Modern techno from Madrid.
The contemporary techno scene tends to innovate slowly and subtly. As the genre enters its fourth decade with its basic template unchanged, its renewal is often found in details and small shifts in form. Semantica, which turned ten last year, is a case in point. The records on Svreca's label almost always catch the ear in some fresh way. Just listen to its most recent release, the eighth and final entry in its anniversary series: you've got SHXCXCHCXSH, Neel, Regis and Ctrls, each sounding utterly distinctive and truly modern. The same could be said for most of the label's catalogue. From his base in Madrid, Enrique Mena has worked with a long list of techno's best and most-respected artists, while peppering the label with his own standout productions. Mena's music feels designed for those moments on a dance floor where all sense of space and time is lost.
As both a producer and a DJ, Mena seems to be in a particularly good place at the moment. His latest release is an excellent collaborative EP with Voices From The Lake called Between The Lines, and below he tells us that he's become a resident at Stardust in Madrid, a club he says has an amazing atmosphere almost every night. We get more evidence of Mena's form on his RA podcast, a fathoms-deep techno session he describes as an "introspective experience."
What have you been up to recently?
Well, this month Semantica releases the final parts of the Diez Series. It took more than a year to release all the 12-inches, which symbolise the ten years of the label and also work as a big showcase of amazing artists, each one giving his vision of contemporary techno.
Looking back retrospectively after a long and intense period of working on this, the whole compilation is complete. It makes me feel so happy and proud of the whole project. However, with the project coming to an end, it feels very liberating because working too long on the same idea is really hard for me. Now I have time to show new sounds, new artists, new designs, etc.
How and where was the mix recorded?
It was recorded at home using two CDJs and a Xone:92 mixer. I recently switched to playing on this setup to find new mixing routines again.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
The mix was recorded for home listening, and will allow a more introspective experience. The tension in the mix is very different from a typical club set, as I normally prefer to play at least three hours. To make the same kind of movements, I've had to condense that into this shorter mix.
Tell us about the studio sessions that led to your EP with Voices From The Lake.
I met Donato and Peppe in 2012 at Labyrinth festival in Japan. We connected on many levels, and later started to work on different projects for Semantica. Last year was the second time they invited me to play with them in Rome, and that week we worked together in the studio. Between The Lines is the result, and it means a lot to me.
Stardust, where you play regularly, seems to be attracting some of Europe's best techno DJs. Tell us about the club.
Stardust is my home. I started to expand my role at the club this season and play as a resident. I feel connected to a lot that is happening at the club and my city as a whole. Madrid is quite alive right now; it has a strong techno tradition that is evolving in many directions, and finally I feel I'm part of this movement.
The club is great in many aspects, but the most defining is that the atmosphere every night is amazing. That's what makes the difference to me. It probably is the main reason why some artists return often to Stardust.
What are you up to next?
At the moment I'm working on several different EPs and remixes, also I recently finished the first step of my next big project. It will be a Svreca DJ mix and a compilation, Arquitectura Del Sueño, which will be out in September and will be the 100th release on Semantica. It is a work inspired by and dedicated to Garden in Pereira, a very special club in Colombia where I've been playing in the last years. It's been a unique experience performing there.