Sian's DJ'ing duties have spanned all continents and taken in some of the finest clubs and nights on the underground circuit. A child of the 80’s in Spain, Sian found himself surrounded by bars and nightlife pumping out Italo and 80s eurodance and the relentless beat and atmosphere sold him a life dedicated to making music. Having released high-profile imprints including Pokerflat, Soma , Aus and SCI+TEC, as well as his homegrown Octopus collective- the Spanish techno lover has never looked back.
Ahead of his appearance at this weekends highly sought-after WetYourSelf rave alongside Claire Ripley (Dessous), we caught with Sian to talk in-depth about his passion for Marine Biology, the aesthetic of Octopus and his forthcoming artist album ”Before Silence” due out this June.
You were born in Dublin but raised in southern Spain, can you tell us a little bit about your childhood and how you got into music?
Some might argue my childhood was pretty damn golden actually but for me it was one big adventure. My parents moved around a lot and it seemed like we were in a constant travel mode, the initial move was quite spur of the moment and im really glad they took the plunge to move around despite having 3 small kids.
Neither of my parents are into music and I can never remember them even having a particular favorite artist! I think this left a vacuum you know? So I started filling it with everything from Techno to Jazz during my teens, eventually leading me to want to play at Dublin's Kitchen Club (a legendary techno/drum and bass spot co owned by the Edge from U2!).From having my brain switched on in there and other clubs like The Temple of Sound, LFO and the free parties in Dublin, i got really curious about how these sounds were made and started hanging out in studios like Crows lane, eventually getting a chance to learn the ropes. After ages of working on other peoples music,from Pop to Rock,i signed up to some labels like Pokerflat and Karmarouge and began DJing full time.
Do you feel like this mix of cultures influenced you?
Totally yeah,the strange combination of lost cultures in Spain,the Balearic vibe,the old rythms of flamenco and arab music definitely reach far into techno and house.There is a massive history of techno in Spain,and obviously the Balearic island fame is notoriously influencial on the scene as a whole.As kids in Spain in the 80s, we were surrounded by bars and nightlife pumping out Italo and 80s eurodance everywhere,which was a first introduction to electronic music for me. That relentless beat and the atmosphere took hold early.
You describe yourself as having interests such ranging from entomology, cosmology and marine biology. what attracts you to these studies?
Yes, I confess to having some very nerdlike interests, especially Marine Biology. Having spent daytime in the sea or on the beach as a kid any chance I can get to kayak or go snorkelling while at home or touring I'm gone. Seriously, even if I've been playing till 7am in the morning, its on. That's one of the many perks to travelling I guess and it's also crucial to music production also by getting away from your own work, so you can really hear it.
If there was a Sianology, what would it be about?
I worry it would be something like Scientology and Voodoo combined,a vegetarian pseudo cult for ADD casualties perhaps?
Octopus is building up an impressive roster, tell us a little bit about how you came to start Octopus, what did you want your aesthetic and purpose to be?
Out of pure frustration,there wasnt anyone doing our vibe. I want a label that felt a bit more DIY-like outside the whole standard model of label, distributor and design you know? The sound and look of the label is modern techno I guess a lot of these aesthetics come from the whole digital revolution that makes running a small, truly indie label possible nowadays. We are big advocates of the new direct interaction, co-operation and immediate technology that's around at the moment and I feel its giving small boutique labels a real chance to make waves amongst established imprints.
Spain is an interesting country in relation to electronic music. On one hand it hosts Sonar one of the most influential and respected music festivals in the world, yet on the other its influence on the music scene may appear to be marginalised by producers from the UK or Germany for example. Tell us your thoughts on the Spanish music scene, and where you feel Spain fits on the map in terms of influence and sonic character. I always thought about this actually and wondered why there were'nt so many Barcelona native producers..apart from Paco Osuna. Given that Sonar week peaked 2 years ago at 1.4 Million visitors to the city-all for electronic music. I think it has something to do with the fact that Spanish culture is based on lazyness, good living and relaxed attitude. Like in Dublin,or Stockholm or London or most Northern European you got to make it right? In Spain its like,"I do it Manana".
your upcoming artist album spans 130 mins and comprises of over 1013 individual clips, tells us a little of your process behind this and what you aim to achieve. is there a reason why you choose to use such a large number of clips?
I was never meant to be so vast or difficult actually! the process was to take all the parts of my new tracks, combine them with the remixers versions and make one big session with these elements as a longplayer. So as you can imagine,it was super difficult and stressful to work with such a massive session and so many parts,but the result i hope is a really new way of looking at the album format,which i am proud to have as a statement on the label.