An Identity _ Interview With Cindy
Interview and Podcast with Portuguese Man o’ Techno – Cindy.
Hailing from Portugal, Cindy aka. Pedro.. specialises in no-nonsense bangers. However, this is but one aspect of his musical output, as he is also releasing deeper shades of Techno under the name of Mauno Koivisto.
We caught up with Pedro to chat about his music, playing in clubs and his efficient approach to production. He kindly did a mix under his ‘Cindy’ guise, which is uptempo, relentless and heavily inspired by the classics.
Hi Pedro. Thanks for talking to us. Will you tell us a little bit about the mix that you have done for us? What did we get in the end; Mauno Koivisto or Cindy?
Well, I was having a hard time deciding what alias I should use for your podcast and I tried to do a mix for each alias, but in the end I just stuck with Cindy. I couldn’t record a proper mix with Mauno because I’m deleting a lot of stuff in my playlist at the moment.
I recorded this with “Traktor, which is what I usually do all my mixes with, both live and at home. Would love to play cdjs or vinyl but have only had a couple of opportunities to learn in the past and I never invested in DJ Gear either.
So what are the major differences between the aliases?
Cindy is basically fast-paced music, normally it’s techno but this days I’m currently exploring other genres but always with a fast-paced feeling. Mauno is everything that I feel I should do and so I dont have to stick with one genre.
The thing that both aliases have in common is that they are both versatile. They are influenced by the music I hear. Probably one of my problems producing music is that I can’t focus on one thing only.
Anything scheduled for your own releases?
Well I have a release coming this year on a new German label – Drive99. There are also 2 remixes in the pipeline.
Are you still involved with the Portuguese label RKT? How are all there?
Yes I’m still involved with RKT. We are figuring out what our next step will be. We decided to take time from it as our plans are not the same as they were 2 or 3 years ago. So we kinda want to think about the whole label and when we’re ready we will release new stuff.
Are you playing out much these days?
Well I don’t play much. Just here and there. I played last year at an after party in Lisbon and at a place called EKA Palace. I don’t play much these days; not that I played a lot before, because I moved back to my hometown. I went from regular parties to absolutely none haha.
You played in Tresor didn’t you? What was that like?
Well the Tresor gig was something… unexpected really. The opportunity appeared because the Manager of Vent, a label I released on.. He had the chance to organize a label night there, so yeah he sent me a message and well you know what comes next!
The first time I went to tresor was in 2014. It’s a funny story because I went alone to Berlin haha, I met people there that I already chatted with on the internet including the label Manager of Vent and Alume one of our fellow subsekters.
I went there to attend Atonal and it was quite an experience. Never seen such a big place like that factory and it was the first time I had opportunity to listen to all those great acts, I didn’t expect being 19 years old and traveling so far to visit such a place haha. I will never forget that journey.
Cool – So what was the atmosphere like when you played in Tresor?
It was great. I was so fucking nervous, it’s not normal for a 20 year old to go play in a club like Tresor but it all went like it was supposed to and the best part was that I had a friend there with me; a well-known guy in the subsekt forum – Hades. He went by train to spend the day with me and to see me play in Tresor. I’m really thankful because this all happened on the 23rd of December haha.. and we both had to go home to have dinner with our families on the next day but that’s what made it even more fun!
The people that attended really enjoyed the whole night. It’s really rewarding for a kid like me to have a night like that.
You’ve done a mix for us.. how would that compare to the music you play out?
This is what I play in clubs. No point of trying to do things differently!
The thing is though, I’ve only played as Cindy twice. Once in Tresor and the other time in Portugal. The last one was an awful gig. This means I’m more like a bedroom DJ haha. I’ve used some of my own tracks in my mixes but I’d like to know what they sound like in the club. Some of them are hard as nails haha. Actually I dont think I’ve ever played a track of mine in a club. This may sound weird but I will only do it when I feel like they really incorporate well in my playlists.
Are you still using Ableton to produce?
Almost 2 years ago I bought a Korg Electribe SX. Its a sampler. I love it, but honestly I don’t use it in my tracks anymore. I don’t have a midi connection to link it with Ableton and I don’t want to be tapping every time I want to start and stop a track I’m working on.
Of course that I want to use my korg in the future but for now Ableton is good enough. Besides, the Korg for some reason doesn’t read the new files I transfer to my Smart Media Card. I could do a factory reset but Korg deleted the factory files from their website.. so yeah I’ve no chance I think.
Fucks sake! Everything is good until it stops working. What about plugins then.. any favourites?
Well I’ve tried so many in the past and I got really excited with some new ones but in the end I just forget about them and move on. I think I have some kind of spell against external VSTs because I always end up not using any. Ableton plugins are good enough for me.
For example basslines, synths, pads and now kicks too, I’ll use Operator. Operator is the only synth I use in reality haha, I’ve been using ableton for 5 or 6 years now and I’m still discovering so much shit inside Operator. It’s just a beautiful synth IMHO. It’s almost like it fits my personality haha.
The same for FX I only use Ableton plugins.
Yeah.. Operator is excellent. Its my favourite too. Capable of being everything between rough and smooth. I like adding the M4L LFO and Envelope tools to it for extra movement. Wicked synth.
I was reading that the Mauno Koivisto album was influenced by an enjoyable holiday. Would you mind telling us a little bit about that.
Yes, it was influenced by first visit to Belgium, to the house of Hades; our fellow subsekter. I got home really inspired and decided to finish those tracks and in the end it turned into an album. I’m really happy with it because I think that album has an identity. I tried to keep it as minimalist as possible and I think I achieved that!
About the trip, it was so fucking fun. Neither me or Hades expected it to be that good because we were already talking over the internet but it’s never the same you know,. We made like 6 or 7 tracks in those 2 weeks, but of course we didn’t finish them all . We visited some places in Belgium too. Really fun.
Are you more productive in good times or bad times?
In both I guess. In good times I produce happier music in bad times I produce darker music. For me being productive has nothing to do with my state of mind. Normally in a week I’ll produce 3 or 4 new tracks and then my inspiration could be gone for 3 or 4 weeks.
Its really shitty that it happens this way but I’m used to it.