Felipe Gordon is unquestionably one of his country’s greatest house music exports. A real figurehead for all that’s good and great about the Colombian scene, he’s an ardent supporter of local artists and someone whose international reputation grows with every passing release. His latest arrives via the always on-point Razor-N-Tape via their sister label, Razor-N-Tape Reserve. And what a release it is! Featuring four pumping tracks that – as the press release suggests, really do boast series Chez n’ Trent vibes – the Clasico EP is full of dancefloor moments, but also equally melodic and beautiful vibes too. In other words, it’s a record that quite fittingly displays the many diverse facets of the producer behind it. Though hard to pick a highlight on the release, it’s a tie for us between the magnificent Strings of the Afterlife and the brilliantly original Julia Y Luis, with the latter a track that most definitely features that South American swing. We caught up with Felipe ahead of the release to see what’s been happening in his world…
Hi Felipe, how are you? What’s good and bad in your world? How’s all in Colombia?
Hey guys, thanks for having me! Well, everything is almost 100 percent re-opened here, life’s good to be honest. I can’t complain.
How did you survive the pandemic and what did you learn about yourself? Were there Amy pieces of music or literature that you returned to throughout?
I survived the pandemic doing what I basically have been doing since I was 18, making music all day long and running or riding my bike for hours. I always come back to the basics, Bob Dylan, Moodymann, good old Bill Evans.
As an emerging artist, how difficult was it for you to get recognition outside of your home country? Can you tell us through that process?
Well, that was a cool process. My main thing was releasing all the music I could and try to get into the right labels. As a Latin, I recognized we don’t have the infrastructure or the scene to make it happen on our own terms, so I decided to have a huge amount of quality releases to be on everyone’s lips and make my name more recognisable for the European and my own crowd. Now I feel I’m not a newcomer anymore and I can make my own decisions about release schedules and the labels I’m really into. It feels like this first phase of the process of my “career” is moving on now.
Strings of the Afterlife does — as the press release mentions – give off real Chez n Trent vibes. So, I wanted to ask… what are some of your favourite Chez n Trent releases? And what other deep house artists have greatly influenced you over the years?
Well, recently I bought all the Prescription compilations, so all the tracks on that are basically my new super big influence. I’ve always been about deepness and transmitting all the feelings I possibly can rather than trying to make something that fits a genre, or I think it’s “interesting” for the sake of being “interesting”. That’s one thing I mainly learned from blues and jazz, that you don’t need to force anything, just be you and transmit what you are feeling.
I would say that all the Detroiters are legends to me, Moodymann, An drés, Theo, Marcellus, Kai Alce…etc
You’re now at a stage where your discography is much respected, but do you have one track in there that you’re prouder of than others? And what is it and why?
Mmm I would say that my favorite track at the moment from the whole discography could be “Highly Deep And Conductive”. It tells a story, it doesn’t have samples on it, it’s long, it’s deep, it’s melancholic, you can dance to it, it sounds atemporal. I love it 🙂
Can you also tell us a bit about your relationship with Razor n Tape and how that came to be?
Well, I’ve been a huge fan of the label for years now. We’ve been working together for some time, and I totally love the style of the label. Aaron and Jason are two of the most honest and working guys on the scene and we have a close and nice working relationship. I’ve been a couple of times in New York City, and I always try to meet, play, or have a beer with them.
Can you also tell us a bit about your studio set up and how you approach each day? Do you just jam and see what happens or do you generally have a plan?
Well basically I have a bunch of vintage analog synths, my bass, and a bunch of other analog machines. I basically turn everything on and start making music! I never use references; I never have a prior idea before starting to create. I just sit and let the juices flow, every day comes with a different vibe and feeling. I just let each day speak to me and make a track that speaks about that.
Can you tell me a bit about your history in electronic music? What was your first introduction to it?
Well, I remember back in 2010 I started listening to bands that used electronic elements in their format, something like Cassius playing live in Trabendo was a big change in the way I saw electronic music. I was a punk rocker back in the day, and for me the most important aspect about the underground deep house scene is that feeling about making everything on your own like the legendary DIY movement on the 70’s punk scene.
Can you talk us through some of the other Colombian artists who we should be watching out for right now? What’s special about them?
PLEASE listen to Meridian Brothers. It is something unique and exciting, not your regular Colombian musician to be honest. Much respect to the guy!
Where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play?
I just try to be as honest as I can possibly be. I let my feelings speak and if it’s something that doesn’t sound particularly correct, I let it be and try to build something that I can listen to for some time. I close my eyes too. It’s a super clean and emotional process.
Finally, can you tell us something our readers might not know about you? What’s life like outside music?
I love cycling and running every day. It’s something I find is a huge part of my life. It helps my musical path too. It’s just my spiritual way of approaching life. Something in running and cycling for really long distances makes your mind more conscious about itself, you become more patient and tranquil, you also accept and enjoy the difficult times.
Keep up with Felipe Gordon on Facebook and Bandcamp. Felipe’s Clasico EP is out now via Razor-n-tape. Buy/listen to the release here.