The day Sergio Llinares made the decision to be a DJ, he knew there was a lot at risk. His bet was big because he already had an advanced career as an economist specialized in the field of taxation and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management and Strategies from the University of Valencia. But his need to get closer to music was greater, so he chose a pseudonym – Partícula – and turned his life around.
Since then, he began to become known at events such as the Medusa Sunbeach Festival, the Iboga Summer Festival or the Mediterranean Festival; In addition, he began to manage the music for plays and to produce a weekly radio program dedicated to electronic music. All these steps also led him to produce soundtracks for the prestigious Valencian designer Miquel Suay at 080 Barcelona Fashion Week.
His music approaches techno and underground tech house without underestimating styles such as futuristic drum & bass and even psychedelic psy trance. In dialogue with MOAI Magazine, Partícula delves into the aspects that shaped his career, his vision of the artistic scene in Valencia and Spain and in his future projects.
Why did you decide to change your profession as an economist for your vocation as a DJ? What did electronic music offer you that your previous career could not give ?
Partícula: – I did not find any incentive to continue my profession as an economist. Obviously an initiative of this caliber is not taken overnight, you become aware of it as you begin to be much more interested in other things and to realize that professionally you are stagnant. Not because of your worth but because you lack that extra motivation that makes you be better at your job and enjoy it. From the moment you start to work after a weekend begins to be a psychological burden, a red light comes on that should not be ignored. Music has always been an escape route and one of my main hobbies, so I decided to turn it into a profession and a totally different way of life than the one I had maintained until then, with the pros and cons that this entailed. And within this discipline I chose to be a DJ although I have also dedicated effort to other activities in which music and creativity have coincided. In short, I changed the stability and weariness of a safer occupation due to instability and personal fulfillment of a late vocation. I think I have won in the change.
As a DJ you have worked for plays, fashion shows and radio, in addition to having participated in different festivals. In which facet do you feel most comfortable and why?
Partícula: – I feel more comfortable when preparing music for fashion shows and plays because there is only one creative process that occurs in the privacy of your workspace. That process is both costly and yet rewarding. It consists roughly of three phases: a previous stage of approach to the concept that the designer intends to show in his collection, a stage of research and selection of the sound elements that best adapt to this leitmotiv -always according to the designer’s guidelines- and a last one of assembly and technical coupling of the piece that at the end will sound. I can see how a parade, the visual part of which is essential, can be reinforced and complemented by music; and t is a field in which most of the time there is no elaboration beyond selecting a series of themes that sound one after another. So, by comparison, I value more that extra effort that I apply to achieve a result fully integrated with fashion.
And in the case of the radio program?
Partícula: – There is always a period of prior exploration to prepare the program which is very intellectually stimulating. Then, despite the fact that you are not facing the listeners, you do have to speak live and that supposes an added effort and coordination to take into account. As it is a live show, mistakes cannot be corrected, so you have to work hard. Paradoxically what results for me, I would not say more uncomfortable but more demanding, is the facet of DJ. When you are in a session, your person is in the front line of fire, you are exposed and subjected to both internal and external pressure to make people enjoy. In addition, people’s feedback is instantaneous. Immediately you notice that something is not working or on the contrary that it does and that supposes a source of psychological load that you must know how to bear. That is to say, to your technical expertise you have to add mental ease and a very solid musical background that allows you to be versatile in order to reorient the situation at any given time.
How do you prepare for a live performance?
Partícula: – In a festival the preliminary stage of research and choice of music is very important, but it also takes a good waist to maneuver once the show has started. And that necessary musical training is not something that is obtained and that’s it, it has to be constantly updated because music and times change. From my mouth you can hear that certain times were splendid in terms of musical production, but you will never hear me say “that was the best music in history.” That phrase is the prelude to the catastrophe. For these reasons, my performance as a DJ is the one that forces me to provide more energy both physically and mentally and the one that takes me the furthest from my circle of comfort. At the same time, it is the one that gives me the best feelings when there is that almost perfect communion between the DJ and the public, through the music that makes both act as a single organism.
Techno, dubstep and drum and bass are the styles that make up your sound universe. Are you interested in dabbling in other genres?
Partícula: – Electronic music has not always been the center of my experiences or my preferences in this regard, although obviously now it is the pivot of my professional life. And within electronics I have also experienced changes over time in terms of styles, since an essential concept from my point of view is evolution. My first styles were the electrohouse or the french house, being key references in my musical training Daft Punk or Justice, to give some examples. I must also admit that EDM in its beginnings was a source of my interest as well as aggressive styles such as dubstep when Skrillex was emerging at the time.
But right now I am focused on techno (whether melodic, minimal or hard) or underground tech house, although I am very clear that I will never close to any style. There will be some that I will like more than others, some I will hate and others I will love, but I think that music is the raw material with which those of us who dedicate ourselves to this work and express ourselves. Each style has its character and can perfectly serve a certain purpose. But it also happens with classical music or pop. In fact, the day before yesterday I participated in a live streaming event promoted by the Iboga Summer Festival, playing balkan beat, jungle, drum and bass and even trap sounds. Everything makes sense in a certain context. Music is our clay and with it we have to act. That’s my opinion.
What are your future projects?
Partícula: – They will be conditioned, as I think will happen to many people, by the situation in which the global crisis of Covid-19 has gotten us. Anyway, one of the two basic legs of my future planning is to consolidate myself as a DJ in the circuit of performances in clubs or events of greater travel through our MOAI platform and the other is to start my career as a producer finishing a series of projects that until now were on hiatus. However, I consider myself a versatile and deeply imaginative person with what I have in mind other projects related to the binomial that I have commented previously: music and creativity. I do not even rule out the world of teaching.
What is your opinion on the Valencia electronic scene?
Partícula: – We are quite well stocked with festivals because we have within our reach many and varied events in which to enjoy music in general and electronics in particular. Last February, for example, I participated in the Clec Fashion Festival that was held at the Hemisfèric of the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències de Valencia as responsible for the music. It was an original event gathered around the world of fashion, but at the same time multidisciplinary, where music played an important role by including performances by DJs and video artists at night. Many of them members of the Valencian electronic scene. From the corporate point of view, my impression is that although in Valencia there is a balance between well-established movements from other decades and more modern styles and currents, I do miss a greater participation of the avant-garde in the Valencian scene that separates us a little of that glorious past that we had. In any case, there are always and will be places and groups that aim to bring a breath of fresh air to the city and the electronic scene and who are in “Resistance Mode”.
PH: Lidia Aparicio (Clec Fashion Festival 2020)