An alluring spaceship sets course for Montreal on Saturday evening, ready to land in a frenzy of dark elastic tech-house. At the helm, none other than the sharp, enthralling Brazilian artist Victor Ruiz.
From a solid and original remix repertoire to the flurry of futuristic productions, Ruiz continues to shape his own distinct path in the scene, topped with notable performances that get crowds flying. He swept us on board with him last September at Ancient Future, and is gearing up to repeat the gravity-defying experience for longer in Stereo‘s welcomed intimate setting.
To warm up, get to know the man behind the art who took the time to answer our questions amidst a busy touring schedule. Enjoy, and see you on the glistening dancefloor.
HS: Hi Victor ! Thanks for answering our questions. Your coming to Montreal is highly anticipated, we’re looking forward to the promising show.
VR: Thanks – I am really happy to be back in Montreal, and looking forward to this show too.
HS: After a 9 month absence of releasing original tracks, we’re thrilled to see that your recently released music on Noir Music have landed in Beatport’s Techno Top 10 . Congratulations on this achievement! Tell us about your creative process in making “Eye of the Beholder” and what these three tracks mean to you as a producer.
VR: I was at my studio testing some ideas that didn’t work at all. I had a main hook but somehow it wasn’t going well with the rest of the track so I just deleted it and started jamming with my favourite VST: u-he Diva. After a few minutes the main hook you all know was born and after that was very easy to finish the track.
HS: We last saw you in Montreal for Ancient Future – any impressions from that night? Do you pick up on anything particular/unique/different about the scene and crowd here?
VR: I f*****g loved it. It was off the hook, and I can’t wait to come back to Montreal. It reminded somehow the energy from festivals in Europe but with a different touch – a Canadian touch! You know how to party for sure!
HS: This will be your first time performing in Montreal’s infamous electronic music temple, Stereo. What are you looking forward to most about playing here? How do you adapt as a performer between playing in an intimate club environment like Stereo versus a festival environment?
VR: The sound system. Every DJ friend or colleague tells me that it’s probably the best sound they’ve experienced in a night club. Most of the time when I play at a club I have a longer set time, which allows me to build my set up exactly how I want, whilst at a festival it’s normally always shorter, due to the mega line up’s, so then you have to give people a more “extreme” experience I guess because you don’t have the luxury of time on your side.
HS: Despite heavy international touring, you always manage to line up a good amount of shows in Brazil, notably three recent July dates. How has your reception changed there over time, especially with 2017 being such a successful year for your music?
VR: Well, Brazil is my homeland and I have a very big fanbase there. It’s growing rapidly even now, and I feel that they are proud to have one more Brazilian DJ who has found success around the World. Plus, the gigs there are getting better and better – but don’t ask me why!
HS: You’ve spent a fair amount of time performing in Germany and collaborating with German artists. Tell us more about your relationship with the techno scene there, and how your immersion has influenced your sound.
VR: Since the very first time I ever visited Germany it gave me goosebumps. I knew it was the place to be. The German electronic culture has always influenced me, from Kraftwerk onwards. I still can’t express in words how strong is my connection with this country. I love Germany!
HS: You’ve mentioned a Rock n’ Roll and Heavy Metal background. What tracks from these worlds would you describe as most influential to your creative education? Do you notice a lot of crossover from these communities to techno?
VR: It’s really hard to say which tracks because there are a lot. I can tell you that some of the bands are The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Ramones, Pink Floyd, System of a Down, Nine Inch Nails, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth just to name a few. Interestingly there are some “metalheads” that got into electronic music through my music – it’s a current feedback I get.
HS: What is your ideal DJ setup ? How do you approach and prepare live sets?
VR: It’s pretty basic: 4 CDJ’s, a Xone92 mixer plus an Eventide H9.
HS: What are your continued sources for inspiration, on the road and off?
VR: Being passionate about my work, staying hungry for new discoveries such as sounds, places, people, studies, etc
Also, my muse Any Mello. ❤
HS: We asked Wehbba the same question last week and would love to also get your thoughts on this – What are your views on the scene and audiences in Brazil, and the future of techno there? What about Latin America as a whole?
VR: Brazil has a very particular scene, it’s something apart from Latin America. The audience in there is very passionate and warm when they are into an artist or a sound. It may take time to get in with them, but once you’re in, you’re in. I guess Techno is growing more everyday but there’s still a long way to go.
HS: What are the nuances of the electronic music scenes across Brazil ? What do you think the Brazil underground need more of?
VR: I’m not a fan of the term “underground” so I’d say “Techno” here. I think it needs time. It takes a lot of time to let it grow. It’s not easy to build something on a very commercial electronic scene.
HS: You’ve worked hard to establish a solid recognizable musical identity, mixing in techno elasticity, futurism, techno grooves, danceability and musical inspirations from your roots. How do you keep up this balance? Do these ingredients come together naturally or do you keep the different facets of your sound in mind when crafting a track?
VR: Yes and no. They came naturally after many years searching, developing, studying and unravelling. I guess it’s a matter of knowing what fits with what. Patience is key.
HS: The is a gradual movement of opening up dialogue about DJ and producers’ mental health within the music industry. What do you think could be bettered about people’s understanding and expectations of DJs and the strain of touring lifestyles? What type of support or changes do you think would be effective in supporting musicians’ mental health conditions?
VR: Quit the drugs/alcohol, eat healthy and do sports. Apart from that always keep the brain active doing things like reading, puzzles, meditation, etc
HS: Constantly being on the go doesn’t allow many producers to sit down in their home studios to work on music. How do you manage your production workspace and technology as a global traveller?
VR: I always travel with my laptop and headphones, so whenever and wherever I get inspired I can work. It helps a lot 🙂
HS: You speak highly of the artists whose tracks you remix. What role does respect when you set out to edit someone’s track?
VR: Respect is really important. Especially when you are remixing a track from someone that has inspired me. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here. So, I put some extra love on these projects.
HS: What would it take for you to come to Montreal and/or surrounding areas (Toronto/Ottawa) at least a few times a year? (If the answer is something within reason, perfect! If not, what can we do to entice you otherwise?)
VR: Gigs I guess (laughs). But I really like Canada and would love to explore more the Country and it’s natural beauty.
Victor’s latest release ‘The Eye Of The Beholder’ s available via Beatport on Noir Music
Article by Lola Baraldi & Hunter Noble Lyons