The Spanish techno scene has been thriving over the last decade thanks to a plethora of talented individuals, one of whom goes by the name of Joton. With over 20 years of experience, Joton has been carefully honing and designing his unique sound from his studio in the city of Léon — in the process developing his own style based on the most orthodox techno around. With releases on the likes of Fabric, Modularz, Quartz, Odd Even, Symbolism, Planet Rhythm, Raw Raw, Dynamic Reflection, Skryptöm and his very own Newrhythmic imprint, the Spanish artist returns to Ben Sims’ Symbolism label with a tasty four-tracker entitled A Wicked Plot. Navigating his way through a series of high-tempo offerings, we caught up with the esteemed star about his new release and recent happenings.
How are you? And what have you been getting up to recently?
All good, working hard as always. Creating music in my studio, preparing for my next gigs and developing my new teaching role, in which I’m giving production courses to people from all over the world; an activity that is bringing me a lot of joy and with which I am connecting with many new artists and feeding myself with their passion for electronic music.
How have you found the return of clubbing and any highlights over the last couple of months?
It was like being born again, like standing in front of a mixing desk in front of an audience for the first time. The energy I felt was indescribable. The pandemic has been very hard for our profession but little by little we are getting back to normal. I have been very lucky because in the last few months I have been able to perform in Oporto, Madrid, Paris, Berlin, etc.
Your new EP “A Wicked Plot” is a great listen. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind the record, and how would you describe it?
When I am asked to work for a different label from mine, I try to adapt to their sound, but without giving up my style. In the case of Symbolism the process has been straightforward, because we share a very similar vision of electronic music and are governed by a similar set of values. I would describe A Wicked Plot as as an example of the evolution of my sound during all these years
What was the creative and production process behind the record?
In my studio I work with synthesizers and analog drum machines; I also use a lot of software. All mixed in my Midas mixer and adorned with the effects of some pedals!
If you had to pick a favourite track from the EP, which one would it be and why?
“5 Hours to the Bombardment” is my favourite track of the EP. I really like IDM. I’m a big fan of people like Autechre or AFX. I think when I created the melody that music quite influenced me.
Can you tell us more about your relationship with Ben Sims and his Symbolism label, which this EP is releasing on?
I have known Ben for nearly 20 years. We have shared some festivals here in Spain. We have always been in contact, and we always send each other music. Two years ago, I was lucky enough to already collaborate with the label on a double vinyl release. It is always a pleasure to work alongside such hard-working people as Ben. Without a doubt, a reference for me and many artists like me into the techno scene.
Running your very own label Newrhythmic Records, what are the challenges of running a record label and do you have any tips for anyone thinking of starting one?
The biggest challenge is to be faithful to a sound and not close yourself off to new concepts. Striking a balance and not getting stuck in one direction. For Newrhythmic Records, it is also fundamental to be attentive to the new talents on the scene and open the label’s doors to young people who want to take on the world and bring something different to the table. My advice to those thinking of creating a record label is to treat it as if it were your child. Give it as much love and affection as possible. And above all, work hard to feed it with quality music.
Based in León, Spain – how has the city influenced your overall sound? And what is the electronic dance music scene like over there?
León is a small city in northern Spain with a rather harsh climate. A historic city whose economy has been heavily influenced by the coal industry. It is therefore a region of tough and hard working people. With the disappearance of the mining industry the whole region went into a state of decline and depression which affected the general atmosphere of the population. I think this whole situation has conditioned my sound. The scene in my town is very small but full of talent. If you want to stand out you have to be very good at what you do.
Are there any emerging Spanish techno artists we should keep our eyes on?
I daresay Aicrag, Albert Salvatierra and Oxygeno.
What’s the plan for 2022, and do you have any further releases in store?
My plans are to continue working in the studio, to continue performing all over the world and to continue my production courses. Yes of course I have many things lined up for 2022, but I don’t like to talk about things until they are close to being released. Everything can change, but I am very happy with how 2022 is planned.