Technokunst asks: Orbe

Hey Fernando, thank you for accepting our interview request! Technokunst is a collective of artists
who embrace events with the tradition of vinyl dj-ing as well as of modular live sets. Orbe as a project
therefore has been on our radar for some time now - we really resonate with the work you’ve been
putting out.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you met with techno? What are
some of the initial influences that shaped your sound? Is there anyone out there that helped
you grow and learn, or did you pick it up all by yourself?

It is my pleasure to participate in your project, thank you! I was born in a town called Algeciras in
southern Spain, in the Andalusia region. I started listening to electronic music through my older
brother, mostly Breakbeat and Drum & Bass.
When I moved to Seville to study audio engineering, I met a guy called David – still a good friend to
this day - who was the one who led me into Techno music for the first time. When he showed me a
Richie Hawtin set, I was blown away.
Later I continued my sound engineering studies in Madrid, and met Ruben De Felipe and Eduardo De
La Calle, who both greatly influenced the type of sound that represents me today. They would always
bring home new music from Drexciya, Juan Atkins, Jeff Mills, and then I would lock myself in the
studio influenced by all those sounds that were new to me.

The Iberian techno scene has been at a constant high point for some time (at least until covid hit)
How is your connection to your fellow Spaniard and Portuguese producers?

The relationship has always been good and healthy. In Madrid, - where I live now - there are fantastic
producers with good record labels that bring very positive things to the Techno scene. We are all
good friends with Ocktawian, Tadeo or Psyk, and we share projects.
The same thing stands with Portugal. They are humble people, wanting to work toward contributing
positive things to the scene. I would mention the guys from Hayes Collective, Pedro Rebelo 'Ruuar'
or Gustavo, the promoter of Neopop.


photo credit: Pablo Gallardo

Some of your fellow producers from the Spanish scene left their homebase and moved to Berlin
(Refracted and P.E.A.R.L. to name two of them). Have you remained in Spain and do you have
any plans to move around?

I love Spain and I don't want to move abroad :)

How do you feel about the current state of affairs in the world of techno? It seems that the 90s
has made a comeback and lots of labels shift their sound towards higher bpm to accommodate this.
Yet we can see hear that the tempo of your releases has remained in the lower 130s.

I don't think justice is done to artists who work well in the studio, who make good music, who have
good labels that bring positive things to the scene. Basically, an unresolved imbalance exists. Some
with very little input achieve a lot, and others, with a lot of work, achieve little. It is clear that the
industry evolves, the networks, the image ... okay, I respect it, I understand it and accept it, but I

believe that there are certain values and pillars that should not be ignored. The industry has to evolve
from a basis that in my opinion is immovable.
Regarding the BPM, I think it is a trend that will soon end and it will go down again, and then it will go
up again, it is a continuous cycle.

With the release of Transhuman EP on TOKEN, it caught our eye that you were referencing the work
of Fereidoun M. Esfandiary - a transhumanist philosopher. Does futurology interest you as an
intellectual movement or is this more of a stylistic choice that complements techno well?

I have always been attracted to the afterlife, and to the thought of what the future may bring in terms
of technological and other advancement. For me, Techno and modular electronics are a way of
contacting the future, the avant-garde. The EP on Token Records is called 'Transhuman' for this

Orbe - Transhuman EP

Token 102

We see that Orbe Records is mostly a means to release your own music with full creative control, but
we also see some guest appearances - such as Spanish techno veteran Eduardo De La Calle. How
did you arrive to the decision to start your self-titled label, and how do you curate the output
of Orbe Records?

After many years of making music and maturing my sound, I was confident enough to launch my own
label with my own concept. I tried going this way to be able to develop a catalogue without an A&R
assessing what was good and what wasn’t. It was a little over 6 years ago that I launched it as a vinyl-
only label. This is a concept I ultimately decided to change in 2019, since there were almost no
Techno DJs left that played vinyl. I apologize to the followers of the label but I had no other choice to
keep things going.
I am already preparing the next release, number 012, but all pressing plants have waiting lists until
next summer... :(

Orbe Records

Your most recent release on Orbe Records – “Psy Visionary” was released as a lengthy LP on a span
of 4 x 12” vinyl records. This is becoming increasingly rare and seems like a bold move. Can you tell
us a little bit about this album and how you see the market for further releases like this? Do
you see this as a concept album like “Interplant” or more of a collection of tracks that describe
your type of sound well?

The idea of releasing this record came during lockdown. I took some machines home and it all went
from there, I made a lot of music that I knew had to see the light of day. It is rare to see a 4x12 album
in the current market, - it is very risky - but perhaps this encouraged me to do it even more. It was a
way to differentiate myself from others. The concept is different from 'Interplant'; in that 'Psy
Visionary'; is more focused on the dancefloor, all written and created using modular synthesis.

Orbe's studio

How does your production setup look like? Do you prefer using software, hardware, or a
combination of both? Can you show us your studio and your favourite tools for production?

In the studio I do everything hardware-based during sound creation and recording. Once recorded in
the multitrack, I can use dynamics plugins for correction, be it an EQ or an exciter.
My favorite tool is modular synthesis. I also love sampling my own sounds, and do so either with the
Digitakt or the Morphagene synth module, by sending any sound from the mixer through an auxiliary
group output. I love using the Bark Filter Processor by Verbos Electronics and also the Elektron
Monomachine synthesizer. I also use an old harmonizer DSP, the Eventide H3000.

Orbe's studio

As for gigs, what is your preference, performing live or through dj-sets? More intimate clubs, or
larger venues such as festivals?

I prefer live performances on big festivals and DJ sets in a more intimate club setting.

What is next in focus for the Orbe project? More gigs or more production?

Always both. To have gigs it is necessary to make records. :)

Orbe's studio

Can you share some of your favourite music – current or past, that you wish readers of this
interview heard?

In would choose Boards of Canada or Brian Eno, music always to relax to.