After the blow-out year Eric Estornel just had you would think he’d choose to a) party hard or b) sit back and enjoy the rewards. But as we predicted with Eric, it’s all a reason to keep getting better. Over the years, the Valencia-based producer with a USA homebase has found a way of bringing out different aspects of our musical tastes, be it through the killer house grooves of Maceo Plex with his debut ‘Life Index' LP on Crosstown Rebels last year to the driving techno atmosphere trip of Maetrik with a rich twelve year history behind him leading to a new live album out now on Sven Vaths German techno powerhouse, Cocoon - titled ‘Crush On Me.’
In one of the biggest nights in our roisterous rave calendar on Saturday 25th February with Ricardo Villalobos back manipulating our soundystem, in Room Two Maetrik will be shaking up its foundations alongside, fabric57 French maestro, Agoria and Terry Francis. Today we catch up with him on all things Maetrik and talk topics - Cocoon, his label Ellum Audio, getting Luke Solumun on board, as well a Murk remodelled series featuring the likes of Crazy P, Subb-an and Danny Daze and a whole load more.
To win a copy of 'Crush On Me' simply tell us the name of Maetriks first EP released on Cocoon? Email us the answer to firstname.lastname@example.org to enter.
Hi Eric, have you managed to enjoy some recent time out following the compelling year you just had?
Not really actually. I went through a crazy New Year and kept working. I have two pseudonyms which means a lot of music, twice as many deadlines, but twice THE amazing experience. So no time off for me but I’m not complaining.
In what ways do you mentally and physically prepare yourself for what we can expect to be another extremely fruitful year for you?
Physically I just try to have as many days at home as I can relaxing with my family, shopping, eating a lot, whatever isn´t music related. And mentally the most therapeutic thing for me is to, believe it or not, make music. It´s what kept me out of trouble in my teens growing up during the rave scene of the 90s, and it’s what grounds me still today.
How did you first hook up with Cocoon?
Through a close friend and manager Ghayath who already had a good relationship with the Cocoon camp. He was the one that really pushed me to make some music specifically for Cocoon and the rest is history. We have a great relationship now. To play and be with Cocoon requires some loyalty and hard work on my DJing and live show but the rewards are immense.
Can you tell us about ‘Crush On Me’ - your new album on Cocoon captured from a live set of yours at their closing party in Ibiza…It’s a cool concept, how did it come together?
The idea of recording and releasing my Live set at Cocoon Ibiza was actually first presented to me by Sven himself on our way to a gig. He had just heard me play live the night before and I have a feeling his experienced business and creative mind was what led to the idea in the first place. The rest was just working on new music for it and presenting it to the huge crowd at Amnesia for the first time during the biggest party of the year on the island. It was amazing and thankfully the CD came out just as I had hoped.
So does this mean this year is more about Maetrik for you, or is there more coming our way that meets the eye?
There´s a lot of both monikers really, my success in 2011 just fueled my dedication to making beats and seeking out great music for my DJ sets. I guess many artists would party hard or sit back and enjoy the rewards from doing things like what I did in 2011, but not me - it´s more reason to keep getting better.
We last spoke to you about your label, Ellum Audio late last year- can you tell us how things have developed since then and what we can look forward too?
Things have developed quite rapidly. The label has taken off from just the first 3 releases and the chart positions have been a dream come true really. I can´t thank the public enough for supporting from the very beginning. This year we´ve got some really amazing music planned that I don´t want to reveal too much about but I can say the legendary Luke Solomun has joined us. As well as a Murk remodelled series featuring people like Crazy P, Subb-an, Danny Daze, and hopefully Dixon (confirming if we´re fortunate) Also a sick secret thing I’m working on with Bushwacka, a new extremely talented artist by the name of Eric Volta out of London and much more music by Myself and label family the Odd Parents.
How are you looking forward to playing in Room Two alongside Agoria and Terry Francis next Saturday? Will you be sticking around for the morning session in Room One?
I´m really looking forward to it of course and Terry always keeps any DJ on his toes. I´ve got to really work hard to join and shine with such a line-up and Room One morning time is definitely on my mind!
We like to consider ourselves purveyors of the after hours.. what’s the longest you’ve gone for?
I´m a lightweight actually, I can´t go for very long like I used to. But back in the day I would go for a couple days straight partying, these days I love to play for a few hours and enjoy my friends´ sets the rest of the time. I take it easy, but I can go well into the next evening if the party is just right.
What are you most looking forward to this year both in your musical journey and away from the scene?
I´m looking forward to just pushing myself as usual. Away from the scene my girl Christine and I are getting married in the summer and that´s really going to be the highlight of my year for me personally.
You’ve obviously been surrounded by many talented artists over the years – have you had any production advice and tips from the elite that have helped you develop your own sound?
Actually the answer is no. I’ve never really collaborated much with any artist except for the ones I’ve engineered for. I like to do my own thing always and hate sharing a studio with someone. I like for my ideas to flow without talking over them with anyone first. But I have learned just watching other amazing DJs play and how the good ones create entire atmospheres without playing a single hit record. I think that deserves respect and is always a learning experience for me.
How has your live show developed since we last spoke with you late last year? Do you have any new plans to progress with it this year?
This year I’ll be doing a few lives with the Cocoon camp at places like Timewarp and of course Amnesia, but I don´t plan on doing too many lives this year. 2012 is all about my DJing and the next album I release will most certainly spark a new live show for sure.
So what are the biggest challenges you think you’ll be facing this year?
The backlash if any. There are many haters out there that can’t wait for me to trip up. But I hope I’ll be able to stick it through if I keep focused on writing music and playing a variety of sounds when I DJ. The difference between myself and some others is that I’m a producer´s producer, always evolving and as long as I write my own music and stay away from gimmicks or antics, the respect will out weigh the hatred.
Finally, if we left you on a desert island what are the five things you couldn’t live without?
Water, fried chicken, chap stick, my favorite 20 year old cassette mixtapes and my girl´s loving embrace.