In Living Technicolor
Carlos Alvaro Jacobo plays mix-and-match in OC dance clubs
Carlos Alvaro Jacobo, one-man electronic band Blur the Technicolor, has picked his side in the format wars: He leaves his vinyl at home.
When did you start making music as Blur the Technicolor?
I started deejaying my own music this year. I put it together through a recording program called FL Studio. I mix my music live, and I play other artists’ music as a DJ.
How do you describe your music for people who haven’t heard it?
It has heavy beats like house or techno. It’s dance music—music that would make you want to dance. There are abstract sounds also mixed in.
Your MySpace page listed black metal as an influence.
All the music I listen to . . . it’s all in my head. I’m influenced by music I love, and it’s all combined in the music I make.
But black metal doesn’t sound like a very obvious influence.
Maybe it’s through the abstract sounds in my music or the shirts I wear. I still wear my black metal and band shirts.
How is Orange County as a home for the kind of music you make?
In Orange County, there are a lot people into dance music. We throw dance parties in back yards. They usually get raided because of the noise. A lot of kids who go to raves show up. Los Angeles is big, too, but usually my gigs are in Orange County and Riverside. I got exposed to the dance parties in Los Angeles, but I’m trying to bring that scene to Orange County.
Do you always mix your music into your DJ sets?
I mix in other house artists, trance artists, techno artists—I’ll mix the whole spectrum of dance music.
How do you put together a set that has your music mixed with other artists’ music?
My music goes well with techno, hard house and that kind of stuff. I start with a beat that’s at least 135 beats per minute [BPMs], and I gradually get faster, to the point where I’m playing trance songs that are 140 BPMs. I gradually fade that out and start to bring in the hard style that plays at 150 BPMs. I start slowly, and I eventually go off with a bang.
How do you make transitions between songs?
I match the beats. I watch the BPMs to make transitions. I fade out my track, or I synch boths track together and let them play. Then I’ll fade one track.
Is there a certain ratio between how much of your music you play compared to other people’s music?
Well, it depends on the crowd. Sometimes, a lot of people who like my music will show up, and I play more of my stuff. If I’m playing to a newer crowd, I play different music. But I always mix my music into my live sets.
Do you pay extra attention to how people respond to your music?
Yeah. I always do. Each track I play, I always look up into the crowd. Sometimes, I get people who come up to me and are asking for a song, and it’s a track that I made. That’s pretty cool because they want to hear my music.
When you DJ live, do you have a preferred format?
I use a laptop, but I use a DJ controller. It’s a box with two turntables and a mixer all together. It includes software that mixes tracks. It’s very cool because I don’t have to carry around turntables or crates of vinyl. All I need is my laptop and my controller.
Are people ever snobs about your being a DJ who uses a laptop?
I got that once. I can do the same thing with vinyl; I just don’t like carrying all that stuff. Sometimes, it’s about the software they use. A lot of DJs still use vinyl, but they’re using laptops and the Serato program. I use the Traktor program, and I guess they’re rival programs. I found the Traktor program to be better for my playing style.
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So it gets like people having loyalty to a certain type of guitar?
Yeah, it’s like that.
For more information, visit myspace.com/blurthetechnicolor666.