We are proud to feature a second installment of our MNMT Recordings series for the month of September, by also shedding light on the positive correlation between traveling & creativity. Altrd Being is a multi-talented traveling performer hailing from Honduras, but residing in both Madrid, Spain and Tbilisi, Georgia. Along with this recording of his performance at the Gate venue, we’ve also had time to get to know him on a more personal level.
1. As a creator, what drives you – In other words, what inspires you do what you do.
Somehow, when I found Techno and House Music it really changed the inner workings of my soul. I was 16 and just moved to Italy for an exchange year when I went to my first club night. I was completely amazed by the scene, I was somewhat of a rocker kid before, always listening to dark music as a kid. Somehow I found the “Light” in Minimal Techno around September 2006 as I raved for the first time. After that, I was hooked during my late teens and early 20’s. I kept following this light down the tunnel and it has taken me to so many places – from clubs in Italy, to islands in the Caribbean, and eventually to LA Warehouses as a dancer.
I also got involved in the techno scene in Honduras really early in my life. During the second year of my experience, I became a VJ and a Promoter as well as starting to learn how to be a techno performer with some friends in Honduras. These were some of the best times in my life, we had an amazing crew with really talented local DJs. These parties pushed forward a very small scene in a really conservative predominantly catholic country, we were opening a lot of minds to not only music, but club culture. In those days, I was first dabbling into DJing and producing on Ableton along with my friend Larry Hurst’s house, his two little brothers, and some other friends.
These times are times that I’ll always remember every time I perform and make music, it was a time of exploration and not being afraid to learn new things. We pushed the envelopes, and not only from a musical standpoint. Moving forward, a few years later I found myself in LA where I moved to study film-making. I was in college and continued to learn about techno, at the same time, I attended film school were I learned about DJing and music production. Music was a special love of mine, even more than cinema, so I decided to continue.
Obviously being in college, I was partying a lot and was very lucky to have some really dope crews who where doing parties in Los Angeles like Droid and In:volve (now RUSE). So as you can imagine, I was very eager to get involved with the scene within new city. At this time I’ve been VJing professionally for 4 years, so I decided to continue doing it in LA. I’ve met a lot of cool people in the underground scene and was truly inspired by what was happening around me.
Some more inspiring moments include Interface’s 10th anniversary in 2012, where I saw Marcel Dettmann perform a 4+ hour vinyl set at a movie studio with 400 people in attendance. Also, when my partner and I hosted our own warehouse night in LA with Deepbass and Reggy Van Oers as a LA debut for our label night. In addition, the first time Claudio PRC and Ness played for an event I helped curate was very special to me as well. And the first time I played a closing set at Khidi’s G2 was much appreciated.
All of these moments have shared one common feeling, and it is in those moments where I somehow found the innermost light in the darkest of warehouses or clubs. This feeling of finding the light in the darkness is what inspired me as a DJ, a Producer, a VJ, promoter, and a label Co-Owner/Curator. The most important thing is my love for this scene. The search for the light in the dark; or in other words the moment, puts you in tune with you innermost self. That is what inspires me as a listener and as a performer, it’s really what drove me to dig deeper while discovering the music.
2. Pick one (And explain why):
I was raised in the Caribbean (Honduras) so of course I would say the beach. I remember when I was VJing in Sunjam at Water Key in Utila (the Bay Islands of Honduras) and there were only DJs. The stars & the visuals, we were on a small private island with a crowd consisting of some of the best party people in the Central American region, ready to spend 24 hours of pure party pleasure lost in the Caribbean sea. These days, I travel so much and I haven’t been fortunate enough to visit my dear Honduran coast in many years. Everywhere I go, nothing really compares to the Atlantic Coast of Honduras.
3. Every city has a tone that drives and encompasses it. Music is a power that can unite cities by wielding the power of influence. That being said, tell me: what is the main difference between living in Los Angeles vs. living in Tbilisi, Georgia in regards to your creative head space.
Los Angeles is a crazy city, we’ve all heard and fantasized about it during our upbringing. I ended up there so I can learn how to create media (Audio and Visual Media). I somehow ended up living in this city for 8 years, there has always been an air of creation around it. Most of the time, I found myself shooting videos, designing, and writing music. If I wasn’t doing those things, I was either raving or plotting a warehouse party with friends. Being a full time artist in a city that is super expensive and fully submersed in consumerism, it was getting very exhausting for me due to life expenses. I decided to move away, and now I spend half of my time in Madrid, and half of my time in Tbilisi.
Los Angeles though holds a place in my heart and still inspires my music in many ways. Every time I visit, I make time to collaborate with Matt (Secus) on our project Motionen. Madrid is an amazing city, I don’t have the space to be creative at the moment, but it is really a city that I feel at home in. Somehow, I have spent most of my creative time here finishing tracks, I have really been fortunate to have friends with good studios to work there.
Tbilisi on the other hand is a very inspiring place for me that has a really amazing scene fueled by great music and a huge political movement advocating freedom. I only know a few people, and don’t understand the language, but it’s really where I thrive as a creator. Last year, despite being there only for 45 days , I was able to finish a lot of older projects and start many new ones. This year I spent 4 months there and I managed to start and finish some new project that will see the light in the next year both on collaborations and solo works.
I also had a chance to write some music in Honduras in my old childhood room. Some of the tracks were finished in California released as a solo project on Lanthan.
4. In regards to Motionen, you’re a part of a collaborative project. With your counter-part living many miles away, what do you do to keep the fire going between you two.
So Motionen and the project’s label (Ascetic Limited) started after Matt and I jammed one afternoon in my home studio in the summer of 2015 after being rave buddies and friends for a few years. In December 2015 we decided to live together as roommates in Matt’s house in Valencia, CA. Shortly after a few other jam sessions, we decided to make music together.
Transitioning from living together, to collaborating from different parts of the world was actually very natural we both always had separate studios with a similar Ableton setup and used Splice to go back and forth from his setup to mine although the process became somewhat longer. Luckily, I have an amazing partner and we have really great musical chemistry. We now have defined a sound that we consider to be Motionen. We send each other Ableton files back and forth until we are both happy with the track I do a preliminary mix and Matt creates the final mix because he has a better room at the moment, not to mention, he is an amazing mixing engineer. This really keeps the fire alive already, not only for the Motionen project, but for the label. The music is very meaningful for us both, as long as the music is inspiring, Matt and I will continue to stand behind our collaboration and our Label. We’ve given birth to nine vinyl records so far and many other digital releases. It’s not a matter of keeping the flame alive, but always striving to release meaningful work.