Gimenoleix: Unveiling a Sonic Odyssey

Gimenoleix, a luminary in the underground music scene, takes us on a journey from the rhythmic landscapes of EBM and electro-pop in the 1990s to becoming a renowned DJ and producer. Discovering artists like Front 242 marked a pivotal shift, propelling them into the techno and house scene in Barcelona. Co-founding labels like Novo Music and Blueten Records, Gimenoleix has left an indelible mark on the underground music community.

The Spanish background infuses their music with diverse influences, from Barcelona's vibrant rhythms to Berlin's experimental spirit. The 2016 Gimenö project signifies a fresh start, exploring new sonic territories that blur genre lines. In this concise interview, Gimenoleix shares insights into live performances, vinyl-only releases, and navigating seamlessly between techno, house, and experimental music. The artist's advice to aspiring talents is to stay true to their vision, experiment, and embrace a supportive community.

Read on to discover Gimenoleix's unique sonic palette, from remixing IZA to collaborations with the Lowertones crew. The future holds exciting projects, live sets, and releases, promising a continued evolution of Gimenoleix's distinctive sound. Stay tuned for the next chapter in this sonic odyssey.

Aleix Gimeno aka gimenoleix

Can you walk us through your journey into the world of music, from your early influences to your current position as a respected artist in the underground scene?

My journey began in my hometown during the 1990s, where I was deeply immersed in the pulsating rhythms of EBM and the melodies of electro-pop. The moment I discovered artists like Front 242 marked a pivotal shift in my musical trajectory. Despite my background in classical piano and guitar, my passion for electronic music led me to start DJing at local clubs. Eventually, I relocated to Barcelona to further refine my skills as a producer, fully immersing myself in the techno and house scene. It was within the realm of house music that I found my niche as both a DJ and producer, paving the way for a fulfilling career. Along the way, I co-founded record labels such as Novo Music, Lowertones, and Blueten Records, each playing a significant role in shaping my presence within the underground music community.

How has your Spanish background influenced your musical style, particularly in the context of being based in Berlin and Barcelona?

My Spanish background has infused my music with a diverse range of influences, from the vibrant rhythms of house and techno in Barcelona to the experimental spirit of Berlin. It's allowed me to incorporate elements of different styles alongside modern electronic sounds.

What inspired you to start the Gimenö project in 2016, and how does it differ from your previous musical endeavors?

The Gimenö project emerged as a fresh start for me in 2016. It represented a departure from my previous work, allowing me to explore new sonic territories and experiment with different styles and genres. Unlike my earlier projects, Gimenö embraces a more electronic sound, blurring the lines between techno, house, breaks, and experimental music.

Could you elaborate on your approach to flawless live performances and how it shapes the experience for both you and your audience?

For me, live performances are about creating an immersive journey for both myself and the audience. I approach each performance as a unique opportunity to connect with the crowd and convey emotion through music. By combining hardware and improvisation, I strive to create a dynamic and engaging experience that resonates with listeners on a deeper level. 

What drew you to focus on vinyl-only releases for your label Blueten Records, and how do you see this format impacting the listener's experience?

Vinyl has always held a special place in my heart as a DJ and music enthusiast. For Blueten Records, focusing on vinyl-only releases was a conscious decision for me and my partner Stefan, to pay homage to the rich history and culture of analog music. There is nothing like the tactile, personal experience of playing vinyl.

Your productions often blend elements of techno, house, and experimental music. How do you navigate between these different genres while maintaining a cohesive sound?

I don't know, haha… It comes naturally to me; it's what I feel when I compose my music. Starting to blend sounds involves discovering common threads and crafting seamless transitions between various sonic elements. Whether it's through rhythmic patterns, melodic motifs, or textural layers, I aim to maintain a unified sound that spans across different styles.

Can you share some insights into your creative process when producing music, particularly when experimenting with styles like dub house and broken beat?

I often begin by establishing a rhythmic foundation and then layering melodic and textural elements on top. My inspiration comes from a diverse range of sources. I strive to craft sonic landscapes, whether it's warping audio in Ableton, experimenting with various fx, synths, and samplers, or utilizing my beloved Digitakt.

As someone deeply connected to the underground music scene, how do you perceive the current state of electronic music, and what trends or developments do you find most exciting?

The current state of electronic music is incredibly diverse and exciting, with artists pushing the boundaries and exploring new sonic territories. I'm particularly excited about the resurgence of analog and digital hardware, modular synthesis, and the continued blurring of genre boundaries. 

What challenges have you faced in your career, and how have you overcome them to reach the level of success you enjoy today?

Like any career, my journey in the music industry has been filled with challenges, from navigating the ever-changing landscape of the digital age to balancing creative pursuits with the demands of running a label. However, through perseverance, passion, and a strong support network, I've been able to overcome these obstacles and continue evolving as an artist and entrepreneur.

What advice would you give to aspiring DJs and producers looking to carve out their own niche in the industry while staying true to their artistic vision?

