Tag Archives: Reflexión y Respuesta

Artist Feature: Alejandro Aquino

Alejandro Aquino es un artista que ha vivido y aprendido de los varios contextos geográficos y temporales de su vida. Desde Guadalajara, México a Malasaña, Madrid, Aquino busca música sencilla que tiene poder en su propia melodía.  Desde lo análogo y lo digital, el músico contempla los efectos de la nueva rapidez tecnológica con que se comparte las cosas con un ritmo cada vez más rápido hoy en día. En el diálogo abajo, comparte su perspectiva ante esas cuestiones, muestra sus proyectos pasados y actuales, y habla de muchos temas más. Además urge que protejamos el costumbre de Reflexión y Respuesta en nuestro mundo actual que corre tan rápido que es posible perder el filtro de la honradez.

Alejandro Aquino is an artist who has lived and learned from the various geographic and temporal contexts of his life. Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico and moving to Malasaña, Madrid, Alejandro is in search of simple music that is powerful on its own. With experience from the analog world to the digital world, the musician contemplates the effects of new rapid technologies that are used to share ever faster. In the ensuing dialogue, Alejandro shares his perspective about these issues, speaks on his past and current projects, and much more. He also urges us to protect the custom of Reflection and Response in our world that moves so fast it is increasingly possible to lose the filter of honesty.

Alejandro Aquino

Yo he vivido la transición entre lo análogo y lo digital, y veo que ahora las generaciones actuales tienen mayor facilidad y velocidad para dirigir su arte a un colectivo mayor. Sólo recomendaría que la inmediatez, la prisa por dar a conocer el “arte” no nos ciegue, y no permita que lo que logremos crear pase por un filtro personal de Reflexión.

I’ve lived the transition from analog to digital, and I see that the current generation can spread their art to large audiences more easily than ever before. I would only advise that we not let this immediacy and overall hurry to spread our “art” blind us to the point that what we create doesn’t pass through our personal Reflection filters.

Para empezar con algunos puntos básicas, de dónde vienes? Dónde estás?

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

AA: Vengo de la ciudad de Guadalajara, México. Una ciudad populosa que se debate entre tradicionalismo y modernidad. La segunda ciudad en importancia en el país es el estandarte del folclor conocido como representante del país en el mundo entero. Y ahora, radico en el madrileño barrio de Malasaña, un lugar multicultural, donde se mezcla la vida nocturna distendida de copas con la oferta cultural de pequeños lugares donde igual se escucha música o se compra un buen libro.

AA: I’m from Guadalajara, Mexico, a populous city stuck between traditionalism and modernism. It’s the second biggest city in the country, and representative of the folklore that’s commonly considered to be representative of Mexico. Right now, I live in a barrio in Madrid called Malasaña – it’s a multicultural place where nightlife and casual drinking blend with cultural offerings found in small places to go out, where you’re just as likely to listen to music as you are to buv a good book. 

Que quiere decir “reflexión,” y “respuesta,” para ti?

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

AA: Reflexión es el resultado de la confrontación entre experiencia y momento. El espacio donde se interiorizan las consecuencias de nuestros actos pasados basándose en nuestras expectativas y las posibilidades de hacerlas realidad en un futuro.

La respuesta sería la acción, el resultado de la reflexión anterior. 

AA: Reflection is the result of the intersection of experience and reality. The space in which we internalize the consequences of our actions, grounded in our expectations and the possibilities of making them reality.

Response would be an action [that comes about] as a result of a prior reflection.

Cómo se mete tu arte en esta definición?

How does your work fit in with that definition?

AA: Mi arte, por así llamarlo, aunque para mí sería artesanía, es una especia de bitácora que refleja mis inquietudes o mis momentos en la vida. Es el resultado también de la música que escucho, la edad y la gente que me rodea.

AA: While I think of my art, if you will, as my craft, it serves as a daily log that reflects my anxieties or experiences in life. It’s also the result of the music I hear, the people around me, and the times we live in. 

Que más estás haciendo actualmente? Que proyectos estás pensando trabajar próximamente?

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

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Peter Muller Live in Granada Recap


A few weeks ago I went on my first LIFESTYLE-organized tour of looping/DJ sets. I started out with three performances in two days.Two sessions were to be at bars (Republik Club in Madrid and La Iguana in Granada) and one at a hostel also in Granada (Casa Bombo) overlooking the historic Alhambra. However, I ended up finding an opportunity to spit lyrics from Shake This Maze at a weekly jam session at the Boogaclub in Granada at the end of the weekend. Below is a photo/written recap of the First LIFESTYLE Tour.

We’ll start with the tour poster, designed by none other than LIFESTYLE co-facilitator Vicken Donikian.

