“I like recording ‘mistakes’, so that you can truly grasp the ‘real’ vibe that was happening.” Susobrino on new tunes and homegrown influences

In anticipation of this year’s BOUGE B, an innovative dance and music festival held annually in deSingel, we speak to some of the talented dancers and performers showcasing at the event. BOUGE B was originally founded in 2008, and has since developed from a contemporary dance event to fully-fledged dance and music festival and continues to grow and evolve every year. Combining music and dance to explore new means of presenting differing art forms and thus creating a platform for the audience to fully engage with the experience, this year’s Club Edition is sure to palpitate the senses.

In this week’s mini-series, The Word Magazine speaks to Susobrino about his humble beginnings and his quest for an authentic sound rooted in hip hop, electronic and traditional Latin American music. With plans to perform thrilling new music at BOUGE B, Susobrino AKA Bart Van Obbergen Pérez reveals how his studio set-up, consisting of a simple microphone and secondhand instruments, adds an element of rawness to his already unique sound.

Visuals Laurens Thys (c)

Can you describe your practice as a musician? How would you define your music and where do you draw your inspiration from?

I describe my music as traditional and indigenous Latin American music fused with electronic music. Hip-hop is a big source of inspiration in the electronic music genre – think of Dengue Dengue Dengue or Flako, prime examples.

What are your respective backgrounds? How did you first get introduced to making music?

I’ve been making music since I was old enough to understand Lego – Lego and music were my thing. My parents bought me a keyboard, and I would play along with the radio. I also studied music from the age of 8 until two years ago.

Could you talk to us about your recording process and your approach to music-making?

I record everything myself using simple gear: just one microphone and many second-hand instruments, predominantly percussive. I like recording “mistakes”, so that you can truly grasp the “real” vibe that was happening. If you listen to old cumbia songs, you can sometimes hear a trumpet slip a tone or raw shouts, when really they could have recorded everything perfectly instead. Which approach has more vida? I also enjoy extreme stereo a lot.

If you listen to old cumbia songs, you can sometimes hear a trumpet slip a tone or raw shouts, when really they could have recorded everything perfectly instead. Which approach has more vida?

How do you translate your music from the studio to live setting? What are you seeking to express to your audience in a live concert context?

It’s still a work in progress to have the perfect live set. I make sort of backing tracks so that I can play live instruments over them. I also improvise in between songs if I feel like it.

What, exactly, will you be performing during BOUGE B?

By then, I will have new music for all of you, so it will be a full surprise for everyone!

Music and dance festival BOUGE B will be taking place on 15th and 16th March at Antwerp’s deSingel. The Word Radio will be handling afterparty duties with 2F4F on the Saturday.