165 Byron Maiden


01. Beverly Hills 808303 - Acid Planet 7 - a1
02. Gladkazuka - Ramdomlee (string)
03. X-Ray Connection - Replay (M.W. Cut)
04. DJ Ungel - Transpirits
05. Opposing Currents - Eyes Down
06. Dark Star - Hello Cleveland!!
07. Jay Fields & Bill Converse - Bodily Tension
08. Muziekkamer II - The Sun was the Stronger
09. Ruins - Elegant Shout
10. Anne Clark - Wallies
11. International Music System - An English '93
12. Zov Zov - Hands Held Up
13. Zaliva D - Faraway
14. Gladkazuka - Naturalia
15. Nick Mackrory - Uneven Keel
16. Plein Soleil - Telegramme (Kaumwald Edit)
17. Jamal Moss - Black Herman
18. Bardar - Love Story Written In Blood
19. Clip - Applegate Mechanism (Cora Novoa Remix)
20. Plazmot - Orot Levanim
21. Electric Universe - Electric Pulsation
22. Kuniyuki Takahashi - Signifie
23. Persona Non Grata - God of snakes
24. Dunkeltier - Arcade (Dunkeltier Edit)
25. Mordd Imbet - No Orange Juice, No Love
26. Matias Rivera - Reflejo (Demo)
27. Decadance - On and On (Fears Keep On)
28. Identified Patient - Geen Syndroom
29. Terence Fixmer - Warm Leatherette
30. Andrea Paz & Oddy - Trucks
31. Chris Carter - Lab Test
32. Credit 00 - Weg von diesem Ort (Georgie D Tribute)
33. Lucrecia Dalt - Analogue Mountains
34. Dominion - Voodoo Visions

Podcast 165 and we’re up with Medellín iron man Byron Maiden. A DJ for many years Maiden has a broad, colourful taste in music forged in part through his relationship with Medellín and the characters and spaces the city holds. From his very first parties, full of teen spirit in Medellín pubs, to hosting events with friends Lust Attraction and Tsunami fave Retrograde Youth, Maiden has a story to tell. Not just content to share music and the wonder it holds Maiden took the time to swap some words with us, giving us a little insight into his world, the music he loves and the local artists he admires.

DT: Its a standard question, but we all like to say hello. Can you tell us a bit about Byron Maiden? Where do you come from, what’s the Maiden story and what were your first experiences with electronic music?


Well, I’m from Medellín, the well-known city of eternal spring. The name Byron Maiden comes from an old joke made by my best friend Gregorio Gómez aka Gladkazuka. We were having a great time at his house while he was making music and he started calling me this because of the similar sound with Iron Maiden haha… It’s very simple but at that time it was funny.
Regarding electronic music, I remember when I was a kid listening to the radio station on my mom’s boombox and I was so much into a track that many years later I discovered it was ‘The Timelords (KLF) - Doctorin' the Tardis’. It was the 90’s and the young people used to listen that kind of music very loud when they were washing their cars haha…

After that when I was at school I started to listen to Nirvana, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus and so on. This was the first time I began listening to music more consciously. Around 2002, I had a friend who owned a pub and she invited me to play this kind of music, so this was my first time playing for a crowd.

Finally, around 2006 I discovered the radio station CBS and the Minimal Wave record label and this changed my life through to today. Those discoveries opened a very interesting window to a world that finally connected with my initial days and gave meaning to the information I had been discovering, allowing me to enter deeply into what would become the musical environment of my life.

DT: When did you start DJing and what were the factors that first brought you to the wonderful world of turntables, mixers and vinyl addiction?

I used to regularly go to a club called Orbital and years later, when I had become a friends with the owner he would let me practice my Djing there. I’ve always been self-taught with music, I started to press all the buttons of an old Denon CD player and a Numark mixer and learn how it worked. That was the time of electroclash and I started to do parties there. I still miss that club, it was the best in Medellín for me.

