- The world at 118 BPM.
Everything about Oriana is a bit low-key. Though she lives in Barcelona now, she hails from Uruguay—one of house music's noted hotspots—where she shares many traits with her fellow DJs: a barely-there social media presence, a steady stream of mixes full of strange and unknown grooves (no tracklists, of course). She prefers to speak through gently swung grooves and seamless transitions, the kind of DJ who makes it sound like Technics turntables are an extension of her limbs.
If you listen to the mixes on her SoundCloud (which you should), you'll find a gently rolling, skippy and occasionally atmospheric style that feels perfectly pitched between Berlin and Montevideo. But on this RA Podcast, she branches out a little, collecting all the in-between downtempo-ish records that she has a hard time fitting into other sets. It's a little New Beat, a little EBM, a little techno, all mixed by someone who lives and breathes records.
What are you grateful for these days?
I am very grateful for the group of people that surround and support me. My family and friends are incredible and even though it has been a difficult time I have always felt that I am with those I need to be with. I am also grateful to live in front of a forest and have my home and studio as a shelter from the city while being close to everything.
How and where was the mix recorded? And can you tell us the idea behind it?
The mix was recorded in my living room in the afternoon. I recorded it with two Technics M5Gs and an Allen & Heath Xone:62. The idea was born because I started to find a lot of music with a very low BPM—slow, but intense—and as I loved it, I bought it, but I couldn't use it with the rest of my club music because it was so slow that it didn't reach the BPM of the music I normally play.
I also couldn't play it with my downtempo music because it was too intense and had nothing to do with it. However, this music kept coming to me constantly and I finally decided to use it all for a mix. In my house I have turntables that allow me to mix music with very different BPMs, and I used all these records adding some more club records that I slowed down. The result was this mix where I mix various genres from electro, techno to new beat but it doesn't go higher than 118 BPM, but it has an intensity and depth behind it that grows little by little.
What are you looking forward to in the near future?
Right now there are several plans I have for the future, with my roommate and great DJ Fabricio, we have launched a music platform called Mirror. It has not been easy because during the pandemic everything was closed, but we have been moving forward. The idea of this platform is to focus on musical content above everything else. Bringing to the Barcelona scene a new place to enjoy music and dance.
I am also studying a full diploma in sound which includes music composition and production among others. My house is a space 100 percent dedicated to music, we have a lounge room to play records full of plants and then two production studios. We have a great dynamic inside and this keeps us always being productive.
What's one social or political cause you want the world to pay more attention to?
I could talk about many things here but I think the most important thing to point out right now is the excessive consumption and the importance of image, I think we have lost a lot of conscience about what we consume. I think many people prefer not to deal with the issue but this is just a reflection of how superficial everything is becoming. I think that the era of excessive consumption should be stopped and for this each of us must change our actions and realise that we are really destroying everything at the expense of satiating our hunger to have more and more and then go to social networks to show how ''happy'' we are. Also talking about the image I feel that we are giving too much importance to social networks and this is having very serious consequences in art and life in general.
You've spent your DJing career in and out of Uruguay. Thought you're not based there right now, has the city left an imprint/influence on you and the kind of music you play?
I think that having been in Uruguay and having lived from a very young age the scene that exists there has left a certain influence on me. Not so much on my musical taste but above all on the dedication and effort put by the artists that are there and were formed there as such. There are many very talented artists that we can name from Uruguay, however I don't think we can generalise their music into one sound since each one has their own style. They have inspired me yes, but in their way of doing and the dedication and commitment they put into what they do.
How has the return to DJing for you been? Have you changed your style or approach at all after so long without DJing?
I am very happy to have the opportunity to go back to listen and play in the clubs, I think this time without, has shown us all how important it is to have this space that if we go for the music, it is therapy. The truth is that I haven't stopped playing, I've just kept doing it at home, I'm constantly changing my style. I'm the kind of person who buys absolutely everything I love at the record store, and then I see what I can do with what I buy. I don't follow the same line, I buy everything and then I sort myself out and create my own line according to how I'm feeling at the moment.