Julio Victoria has been a pioneer of Colombia´s electronic music scene, creating pieces of techno and house that have travelled the world and reached Europe's and Asia’s greatest dancefloors.
After the release of Astrolabe, Victoria’s last EP, the DJ and producer delights with his first full-length solo album, Indigo.
With the aim to create a platform for the sharing of unique rhythms and sounds originating from Colombia, Victoria has released his label Victoria. Indigo references what this label will bring: atmospheric electronic played by indigenous instruments, alongside synthesizers.
Through the tracks of Indigo, Victoria shares a glimpse of the land that raised him. “Separate Ways” seems like an invitation to a journey through Colombian landscapes.
With both of us in lockdown, him in Bogotá and myself in Madrid, we exchange a series of voice notes about the pandemic, his journey towards the making of Indigo. Listen to the album and read about what he told Threads here:
Threads-primero como estas? cómo te encuentra esta cuarentena y que ha significado para tu creatividad y música?
JV: I’m very good, in Bogotá, where I normally live. I’m worried about what’s going on the world and in my country but I believe that Colombia has taken early measures. Our major in Bogotá, has taken early measures and helped all its citizens. I’m good and at ease now, tranquilo, I had finished the year going and coming everywhere, a lot of traveling and tours, in Colombia and Europe, USA and Asia. So this situation has allowed me to stay home and be at ease. I’ve had the chance to go over some old material that I had, go through a lot of albums, and be able to listen to a lot of music from friends, a lot of cds that I bought all over the world throughout the years that I didn’t have a chance to go over[...] I’m learning to cook for the first time, and continuing some music projects.
It’s been a good moment for myself and my creativity since I’m now able to listen and work to a lot of things that I hadn’t had the time to do previously.
Tell us about the album. When did you start creating this idea?
Some time ago I started to create the story of the album. I started to work on it from more than 3 years. I started to explore different genres than that only for dancefloors, I wanted to search for other spaces in where music wouldn’t just be aimed to dancefloors, as we have presented it here in Bogotá, in places like Teatro Colón, el Planetario, different museums and galleries and later on we had the chance to perform it doing a tour in asia, Ireland and Colombia. The project starts 3 years ago looking to break the formula of the dancefloor, which is a space that I’ve known for over 10 years.
What’s the story behind the album? Take us track by track.
The album's title track captures the essence of the whole label: serene harmony through indigenous instruments alongside the wild power of synthesizers. This is club music that resonates with honest integrity. On “Separate Ways”, the marimba-infused soundscapes take you through the charming mystic of Colombia’s misty mountains and lush valleys.
Going from the rich percussions of “Secreto” to the evocative and layered grooviness of “Sur” or “Pasajero 1973”, the album delivers a broad array of expressions, remaining true to its aim of redefining Colombian electronic music. Through Índigo and Victoria, Julio is seeking to expand and extend the sound path of a fascinating land, from which one of the most powerful music scenes of Latin American is beginning to emerge.
What are your biggest influences in this album?
Some instruments of the different areas of Colombia, inspired me. Listening to the music of the different areas and make a fusion with electronic music that I like and inspires me. It makes me go further and I really enjoy it. Some groups that I really like are Orbital and Radiohead. But what I want to do is a bit more of a fusion, a mix between instrumental music and avant-garde electronic. Respecting colombian folklore but without getting to fully play it.
How would you say that Colombia´s electronic scene has changed, if it has, this past year
Its changed a lot. There has been a huge growth musically, from big festivals, a lot of local artists who have the opportunity to show their work. We are getting the opportunity to go to really important festivals of the country. Sadly, due to COVID19, everything has stopped so no one really knows where this will all go. We will have to wait.
How would you describe the evolution from Astrolabe, last time we talked, to Indigo?
They are completely different projects which I’ve been working on at the same time. Indigo is a project that I’ve done with the band, is the project with instruments and that I made with Ernesto Santos, who made the engineering of Indigo and helped with production of the mix and the musicians.
Listening to these tracks, for me Subspace sounds more experimental. Tell us more about it.
Yeah, I would say that Subspace is the most experimental track which I had been working on the side. I had it there for a long time and I hadn’t released it. I hadn’t looked at it in a while. It was a track that I left to the side to finish it. It was one of the latest tracks that I finished. I had been playing Subspace in my live gigs, it doesn't has instruments but it complements the rest really well. When I play this live, I accompany it with a harp and the drums.
Tells us about the video for Indigo.
This video was made with my friends from Bogotá, artists. It’s directed by Riccardo Gabrielli, who is a director with a lot of experience. He liked the music and we got together to experiment on the video. There is Pablo Ricaurte, he did all the lighting, Ali Celebrat, my friend who worked in production with the team, and Alejandro Londoño, conceptual artist
And between all of us the idea came up. It was very experimental and without a budget. It was a friends project.