My addiction to vinyl began because some friends used to do parties back in those days, they only played records and they showed me Clone Records and the rest is history. I started buying records and I never stopped. There were crazy times after that because we were very enthusiastic to bring our turntables and records to all parties.

DT: Back in 2015 you released a track as ‘Lord Byron’ with fellow Medellín native, Sano on Berlin’s Cómeme. Can you tell us how a bit about this release and how it came to happen?

I have many memories of that time with Sano and Gladkazuka, we used to jam a lot and we spent so many nights doing raw sessions and we recorded everything. The song you speak of came out of those sessions and Matias Aguayo chose it for a compilation.

Matias is a friend from a long time ago. It all started in 2011 when a group of friends joined together to make a mythical party called 'Perro Negro'. I can tell you that from this meeting came a really good relationship with the label Cómeme.

Towards the year 2013, a beautiful union was held between Sano, Gladkazuka and Matias in a town on the outskirts of Medellín, from where the Rionegro project was born which I joined for several sessions.

DT: I checked out your Mixcloud and you’ve been producing podcasts titled El Disco es Cultura for Radio Cómeme for over six years (!) What is the relationship between Radio Cómeme and Cómeme the label? Can you describe your thoughts behind the podcast and what you hope to achieve or represent with your shows?

Well Radio Cómeme was created as part of the record label in order to share music from different parts of the world: Buenos Aires, Berlin, Chicago, Cologne, Johannesburg, Medellin, etc.

We took the name "El Disco es Cultura" from the legend that was stamped on most of the records we liked and because the focus of the show would be music pressed to vinyl. When we started out we tried to portray the nights of Medellín: the memory of past nights, dancefloors and those parties where we didn’t stop the turntables spinning.

Sano and I first started the show in 2013, then I was doing the show by myself for a while and now I do it with my friend and musician Lucas Guingue. Lucas was one of the people who first introduced me to the world of vinyl.

Over time I think we have tried to evolve in terms of the music we transmit. Its not about focusing on a genre or a certain type of music but rather covering the entire spectrum of sound available. A show can be focused on ambient music from different parts of the world, another can be specialized in African music or rare synth wave records etc. One thing we have clearly defined is to not mix, we like to play each song completely.

DT: Do you see yourself as producer, or more of a DJ? Do you have any plans to produce and release more music?

I like to be a DJ and I enjoy it a lot, every day I’m in search of musical information, but I also want to focus more on music production. I need to dedicate more time especially to finishing the different sketches that I’ve recorded over several years. I have some machines in my room and when I come home from work I usually start jamming and recording the sessions.

I must admit that my work, pharmaceutical chemistry doesn't allow me much free time or at least the time I would like to devote to music creation. This reality may be a source of creation but in the end you must be very disciplined to do both and sacrifice others. Time is ultimately inclement and progresses too fast.

DT: Latin American producers and DJs seem to receiving increased attention from the European underground over the past few years, I’m thinking about people like Lokier, Retrograde Youth, NGLY, RNXRX and Joshua Cordova. Do you have any thoughts on why this might be?

Well, from my point of view I find that there is a lot of dedication and passion for the music in Latin America. I think it has not been easy for us to access music, I’m talking about records and the machines to produce. Usually we have to import from the US or Europe and the shipping costs are very high, however, despite these difficulties we have managed to evolve and grow in our way of doing things and through time consolidate our own sound. We have differing perceptions of music with different rhythms, and I consider that as something of great value. I have always seen a lot of unity between the people who work in music in Latin America too.

Electronic music in Latin America has exploded and that is a reality. Now more producers are emerging, affirming their space within this new world of creation, taking ownership of their narrative and telling their stories through a variety of endless rhythms. They are creating music that changes the perceptions of how an electronic music artist should sound or what should be the way of expressing oneself through the different ways of creativity.

We still have a long way to go, but the change is now noticeable and the results are sincere and I hope that will lead to more inclusive scenes in Latin America.

