Photo by Kubi Ozturk
´ Techno is like a huge net, everything is just connected. I also have this kink of digging and finding music. That will always inspire my creative processes. `
Number 13 presents Berlin-based artist from Medellin: Aleto.
Aleto embodies the transmutation of emotions, embraces the chaos magic integrated with the rebellious and esoteric aspects of techno, as for his music is an entity and musicians a channel of transmission.
We talked about his inspirations and the transmissive approach to music, as well as the impact of Corona on emerging artists of the techno scene.
NCOUNTERS: Where did you grow up? How did you form your early musical aesthetics, who influenced you to explore musical processes, and how did it evolve? What does Aleto mean?
Aleto: I was born and raised in Medellín Colombia. There we have the slang word “Aleto”. Its meaning is linked to the force of a bird while flying which in Spanish is “Aleteo”. But we used to refer when something is aggressive or high energy. Also, my second name is Alejo, from Alejandro. So they are just all connected in my mind. I would say that I have been always a music lover and a sensitive person, for that I experience life in a very emotional way. The music my soul matched with was just a representation somehow of that. When I discovered techno and electronic music a new gate opened in my mind. My first rave was an experience I lived alone. I was completely hooked in since the very first beat. I love to dance also. So by being a raver, I listened to a lot of talented DJs. Each weekend was a new world, a new sonic adventure. I got obsessed with understanding sound and how the body behaves and reacts to vibrations. The state of trance we achieve when we dance. It is still fascinating. The scene in Medellin played a massive role. Also being abroad... It all combined polishing my ear. But that is an everlasting process. Techno is like a huge net, everything is just connected. I also have this kink of digging and finding music. That will always inspire my creative processes.
My friends and I used to have after-hours together. We started going a lot to a friend that had a mixer and three very old CDJs. I am not sure if Pioneer 400. The thing was we only could use CDs. So meanwhile, one friend was playing, the others were like getting their CDs ready. This, I would say, was my beginning with DJing. Then my roomie got controllers. We used to spend all the time smoking joints and playing, and then I moved to Berlin and started playing at house parties, bunker raves. It’s been developing like that.
Photo by Kubi Ozturk
´ The positive outcome for me has been adapting. This situation stopped the international movement but also allowed us to focus more on the local talents of each region of the planet. We have not been away. We are still here.`
Are there turning points in your musical journey?
There are definitely memorable moments in all journeys. I knew all the time, I have been very passionate about this. I wanted to play and make music at some point. As a raver, Berlin was how I expected it to be but living the experience is another thing. It is way more intense. Big highlights were Freedom Festival in my hometown, the first time Berghain was truly spiritual. But the biggest turning point was when I started playing and put myself out there. I tend to do very much of what I want most, and putting delays into things is a clear signal for me that maybe I do not want to do certain stuff. I was sure I wanted to DJ, so I said to myself, fuck it, I will stop making excuses for it. I throw myself into it, embrace the experience, and learned that any limitation is mental. I am just happy and very grateful for how the journey has been so far.
Photo by Kubi Ozturk
´ Music is honestly an entity for me, like a spirit or something. When I am playing techno, there is a moment where you are fully immersed. It feels like the music comes to my mind as if I am a channel of transmission. In this state, I also experiment via dancing when I become a slave of sound. The rhythm controls my movements, and I let myself go.'
What does music mean for you? Why have you chosen this way to integrate with it?
Music is honestly an entity for me, like a spirit or something. When I am playing techno, there is a moment where you are fully immersed. It feels like the music comes to my mind as if I am a channel of transmission. In this state, I also experiment via dancing when I become a slave of sound. The rhythm controls my movements, and I let myself go.
I give it an esoteric meaning to the reason why I do this. Sharing the energy between me and the audience. This way of communicating through music resonates with me. I think it is amazing to focus my energy on uplifting the community.
How do you locate your art and artistic perspective?
“It only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.” (Chomsky) So techno is a master, is a political act in itself, its history and its power to reunite people together without any discrimination is a tool. My vision as an artist is to perpetuate that by bringing a message with my music. To help to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought.
How do you find the balance between making music for introspective reasons and communicating with others?
I think that there is no need for a balance because if you are already making someone else going introspective in the listening experience, then this is the communication. This personal dialogue with the listener powered by his interpretation of the emotions -I am transmitting with what I play- is my aim via mixing. We are all connected. But on our own trip, we are already introspective. We feel the emotions of the set all the same. If we are in the same room when there is a drop or a peak moment of your set, you can see that they react to it as they are being affected by the sound. But in the mind space of every dancer is their own interpretation of the experience. I think the balance is just coexisting with the chaos of all the elements and keeping the flow.
What are the most prominent effects of residing in Berlin for your music?
Being constantly inspired because this city breathes techno and the possibility to connect with many artists and people who love this as much as I do. The synergy provides rave culture. So much love to Berlin <3
Can you point main differences between the music scene here and the local scene in your hometown?
Both are my favorite dance floors and crowds. They are so intense and passionate in their own ways. In musical terms, the local and the international movement of artists is very well established. You can clearly see many Djs touring to Colombia and loving it. The main difference would be the legal background and how our government perceives the night culture. In my hometown, parties are until 4 am. This changes the dynamics a bit. But what matters is to go and listen to great music and dance your soul away. I can do that there or here.
Main themes of your mixes?
I noticed that I always play SNTS in my mixes. I also play a mix of good old tracks and new productions. I have an extra eye on Hioll. I always enjoy MDR work. My hometown also has incredible producers like Gotshell or Aleja Sanchez. It is impossible to mention all of them. There is so so much talent.
What about the covid-19 & lockdown? Are you hopeful about what is going to come after this extensive halt on the club scene? Or the same old all quiet on the western front?
The positive outcome for me has been adapting. This situation stopped the international movement but also allowed us to focus more on the local talents of each region of the planet. We have not been away. We are still here. The re-opening of clubs is something we are going to enjoy. Just to think of the present since the future is just always unknown... That is something people just realized during Corona. But it is a fact that is not really relevant whether it is Covid or not. The future is just unknown. But we can learn from the past and live the present, as what it is, a present.
Photos: Kubi Öztürk
Graphic Layout: Can Hatunoglu
NCOUNTERS, Berlin (2020)