Techno Tuesday: Facundo Mohrr on his love affair with melodic dance music and embracing imperfection
Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.
Another star rises out of Argentina to make his mark in the deep, melodic realm of dance music. Facundo Mohrr‘s affair with electronica has been instilled in him from birth; his mother, a raver herself, passed on the tradition and continued to attend events as she was raising a young Mohrr. It was only natural that, upon reaching adolescence, he would eventually take his own step behind the decks and begin to create house music.
Mohrr’s path to stardom seemed destined to happen. By 2008, he’d already made it onto Frisky with a release that was remixed by Cid Inc. Shortly after, he’d caught the ears and support by the likes of John Digweed, Sasha, Nick Warren. and of course, his own compatriot Hernan Cattaneo. A decade-plus after his break and Mohrr is just starting to climb toward his peak; in 2017, he found his way onto Henry Saiz‘ Natura Sonoris with a widely-rinsed Bleed EP. He and his longtime friend and collaborator Valdovinos made it onto Get Physical’s Kindisch arm shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, demand was starting to grow for Facundo’s live presence, taking him to the US, Tunisia, Mexico, England, and beyond.
Come 2018, a new friendship was born with Lee Burridge. Their musical visions quickly aligned, and by March, the Argentinian talent had made it onto both Burridge’s imprints of All Day I Dream, and the Hoj co-owned Tale + Tone. It feels fitting that as the year comes to a close, Mohrr’s first extended player on All Day I Dream arrives. La Espere fits perfectly in with the label’s aesthetic: profound, emotive deep house, but with a more energized and rhythmic touch courtesy of Mohrr.
Dancing Astronaut had the pleasure of premiering “Blue Bird” prior to release, but we remained curious as to who this mysterious artist was at his core. So, the only move was to
Describe growing up in Argentina and how you came to fall in love with dance music.
I fell in love with electronic music thanks to my mother. She used to listen to this style. I remember being 13 years old back in 1998 … we lived in a flat which was in the top floor of a building. That flat overlooked Sarmiento Park, where the first raves were held in our country. My mum would go to those parties and I remained at home looking at the lights flashing in the park, from my balcony. Everything was very intriguing to me. So, I started to look up information about the DJs who played at those raves. I investigated in every way I could, because internet had just begun so it was extremely difficult. Some years later, in the last years of my secondary school, a classmate and I discovered FRUITYLOOPS (now known as FL Studio), and since then I have never stopped making music. Today, 15 years after that first contact I still sit in front of a project with the same emotion and adrenaline that I started with.
How did you arrive at your current sound?
Talking about my sound is a bit difficult. I’d say that I always stress the rhythm a lot. I don’t like having energy in my tracks without any sense or pattern. I like deep melodies in my productions, as well as in my sets. I really try to transmit *something* at all times. I like stuff to be happening constantly in my work, and I don’t worry about what others say about going eclectic at times; I see the good side in everything and take advantage of it. Ultimately, I stick to the saying, “there is no good music or bad music; either you like it or not.” I try to evolve and always look for the diversity, and fully accept the risk of upsetting the public in adding surprises into my music.
There’s a huge melodic/progressive movement in Argentina. What do you think draws the people to this kind of music as opposed to other types of dance music?
One name: Hernan Cattaneo, a model in this genre, and he is Argentinian. I think everything is related to this fact. Nowadays, however, other genres are growing up enormously, and all of them have massive festivals monthly. The Argentinian scene is having a great moment. People have access to all kind of information, and thus, they are discovering things constantly.
Now let’s talk about Burning Man. How did you get introduced to this culture, and how has it influenced you since your first time?
My first experience with Burning Man was extraordinary. I truly thought my first year would be 2019, but it seems that when things are meant to happen, nothing can stop them. While on a Central American tour weeks before, a series of events happened that made the event unavoidable this year — from the way I obtained an entrance ticket, to getting there from Buenos Aires, the with my trip back manifesting just two days after Burning Man ended. Everything settled in such a perfect way that if I had planned it beforehand, it wouldn’t have resulted how it did.
Many things are said about Burning Man; I also asked a lot about what it was like and when I finally went, but the only real answer is, “I can not tell you, you must go.” I’ve never experience anything like this in my whole life! The Playa is a magical place that is always wowing you. I met extraordinary people and felt as if all us were a big family. Many profound things happened there and what one can see through the social networks doesn’t represent even 10% of what’s really lived. I was lucky to be able to play music there, and it was awesome. Everything was felt differently. It was as though in the air connects you directly and naturally with the people on the dance floor. Something weirdly awesome? Going cycling around the city and high-fiving with everyone!
You’ve partnered with Valdovinos a lot, including on this EP. What makes you two a good collaboration pair?
Simplicity, ease, and similar methods allow us to get on very well with each other in the studio. We don’t like going ’round and ’round over the same situations; instead, we always choose to go one step forward, and if we get stuck, we delete and start again without thinking too much. This is something I like and makes work fluid — a thing I always look for. I like to go forward fast and I can do it with him. Rodrigo is a great artist and I admire him a lot.
How did the process go of writing ‘La Espere?’ Did you write all of the four tracks specifically for the EP? Any big inspirations in particular?
Not really. When I make music, what comes out is what I felt in that moment. The four tracks of the EP were probably the ones I thought Lee was going to choose. My process is always the same: I search for a loop of drums which I can listen for a long time without getting bored and on this base, I start the musical part, always taking the rhythm as a starting point. I never draw a specific melody or bassline; I record it directly several times, and I let the small mistakes stay. They are part of the process and if it appeals to me, I keep on with the rest. My music is full of mistakes and I love it!
What are your biggest tools for writing music so far? Like a specific plug-in, hardware, a routine you follow to boost creativity, etc…
I make music 24 hours a day, all the time. I neither follow a routine in particular nor wait for an inspiration to come. If a melody doesn’t come, I try out samples, turn them back, double their time, everything that can compensate for the lack of creativity that day. There is always a way, and is often in the most hidden folder waiting for you. If I can’t make sounds, I combine the ones I have, but I never stop.
I have a home studio which is really tiny: a MacBook Pro with a simple sound card, a pair of Adam F 5s, which I love, and a Roland JP08. Regarding software, I use Ableton Live and a few plugins. I like very much to use sampler and loops.
What do you hope to accomplish over the next few years?
What life has ready for me! I will keep on making music and letting it take me wherever I have to go. Always with and for music, expressing myself through it and hoping to transmit it to as many people as I can .
Finally, what else is coming up for Facundo Mohrr?
Music, music and more music! I have several scheduled launches, some of them before the end of the year and others at the beginning of 2019.Apart from some venues in Argentina, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama and Canada, we are also about to launch music on Kermesse with Valdominos. A hectic year is coming!