The history of electronic music holds a special place for Madrileño artist Cristian Varela. Since 1991, he has been at the heart of some of the most important episodes of the evolution of the scene in Spain (although he has lived in the United Kingdom for years) emerging as a true pioneer of the industry and one of the most diverse acts in dance music today. A genre-defying visionary who after two years concentrated in the making, is releasing his eagerly anticipated new studio album. ‘My Way’, that’s how the LP is titled, marks a significant milestone in Varela’s career and promises to energize dance floors worldwide, delivering an intense and immersive musical experience. Varela’s charisma has allowed him to gain the respect and support of leading artists who consider him one of the most technically talented DJs on the planet. You just have to discover and see his impressive 6-S.I.X. Vinyl Show where he performs live with six turntables at the same time! We have sat down to talk with him about this and more interesting things.

Hola, Cristian! How are you holding up?
All good here, pleased to have this interview with you guys.

Where are you speaking to us from?
London, UK

Is the final stretch of 2023 being as intense as you expected? Maybe more?
Very intense, to be honest, more than expected because it was very difficult to finish my new album in the middle of the tours, etc..but I did it!

How do you stay focused with so much hustle and bustle? (travels, sessions at clubs and festivals all over the world, the record label, hours in the studio, even courses you teach…) Any tips here?
The best tip here is to record the drafts during the travels and then to finish it later in the studio . In fact some great ideas are usually coming to my mind when flying or after the gigs. I think some inspiration is absorbed through the energy of the people and dancefloors!

What advice do you have for newbies to the music scene in general? Especially those who want to cover it all!
The best advice is always to listen to our hearts, avoiding all kinds of external influences. Maximum respect, perseverance, trust in ourselves and to work very hard in our skills. Following these steps, it is just a question of time.

Your new ‘My Way’ album: Can you share any specific experiences or influences that shaped the direction of this project? What inspired it?
My principal goal was to create something atemporal. I tried to release a new album several times in the past 5 years but it was very difficult to compile 10 or 12 tracks with different personalities. Many times because I had requests from great labels like Mord, Children Of Tomorrow or OAKS, sometimes because I had remixes to deliver…but also because I was waiting to have the Crown Jewels for an album. This selection was made very carefully to be honest.

How did you approach the creative process for this album compared to your previous works?
At the end of the day it’s a selection of my best tracks in the last few years.

Were there any unique challenges or breakthrough moments during the production?
‘Yknalb’ it’s a very special version of my creation composed for my beloved dog Blanky. I tried to conserve the same atmosphere but focused on an Electro track for the album. Great moments and memories making this track.

Are there any particular elements or styles you consciously incorporated into the album to showcase growth or change? Tracks like Yknalb or Ultrahuman have caught our attention!
That’s correct, I have many Electro, Ambient and EBM tracks created and never released so I think this is the perfect occasion to do it and one of the reasons to name the album ‘My Way’.

Did you collaborate with any other artists on this album, or just as remixers?
Just as remixers because I like the perspective of other artists remixing my originals.

How did those collaborations / remixes come about, and what did each artist bring to the project?
It’s all about energy and friendship. I love to have my friends and very respected artists such as Ken Ishii, Regal, Pfirter, P.E.A.R-L, Arnaud Le Texier, Dykkon…in something as special as an album. It’s an honor and a big satisfaction to have all of them on board.

Given your background in techno, how do you leverage technology in your music production, and did any analogue / new technologies play a role in this album?
Always! For me it is vital the combination of the analogue sounds with the new technologies, plug ins and new synthesizers. I created this album with the different generations of Roland Instruments. I love to use the basslines from the SH101, TB303 with the incredible new Jupiter XM, SH4D, MC707 or Gaia2 oscillators and LFO´s. I think the different textures and layers used, made something very special and a different point of view.

How do you envision translating the energy and themes of the album into your live performances?
It’s awesome when you can feel the music created in the studio in front of thousands of followers enjoying my tracks. The exchange of energy is one of the reasons to love my 33 years of career. It’s just inexplicable!

Are there specific elements of the album that you think will resonate particularly well with a live audience?
I think ‘Helion’, ‘Earendel’ and ‘Zigurat’ will be something very special on the dance floors.

Perfect moment to tell us about how your 6-S.I.X Vinyl Shows. Do you want to highlight any date from 2023?
Some of them! But if I have to choose, I think Moog- Barcelona (during Sonar), Industrial Copera or Circus Nation Festival are my top3 in 2023.

What’s next for Cristian Varela after the release of this album? Any upcoming projects or goals for 2024 you’re excited about?
So many interesting tours with my 6 turntables Live Show and lots of remixes and new productions + showcases with Black Codes Experiments!