Interview: Robin Ordell
Robin Ordell grew up in Nice but furthered his musical education in London. Also taking cues from the minimalism of Berlin, he now has a broad house and techno sound that has seen him become a top DJ with a prominent residency at the famous Half Baked parties.
There he proves his versatility on the regular, and as a producer he is just as slick, with releases on labels like Eklo, Discobar and Hello?Repeat. Here we talk to him about all this, some upcoming music, and more besides.
“I like to over produce and then strip it back to the essential. “
Introduce yourself for those who don’t know, give us a potted history of your musical adventures.
Im a Southern French guy who moved to London when he was 20 out of boredom, worked on his craft there for 6 years and moved to Berlin 4 years ago to polish it because it’s the perfect city for that. Cheap and culturally active!
What defines your studio sound would you say? Is there always something, some bit of gear, some style that you think you end up with?
Yes! I love blending, whether it’s in my productions or in my DJ sets i love to mix different styles and influences. House, techno, IDM, you name it. But always with a common denominator. Has to be minimal.
You draw inspiration from minimal and stripped back sounds – they say it’s harder to make music that has a big impact when there are fewer elements, would you agree?
I guess you just have to pay much more attention to your elements. Everything must be on point and sounding good when your music is made of few parts only. It’s a good exercise. I like to over produce and then strip it back to the essential.
You have music coming on Discobar, Finest Hour, Assemble and more – do you make the tunes with the labels in mind or make them they see where they might end up?
It really depends. There’s no right formula for it. I have made music especially for labels and still do, but also make a bunch of tracks with no purpose. Then I search through all that and try to put together nice records!
How differently do you approach a remix vs an original? Are they totally different processes?
I hardly ever do remixes. I think I’ve done only one so far actually, but yes it was a different approach. I think it’s important to re-use the parts of the original a lot, make it a real remix. Making a track and sticking a piece of the original on top of it isn’t really a remix to me.
Recently you’ve played Ibiza and Club der Visionaere – do you alter your sound depending on where you play?
I never alter my sound. Because I like so many different things. I’m not into minimal, or techno. I’m into music that sounds nice to my ears. So I have a lot of it and some fits places better than others. I just try to pack my bag right.
You are resident for Half Baked – what’s it like having a sort of home party, does it allow you to try new things you might not in other clubs?
Yes it’s totally a good place for experimenting. Feeling like the crowd trusts you, can push you towards new directions, it’s very interesting. Would be a bit of a shame to play safe in this kind of environment.
What sort of sound are you feeling right now in your DJ sets, what should people expect from you in the club right now?
They can expect a blend. This is what I try to do the most in my DJ sets. A bit of everything, played right. You’ll get housey vibes and darker minimal sounds too!