Every year around WMC time our techno starved Boston scene has the chance to go beyond the usual American guest performers and bring in talent from around the world. This week is WMC and true to form we’ve got Geneva bred and Berlin based Quarion performing live on Wednesday night, before he heads down to Miami for a slew of big slots. Quarion is a man of many names who has a grip of recent hits and amazing remixes and I had the chance to catch up with him for an interview before he headed stateside. Don’t sleep Boston, now’s your chance to pretend your in Miami even though you’re not.
You’ve had a very versatile career, do you see any major differences between making all your different styles?
mhhhh, not so much, but I think that making proper “dance” music is quite difficult. There are certain “codes” that you have to follow and at the same time go to a totally new direction. It’s really exciting working on tracks, but it also can be a total downer. But in all the different stuff I do, I have to say that my hip-hop tracks are the ones that flow the most easily, I don’t have problems or doubts when I create Hip-Hop beats…
When and why did you come up with the Quation alias? What does it mean?
The Quarion project came about after the Enterplay album. Enterplay is a project that I developed with Rosario (Mental Groove, Geneva) and DJ Kent (Force Of Nature, Tokyo). We released an album in 2005 and organized an European and Japan tour in 2006. The whole Tour was incredible, especially in Japan. Honestly: it was a life-changing experience for me: the scenery, the people, the culture and the passion that the Japanese have for music was really intense. Plus the Force Of Nature guys were playing so much incredible music that my head was full with ideas…
When I came back to Geneva, in may 2006, it took me a while to go back to the studio, but when I did, I came up with “Karasu”. I felt from the beginning that this track was special so I thought I would use a new moniker for this project…
I can’t say what “Quarion” means yet, let’s have people guess it for theselves 😉
I know you live in Berlin now, but it seems like the scene in Switzerland, where you’re from, is really on fire right now. What’s it like over there? What are some key producers, labels and clubs?
Yes totally! These last few years have seen an emergence of incredible producers coming out of Switzerland. What is quite surprising is that, there’s not so many good clubs, especially in Geneva. It’s really sad, but there used to be a lot of great clubs, bars or squatts in Geneva where you could hear and dance to electronic music. Now there must be only 2! The city got really repressive with all the cultural actors a few years ago and it’s still continuing to this day. It’s really sad. The crazy thing is, there’s so many DJs & labels from Geneva but they never play in their hometown. There’s people like Lee Van Dowski, Quenum, Dachshund (Num records); AgnÃƒÂ¨s (Sthlmaudio); Chaton (Plak records); Crowdpleaser, Waterlilly, Kate Wax (Mental Groove), Kadebostan (Freunde Am Tanzen)…plus Luciano also came back to Geneva. In Lausanne: Ripperton (Perspectiv), Alex & StÃƒÂ©phane Attias (Visions, Freedom Soundz). Berne: Deetron (music Man), A Few Among Others. ZÃƒÂ¼rich: of course the whole Drumpoet crew: Alex Dallas (the Lost Men), Lexx (Kawabata), Ron (Soultourist)…then there’s Serafin from Mountain People, Kalabrese, etc…
What was the first record you ever bought? Your most treasured record?
1) Fat Boys “The Twist” (I was 10 or something!)
2) Really hard to say, maybe “Dedication” from Herbie Hancock because it’s not easy to find. Sounds like Techno but made more than 30 years ago…
2 truths and a lie
Not in the right order of course: I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I’m a nice guy.
Proudest musical accomplishment
Well, I’m really proud of my track “Karasu”. I’m usually super-critical with my stuff but this one is flawless in a certain way…I’ve kinda moved a bit from this sound since then, but this track is definitely a milestone for my artistic and personal life. Everything changed after that…
Vinyl or digital?
I’m a strong supporter of vinyl, even though I play CDs aswell. The feeling you have when you’re cueing, mixing and seeing the needle “sailing” on the record is unsurpassed I think…even with Serato/Final Scratch, it’s just not the same.
Top 5 songs of all-time? Top 5 songs right now?
Old is too hard, but here we go:
Herbie Hancock “Butterfly” Columbia
Keith Murray “The Rhyme (Slum Village RMX)” Jive
Global Communications “The Way (Secret Ingredients RMX) Dedicated (I actually discovered this track last week…I’ve been listening to it everyday since! I don’t know how I missed this track when it came out!!!)
Photek “Ni Ten Ichi Ryu” Science
Galaxy 2 Galaxy “Hi Tek Jazz” Underground Resistance
Johnny D “Touched Soul” Deep Vibes
Luna City Express “Seven” (AgnÃƒÂ¨s Dubhouse RMX) Moonharbour
Dachshund “Holiday now” Perspectiv
Soultourist “Fo Eva” Drumpoet Community
Fabrice Lig “The Track” Versatile