Energetic, innovative and versatile are just a few words you can choose to describe the prolific sound Lis Sarroca has been propelling in recent years, continuously drawing influences from her half Spanish, half Mexican background, and sprinkling in flavours from her current city of residence, Barcelona. Whether tuning in to one of her genre melding DJ sets around Europe and beyond, her storytelling online mixes for the likes of HÖR Berlin and Rinse FM, or whether you find yourself absorbing her tight and emphatic productions on well known labels such as Hot Haus Records, Shall Not Fade or on their own Maii Records imprint - you will undoubtedly feel the Sarroca effect.
Hey Lis, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions.
It is my pleasure, thanks for inviting me to collaborate.
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your background, maybe where you grew up and what first got you interested in electronic music?
I was born in Barcelona but I grew up in Mexico for most of my life. As a kid, I was always spending Christmas holidays in Barcelona and always felt like I wanted to come back to experience the way of living here. Music was definitely my best excuse to come back and start from zero. It’s been more than five years with the project in Europe, with all kinds of experiences, all enriching me.
I first started DJing with friends, but got really into it very fast, then after spending a few years playing, I started to think I really wanted to stay on that path, travel and look for new challenges.
You are living in Barcelona. How is the music and club scene there?
Barcelona has a lot to offer musically. I honestly love the record shops in town. Lots of big and small clubs, which makes environments interesting. There are plenty and have some really good people behind them. I enjoy all the various events, and summer day parties are one of my favorite things in town.
What have you been up to recently? Have you been making music during the past few months? Has your approach to production and the creative process changed since the pandemic hit?
Yes, I have been making music during the last months and year, it has been a good to have this by my side.
Definitely isolation and the pandemic made me think more about my direction and musical value. I mostly spent my time at home digging on sounds and listening to music from the past and present. Having that covered, going to the studio with a clear idea [helped my confidence].
You recently put out two strong releases on Shall Not Fade and Aterral. How did that come together?
Starting with Shall Not Fade, it took me around one year to collect the right tracks for the label, it was a nice motivation to have over the last year.
Carlo from Aterral came across to me but I already know him, back in 2016 with his label at that time, Neovinyl Records. I moved that year to Barcelona in search of the local deep house sound. It was last year that we connected, and he asked if I wanted to be part of his new project, Aterral Records. It was something really exciting for me; I’m a big fan. We finally met in person last October on a trip to Berlin. From then we agreed on the release of the EP. So it was really nice to grab a coffee together to celebrate and get to know each other a bit more. He’s such a great guy and an amazing artist. I’ve been enjoying and learning a lot from him. I am thankful to be collaborating with this brand new family.
How is your studio looking and which pieces are your favourite at the moment? How do you start a new tune?
Yes, that studio started with a Korg Minilogue, a midi keyboard controller and software. My favorite kit in the studio at the moment would be a TR-909, TR-808, SH-101, Juno-106, TB303, I like to work a lot with those sounds.
I like to start a tune with an idea or reference of something I just listened to or really have in my head, play from there and see what comes naturally, experiment.
Which artists made the biggest impression on you lately and why?
I have a lot of artists I look on every week, I've been always looking at Demuja and his new music in the studio.
How and where was the mix recorded? Is there a track in particular that you wanted to highlight?
I recorded this mix at home, with the help of records and digital music, playing some promos from friends and music I’ve been purchasing lately.
What are you up to next?
I'm quite excited about what’s next. In September I will release a record with Chiwax, with a 4 tracker and one Digital. This record has more one sound definition instead of a variety of style productions.