Born in Chile, raised in Germany, lived in both Paris and Buenos Aires… how much influence from these international and diverse cities has rubbed off on you?
The more places I have known the less I think it is about the places themselves but about the people one relates to in those different cities, and the experiences shared. I remember listening to music with my grandmother in Santiago, recording with friends in a garden in the outskirts of Paris, dancing under a bridge in Cologne…
What does Cómeme mean to you?
It’s a strange and wonderful place to be, an ever changing parallel world that has its own life and always surprises me. It’s out of control.
You implement a lot of live material into your sets in terms of live vocals and layered sounds- can we you talk us through your set-up and how you make it all work WHILST singing live?
I like to use electronic percussion, drum pads, I like to use a looper a lot, to create songs by mainly using my voice. And I like to DJ. I like to do all that at the same time, which is a lot of fun and I can’t really get enough of it; I sometimes wish I had another couple of arms to be playing more things!
This layering of sounds and vocals is such a hallmark of your sound, what do you think this was influenced by?
It was influenced by necessity. Recording track on track was suddenly possible for me when a friend lent me his 4 track recorder. But I didn’t have many instruments at home so I just had to arrange with the voice. I think that is where this started.
Considering that for you, your voice is an integral instrument, how do you approach song-writing and track creation? What’s your starting point?
Obviously it varies, but I like very much to listen into the silence and pick up things there, because in the end you can always at least hear something. Especially sounds from nature, like birds, or playing children, those are a good point to start, you can always hear melodies and rhythms there, and even lyrics, when you try to interpret it with your voice or instruments…
If you had a time machine and could visit any dancefloor anywhere/anywhen, where would you want to go dancing?
To the future of course, but it’s hard to pick the right city or place yet…
You used to hold Bumbumbox, street parties in Buenos Airies when you lived there- why do you think that the city has such a free and spontaneous approach to parties, and how does it compare/contrast to other places you’ve lived?
That was some time ago, and at that moment in time it was a place much less gentrified and controlled as most cities we know today are. There were no cameras every couple of metres, no bothered neighbours, and the police didn’t really understand what we were doing… it was not in their catalogue of things that can happen at night in a city. Once they told us that the people from the British Embassy were complaining about the noise.
You said at your RMBA lecture that “dancing in the street should be a human right” and this does seem to be an ethos that informs your creative output. What else musically related would you make a human right?
Everybody should have access to an instrument and musical education.
You have a really diverse output both on your own label and on Kompakt- what would you say is your most personal record?
Probably AyAyAy as it was just made with my voice, physically you can’t get much more personal I guess.
What does 2015 hold for Matias Aguayo?
2015 is starting and it is the year in which I will release my series called El Rudo Del House. Four 12″ with wonderful artwork by Sarah Szczesny, videos by Sally Sibbet and a lot of dancing, choreographed with Alexandra Green. Then there is more things to come of course, but I want to keep some as surprise. I look also forward to music on Cómeme by Lena Willikens, Dany F, Carisma, Borusiade and more!