#PHANTASYMIX 17: Cardopusher


Born in Venezuela and long-since based in Barcelona, Cardopusher has established himself as one of the most consistent and versatile heads in the city’s bubbling underground, with a sound that has travelled far-and-wide to labels such as Hyperdub, Boys Noize, Super Rhythm Trax and more recently, Dark Entries. On the ‘Muscle Memory’ EP for that label, released towards the end of 2018, Cardopusher delivered six hugely playable dancefloor workouts, coloured with personality and peppered with moments of almost cartoonish EBM absurdity, while never losing sight of their perfectly executed rhythm. While well-schooled in the history of the outsider strains of dance music, Cardopusher’s resolutely underground style is nonetheless brash, bold and all the better for being so.

As the latest contributor to the #PHANTASYMIX series, Mr. Pusher urges things in a similarly frenetic direction, delivering a substantial hour-long mix that wastes little time in generating dancefloor-friendly heat, ripping through a number of his own productions and similarly body-oriented jams courtesy of Locked Club & RLGN, Kris Baha, Miami Band and Qual. Suffice to say, this isn’t one for your ambient #chillout session.

Before you get stuck in, find a few words from Cardopusher below.

Hi Cardo. Tell us about the mix, and where was this recorded?

Hi! Thanks for inviting me to the podcast series. I wanted to put together some of my  favourite danceable tracks at the moment (old and new) along with new music I’ve been working on. I recorded it in my studio in Barcelona.

You’ve been recording music since the mid-00s, maybe longer? Your early releases focus more on dub and reggae, somewhat removed from the EBM and industrial-inflected sounds you’re currently known for. Did you consciously leave that scene behind, or did your taste and influences just naturally evolve?

I started to make music around beginning 2000s but my first record came out in 2005. I was living in Caracas by that time and obviously my references were totally different, you are just surrounded by Latin music and culture. Since day one, I was confident that I was not going to stay in the same niche forever, as for me that’s totally boring; it's about evolving progressively. Why not constantly create different stuff making things more fun? Some people don’t get it but that’s the vision i have regarding my own work.

You were born in Venezuela. Do you maintain any musical links to the country, or is it all present in your sound?

I think it’s all present in my sound even if it’s not that obvious.

Your last release was on Dark Entries. They reissue a lot of music. What’s your favourite or most influential record from their archive?

Thank you. This is a hard question because they have so many good records but if i have to choose only one it would be 'Clay Pedrini - New Dreams'.

There’s much of your own music showcased in this mix. Do you find yourself writing music tailored for your own sets while DJing?

It depends. Sometimes I want to record a DJ mix in a certain mood, and when I feel I don't have enough tracks around the idea I have in mind, I tend to compose stuff especially for it. It makes the mix more special.

It nonetheless seems like the sound you have been pushing for the past few years has become a larger part of dance music. Who would you consider your contemporaries, if any? Who should our readers check out if they dig this mix?

I consider contemporaries artists like, Schwefelgelb, TV Out, Retrograde Youth, Beau Wanzer, Nehuen, Phase Fatale, and Kris Baha just to name a few, there are so many good and underrated producers that people need to put an eye on them.

John Thorp, January 2019.

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