AITOR RONDA is a Spanish DJ and producer who makes full-blooded, engaging and intricate techno, and has been producing and DJing for close to two decades.
Releasing on labels like Monika Kruse’s Terminal M, Christian Smith’s Tronic label and Pig&Dan’s Elevate, tracks like 2018’s Tweezer have gone on to be some of the biggest-selling techno records of the year.
In 2019 he returned to Elevate with his Ace of Clover EP and has also seen the release of his four track Ace Of Clover EP on Filth On Acid, while behind the scene’s Aitor is working on developing a live act that will take his singular take on techno to the next level.
We caught up with Aitor to discuss his movement through the techno scene and how he’s remained so passionate over the last two decades in the industry. Plus he has recorded an excellent mix for The Night Bazaar Sessions which you can listen to below.
You were DJing techno in the 90s…. how do the dancefloors back then compare to those in 2019?
Definitely there were way less flashes, in fact, social media or mobile phones didn’t exist. You couldn’t listen or watch your favourite DJ on YouTube and all these facts made every session very special. People were dancing non-stop until the very end, on their own trip like if they were possessed, trying not to miss a second of the DJ set because it was a unique experience and you weren’t going to be able to watch it again later on a screen.
You could smoke in the club, which made the difference, because the crowd stayed in the dance floor all night long. Before, techno was a big family, it wasn’t a serious big business like it is now. The scene was very tiny compared to today.
By then Barcelona was still beginning to discover techno. Now the scene has become so massive and there are many different styles, clubs, festivals, brands , crowds, artists, etc… I guess it gives you more possibilities to develop your career as a DJ, but I am not sure about the mainstream side of it. I also have the feeling that back in the old times, most of the dancers loved a great mix rather than a banger. But anyway, I’m sure that when it began it was all about the music, right now I’m not sure about it anymore. In my opinion, when you invest more on image than on talent, the art doesn’t develop as good as it should. I believe that passion should always be over fashion, at least always there was this untold rule in the underground scene, but as I said, there is a new techno mainstream side.
Very often when I go to a festival or a club the music doesn’t surprise me anymore, but at the same time the club is packed, so I guess that’s what counts at the end of the day. DJs should give to their crowd what they still don’t know they love. Artists shouldn’t sign tracks that they haven’t done either. Although, I must say there are some great, talented, real artists out there and I’ve been lucky enough to find and hear them which reminds me why I have been doing this for the last 20 years.
You’ve released one album so far… do you have any desire to work on another? Or do you think that albums for club-focused electronic music aren’t really what the scene’s all about?
Yes, I do have a couple of albums in my head already, but no rush at all… I like the old concept of a conceptual album, which in my opinion it’s the perfect way to show all of your musical universe.
You’ve previous said that you love collaborating as you can exchange knowledge and ideas… is there one person/act that would be your dream collab?
Lots! I couldn’t pick just one. But if I had to, I would say that I would cry if Jean Michel Jarre invited me to his studio! Well, I would also just be happy if I could meet him some time. It would be enough with shaking his hand and say: “Thanks for your legacy master.”
Tell us about your new project, WHACK…
Whack is my own brand, my music and my personal view of Techno. We started our own parties recently in Barcelona city centre and we will launch our music label very soon.
You’ve been producing and DJing for a number of years… what has been the single biggest change to the industry you’ve seen in that time?
Internet, no doubt at all!
Are you still as passionate about music as you were when you started out in your career?
I’m sure that I am even more, especially in the studio. For a techno lover like me, once you learn how to export the ideas from your head into audio, the fun never ends. It gets better and better. The trick is not to stop. I spend time in the studio almost every day, even if sometimes it’s just for an hour. An African master drummer told me one day, that the human ear discovers a new sound every day so you are constantly learning with the music.
Tell us about the mix you’ve put together for us… any track in particular that we should listen out for?
Well, talking about collaborations, there are two new ones of mine in the mix. The remix I did for Herrhorst and Sasha Bastrieb which is scheduled to be released in October on Redrum. And the other one is a new collaboration with Dassent matter, called Luxury track and the last times I played it, it worked so well, but this one still isn’t signed yet.
What releases or gigs of yours should we be looking out for over the coming months?
Looking forward to my first South American tour. More info coming very soon.
Anything else you’d like to tell us…?
Super excited with the idea to begin a very social project which has been in my head for a very long time. I am setting up my new Live Act. I don t know yet exactly when it will be ready but I am working on it. The time has come