A new logo, website, an own radio station, and a string of stirring fresh releases: since last spring Cómeme records is remoulded. Content-related the label returns even more internationalist than before with musicians from Moscow, Rosario, Berlin, Medellin, Santiago de Chile, London, and Cologne. As formerly Cómeme’s musical temperaments are widely ramified and longing from infectious semi-electronic body music and cumbia-inspired rhythm affairs to detached pitch-frenzied Disco, frantic Chicago influenced House, and other hard to pigeonhole eclecticism. Cómeme has always been a place for the art of letting go and always been a shelter for passionate libertines in delightful sombre moods. For Carhartt Radio Alejandro Paz and Matias Aguayo mixed a show that provides an insight about the labels vibe and dives deep into the past, present, and future with some unreleased tracks, hits, and soon to be released treasures of artists such as Ana Helder, Barnt, or Daniel Maloso. We hooked up with Cómeme don Matias Aguayo to get some background information on the labels relaunch and some private secrets far beyond music.
Recently you relaunched Cómeme records - what is new?
Matias Aguayo: New are the whole artwork, the fact that we have a more sophisticated homepage, and also the idea of RADIO CÓMEME, in which we present podcasts as a radio program, with regular shows of friends and members of the label, and on the other hand mix tapes by people we are inviting to participate. In the past we could only speak via our own releases and music. The radio allows us to show a broader context, to make people understand where we come from and what music has influenced us. Also I think we have some great djs amongst us with great collections, so I think it is important to show that and to share our music. I think it is important to follow the creative impulses of the people who participate in the label, to let thing happen and to give a lot of freedom, this is also something new, we moved away from a rather conceptual idea...
When Cómeme started, it was mostly a bedroom label, now it is a bit bigger. Can you describe a bit of what your "office" looks like and what an "average" day at the office might be?
Matias Aguayo: Obviously the label has become a lot of more work than in the past. Overwhelmingly much work. But it is a beautiful work and we can count on a great team of people who are willing to participate with a lot of energy! As we are spread out throughout the world we don't really have an office. So we sometimes meet via Skype and if we can at some place in real life, and also the phone is ringing often. We mix down each others tracks, check for the artwork and go through different ideas, listen to tracks that were sent to us and give suggestions, improvise dance floors to see if the tracks are doing their job and making us move, when I got visits we go to my studio and record, etc...
What qualities do you look for as label operator?
Matias Aguayo: First of all it is about the spirit of the musicians who participate, if it appeals to us, and also if they are willing to share and to collaborate, it is not so much a label were you send a demo to and then it gets released...
Can you describe to us the inspiration behind Cómeme?
Matias Aguayo: The inspiration lies in the music we love and share. I think there is a spirit in common between all participants! We all have a lot of important references that lie in the past, but our present references have very much to do with the music our friends are doing, rather with something we see in some magazines or other public space. And yes it is about radical dance music, it is all in relationship to the dancers, and to take the idea of dancing away from genre thinking, and away from formats like only the club, but taking the dance to everyday life. We believe that we can create a space that works differently, and that we can be stronger if we help each other out. I think there is a mixture of integrity and subversiveness that we want to save and keep on developing, such as a space where we somehow can live our dreams...
Recently the Cómeme family did a musical camp at Gudrun Gut's and Thomas Fehlmann's property Gut Sternhagen - what was the impetus behind the journey into the East German countryside?
Matias Aguayo: The impetus was exactly in the fact of being able to have the artists who live in different places working under one roof and helping each other, strongly believing in the fact that we could gain better results like this and also that it is more fun, than hanging out alone in front of a computer. So it was an ideal place, far away from everything, in the less populated area of Germany, with a very weak and unstable Internet connection. It was a great experience in which every participant learned a lot, and in which we gained very uplifting results, that are already sounding in our sets and soon on vinyl...
(Matias Aguayo & Alejandro Paz in the studio @ Gut Sternhagen)
How important is the internet for what you do business-wise as well as musically?
