Colombian techno DJ/producer Advanced Transistor likes to look for “the complexity of the simple” and you can hear that in the music he creates. Music is organized chaos, and the artist (born Andres Felipe Gil Ocampo) is here for it. Semiconductor is his debut album on Konsequent Records (out July 24) and the artist shares the inspiration behind his sound (and name) as well as channeling the right energy into his tracks.
Appreciate you taking the time to chat with us! What part of Colombia are you in, and how are things over there….they just reversed its reopening for businesses, right?
Thank you very much for inviting me. I’m in the city of Medellín, Antioquia. Well, things are not very good here, but we are not too bad regarding infected and deaths. Many commercial sectors were being reopened, however, clubs, festivals, etc. remains uncertain. Additionally, now we may possibly [go back] to a strict quarantine due to the rapid rise in cases. Just have to keep [fighting].
What have you liked about the new change of pace in the last few months? Any positives come out of this for you?
The change of pace and the sudden cut of events that were taking place here in Medellin have [impacted] my [income] and that of all Colombian artists. Really if I did not have my family supporting me, it would be something extremely very hard. Since I paid the bills and had to eat for my artistic profession and now I have nothing. The positive? The approach to my family, focus more on my music and my labels, time to meditate and visualize my career. My body feels it, [I] can sleep better, rest (although I am tired of doing it already hahaha). I need an urgent Rave. … now it’s just me and my music to escape reality.
Being an artist is still a job and many forget that. What do you do on the days where you’re just not feeling that creative? What do you do to get out of those bluesy days?
It is incredible how people forget it if you don’t give yourself the value you deserve. For those days of “blocking,” as I call it, I prefer to play video games, go for a walk for hours with my dog. Sometimes I also do general maintenance to all my equipment, I organize [and] clean my spaces a lot … As I am a systems technician, I also make repairs for friends and clients. I have some time for everything when I set my mind to it! hahaha
What first hooked you into the dark, moody world of techno?
Well, I am a great melamine of all kinds of music, but this world hooked me at the age of 14 or 15 years (more than 15 years ago)!
I loved going to garage parties with my friends. We played CDs, listened and danced to electro, trancemixx factory. Then, clubs opened for minors and I went there. They put all kinds of electronic music like: house , tribal, techno, electro, drum and bass, and who knows what else.
Along this path, I got to know artists such as Rino Cerrone, Markantonio, Adam Beyer, Par Grindvik, Marco Carola (in his golden techno days) among others. The fast and repetitive rhythms captivated me.
Aside from being known for really good coffee, Colombia boasts some world-class techno. What can you tell us about the local techno scene, especially for emerging artists?
Here we have a lot of talent for many things. Colombians are very good at anything we want to do. The techno scene here in my country has been growing by leaps and bounds due to the dedication and talent that exists in Colombian techno artists. Several of them are highlighting around the world such as: Aleja Sanchez, Gotshell, Andres Gil, Jose Monsalve, AL3XANDRIA, Sons Of Hidden, Deraout and WIRE to name a few.
Although the vast majority are emerging artists, we are more and more, each time there is more education and information, about all this we call techno scene. So well now there are many opportunities, thanks to technology, the internet, and many other things, the world is targeting us for our music. It’s very good.
“Advanced Transistor,” what’s behind the name and how do you connect with your music?
Advanced Transistor is a name that was born thanks to the influences of my father. Since he is an electronic engineer, he taught me a lot about the physical functioning of all this [equipment] that we use today to capture our sounds (all the hardware today it has millions of transistors).
To make music like Advanced Transistor, my connection is to always look for “the complexity of the simple”; based on circuits, synthesizers and noise generators, resonances, frequency sweeps, and much more.
Congrats on your debut album Semiconductor under that alias. Tell us what inspired the tracks and the progression of the album as it flows from one track to the next.
The inspiration for this album was the technology, its components, and the environment. I investigated that and explored many sounds and techniques to get there. The album project took around a year and a half to forge that peculiar sound and different.
“Encapsulated” has an almost space-like feel to it….kind of like out of this world…did you intend for that?
Encapsulated, I remember working on it. [It was] one of those days where all the media bombarded with their news, how bad the weather was and the planet where we live. I was inspired and imagined stuck in a capsule, being shot millions of light-years to another planet. This track is the journey. I was impressed you could imagine something similar to what I imagined, just listening to my sounds … it means that I am doing well!
What can you share about “Transmitter” and “Manifold”?
“Transmitter” is that track that from the moment you play it, you want to know more, in a single second. It transmits the energy to you.
“Manifold” is about keep[ing] the balance of everything. [It’s] in charge of channeling all the sounds on the album and turning them into pure energy.
Anything else you’d like to share?
My special thanks to Alexander Kowalsky, one of my references in music and production of a lifetime. [He] took the time to listen to my tracks after having shared the stage here in my city. Also to Maral Salmassi for trusting my work, for listening and supporting this project. [Lastly], thanks to you 6AM for taking an interest in the album.
I hope everyone enjoys this album as much as I did when I was creating it. I hope to see you soon, very soon !! Take care.