Cristian Varela talks 25 years as a DJ

Interview: Christian Varela

Celebrating the 25th year of his career, Cristian Varela, a pioneer of the Spanish techno scene, has achieved more than most in his time. Playing at the biggest festivals in the world such as Ultra Music Festival Miami, Awakenings, Tomorrowland, Exit, I Love Techno and Creamfields.

Cristian’s interest stretches beyond techno, as he has raised awareness about the problems of the environment and the planet through his music. In addition, Cristian has started two record labels. To celebrate 25 years in the music industry, Cristian is releasing a documentary detailing his life and career.

You played your home city Madrid the weekend before last, how was that?

Just Magical!! It´s one of the clubs where I organised my own events (EMOTION TECH) in the past with big friends like UMEK, The Advent, Monika Kruse, Ben Sims and Madrid is like my second home. The club was packed from 1AM, it was a very emotional night!

You’re celebrating the 25th year of your career this year, how did it all begin for you 25 years ago, were you always interested in electronic music, specifically techno?

When I was learning piano my brother introduced me to bands such as Kraftwerk, Front 242, Vangelis, Jarre, and Depeche Mode, and it was through their electronic sounds I discovered house and techno, then from that point my tastes have always stayed very electronic.

Throughout these 25 years are there any events that have really made an impact on your career?

Sure!

I Love Techno Festival-Brussels, Love Parade-Berlin or Awakenings, Nature One, Shockers and Tomorrowland made me fall in love with big festivals, before that I´d always preferred clubs.

From your achievements throughout your career it is clear you are consistently branching out into other aspects of music production, is this important to you?

Vital! Now someone who is just a DJ without their own productions, will usually have a very short career in the industry. When making music I love to experiment and try new things.

Can you tell us a bit about the ‘Varela Concept’ and its aim at raising awareness about the problems of the planet and the environment?

Varela Concept is a big project born from a place very deep in my heart. I think it’s important we all do more in order to protect our species and the planet we live on!

Fortunately, a few years ago the big leaders of this world seem to have finally grown a conscience, even if their motives are sometimes selfish and a tool to try and win votes. I’m still glad there is finally some talk about how to protect our environment.

What was the inspiration behind starting your own techno label, ‘Pornographic Records’?

Techno in the past was a bit of a “Taboo” thing to many people in the music world, especially to classically trained musicians, so I called my label Pornographic Records as a bit of a sarcastic joke, as some people would almost be embarrassed to talk about techno, as if it where some kind of porn. Today the entire world embraces the huge and experimental sounds of techno, which is a great thing!

You have a documentary coming out later this year, can you tell us anything about what will be included in it?

All my friends like Carl Cox, Joseph Capriati, Luciano, John Acquaviva, Marteen (Awakenings) and many more, we grew up together during all these years and it’s an honour and a pleasure for me to have their opinions about me in the documentary.

Is there any future plans you can reveal to us?

Lots, but I can only reveal there will soon be some big live shows, and lots of new music and remixes coming very SOON! Plus I’ll also be collaborating to make some movie soundtracks.