Updated: Jul 4, 2022
Hailing all the way from Venezuela, Fur Coat has been building a name for himself in the electronic music industry over the past decade as a producer, DJ and label owner. His signature cinematic synth-kissed emotive grooves have been hard to miss with releases on Last Night on Earth, Renaissance, Crosstown Rebels, Balance and of course Oddity Records which he founded in 2017.
He has remixed the likes of Stephan Bodzin, Eli&Fur and Sasha as well as having had his original music being played around the globe by stalwarts of the industry including Pryda, Solomun, Adriatique, Take of Us and many more.
Fur Coat DJ sets are founded on breathtakingly stunning melody driven creativity that takes his audience on a journey through a range of emotions – something which is evident when listening to his recorded sets for the BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix and mix CD for the iconic Balance Presents series.
Being currently based in Barcelona means Fur Coat can be seen at the helm and playing live at some of Europe’s best clubs and events such as Extrema, DGTL, Watergate, Rex, WeCanDance and Pacha, as well as touring the rest of the world.
As he is heading to Australia in September with Hannes Beiger, I thought it would be only fitting that I have a chat with him about all things music. Here is what he had to say ;)
I hope you enjoy!
Hi Sergio! It’s so lovely to chat with you today. How are you and where are you?
Hi Bean! I'm doing great! I just got back from a gig at Amnesia in Ibiza with the Renaissance crew and now I'm back at home in Barcelona, travelling on the weekends around Europe.
Could you tell us how it all started for you? When did you first become interested in electronic music, and how did you realise that that’s what you wanted to do professionally? I’ve heard that your Dad was a DJ also ;)
I started getting interested into electronic music and mixing at the age of 14. My dad was a DJ as a teenager too but more as a hobby. Growing up there was always funk, disco, soul and dance music being played in the house so I have always been influenced by electronic elements in what I listened to. I also had my own mobile disco back then and played at friends’ birthdays and parties which were my first experiences mixing to more of a crowd. It wasn’t until the age of 17 that I started going out to electronic music parties and taking mixing more seriously as a local DJ in Venezuela. After a few years, I decided to venture into music production and finally realised that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life professionally.
You run a massively successful label, Oddity Records. Could you tell us more about it? How was it born, why a label, and what have been the major challenges?
Thanks for the kind words! Yes, my label Oddity has become very successful! It was actually selected as Hype Label of the month this year on Beatport which I'm super happy about.
I started it in 2017 as a project to have a platform to sign music that I was receiving from other artists that I really enjoyed playing as well as somewhere I could release my own music and remixes. Aside from that I really enjoy curating the art and the whole concept of the label as well.
I don’t think I’ve had a major struggle thus far, however, at the beginning it was probably just figuring out what happens behind the label that was a little tricky. There is a lot of work involved doing A&R: scheduling the releases, accounting, promo, discussing with the designers about the next art work and most importantly forging an identity that I believe Oddity now has. It is very important to me that when you play a record from the label you automatically know it's signed to Oddity.
Everything runs very smooth now because there is a system behind the label. Once I’ve selected the music I want to sign, the rest of the work is easier to fulfil.
Your debut EP ‘Space Ballad’ was signed over a decade ago to Crosstown Rebels. That’s quite a massive level of recognition starting off. How did things change for you as a producer and DJ after all this?
Yeah, of course, getting signed to Crosstown Rebels was a very important factor in the beginning of my career as it was one of the most ground-breaking labels at the time. Damian was very supportive with the project from the very beginning… I mean, it wasn't only just the one EP that was signed you know… it was more a whole plan where the album and the EP´s were being played at the parties which helped people recognise Fur Coat. I was also able to release one many other key labels after that which helped my career grow.
As evolution is inevitable, my sound evolved into the melodic house and techno realm from 2013 where I focused my energies on perfecting the sound and creating my own platform with my own vision.
In your own words, how would you describe the Fur Coat sound right now and how has your style evolved since the beginning of your career?
It has definitely has evolved. My sound has been considered as Melodic House and Techno for many years. When I produce, especially on my last album on Renaissance, you can definitely hear the diversity of genres that I have been influenced by with the elements of progressive, breaks and ambient sounds filtered throughout. However, when it comes to describing a specific genre my music come under the umbrella of melodic house and techno.
When listening to your tracks I’ve noticed your ‘vibe’ changes a lot from label to label, for example your track ‘The Gate’ on Sasha’s imprint Last Night on Earth has all your signature synth work, however, it’s a lot deeper than say the stuff you release on your own label. Do you find that your sound changes when you produce for a specific label in mind? Do you feel you are more creatively ‘you’ if you know its going on your own label? Could you tell our readers about your creative process?
