To start the weekend off we’re featuring another one of our incredible featured artists in the Female DJ/Producer series we’re running this month. Ruth García, who lives in both Madrid and Barcelona is a music journalist by trade, who has worked for Europa Press, Onda Cero and magazines such as DJ Mag España. She currently leads Mots Radio, a web that cares about underground culture manifestations & music. She also has a glistening musical career touring regularly around the world.
ZF: You started out your musical career working as a music journalist.
What did you enjoy the most about that job?
Ruth García: My curiosity about music comes from when I was a child. I remember that with very few years I wanted to know and that is, undoubtedly, the best of my work, which gives me the opportunity to get closer to artists, bands and labels that give you something with that you enjoy. It becomes addictive. You can’t spend a single day without listening to music, without enjoying the landscapes, moments, and thoughts that can generate within you. It is an instrument of universal communication and to spread it and to resort to it as a way of expression, either with words or with sound waves, is precious.
I really enjoy the range of possibilities offered by music journalism, go further and try to see the person behind the character who climbs a stage, make him/her relax and show himself/herself as is. That’s why I decided to create Mots Radio, to make visible the talent that in general media doesn’t get heard.
ZF: What was the turning point for you when
You wanted to pursue DJing and Music production?
Ruth García: 2009, I think, I do not remember exactly the date. I was very involved in music journalism, I collaborated in magazines like Popular 1 and Dj1 and I had already been through Europa Press, where I started to publish musical interviews. I attended parties where there was very good music and it was a DJ and producer from Madrid, Roberto Groof, who made me think about playing someday, somewhere. And shortly after I was offered a weekly session in Chueca, a very special neighbourhood of the centre, and it was a success. From there I continue playing in the dark & electronic scene in places like Dark Hole, Specka, Anue. After Madrid, I went to Berlin and then Barcelona.
Later I met Ray_Mond at a New Year’s Eve party. I was playing all night long, in a club in the centre of Madrid, The Laboratory. Ray came to see me and when I finished, as we entered the morning, we went to have coffee near by. At that time the people were already too drunk and we decided to go to his study and trying to create something without pretensions. From that morning our first song, ‘I’m a genius’ was born. Ray is a person with whom I can work very well, is an incredible producer and he has a very positive energy.
He is the first producer with whom I have collaborated with, but not the only one (Ivan Smoka, Stauffer, Tecib). Being able to put a part of you into a theme is something very special, and to do it with people with whom you connect is an authentic pleasure. What it happens after then no matters, whether it has a repercussion or not, what I have put in it is 100% authentic and that is what satisfies me
ZF: Which event you have DJ at was the most exciting and why?
Ruth García: Difficult question. Each moment has its magic and its particular history, each DJ session the same. Choosing one is difficult because fortunately I have had a great time playing and I keep going. Maybe my debut in Berlin, the night before 1st may, Labor Day, a festival that is celebrated in the German capital throughout the day.
I was playing at Morlox, a place that was in Friedrichshain, now closed for a couple years ago. I did not know almost anyone in Berlin and I also did not know what kind of audience I had to deal with, but when I started to play, the dance floor was full and it was a real festival. I even lost a shoe like Cinderella haha! It was an unforgettable night.
ZF: Can you tell me about your recents projects?
Ruth García: In addition to collaborating with the artists I’ve mentioned, I am now focused on returning to the cabins in Madrid and this Saturday, 18th March. I inaugurate a monthly session, Sensoria, born with the same spirit as the Cabaret Voltaire track. The name of the meeting, track of one of the bands that set the foundations of Synth-Pop, Industrial and EBM, to the intention to make a sonic journey through rhythm and melody.
So we expanded this initial sound and immersed ourselves in derivatives such as New Beat, Horror Disco and the dark electronic. For our inauguration we have a guest DJ, Nico DeadWax, one of the heads of Dead Wax Records, an independent label that focuses on the 80’s and on rescuing post-punk, cold and minimal wave and Gothic rock artists and bands, classics that they reedit, and also contemporaneous artists, besides proclaiming them vinyl passion.
ZF: Where do you get your inspiration for tracks or mixes?
Ruth García: It happens to me as when I write some poetry or a few lines, the situations I live, the human emotions, the different processes that happens to anybody in this way. Dreams inspire me a lot too, I have an ability to remember scenes and very vivid sensations that, when I wake up, invite me to translate them, either with the written word, or through a DJ set … or listening to new music, investigating … I think life in itself is a source of inspiration, cause is made of stories.
