This week’s Global Vibe Radio is special, featuring the first mix and interview from Fur Coat as a solo project spearheaded by Sergio Munoz.
Crosstown Rebels founder Damian Lazarus unearthed Fur Coat (originally a duo) and promptly signed their debut EP “Space Ballad”. However, their release ‘You and I’ in 2012 truly put them on the map. Their debut album ‘Mind Over Matter’ followed and as a result the guys began rocking the dance floors of the most prestigious clubs in the world such as DC10, Watergate, The Warehouse Project, Rex Club, Fabric, Warung Beach and more.
After entering the RA Top 100 Poll straight in at 66, an accolade they have achieved now for two years in a row, Fur Coat evolved towards a melodic house and techno sound. Their skills were promptly picked for the infamous Balance Mix series and for the highly respected Essential Mix on Pete Tong’s BBC Radio 1.
Their music has garnered respect from some of the most legendary names in techno from Sasha, John Digweed, Tale Of Us and more. On top of all of this the pair launched their own label @oddityrecordings and showing no signs of stopping. With shows across Europe, North & South America and Asia.
Fur Coat’s story continues in 2021 as Sergio’s solo project pushing boundaries after releasing his second album “Polyphony” on Renaissance and constantly releasing new music on the world’s most renowned electronic music labels, as well as pushing for new sounds and signing upcoming and established artists for his label Oddity.
Not only did Fur Coat provide a brilliant mix for our Global Vibe Radio series, his first as the project has gone solo, but Sergio took the time to chat with us to discuss this milestone change for Fur Coat, future plans for the label and much more.
Enjoy the exclusive interview with Fur Coat below, and head to the end of ther article for the full mix tracklisting.
Hi Sergio, thank you for both the mix and taking the time to talk to us today. Yesterday you announced a big change for Fur Coat that will see you continue the project solo. Can you tell us about how this decision came about and what the future holds for you?
Hi, first of all thanks for the interview and inviting me to your podcast series. Yes, yesterday I announced that we will not continue as a duo. This was all in good terms. It was just a decision we made, that after 10 years together, we need to take different paths.
I’ve been behind Fur Coat sound and productions over the past two years, as well as being the A&R and in charge of Oddity. That’s the reason that Fur Coat now will be my solo project and I will continue my work I’ve been doing with Oddity.
Israel will take his path to achieve his view and a different path he wants to take.
As you see this just happened, and was the best for both to make it this way to be fully happy with the paths we want to take.
I understand, and wish you both the best of luck! Can you tell us a little about this mix, where and how you put it together and, most importantly, what mood you were in and what reaction you hope listeners have when they press play?
Well, this mix was recorded at my home. Being able to play in only a few parties over 2020 and record some streams, this is a good way to kick off 2021. Here you will listen to a lot of music I’ve been receiving that I haven’t been able to play, as well as new productions from me coming in 2021 and a lot of material from my label Oddity.
Are there any standout tracks in it we should know about?
Definitely, I’m very proud of all the signings of the Odd Echoes Vol 4 which is coming out Jan 22nd. This is becoming a very long awaited and acclaimed by the Oddity fans.
I also played one of the many collabs I have with Julian Wassermann for 2021, Buried Lakes, which is coming out on Odd Echoes 4. Also, a remix I feel very proud about for D-Nox & Beckers coming on Balance. Been working over the pandemic a lot on improving and learning over mixdowns, and general music engineering, so I’m happy that all these techniques are being translated into the new music I have created over 2020.
Talking about tracks… you have been consistent with your output during this pandemic. Do you feel you’ve been more or less motivated and inspired in the studio given everything that is happening around us?
Yeah, I don’t like to stop producing or releasing. I took the decision to go ahead with the album, new music and keep Oddity rolling. I’m clear that this is club music, but people also like to listen to it, play it at home and it also has been useful for many DJs and friends during their streams. I think the most important thing is to keep creativity flowing during these tough times, and that my music translates into a positive message for those supporting it. In the end, it is all about making people dance and smile. I can say that I feel these are the most inspiring moments of my career now.
Your latest release is a collaboration track with Julian Wasserman which is part of Odd Echoes Vol. 4, a V/A you personally curated for your label Oddity. How has the journey as label-boss been for you so far? What lessons have you learned since you founded the imprint?
Over the past years I’ve been taking on the production side and the vision and A&R of the label. I think the evolution of my music has come in hand of the whole Oddity sound. I think this all fits under the umbrella that you now recognize as Oddity and Fur Coat.
We started the label with vinyl and digital releases. But being a small label and pressing only 300 copies, is very expensive. Although there are collectors and people who will support the vinyl, it is very difficult especially during last year to coordinate the releases with the vinyl being on time.
We managed to understand that we work better as a digital label, having the same respect and level of music we look to sign. Being digital-only doesn’t mean it’s more or less serious, you just have to understand your market, and time has made me understand this.
Now I have a good schedule of releases, last year I think we doubled up the amount of signed music. Slowly I’ve been able to take more artists on board, especially on the Odd Echoes series. 3 years of experience has definitely taught me to develop the Oddity sound, as well as what to take on board, how to look for a remixer to balance out the EP, and how to manage a successful label.
Aspiring artists ask this all the time: what is the mindset and process of someone in charge of A&R at a label like yours when deciding which tracks to sign up and release?
Well at the moment we have a very busy schedule. I have already signed music until July 2021.