Matias Aguayo: Extremely important, I would even say it is a condition that allows us to exists the way we are functioning. To keep up the contact with everybody and to be able to work on our music from a distance, to share, to have our own radio program, and all that, is the very basis for what we do. And also it has allowed us to get to know a lot of music and artists from around the globe we probably would have never met otherwise... But also it is very important for us to have the other side, to use the Internet as a tool, yes, but the party takes place somewhere else, and the music including the radio is to listen and not to be sitting in front of the screen...
How important are the non-musical components of your releases, i.e. packaging and album art?
Matias Aguayo: Very important, almost as important I would say. The "looks" of the music explains our fantasies better, it gives a hint to how to listen and to enjoy the music. And it speaks about us, about our playfulness, the way we dress up for partying, etc... I mean it would make sense to give comeme an austere black and white reduced look for instance, we are about colors and feelings, about the carnivalesque side of nightlife and about passion, so we have to speak like this also in a visual way.
Your artists roster includes people from all over the world. How do you manage to keep the family spirit alive?
Matias Aguayo: On the one hand it magically happens without effort. People got in touch together and somehow keep on living it together. But on the other hand obviously the fact of doing tours together, or things like the summer studio thing near Berlin we just talked about are very essential...
Do you think that Berlin has had a strong influence on your work, both as musicians and as label people?
Matias Aguayo: Not so much in a musical way, but what is actually good is that many people come to Berlin and that allows us to have more guests in the studio and it makes collaborations easier...
What process do you follow for getting new artists?
Matias Aguayo: There is many different ways, some people just appear on a party and give me a demo, then again one of our artists introduces a friend that wants to join in, then again I do contact people if I find somebody who is putting up interesting stuff on soundcloud or platforms like that. That's the way for instance we got to know Ana Helder from Rosario, Argentina... But in common is the fact of collaboration, the idea of helping to develop stuff, and to work in a positive way as the labels in the past, meaning to have arrangers, writers, producers, etc... But obviously in a less hierarchical way...
What exciting stuff do you have in the pipeline currently?
Matias Aguayo: There's a lot, we got more music coming up by Alejandro Paz, provider of finest modern Latin jack grooves, and SANO from Medelli, Colombia, with his dirty Salsa rhythms, then there is the most subversive deep and crazy music by Ana Helder, also we are looking forward to 12" from Barnt, Christian S, and DJs Pareja. Very special also the fact that we will have an album by Daniel Maloso coming out in October! Well, musically there is a lot more surprises to come, plus wild Cómeme parties near your neighborhood ...
Do you have a "wish list" of musicians you'd like to see on Cómeme?
Matias Aguayo: No, not really...
What was your biggest seller so far?
Matias Aguayo: I would have to call the person who knows that but it's too late in the day now... I presume it is The Power Of Now 12" ...
How did you select the tracks for your Carhartt Radio show?
Matias Aguayo: Just trying to put up a good combination between old and new releases, some unreleased stuff, and some of the stuff we could record on that magical two weeks in the countryside...
What is your favorite music video of all time?
Matias Aguayo: Bakerman by Laid Back. I think it was done by Lars von Trier but without dogma yet...
If you could be in any band, living or dead, for a day which band would it be?
Matias Aguayo: Maybe Sly & the Family Stone, or The Beatles, or ESG...
What was the last track that sent shivers up your spine?
Matias Aguayo: "Free" by Alejandro Paz, soon to be released on Cómeme...
Did you have a your dream job as a child?
Matias Aguayo: Yes - it changed every now and then between scientist and musician.
What ethos / motto do you try to live your life by?
Matias Aguayo: Now is the time! And don't believe the hype!
Do you have any idols when it comes to music?
Matias Aguayo: Bo Diddley, Arthur Russel, Ana Helder, Andres Landero, and DJ Pierre.
What old albums you rediscovered lately and what makes them special?
Matias Aguayo: Frequencies by LFO is still a timeless album, and L.I.F.E. by Transllusion.
What superpower would you like to have?
Matias Aguayo: Obviously to be able to fly!
If you could spend a night partying with any of your icons, who would it be?
Matias Aguayo: Nile Rogers.
Where is heaven on earth for you?
Matias Aguayo: Cologne!