Peter Muller Live on Tour Madrid / Granada

V conceptualized and completed the piece during a weekly marathon Skype session as we discussed tour goals and possibilities. Part of what makes a LIFESTYLE tour is the important idea of spreading the Collective in order to learn from and collaborate with those who practice Reflection and Response in different contexts. Below are the fliers I brought along for the ride to present to creators (Also by Vicken):

PM Flyers (6) the LIFESTYLE RR Flyers (6)

First up for the tour was a session in the cavernous basement at Republik Club in Madrid. I made the connect at Republik because the same family that owns the bar also has a locutorio three buildings away. Before I got internet in my apartment in Madrid I would visit the locutorio to both work on projects and try spit game at the super cute girl that worked the register.

After packing up for my 8 AM bus ticket the next day, I headed out to Republik for the first session. I listen to the end of a blues jam in the cave and with the homies Chema and Richard, then set up my laptop and APC 40 at 12:30, ready to rock.

Republik Dj Peter 3 Copas 10 Euro Republik

A lot of my Madrid people came out- word to those who made the cave rock for a solid three hours. After grabbing some late night pizza I went home to sleep for a supposed 2 hours.

5 hours later I had slept through my alarm and missed my bus while managing to leave both my camera and an audio cable that goes from my external soundcard (Traktor Audio 2) to RCA inputs. I booked a later bus ticket and hailed a cab going straight to an audio store to pick up a replacement cable. I had to hop out of the cab and leave the driver with everything- laptop, APC, clothes, while I ducked in to pick up the piece. After purchasing a new 8 meter cable, I headed outside to a street with no cabs. For 5 minutes the world stopped and had forgotten about me. I started considering how many English classes I would have to teach to replace my stuff.

Then, suddenly I heard the cab driver whistling to me on foot. He started to run to the cab parked a few meters away, I followed and we jumped in. As we neared the station told me that he would never rob the tools someone uses to work with- a good omen after a stressful beginning to the tour.

The show at Casa Bombo was supposed to start at 6. However, as I knocked on the door at 7:30, one of the managers greeted me warmly and showed me the room I was to stay in for the night in exchange for the session, where I showered up and prepared the show. The patio of the hostel had this view of the Alhambra:

Casa Bombo Day Patio

I ate some bomb homemade Italian food (most of the managers were Italian), then hit a session in their sala (you can see Reflection and Response Vol. 1: the ‘zine next to the fliers):

Casa bombo Session

After looping for about an hour and a half I headed out to a bar called La Iguana for the third session of the tour. Rubén, the bar’s owner, met me outside and I quickly set up and started in with Funk Around, which has become my opening track for sessions. Rubén kept the tapas coming, and again I set up the #LRR Fliers near the setup.

Iguana APC Iguana Set Up

Tapas Iguana

Rubén is one of the most legit bar owners I’ve met and I was stoked when we made plans to kick it the next day. After sleeping in at Casa Bombo, I headed out to check into my second hostel and met up with Rubén, his awesome girlfriend Pilar, and some other homies to grab some tapas. They let me know that there was a jam session with an opportunity to perform that night at the Boogaclub, a bigger venue in the city. We agreed to meet up later on.

As I walked back to the hostel from tapas with the crew I snapped a few pictures with my phone.

Skateboarding is not a Crime Cafe Bar Granada

I feel the idea that these images could come from wherever. The Reflection and Response detailed in the scenes bring up this anti-territorial, global nature of R&R. Skaters want to declare their innocence anywhere, and blues is advertised in places far from Route 66.

The biggest surprise of the tour almost never happened. I met Ruben and Pilar at Booga around 11 P.M. After listening to a jazz band kill it for an hour, the homies had had enough and had to go home to get some sleep. I was ready to leave too until I saw a guitar player standing outside the club who assured me that we would be able to perform. I headed back down to the stage this time unaccompanied. I spotted another guitar player tuning up and asked him what type of stuff he was going to play. He introduced himself as Mario, and said he does funky Red Hot Chili Peppers-esque grooves. I realized with the abundance of guitar players, I would have to bring something unique to the stage, so I let him know I was interested in rapping a few verses over the instrumental groove he was about to set up. He sounded excited and when we hit the stage, it felt right to spit “Wake Up,” as part of a once-in a lifetime remix.

This moment encapsulated what the LIFESTYLE on tour is all about- Promoting Collaboration and Community Through Practicing Reflection and Response. Mario and I had just met, but when we were done with our set we realized the common thread of R&R breeds Collective- wherever that collective happens to be. Be on the lookout for Mario and Ruben’s Features coming through soon!

-Reflection and Response.

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