DT: Can you tell us about some Colombian based DJs and producers we should be looking out for and why? Please feel free to share their Soundcloud pages with us.

First, I would like to start by talking about Nótt, (Mixcloud), a popular group in Medellín led by Julianna, Marea and Andrea. Nótt is a strong collective that was born of the need to project more profoundly the number of artistic projects led by women in Latin America. What I appreciate most about them is the steadfastness with which they have faced the way things have been set for women in our scene. They are running their own parties, workshops, lectures and have an interesting interview platform always accompanied by very well-curated podcasts.

Moving on from Nott, there are a lot of DJs I can recommend. One of my favorite Djs is Sergio Iglesias from Bogotá with a unique taste in soul and italo. You can definitely hear a very versatile DJ when he plays.

Vélez, also from Medellín has been an active DJ and producer for more than a decade, he’s always been attentive to change over the years and projects a very harmonious approach to the dancefloor.

Speaking about producers I have to recommend Black Propaganda from the Move collective. He makes the kind of music with which I identify myself, a slow industrial sound accompanied by demonic synthesizers. Last December I had the pleasure of playing after him. It was a very interesting live set with enveloping synths and very unusual textures and kick drums.

We also have Junn, a new artist emerging from the city of Bogotá. The first time I heard about Junn was through my friends at the Video Club: Leeon and Mansur, who strongly recommended him. Last February I finally got to see his act live and I found in it a very fresh and forceful sound, in a way he reminded me of Jamal Moss.

Last but not least, there are my good friends Retrograde Youth, Lust Attraction, Mansvr, Leeon, Javier Kruz, Surfer Rosa, Insurgentes (Verraco & Defuse) and of course Gladkazuka.

DT: Can you tell us about ‘Culto’, the party you run with Retrograde Youth? When did you get involved, who else is helping to create this project and what are your goals with these events?
Culto is ran by Lust Attraction, Retrograde Youth and myself and its a platform to spread the word in a wide variety of genres whilst focusing on the more obscure end of the dancefloor. I started to get involved in the project in December of 2015 when we did a party with the maestro Intergalactic Gary. Now we work with more people and better things will come this year, so stay tuned!

DT: Through Culto you’ve been booking DJs for several years, checking through you Facebook events I see international names like Greg Beato, Marsman, NGLY, AN-I, Steve Summers and Interstellar Funk. What are the qualities that lead you to booking a particular DJ for your events?

Culto is serving up something special in an open format, inviting some unknown names to Colombia. We like to bring artists who have something different to tell through music, people who have a transcendence in the construction of electronic music with more hypnotic and driving tracks. Music that allows us to establish a journey towards something completely new and never seen, and to create different sensory emotions when we are on the dance floor.

Culto has an ear listening out for the underground, we do not look for big names, maybe this is one of our greatest characteristics. Our events focus on the electronic music we call 'roña'. It is a kind of dirty and strong sound, raw, imperfect in a way with enough resonance, its music for freaks. If someday you talk to Markovich (Lust Attraction) he can explain it better than me haha. In these events the sound goes from the harshest and unexpected songs to the established classics.

DT: What would be your perfect day and night in Medellín? Please share this experience with us.

I love my city, sunny days are perfect for walking or riding a bike through the neighborhoods surrounded by trees, having a beer or two outside a small corner store. The night is quite different, I like it when we have different events, not only electronic music but openings of exhibitions in a museum or a concert to go to, followed with eating at a good restaurant and finally sharing with friends a good night of party.

DT: Do you have any projects coming up that you’d like to share with us and draw our attention to?

Working with my friend Lucas I want to focus a little more on the El Disco es Cultura show. We plan to create a website with lots of information about music, make small reviews of records and labels we like and invite more people from the country to share their record collections and thoughts about the music they love.

Personally right now I am organizing old recordings that I’ve been making. I really want to finally conclude the different musical projects I’ve been working on these past several years.


Interview: Sam Mee, Published: 11 Apr 2019
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