Innovator of Minimal-Techno, Minimal-House, Tech-House, Click-House, Glitch-House, Micro-House, and as many other combinations and permeations as semantically (im)possible, Villalobos is renowned for his unconventional and powerful sets. The Berlin based DJ and producer disagrees with all the genres and definitions though, it’s all one thing for him: “… the reality is that everything is based on House” he says. His defining style is organic and atmospheric, and in contrast to most ‘house’ music, free of hooks and phrases that scream joy and redemption.
Villalobos’ discography is split mostly between German Tech-House labels Perlon and Playhouse, with innumerable 12” and a full length on each: Alcachofa
on Playhouse in 2003, and Thé Au Harem D'Archimède
on Perlon in 2004. Thé Au Harem D'Archimède
is also the title of a book (and film) by Mehdi Charef, the story of an Arabic community in Paris dealing with a sense of cultural conflict and displacement.
An autobiographical reference? Much has been made of Villalobos’ background and how it may have contributed to his work. Born in Chile, Villalobos’ family moved to Germany when he was just 3 years old to escape the military coup of Pinochet in 1973. There are in turn broader musings on the micro-diasporic nature of the community of ex-patriot producers connected to Villalobos in Germany.
As well as Depeche Mode and Plastikman, Villalobos cites South American music as his biggest influence; Brazilian music, Salsa and Cuban music; music of the Andes – Chile, Peru and Bolivia, all of which inform his micro beats and liquid tones, giving warmth to his tense and often dark productions. Villalobos’s unique, sublimely produced sound is lush, fertile and expansive. Built from the barest stripped down structures, he coaxes rolling, ambrosial atmospheres from extended loops and shifting beats with an intuitive touch.
Villalobos also works under the monikers Iron Lung, Richard Wolfsdorf and Termiten, and regularly collaborates with artists including Richie Hawtin, Tobias Menguser, Martin Schopf (Dandy Jack), Jay Haze and Luciano.
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