Geistfrom (also known as Univac) is the electronic music project of Spanish musician Rafael Espinosa, who looks back to a 20 years music career. Recently singed on Greek label ‘Pi Electronics’, he visits Athens for the first time – this coming Friday at Temple Club.
How was it growing up in Spain as man and as a musician? Has the scene in Barcelona shaped you?
Well, in a very normal way, I guess. Like all the boys of my age, studying and trying to have fun. I was interested in music as a child, and above all in synthesizers, which, when I was 15 years old, were really expensive. So I started buying records, K7 from a young age, and recorded everything on tapes. I remember perfectly that the first time I heard the song of Marss “pop up the volume”, I was amazed and wanted to know how they had done that production. And someone explained to me that this track and most of Hip Hop was done with samplers. I guess that my fondness for sampler machines began at that moment.
The Barcelona scene is very mutant, at the beginning of SONAR, it was incredible. And from that time the city was filled with clubs and halls, with music of many different styles. Being able to watch live groups and DJs from Warp, R&S, Underground Resistance, Mute, etc, influenced me without a doubt.
What is the impression/picture you have about the Greek music scene, before your first visit in the country?
I know that today the Greek scene gets bigger and bigger with lot of quality. I do not follow the scenes of the countries, I am interested in the projects. Since years, I have been meeting Greek producers, projects and DJs, which are impressive. And, as in all of Europe, there are a lot of very young people doing electronic music and putting on concerts.
After more than 2 decades in the music, which do you consider your greatest influences that have affected your current sound? Tell us about your long involvement with German label Hands, as well as the Dive band.
My biggest influence is techno, electro and few stuff from IDM of the 90’s. Although, without a doubt, I recognize that in the sound of Geistform the main influence is Pan Sonic and Detroit techno. In my other project, Univac, the influences are from the Bunker sound and from the Hip Hop / electro of the 90s.
I have released several albums and ep’s with HANDS, during these years. It has been an excellent relationship. Although my sound is different from that of the label, they have always respected my proposal. With Dive, I worked on the album Behind the Sun, producing all tracks except 1, which was produced by Eric de Monolith. In his last album I have produced 4 tracks and Ivan Iusco the rest.
When during this long journey you were lacking of inspiration, what have you been doing to bring it back?
I am not aware of having had, or ever lost it. Inspiration or ideas sometimes come to me simple, or listening to another track, or seeing an image. For example, there is a track in my last double album, called Suomi, and the inspiration to make this track came to me when I saw some beautiful photos of an Eskimo dog in the snow. Sometimes the idea to make a theme can come from things like that and this I think makes it exciting.
If we’re indeed going through the return of the 80s in the current electronic music sound, how do you see it from your perspective?
It is clear that more or less the dark, post punk sound of the 80’s is now present in a lot of groups and projects. I think everyone looks a lot like each other and I’m not very interested in that scene. It’s fun to see how the sounds, effects, and way of recording of the 80’s are sought. But nothing else.
Give us two old time classic favorites of yours