Filastine is heading to Melbourne in early 2013 for Rainbow Serpent Festival, so Time Out caught up with the dub producer for a chat
Filastine is a dub-based producer born in LA and based in Barcelona. He has reached a level of international success through touring worldwide on the global festival trail, and is recognised for his nomadic lifestyle and world-flavoured bass culture.
How does the way you produce bass music differ from other artists?
I start a brand-new production process with each song. I have no templates, pre-sets, track counts or default plugins. I set no rules, genre or standard BPM. Each song is a new universe which I develop over time, influenced by the ideas and music that I bump into during composition. While travelling, I meet people and record sessions with them, [and they may] add raps, instruments or voices to my works in progress.
How do different cultures and ways of life affect your music?
How do they not? My music is heavily influenced by where I am. Every note, rhythm, and noise is informed by the surroundings at the time of composition.
What sort of places has your music taken you to?
I've been all the usual places like New York, Paris, Tokyo, but I make an effort to go my own ways: Siberia, Borneo, Rio de Janeiro and Tunisia. Sharing my work in these places isn't really profitable, but might have a deeper effect on the local music scene, and I gain friends, and some unforgettable experiences.
Where do you most love?
Every place offers something different, and every place is also evolving and constantly changing. This year? Cairo – easily my most intense place visited in 2012. A major shift is happening in the world, with Cairo as the axis. The air is dense with hope and anger.
Is this your first time playing at Rainbow Serpent Festival?
Yes, first time. I'm expecting nothing less than a parallel world, something like the experience of Burning Man [an American electronic music festival] or Fusion (DE), where norms are checked at the door, where a different micro-society exists temporarily for this place and time.
Have you heard much in the way of Australian beats?
Just scratching the surface, I think. I know many of the Elefant Traks artists, Spoonbill, fellow Barcelona resident Suckafish P. Jones, and I'm a huge fan of Rap News with Robert Foster.
How do you think electronic music is going in general?
It's a thrilling time to be working in electronic music. We are at this very moment emerging from underneath the long shadow of 4/4 hegemony to explore new ideas. The only problem is the perennial issue of fan culture or stardom, all the hype and resources aggregate behind just a few names or flavours.
Do you prefer DJing/playing out, or producing in the studio?
Studios are depressing, usually windowless and masculine shrines to tech gear. I try to turn them inside out by recording/editing on rooftops, in trains or in forests. Despite that, I still prefer playing out to knob-twiddling in isolation.
What pisses you off most about electronic music culture?
I could make a long list, here is a short one...
1. Pandering: Some parties (and artists) seems like nothing but a well-hatched business plan.
2. Frivolity: Although electronic music culture's natural habitat is usually a night club, electronic music culture needs to aim for something more meaningful than just a new soundtrack for people to get fucked up to.
3. Speed: As a futurist art form, EDM culture is in love with velocity, obsessed with newness. Let's slow down, and make deep and detailed works.
4. Exclusivity: We should exclude this word from our vocabulary. Enough with this fascination for white labels, exclusive-tracks, and VIP-culture.
Have you any other sort of creative pursuits?
About ten years of capoeira, which, aside for costing me a broken leg, a few loose teeth and a long list of other injuries, taught me how to sing in Portugese and fight without touching.
What makes you happiest outside of music?
Any situation that has no need of me, like being suddenly in a strange and massive city where nobody knows me, or in vast empty spaces like deserts or tundras. These humbling experiences put your problems in perspective, and all our ambitions and petty dramas of daily life are smacked down to size.
What’s one thing that you could have done that you wish you done before?
I wish I learned a few more languages as a child, when it comes easiest.
What’s one thing that you can do that you want to make happen in the future?
Oh, I'd like to recycle a container ship as a floating pirate republic, an experiment in anarchist organisation that could survive by data plundering, hydro-farming, and I'd like to generally live large in the fuzzy margins of the world's laws. This is my retirement plan from Filastine.
You can catch Filastine at the Rainbow Serpent Festival on 25-28 January 2013. Second round tickets are still available for $225.