I do take my time when choosing the artist and music. For me, it’s very important and I tell this to all the ones sending music. Although you are aiming for a melodic house and techno sound, don’t limit yourself on how it should fit. I´m always looking for weird catchy sounds. An EP for me has to be diverse, and I aim to sign 4 tracks.
This should include a main track, second dancefloor track too, then you can go from something more Indie or even breaks for the 4th track. Melodies and hooks are very important to me, if I get my attention from the first play, then that’s a good sign.
Let’s talk about Odd Echoes Vol.4 for example. It’s a compilation of 21 different tracks. It starts softer and more melodic, and ends darker and more high-paced. Talk us through the process that you went through in putting this together, musically and otherwise.
Well for Odd Echoes we are in the 4th volume of the series. It started with 10 tracks of different artists. I sometimes get music from friends or new artists that I´m just in love with one track, or that at the time of sending they just send me a track. So, it all starts from there.
I also reach out to friends and artists I like their music and like to have on board. It’s a very long process, this one took me months to put it together, but then when months pass by and the V.A is almost ready I start getting new tracks.
But for me the whole story has to make sense as a package, all tracks and artists have the same importance to me. So, the V.A order doesn’t go with which track or artist has more weight. The order of the track list is how the story in my head is presented to the people.
As I said, when I feel a track is for Oddity, it’s instant.
This release features a lot of up-and-coming artists. How do you go about finding them?
Yes, Odd Echoes series is also a platform where I can put more artists on board. Sometimes, as you say, these are new artists that I fell in love with a track, or heard them from a previous release I’m playing, so I invite them to the series.
I think it’s a great opportunity to enter the Oddity family, and from there grow into more things like an EP or remix. With all the people I work, I try to include them on many projects involved in the label.
Do you have other releases in the pipeline for your label in 2021? Anything you can give us a sneak peek to?
Yes! As I said music is signed until July 2021. So, after Odd Echoes you can expect a really big EP from Moonwalk with a remix from my good friends Undercatt. I won´t tell you what’s coming in between that release and summer, but expect a Fur Coat EP that I’m working at the moment for July.
2020 was definitely a crazy year, but 2021 is already looking more promising. What projects, besides the label of course, are you working on for the rest of the year?
Music-wise there is a lot planned. 4 remixes that I´ll announce later, one of them is included in the mix. I also have an Ep with Julian Wassermann on Systematic coming in February, and some other surprises you´ll know later in the year.
What do you miss the most from life pre-COVID?
Of course, playing music and touring. But just being able to go out without restrictions of coming back to your house before lockdown, seeing your friends, and just normal life to be honest.
In November I went to dine with my friend Dubfire, and the dining experience was a bit crazy as at 10 pm you have to rush out to your place. It definitely changes everything from the fear of getting Covid, to how everything is like a rush and you don’t really get to enjoy the experience more laidback.
Music aside I feel that 2020, despite its destructive force for our industry, also provided some positives. Would you agree and if so, what were those positives for you?
The most positive message I think is to never give up on your dreams or on life. It has been a really difficult year economically for all, people losing work and being with constant stress on what to do with your life with the career you have invested so many years, and I’m not talking only music, restaurants to normal businesses that are having extreme difficulties to survive. Definitely, if you manage to keep positive and surf the wave, somehow you manage to see the light. If you had asked me in March about all the things, we´ve gone through, I wouldn’t have imagined getting to January 2021 like this, somehow, I have overcome the obstacles and kept thriving.
I’m a believer that good or bad is not forever, life is about changes, experiences and you will go through good and bad times over the years, you just have to learn how to overcome the obstacles.
Did you discover or re-discover any new or old hobbies and passions at all?
I cook a lot, so my greatest achievement aside from music, was doing an amazing sourdough pizza. To be honest they are really good!
One last thing before I leave you to listen to the mix once more: what message can you give ravers who can’t wait to see you behind the decks some day?
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, no one was prepared for such a huge change in our life. But the best thing is to wait for the right time to come back with more energy and stronger to a proper and safe environment where we can dance together and enjoy ourselves. I miss you all, and I hope to see you soon!
I hope so too, thank you Sergio!
Global Vibe Radio 247 Feat. Fur Coat Tracklisting:
1- Remcord – Opening Room (Original Mix) / REBA
2- Nils Hoffmann & Ben Böhmer – Second Sun (Monkey Safari Remix) / Poesie Musik
3- Radeckt – Corroded Mind (Original Mix) / TAU
4- Betical – Colors of Noise (Original Mix) / Oddity
5- Esoteric Circle – Volcano (Original Mix) / Oddity
6- Upercent, Santiago Garcia – Bonaire (Original Mix) / Interpret
7- Innellea – Catenacean (Original Mix) / Diynamic
8- D-Nox & Beckers ft. Luiz Neves- You will be mine (Fur Coat Remix) / Balance Music
9- Evans – Endless (Original Mix) / Siamese
10- Jody Barr – Pomegranate Skies (Original Mix) / Oddity
11- Moullinex – Inner Child ft. GPU Panic (Patrice Baumel Remix) / Discotexas
12- Baime – Cella (Original Mix) / Radikon
13- Who Made Who & Robag Wruhme – If You Leave (Original Mix) / Kompakt
14- Fur Coat & Julian Wassermann – Buried Lakes (Original Mix) / Oddity