painting: Yuriko Shimamura
anatomy 28 catches Svreca in action at Tokyo club Unit, back in March, as part of a FRUE night celebrating his label Semantica's tenth birthday. Thanks to everyone who made this set (and recording) happen!
Svreca, AKA Enrique Mena, is a Spanish artist with a distinct musical vision. You can hear it in his sleek, meticulously crafted productions, his sophisticated DJ sets, and of course on Semantica, one of today's key techno labels. Semantica, now ten years old, has been behind more than 100 records, with offerings from artists including Cio D'Or, Abdulla Rashim, Stanislav Tolkachev, Skirt, Mike Parker and Svreca himself—like his excellent 2015 EP Narita, a journey through intense atmospheric techno, Sahko-esque minimalism and rained-out ambient, inspired by his time in Japan.
As usual for Svreca, this (nearly) five-hour set is carefully paced, intricately rhythmic and stuffed with depth and emotion. But first, here's some Q&A action:
Let's start with this mix—a recording of you DJing in Tokyo. Can you give us an introduction to the night?
This is a recording of my last set in Tokyo. It was a FRUE event: ~A Night to Celebrate 10 Years of Semantica Records~ at Unit. FRUE is the reason I started to play in Tokyo and Japan; they were the first to invite me in 2012, and have kept inviting me back since. This was another memorable night at Unit, a special place for me.
Special thanks to: Showgo, Yuriko, Dai, Wata, Koto, Tomo, Nodoka, Russ and Yuri.
You've done a lot of touring in Japan, and your time there was what lead to you making Narita. Tell us about your connection with the country.
The Narita EP was a very sincere, personal work. The intention was to put all the energy, memories and emotions from Japan into a 12-inch, and give it a very symbolic title. My other tracks have their own inspirations, but Narita is fully inspired by and dedicated to Japan, which captivated me from the first time I was there. I think this is a very common feeling coming from European people. For some reason I have a special link with Japan and Japanese people, and playing there leaves an impression on me that's stronger than other places.
Congratulations on 10 years of Semantica! What made you want to start a label? What motivates you as a label owner and curator? Has the motivation changed at all after ten years?
Thanks for the words. I started Semantica as a platform for Svreca, to build a profile together with my DJ activities. It's always a reflection of Svreca, on many levels.
My main motivation with the label is the music itself: my passion for music, design, architecture, fashion, and for arts in general; for every form that's able to create emotions. Motivations shift constantly, but I love what I do with Semantica and I will continue trying to improve with future releases.
When you are not working on Semantica, what are you listening to these days? What artists and labels excite you right now?
At home I listen to a lot of non-electronic stuff; things to sing, or funny and easy-listening music to enjoy with my son. I don't like to mention only a few artists or labels, my list would be too extensive.
How do you prepare for longer sets like these?
I usually try to think of an imaginary blueprint of the set. I take in consideration the venue, the soundsystem, the set time and length, the previous acts, etc, as each has a certain importance. I think a lot about every gig. I'm not a DJ who shifts drastically. I think of a DJ set as a very conceptual performance, and it requires some time for me to change directions.
A few weeks before this gig in Tokyo I played around seven hours at Garden, an underground club in Pereira, Colombia with a small capacity but with a special crowd. My blueprint of that set was similar, but real-time feedback from the crowd helps me when I'm DJing to move toward new and different places.
What are you up to next? Will there ever be a Svreca album?
I'm working on a few remixes and new Svreca stuff to be released this year and in 2017. A Svreca album will require more experience and skills, but also a great idea, or concept, behind it. I think it will take a few years...
Along with the anniversary series, are there other artist EPs coming on Semantica you can mention?
Yes, along with that series, there will be a double EP by Acronym and a new Exhibition Design by J.C. called Mugako.
... and now onto the mix, which Enrique is graciously helping to share on his SoundCloud.
Huge thanks to Enrique for a huge contribution to the mix series here (and thanks again to those in Tokyo whose work lead to this recording). I'm honored to have the opportunity to help spread this set. Check out Enrique's RA page to see where he's playing next, and here's another link to the Semantica Bandcamp page where you can check out much of the label's output.
This will be the last anatomy mix for now. Thank you to the artists who've joined the fun, and thanks to everyone who's ever stopped by!