Alex Alarcón aka Sustainer lives and works in Barcelona, Spain. He got into making music when he was a child, playing guitar and homemade percussions, and then began experimenting with sequencers and synths in the mid-90’s. After releasing some beat-oriented stuff, his sound began to evolve towards less-rhythm oriented music, near to ambient drone and electroacoustic fields with deep textures. His latest releases include ‘Radiolas’ on Room40 and ‘Taps’ on Tessellate Recordings. Alex prepared a fantastic guest mix for us called ‘Antidotes’, which is dedicated to the ‘film noir’ genre… so expect lots of jazzy, vaporous & smoky infused tracks… from 1957 until today. We also asked him to tell us a little bit about his selection, so keep on reading and listening!
why noir cinema?
the genre has been my interest since i was a child, but while growing up, i noticed i began to like it more and more, not only because its main clichés, but also for the wide subgenres it covers. i always liked that grainy, monochrome aesthetic and the music on both classic and current films, easily recognizable in some aspects: slow tempos derived from jazz, brass sections, strings, twanged guitars, and great moments of intensity, silence. all of this, mixed with well known characters from the movies, matched my imagination perfectly, until today… from the early influence from german expressionism works to cronenberg films.
i enjoy gigs without visual support, even in complete darkness (with the droney/ambient/experimental stuff), because i like the fact of seeing pictures within the music itself. the same when i listen to music at home: i enjoy it the most when i’m going to sleep, using my headphones, and especially when i turn the lights off. that’s the perfect moment for me to “visualize” sound.
the music i’ve put in the mix is almost the same i’ve been listening during my last summer’s nights. some of these tracks helped me a lot during my health recovering process, so that’s why i call them “antidotes”… these (and other) sound capsules helped me to travel while i laid on my bed or sofa, and also made me feel better!