ZF: You are a part of 3M project as well, who else is in this and what is its purpose?
Ruth García: The 3M Project is a project formed mainly by Katherine Scholz and me. Kathi is a visual and graphic artist form Chile and she was my first roommate in Barcelona. She saw me playing in a well-known after-club in the city, the first time I played there, and two months later I was living with her. Between us there’s a very deep connection and friendship, and we enjoyed the two alone at home, she doing her visuals and me playing some music.
And then Andreia Martins appeared, the third piece of The 3M Project. Kathy used some of her own collages and photographs from Andreia to create a story that I narrated through music, namely electronic music. We present our proposal live at the Niu, a well known art centre in Poble Nou and it was a success. It is not something focused on the dance floor, it is rather a piece, a story both visual and sound, a journey with a starting point, a tour and the outcome, a message in itself.
The next 3M Project we would like to do with is with Cristina del Barco, a nice photographer that Kathi met in Madrid, and one of my best friends. But it’s not just about being friends, it’s about that both, Kathi and Cris, have a very special way to expressing themselves, and with the very particular language that they know and I can manifest this through a sound selection.
ZF: What is your favourite city and why?
Ruth García: Each city has its own charming and they are all different. It is difficult to compare between Madrid, my hometown, Barcelona, where I currently live. Cities like Berlin, where I have spent great and precious moments of my life. Right now my body speaks to me and invite me to spend more time in my hometown, maybe cause I have already spent 6 years living out there. But I would lie if I told you that I do not miss Barcelona.
All places have something to teach you. If I could (I wish it happens) I try to know as much places as I can. I have a nomad spirit, I need movement, it makes me feel alive, to see and feel first hand, to have the experience, to be able to say; “I was there,” and to have in your background those experiences in different places.
ZF: What is your opinion of Women in the music industry?
Ruth García: We start from the fact that history has been told from the point of view of patriarchy and male hegemony. The transmission of culture, knowledge, has been vetoed to women for centuries. Add to that, the incessant reification of women in the message of the entertainment industry, and the contempt for the culture of some governments, the panorama that we have, I mean women in the music industry, is bleak. The world is sexist, in general we have not advanced too much in the conception of the woman to being capable as much or more than the man. But still, fortunately, there are more and more creators and more and more are known about some names that are relevant in culture and music in particular, women who changed the course of history, who left their mark and whose work must be recognised. That I do not like the global situation, does not mean that I will not do everything possible to change it, at least.
We simply have to keep fighting and focus on the important, keep going in become real that dreamed equality. I have the feeling that women have to make us count twice as much as men, simply because they are women. You have to be twice as good as the other, you have always to be ratifying that you deserve it. Like if you were in constant testing. Talent not depended on sex . It is stupid but still society needs a change of mentality on a global level regarding the conception of women.
ZF: Is any particular artist that you feel is a great example of female empowerment in music or who stands out as a unique DJ/Producer?
Ruth García: There are a lot of women artists with this empowerment…Siouxie Sioux is one of them. She is an artist with an incredible power on stage, just like Skin, from Skunk Anansie. PJ Harvey, Lisa Gerrard…I could name a hundreds of names!
ZF: If there was anything you could change about the industry what would it be?
Ruth García: I would change it all. Something that seems to me offensive is the inequality in artists fees. The local circuit barely survives the day, while massive artists, who do not even act live, but opt for playbacks or prerecorded sets, charge a huge amount of money for that, being mainstream. There is not too much musical education, but there are so many people who are curious to hear something that does not have its place in generalist media.
Music, which is the most universal art that exists, that can more directly and effectively reach the one who contemplates, listens and feels, has been “violated” in some way by money, and it matters more than quality. I would change the educational system in fact because in my country Music is no longer a subject to study, the same as Philosophy. In the end not approach to music, as well as other arts, is a mistake, and ignore talent just to be unknown, another failed. We need to change some basic thoughts and from there we can begin to build.
ZF: Do you think that currently Women have equal opportunities to Men in music?
Ruth García: No, not at all. Neither in music or in any other field. Simply because the woman is not conceived as an equal. We have so much to learn and change in our minds and then in the way we do things. Is a long way, but everything comes, sooner or later.
Big thanks to Ruth García for her huge contribution to Zone Focus and we wish her luck with all her projects in the future.