today.
What made you decide to start the Tensal project?
I had some free time and I felt like doing something new, because I was getting bored with what was on offer at the time in the techno scene. So I decided to do something different there and then; a tool, something that deejays within the current techno scene could work with during their sets.
How different is your approach to music when working alone rather than as a duo?
If you listen to both discographies, you’ll see they’re completely different, because Tensal is much more direct, clean and minimalist, whereas Exium is a wider and much more complex project. However, I’m not ruling anything out for the future; electronic music is constant change and evolution is what keeps us going.
Can you give us an overview of your studio methods?
Very simple: I work with some classic synths that I use to create sounds and sequences that I later edit in my sequencer, for further manipulation.
Is there one piece of hardware/software that you find yourself always going back to?
I always work with classic Arturia and Moog synths. I love their sound and they just offer so many different possibilities. Their natural sound is very good, but when you add plug-ins it stays good.
What are your plans for the future of the Tensal label? Is it just a platform for your own music or do you plan to bring others on board?
Tensal was conceived simply to get my own materials out, but if any interesting collaborations come up, I wouldn’t reject the idea. The next thing to be released will be a 10″ trilogy with two tracks per record that will be called Archives. It’s going to be a 250-300 unit limited edition and for it I’ll be editing tracks that I like but that for one reason or another have not yet made it out of the hard drive.
Do you find it hard to make time to work both as Exium and as Tensal?
No. We’ve been doing this for many years and we don’t need a lot of time to get good results. We know our machines well and we always know what we want to do.
You’ve been releasing music and playing out for over 20 years, how do you feel the scene today compares to back when you were first starting out?
It has certainly evolved. When we started out, this was a minority genre which was fairly underground, but it soon grew, and nowadays things are very different, because everything has become much more professional. This kind of music generates more money and interest now. Internet has been a revolution.
Big thanks for Tensal for the insight. ‘Cause Effect’ is out now on Pole Group, be sure to check out the links below and pick up a copy.