My advice to aspiring DJs and producers is to stay true to your artistic vision and embrace your unique voice. Don't be afraid to experiment, take risks, and explore new sonic territories. Surround yourself with a supportive community of like-minded individuals, and never stop learning and evolving as an artist. Most importantly, follow your passion and let your music speak for itself.

Aleix Gimeno aka gimenoleix

You recently remixed IZA, a real favourite of ours. Can you tell us a bit about how that one came to pass?

Remixing IZA was exciting for me. It came about through mutual admiration for each other's work. When he approached me to release his music on Lowertones, I was motivated to put my spin on their music and bring a fresh perspective to the table, resulting in a remix that we were both proud of.

This latest record we’re really loving! Can you tell us a bit about your relationship with the Lowertones guys and how you’ve come to know them?

My relationship with the Lowertones crew is rooted in a shared love for music and a mutual respect for each other's artistic vision. First of all, we are longtime friends, and we crossed paths through the underground music scene, where we discovered a common passion for pushing boundaries and exploring new sonic territories. Over time, our relationship has evolved into a collaborative partnership, with Lowertones providing a platform for our music and supporting other artistic projects.

How important is it to have a personal relationship with the label you work with? Or is it? 

Having a personal relationship with the label you work with can be incredibly beneficial, but it's not always necessary. While a personal connection can facilitate communication and collaboration, what truly matters is mutual respect, trust, and alignment of creative vision. Whether you have a close relationship with the label or not, what's important is that both parties are committed to supporting each other's artistic endeavors and achieving common goals.

At what stage do you generally feel you’re happy with your music? Do you always test it on a crowd before you release it? Do you have any friends you always bounce ideas off etc? 

I strive for a balance between intuition and feedback when creating music. While there's no definitive stage at which I feel completely happy with a track, I trust my instincts and aim to capture the essence of my vision as accurately as possible. Testing tracks on a live audience can provide valuable insights and help refine the final product, but ultimately, the most important feedback comes from within. I also value the input of trusted friends and collaborators, who offer fresh perspectives and constructive criticism throughout the creative process.

Talk to us about your label, Blueten. What’s happening with that right now?

Blueten Records began as a way for us to share our music with Stefan, which exemplifies our progressive, creative, and experimental approach. But, because our previous vinyl release coincided with the lockdown and did not go well, we decided to halt production during the pandemic. We are now concentrating on relaunching the label as well as curating and releasing new music from both young and established artists.

You’ve also released music as Gimenö, where you released your LP, Movement, for example. What’s the difference between that alias and the gimenoleix stuff? 

The Gimenö alias is now dedicated to electronic uptempo genres and techno, while Gimenoleix blends elements from my initial Gimenö releases with my previous house music project, Leix, resulting in a clubbing and deep, eclectic sound. Despite sharing a common thread of creativity and innovation, each project possesses a distinct sonic identity and artistic direction.

Tell us a bit about Horizon Studios and your work there….

Horizon Studios, which my partner Hugo and I initiated during the pandemic, serves as a creative hub where I've had the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse array of artists and musicians. In my role as a sound engineer, I oversee the technical aspects of music production, encompassing recording, mixing, mastering, and post-production. While Horizon Studios is transitioning into an academy, my current focus lies on managing my studio and the online services offered by Gimeno Studio.

You’re a sound engineer by trade. When you did start and how did you get into it?

I've been involved in sound engineering for many years, starting from my early days as a music producer and DJ. My passion for music and technology led me to explore the technical aspects of sound production, and I gradually honed my skills through hands-on experience and formal training. Over time, I transitioned into a career as a sound engineer, where I've had the opportunity to work with a diverse range of artists and projects across various genres.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

A typical day for me usually starts with creative time in the studio, where I work on music production, sound design, or mixing projects. Throughout the day, I might have meetings with collaborators, label partners, or clients, discussing upcoming releases, projects, or collaborations. I also spend time networking, researching new music trends, and staying connected with the electronic music community. 

If you were to introduce your sound in 3 records, what would they be and why? [Please link to them] 

Introducing my sound through three records is quite a task, but I'd choose these tracks:

"Gimenö - Ports": This track, influenced by the surroundings of my hometown, represents the atmospheric and expansive soundscapes that define my music. Its pulsating rhythms, ethereal melodies, and intricate textures capture the essence of my sonic exploration.

"Gimenoleix - Nirvana": Showcases my affinity for dub, deep, and hypnotic melodies. Its evolving progression and bassline reflect the evolution of my sound over the years.

Gimenö - Finale": This track from my debut album "Movement" encapsulates the fusion of techno, breaks, and experimental elements. With its driving rhythms, haunting atmospheres, and intricate layers, it offers a glimpse into my diverse sonic palette.

Each of these tracks represents a different facet of my artistic expression, from deep and introspective to energetic and dancefloor-oriented, showcasing the diversity and depth of my sound.

What’s next for you that you’re really excited about? 

I'm excited about several upcoming projects and collaborations that are in the works. I'm currently working on new live sets and music under my Gimenoleix and Gimenö aliases. Additionally, I have some exciting releases lined up on Lowertones, Tutu, and my next album on Blueten Records. 

Keep up with Gimenoleix here