I think when I hit the studio it's just a drawing board. I don't approach the music as "Ok, I'm going to do this record for this label" etc etc. I like that the mood and vibe of the season or time that I’m producing speaks for itself. Once I have a pack or an EP, I get my thoughts on what would be the best platform to release it on and go from there to be honest. This process works most of the time for the labels that I send them to once the music is ready. So, I don't feel I'm more creative when writing tracks for my own label than when I do it for other labels to be honest…. when I produce I'm just focusing on a specific vibe that I'm feeling at that particular time.
Talking about production… Do you have some fixed routine when it comes to studio time or is it more when you have an idea you write it down and then get into the studio?
I don’t have a routine… but I have learnt [from the pandemic] that the best way to stay creative is to hit the studio every day possible. Inspiration doesn’t just appear. Practice and being constant is what makes a specific idea pop when you least expect it. So I try to keep my routine of hitting the studio as much as I can no matter if it’s to try a new plug in, or some keys, or some beats etc… because you learn something new everyday which can be applied to the next time you sit in the studio.
Impossible question here but if you had to choose a favourite track from all the tracks you have produced – which one would it be and why? Personally, I am obsessed with your latest collaboration with Alfa Romero ‘Icarus Wings’
Thank you very much for the compliment! There are so many favourites like 'Ethereal' and 'U turn'…. but I think 'Ancient Stories' from my EP on Oddity has become one of my favourites. I was able to perform this track alongside an Orchestra at Gashouder in Amsterdam which was such a huge achievement for me and something to tick of my bucket list!
Having lived in Barcelona myself I really do find that Melbourne shares the cities same thirst for the underground dance scene. The punters in both cities are all really up for being musically lead instead of being happy to follow [so to speak]. How do you think the two cities compare to the rest of the world?
I've been to Melbourne several times and played at Revolver which it’s a very nice club and [as you mention] has that underground vibe. I think both cities share a few things in common as both are seaside but at the same time I don’t think you can can compare any city to another as each place has its own unique energy.
I am often asked what my favourite club in the world to play at is and it's such an impossible question to answer because it's often more than the club or the night. So many things need to come together to make it extra special and this happens is so many places.
What are your top 3 dance music albums ever produced and why?
This is a very interesting question.
As cliche as this sounds I'd have to start with Daft Punk 'Homework'. These guys took electronic music to another level. At the time of this albums release there was nothing that sounded like it and it was super ground breaking. Every single time these guys make something they just do their thing and it's always massive. This is the perfect example of someone doing something underground and unique and becoming popular, compared to doing something more 'pop' or commercial just because you want to be big or fit in.
My second pick would be Everything But The Girl 'Walking Wounded'. This album still sounds so fresh. The combination of Tracy Thorn and Ben Watt is just perfect. These are dance tracks that can be listened to or played at any party.
My last pick would be Underworld 'A Hundred Days Off'. These guys are legends and their music is also massive. Another album that is still timeless.
What do you feel has been your biggest achievement?
I can't say I have one specific achievement as I have had several during my career. I guess I would say making an Essential Mix, a Balance CD mix compilation, playing Coachella, playing with an Orchestra at Gashouder and most importantly being able to make a living from my art are all huge achievements for me. It’s been 12 years making a living from my project Fur Coat and I think being able to do what you love is priceless.
Why did you settle on the name ‘Fur Coat’ and does it have a particular meaning?
Ha! There are so many stories to this question that I can't even recall the true answer these days! Can I just say it’s a very catchy name ;)
Are there any new and exciting things coming up for you for the remainder of 2022? What are you most excited about?
I am always working on new music and also focusing on signing new music to my label, so there is a lot coming from both ends. It's also super exciting to be enjoying the first summer fully opened after two years of the pandemic. Touring is now back on track and I'm very excited with all the cities that I will be visiting this year. Especially going back to Australia as it has been a while since my last visit.
And in closing today Sergio, what can your Melbourne audience expect when you tour here in September for your Balance/Ripple Presents tour?
Buckle up for a Melodic House and Techno ride. Lots of unreleased music from me and from Oddity records along with other music I will be testing out. So I am looking forward to taking you all on a journey with me.
Thanks so much for your time Sergio!
Anytime Bean. See you in September :)
Links to all things FUR COAT below:
Tickets for the Melbourne gig here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2265505516944962/
For more info on Global Dance Music Collective please follow:
Our next interview will be published on Friday the 5th of August at 7:30pm (AEST)