This week on THE BIRDHOUSE, We have Octopus Recordings label boss and techno maestro, Sian, in for the guest mix. Born in Ireland, but raised in Spain, Sian first got his start on Steve Bug's Poker Flat imprint. Since then he has seen releases on labels such as AUS and Soma and now releases exclusively on his own label, Octopus. With tracks constantly hitting the Beatport top 10 positions and garnering continual critical praise, Octopus has become one of the top five selling techno labels worldwide. Keep reading below to check out Sian's guest mix and BIRDHOUSE questionnaire.
How did your music career get started in earnest?
I sent out one single demo to Steve Bug, he signed the tracks and also more importantly remixed one of them “Sei” which was a huge boost for me and got me started. I Definitely owe them a lot, for the initial helping hand there and Steve deserves a lot of credit for launching many folks! From there, I released on some other labels like Aus and Soma. Then, I felt my music needed a permanent home, and my own sound felt right on my own label.
Where are you from and does it have an influence on your music?
I grew up moving around Spain, but am originally Irish. Then I moved to Germany, and now I live in California. This has had a huge impact on me, as all those bizarre and polar opposite cultures have very different rhythms and flavors. I guess I try to take a little bit of them all into the nightclub with me!
How many times did you want to quit trying to make this your career?
So many times, being honest I question what I'm doing almost every day. Mainly due to working, trying so hard to make something original is privileged and rewarding in most ways, but it always can been taken as disposable in this hyperactive scene. This is just part of the struggle. I try not to over think it and take things too seriously. Its a party, it is loads of fun, don't get me wrong, and what you get depends on how you approach this strange and colorful industry. I left Biology to do this and it’s my path now.
What was one piece of equipment that helped define your sound early on?
I would have to say abusing samplers! Mainly turning the input gains way up to get some flat-top crunch on drums and bass, a happy mistake that defined a lot of my work.
When you were getting started, which artists did you try to emulate (both musically and careerwise)?
I was more influenced by ambient, hard drum n bass, hip hop or post rock stuff actually, and obviously the darker 80s stuff was my guiding light. I think many new wave and electro acts had a bigger influence on me than Techno or House.
When you have a tough week or a rough tour, how do you get yourself back on track?
I hit the pool, remind myself no-one is gonna die, and I'm a lucky bastard. If the gig didn't go as planned or travel was a bitch, I try shake it off and focus on the good.
Where and when are you at your most content/happiest?
In or under the sea, with dangerous sea creatures. Taking risks and pushing the public's buttons with strange new sounds!
Do you have any secret hobbies or hidden talents?
I can stand on my head, I actually do that every day to stretch and get blood to my brain. Its comfortable in a strange way!
Favorite and least favorite colors?
Favorite and least favorite words?
Favorite board game?
Favorite guilty pleasure food?
Favorite guilty pleasure song?
Rio by Duran Duran
German or Detroit techno?
Festival, club or illegal warehouse?
Biggie or Tupac?
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Exercise or Netflix?