Techno may have been born in late-'80s Detroit, but its seeds sprouted all over the planet. In Spain, techno took hold of a young Paco Osuna, who would go on to become one of his country's foremost ambassadors.
It helps that by his early 20s, Osuna was already a resident DJ at Amnesia, the legendary Ibiza nightclub, and ground zero for Balearic beat and the island's techno tourism explosion. But Osuna would also come back full-circle to meet his original Detroit techno inspirations, joining the elite artist roster on Richie Hawtin's seminal Motor City-based Plus 8 and Minus imprints.
Fast-forward to 2013 and Paco Osuna is one of the biggest techno DJs on the global scene -- big enough to get main-stage prime time in front of thousands at Barcelona's annual Sonar Music Festival last week.
Fresh off his Sonar week gigs, and ahead of a headlining performance at Story on Saturday, Crossfade caught up with Mr. Osuna himself to chat about the festival, the scene in Barcelona, and his Mindshake label.
Crossfade: What's been going on with you this year? How do you feel your sound has evolved since you first started making music?
Paco Osuna: My calendar is superbusy and I don't have much time to work in the studio, so this year I am mostly focusing on my DJ sets. I have developed a much clearer and defined sound since I first started DJing. And right now, I really love sharing music with the crowd. I feel much more secure, comfortable, and able to play in different places and countries than I ever have before. And I am enjoying taking some risks.
Does the dance music scene in Barcelona have its own unique flavor and vibe? Or is it miming the action over in Ibiza and the Balearic islands? What are your favorite things about being a DJ in Barcelona?
The scene in Barcelona is always unique and different, at least from the rest of the cities in Spain. The sound there is more underground, and has its own personality. I cannot compare it to any other city. The thing I like most about DJing in Barcelona is that I feel free to play what I want -- anything from deep to mainstream.
How was Sonar this year? Which parties did you play and what were the highlights of the entire week for you?
Sonar was amazing this year. I had not played at the festival for seven years, and having been given the opportunity to do it again, for the 20th anniversary of Sonar, was really special for me. Apart from Sonar, I played at my club, Club 4, at the sold-out Mindshake vs. Minus party, as the special guest, and the Sunday before that, I played at Row 14. My highlight was my set at the ENTER Stage at Sonar last Friday, with Richie Hawtin and Maya Jane Coles. I played in front of more than 8,000 people and it was simply amazing.
How does Sonar compare to WMC/Miami Music Week as far as being a snapshot of the global dance music zeitgeist? Are we here in Miami missing out on anything specific to the European scene and artists from the continent who never make it to the U.S.?
The biggest difference between Sonar and WMC, I guess, is that WMC is more focused on artists, parties and entertainment, whereas Sonar is a meeting point of many different companies, labels, agencies, new technologies, fashion, and also brainstorming.
What can fans expect from you next? Any forthcoming projects or releases to look forward to?
I always work really hard to give my best to the audience and to my fans. I always get the same mixture of excitement, nervousness, and emotions before each show -- it has been the same since I first started DJing. As I mentioned before, this year I am focusing more on my shows, as well as my label Mindshake. I also have a big residency with ENTER this summer in Ibiza, and a world tour. Soon, some remixes and EPs will see the light, but not until 2014. I'm working hard preparing some nice surprises.
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So what do you have in store for us at Story on Saturday?
I guess that Miami can expect what everybody expects: a good and unforgettable party! I'm really happy that I am coming back to Miami, it is one of my favorite cities and the crowd is simply amazing.
Paco Osuna. Presented by LINK and Miami Rebels. Saturday, June 22. Story, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. The show starts at 11 p.m. and tickets cost $30 to $40 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-538-2424 or visit storymiami.com.