The Barcelona duo drop a rich tapestry of sound.
Downliners Sekt are a Barcelona production duo who use misty atmospheres and clipped beats to convey their message. On Silent Ascent, Fabrizio Rizzin and Pere Solé's recently released third album, the group united a number of styles—dub techno, ambient, IDM, garage—under the same foggy aesthetic that has marked most of their work. In 2005 they stepped out with Statement Of Purpose, a full-length for dsekt[dot]com that was in the spirit of Warp acts such as Autechre; its follow-up, 2008's The Saltire Wave, was essentially a blend of post-rock and shoegaze, but their soupy approach to composition remained. And across a trio of EPs for the Spanish label Disboot, Rizzin and Solé wrote some of their most rhythmically deranged and experimental music, but, again, an overcast feel marked it out as the work of Downliners Sekt.
With this in mind, it's interesting that Rizzin and Solé below mention "DJ syndrome," the feeling that "you've created and produced all the tracks, when all you did really is to mix them together." Downliners Sekt have a way of making sounds their own, which is true of RA.417, a mix that stiches the group's tracks and textures through an improbable range of styles.
What have you been up to recently?
Mostly we've been getting our new live set ready and making it flow as much as possible for the shows we have this summer.
How and where was the mix recorded?
A few weeks back, we spent a few days at our friend Chris's house in a tiny village in the south of France. It certainly sounds a bit clichéd, but we actually drank some biodynamique wines while testing his vintage speakers with new vinyl he had just received. Also, he has a collection of old reel-to-reel tape recorders and an analog mixing desk that sounds great, and it was cool to fuck around with the mix. It's like going back in time and slowing things down for a moment. We hardly have the time to sit down and listen to new music, and when it comes to regenerating ourselves and discovering new stuff, for us, it's the place to be.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
The idea was simply to get together bits of tracks we'd just discovered, and play around with some of our unreleased material, trying to find an interesting pattern that leads you through the entire mix. This kind of mix gives us the opportunity to try out new things that we wouldn't normally go for, because it's more spontaneous sometimes, to create an atmosphere with other people's tracks. The funny part is that you end up with what we like to call the "DJ syndrome": you feel like you've created and produced all the tracks, when all you did really is to mix them together.
You described yourselves as "obsessive" in the press release for the album. How does this usually manifest itself?
It's in the way we conceive, work, dream, enjoy, suffer, love, hate music—it's in the amount of time and energy we are capable to spend pursuing routes that almost everybody will tell you not to follow. It's in how seldom we listen to other people's advice when we work on new stuff. It's in how we defend our thing.
How is your sound usually received in Barcelona?
It was hard for a long while. Barcelona has traditionally been a kick-drum-on-every-beat type of city. Broken beats, faster-than-average techno or house tempos, murky atmospheres, low frequencies—those things were never really big here. Now, it's changed quite a lot, as it has around the world, actually. The internet has changed the game: scenes are now global, not local. It's easier to find your place and your public now, independently of the place you live.
What are you up to next?
Ready to play in as many places as possible. Now it's time to travel.
Downliners Sekt play this year's Sonar festival in Barcelona, which runs from 12th to 14th June.