Mauricio Barembuem (aka Barem) perfectly personifies the new breed of electronic musician who has grown up in the digital age, using intuitive software programs like Reason and Ableton to spontaneously express ideas and emotions. Online distribution has also made it possible for them to reach out and connect with audiences across the globe, no matter where they are - Buenos Aires for example, where Barem grew up amid the hustle and bustle of a city on the edge.
His teenage years were spent playing blues and rock guitar in bands but this always meant compromise and he needed something more than that – something that would allow a purer form of self expression. At the time it was hard to hear good dance music in Argentina apart from one or two tracks that crossed over into the commercial clubs he sometimes visited with friends but that was enough to whet his appetite and he immediately got wrapped up in the beats, connecting with the music on a deeper level. He started exploring the electronic medium and became fascinated by how some DJs could apply their own peronal vision to the music, elevating it to an art form. This was exactly the inspiration he needed and he was soon experimenting with loops on his laptop, and buying records (7th City, Plus8, Perlon, Spectral and of course Minus) to dj with. However, deciding to become a techno producer/DJ in Buenos Aires was easier said than done. The equipment was very expensive and gigs were few and far between. It was very frustrating and he was close to quitting a few times but he found the right people at the right time and the solid advice they gave kept him motivated and focussed on his goal.
It was to be a defining moment and from that point on his induction into the scene was fast and frenetic. He released the Kleine EP on the free net label Unfoundsound in July 2005 not really knowing what to expect but something clicked, with the track Suki in particular (rereleased on vinyl by Phonocult two years later) grabbing the attention of many well known DJs. He soon made the step up to Foundsound (Unfoundsound's parent label) and released his first vinyl EP Campo Madness in May 2006 consolidating his position as a fresh, emerging talent.
His relationship with Minus began in November 2005 when he met Richie Hawtin in Buenos Aires who also showed a lot of interest in his work and encouraged him to submit some demos, one of which – Opal – appeared on the Min2Max LP to more critical acclaim. Needless to say, that was followed by a period of non-stop touring in the US and Europe as word got around and demand for his live performance grew. Then at the end of 2007, the release of his superb debut EP for Minus - Never Better Than Late – really cemented his strong personal and artistic connection with the label, representing another major achievement in his short but intense journey so far. Listening to the Minus EP, it’s clear he concentrates most energy into creating the powerful basslines that define his sound. His expansive use of reverb and delay on tracks like Then They… and So Serial creates a massive space for the subtle percussive elements to skip and snake while distant, sometimes eerie melodies often occur on a random, secondary level as a result of these interacting elements. For Barem, the bottom line is to keep things simple and stay true to the old school minimalist approach that first got him hooked.
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