Lucas Freire explains the concept behind Devotion Records, his new track 'Burla', and more | Soundspace

Lucas Freire explains the concept behind Devotion Records, his new track ‘Burla’, and more

Interview: Lucas Freire

Brazilian techno talent Lucas Freire has called Barcelona home for over a decade, and since moving to Spain, he has become an essential piece of the cities club culture. Together with Fernanda Martins, he runs Devotion Records where they have released music from SAMA, Vegim, Linus Quick, Steve Mulder and more.

Following the release of the labels first vinyl, a various artists EP that included Lucas’ own track Burla, we sat down with the Barcelona based artist to chat about how the label came to life, why the addition of vinyl releases, and some of his most memorable experiences as a techno DJ.

Hi Lucas, how are things? Give us a short introduction to yourself, your label and your music?

Everything is great. busy but great! So, I’m a techno DJ and producer from Brazil, but I have been living in Barcelona, Spain, for over 12 years now. I’ve been dedicating my life to techno for more than 20 years.

Devotion Records came to life about 4 years ago and my intention together with my label partner Fernanda Martins was to contribute to a scene and a style that is a huge part of our life. Techno gave us a lot so we felt the need to give back, and having a serious and professional label is a good way to do that in our opinion. The label has been growing fast and strong and we feel more comfortable with it every day. We already had some changes in our sound and I guess this will keep happening, as everything in life is in constant change. We’ve just started a new special and limited vinyl series called Devotion Limited. So now we can fulfil the needs of the vinyl lovers also.

Concerning my music, I’m a techno lover, so I try not to be too specific with my style. I’m into raw, hypnotic, straight, rough mental techno. It’s hard to describe in words, but I would say my music sounds old school but modern (LOL). I like music with a strong and original character. Simply good, strong techno!

And how is the scene in Barcelona?

Barcelona has a very strong and active scene. We have really strong clubs here that frequently bring the biggest and most respected artists. That puts the city on the techno spotlight worldwide. The crowd here can be fantastic, so most artists want to play here! On the other hand, we have great clubs more oriented to the local scene and artists, and that helps to keep things healthy and stable. Every week there are many options to listen to great techno here.

We also have super strong festivals happening here. This is essential to keeping the level of the scene here as high as everywhere else. We have great music combined with amazing weather and this gives the festivals here a magical atmosphere!

Another cool thing is that a lot of artists choose the city as their home base. Many of the best producers and DJs in the world are living here and that makes the cultural level of the techno scene here super high. We also have some very talented local artists here who are doing amazing music and who are amazing DJs. Music-wise the level here is super high and that’s just fantastic!

Tell us about the first vinyl release on Devotion, which includes one of your productions, Burla. Where did the idea come from to release something on vinyl?

We just felt that it was time to take one more step with the label. Vinyl is important for music culture in general and once we felt the label was stable and strong, we decided to go for it. The vinyl market is not too big nowadays but it does exist. And to be a more complete and serious label and fulfil the musical need of all the techno lovers, we had to fill this gap and have our music released on this format, too.

And what was the production process like when creating Burla?

I experimented a lot in the studio, so it’s not like I have a workflow that I follow. For this track, my main inspiration came from a new synth I bought, a Moog in this case. Every time you get something new for the studio you play around with it, and when I was experimenting with the new synth I made this synth line that I really liked and I simply built the rest of the track around it. Things kind of happened naturally for this one. My typical strong drums are there as this became my signature over the years. Some trippy and atmospheric sounds also and a lot of energy! Sometimes I go for more mental and deep feeling tracks but this one came out as more of a banger and I liked it this way!

No doubt, you’re a big techno addict. What makes the genre special to you?

That’s not possible to describe. Techno is something you feel. In my case, it shaped my life since I bumped into it about 25 years ago. But what keeps this passion and devotion that I have for the style alive are the different forms, shapes, speeds, sounds and variations that the style keeps showing me day by day. I never stop getting surprised by this music and that’s something very special to me!

You’ve played some important clubs and festivals so far. Could you tell us about an experience that blew your mind?

I had a few super special experiences and it’s not fair to point only one out.

When it comes to festivals I would say that Monegros and Aquasella in Spain have a special place in my heart. I played at both of them several times and each time was unique. Nature One in Germany was one that stands out also. It’s a huge festival that I’ve always dreamed to be a part of and playing at Century Circus, where so many legends have played, was huge for me. Awakenings in Holland is also on top of my list. Playing there so many times is very special to me.

As for clubs, the list is big, too. I would say that the opening and closing nights of KRAFT Club in Brazil were very special in my life. KRAFT was a club owned by me and 3 friends that was open for a few years and that completely reshaped the scene in my region in Brazil. This club was super important for the life of so many people and these 2 nights I mentioned will stay in my heart forever. Playing at Tresor in Berlin was also a dream come true. I was lucky enough to play at the original club back in 2004 and even luckier to come back to the new one some years later. This club is just so important for techno and playing there was super special. La Real, Florida 135 and Apolo, all in Spain, are very important for my history and I had some of my best sets played in these clubs. I’d better stop here or just with this question I will write a book!

Do you have any other exciting projects coming up that we should know about? What’s on your agenda for the summer?

Right now I’m concentrating on finishing some music as I have a lot of requests from nice labels. It has been hard for me to find the time to work on new tunes so I have to get into that as soon as possible. Besides that, I have to keep Devotion Records on the high level that it is right now, and that means a lot of work and dedication.

And for my summer dates, I will be having my debut at Womb, Tokyo, this summer. I will play at Sound Waves Festival in Portugal. We will be hosting a Devotion Records Showcase at a great club called The Garage of The Bass Valley here in Barcelona on August 2nd. I will be heading to Vigo, Tafalla, among other things, of course.

Devotion Vinyl Limited 001 is out now on Devotion Records.