Founded in 2007, Illegal Alien Records is a Florida-born but Mexico-based techno label. The label was founded by the Mexican Ricardo Garduno with the driving force of proving he could be successful doing something he loves; the music, despite his “illegal alien” status in the US.
With lots of successful releases, the label moved its home, transferring back to Mexico to Garduno’s roots. The change of the scenery also helped Ricardo to find like-minded artists to help him to move the label forward. With constant support from colleagues and the public, Illegal Alien has published numerous releases both in digital and vinyl format. The label’s impressive roster features artists like Aleja Sanchez, Bruno Sacco, Astronomy Domine, Deepbass, Ness, Dimi Angelis, Edit-Select, Fabrizio Lapiana and Svarog.
Illegal Alien showcases their sound for the latest MNMT Label Showcase, mixed by DJ Saint Pierre, with an atmospheric, experimental and broken techno set not made for the dance floor, but for home listening. While getting in to the Illegal Alien soundscapes, read the below interview with the label boss Ricardo Garduno to learn more about the label’s journey so far, their scope of work and future plans. Enjoy the mix.
Hi Ricardo ! What was the motivation & inspiration when you founded Illegal Alien Records?
The motivation for the label was to prove that with the status I had, I could also be a successful man working on something that I love – which is music. At the beginning I did not know what to do, no idea on how to manage a record label, but I knew I had to start it and since that it has been a non-stop learning process.
Illegal Alien was founded in Florida, USA, but now it is based in Mexico. What was the reason for the change, and how did it impact the label?
I spent a long time in the US, but moved back to Mexico after 12 years. It was time to go back, and it was a hard decision, but I also knew that for my career and the label was going to be the best thing to do. That was exactly what happened, after the move everything started getting towards another form and I got to meet great co-workers that also became my friends. Now the label is in a good moment thanks to all the work we have put in it as a team.
Last year the label had it’s 10-year-anniversary. How did you celebrate?
That is correct, we put together a 4 volume V/A with 24 artists on vinyl and digital format. The release was very successful, we got very nice feedback from music fans and colleagues. We are very happy with the results, as this was a very important release for us.
Besides you, Ricardo Garduno, also Aleja Sandchez, Mari Mattham, Fixon, Fixeer and DJ Saint Pierre are also involved in curating the label. How do you arrange the work?
We all share opinions on what to release, what to do and when to do it. We all propose ideas that we consider will work for the best of the label, its not complicated, and we also have different assignations on the label that makes things work smoother and easier.
Can you explain how did the Illegal Alien sound has developed during it’s 11-year journey?
It was a bit hard in the beginning because I had no experience, so I started releasing different types of music from Techno to Tech house. I also got involved in the Minimal era, and released even a trance track. Eventually over the years I learned about and focused on Techno and started working with my music family. We are all shaping the musical part of the label, we consider Illegal Alien is a bit of an open format label as we release different varieties of Techno. We just look for quality music, music that has soul, that’s what we try to do.
How is the selection process of Illegal Alien releases? Do you collect tracks on a certain theme or are they based on what sounds are submitted by the artists?
We’d like to hear the artist’s musical proposal, we’d like to hear EPs with tracks that have different musical ideas and we’d like the artists to tell their story in a release. We don’t focus on what sells and what doesn’t, we just try to release good music.
What are some of the most memorable events of Illegal Alien?
We consider all our events are memorable, of course, some of them had more attendance than others but for us, all of them are a positive experiences. We are very thankful to every single person that has come to our events and made them special.
Illegal Alien has its digital platform as well as its 12-inch platform Illegal Alien Ltd. What is the difference between these two, and how do you select what releases are being pressed on vinyl and what in digital format?
The difference is that on LTD we releasing just the music from Illegal Alien members and we invite other artists for remixes, VA’s and splits. For the digital platform we welcome anybody that sends us interesting and quality music.
Illegal Alien Black Label is your sub-label. How does it differ from Illegal Alien’s sound?
We started with the idea of releasing more distorted, broken and experimental techno, but at the moment it’s on standby. We are re-organizing things, we will have news about them soon.
Could you mention some labels which you acknowledge its musical orientation and why?
I don’t know to be honest I believe there are many labels doing great works, releasing fantastic music, big labels, small labels, we just get the orientation from everybody who releases nice music.
How does the future of Illegal Alien look like? What can we expect?
The future is to keep releasing great music on vinyl and digital. We will also keep working hard in order to reach more audience and get them to know our work. You can definitely expect great releases.
Can you tell us more the inspiration behind the mix? Why these tracks or how did you choose the records in it?
The tracks are selected and mixed by Illegal Alien member DJ Saint Pierre, we decided he was the perfect mind to do it. He has a fantastic taste of music for an atmospheric, experimental and broken Techno, the style we wanted to present for this podcast – not for the dancefloor, just for listening.
Something else you would like to tell about Illegal Alien?
We are always glad to share the audience what we are doing. It’s always great to reach more people with our works, and we will keep doing our best to provide quality music to our followers. Thanks for the support!