Text by CLOT Magazine
Pablo Casares is the artist taking up our next mixtape instalment. Born and bred in San Sebastian and holding a degree in philosophy and a master’s in science, technology and communication, Casares had a long trajectory in poetry and illustration before turning to synths and sound. Since then, he has tried to learn about the complex world of sound using a media that suits him better to express himself, bringing him closer to creating worlds that he couldn’t reach otherwise.
The artist shares that his most immediate challenge is to achieve sounds and sound environments so that people can listen to them and use them as a medium for their minds to expand. Nature and its poetic veils seem to be a regular inspiration in Casare’s productions, probably an influence of the Vasque Country’s dramatically beautiful scenery.
The sound and music orbit in the ambient realms, creating dark musical landscapes and abstract industrial atmospheres, which some have defined as a magic suspension dream, where Casares finds his way. His most recent album, Naturaleza Fósil (Superspace Records 2020) is an exercise of psychedelic ambient. Sounds like telluric forces that seem to rise from the melted metallic earth core.
For this mixtape, he says, I have placed songs that I listen to many times. You will not find big artists of ambient as Radigue, Basinski, etc. (whom I love so much). I used tracks from people that you can find on youtube and other platforms, from Elliot Severence to Hakabune and Marcell…. and also one of my lastest tracks. I intended not to give you something conceptually closed; I wanted it to flow like a river.
You have just published a new release with SUPERSPACERECORDS; could you tell a bit about this? What was the artistic process behind the album composition and what did you technically explore with it?
Yes, I have just released a new LP with the label from North Lima-Perú, and I am frankly happy with the result. The previous work with the label Ape Soul Records (Barcelona, Spain), Arde el Bosque, was like the twin brother of this new release. It is as if the same work process has been divided into two projects. But they respond to the same feelings.
The work process has been similar to the work as mentioned above. I started with a base, it could be a drone or a narrative texture, and I’m adding more elements, but without wanting to saturate it. Generally, if the first thing I record goes well, I don’t usually touch it up. I don’t like, for now, doing a lot of mixing.
Above all, I like to achieve music that accompanies people when they do something at home, in the office, anywhere. A friend of mine told me that my compositions were like soundtracks for movies that don’t exist. I know some tracks are a little strange enough, but I hope they can be listened by someone one morning at work. Like when you’re in the countryside and you hear birds singing or when you cook at home with the window open and you hear the noises of the city… So the same thing. I’d settle for someone to listen to it with no more ambition than that.
Where do you see yourself in the current experimental scene in Spain?
First of all I don’t know if I’m included in any scene. Let alone the experimental term (probably more than one would get angry with the term itself and having me on it). I don’t subscribe to anyone. In addition, I think I go unnoticed even in my own city (which is very small). I don’t hang out in the circles or with the “right” people. My friends are practically those of my youth and have nothing to do with this world. So I’d tell you that my situation is irrelevant. Surely this anonymity belongs to me. And is not bad at all.
What is your relationship with technology nowadays? And how do you cope with screen/digital technology overload?
When I started, I focused my workflow on modular synthesisers, which was a wonderful learning journey. Then, over time, I started working with computers and discovered the iPad, which for me has been incredible for its versatility and ability to sketch and handle new sounds in a much faster and more direct way (and more affordable).
I do not think that hardware or software is better than the other, but rather what works for your purposes. And currently, I’m working with a compact modular (Kilpatrick’s Phenol), some analogue and digital field recorders, and an iPad, and now I’m waiting for the ECHOROCKIT and, hopefully, soon, maybe for Christmas (if I´m a good boy) I will get some other gear. So, in my case, I work with both worlds, sometimes independently and sometimes together. So there is no digital overload in my workflow.