Next artist we profile is Rainer Serrat, ahead of the busy Sonar off-week taking place in Barcelona, the city he is living in. Often playing at Half Baked, in his hometown as well as abroad, and with releases on Half Baked Records, BodyParts, Redpanda, Vinylclub and Rooted Series as well as his own In Therapy records, is definitely an artist worth to keep under the radar.

He is also part of checkpoint crew, a collective of artists based in Barcelona and renown for the interesting venue they propose for their events, whose activites are the starting point of our Q&A below.

Hi Rainer! checkpoint managed to create a very distinctive party in Barcelona, combining emerging talents lineups with interesting venues – we are thinking about this year off-week parties spread across 4 days and several venues like rooftops or yachts. What is the rationale behind the party and what do you want to achieve?

First of all.. Thank you Trommel for the invite! We have been working on checkpoint for over 4 years now, and the idea behind is to find small capacity locations that are intimate & cosy and mix them with art installations. The team is been working on the possibility to get all those venues ready for Sonar so that every person that does not live in Barcelona will have the chance to experience what really checkpoint is, not only during off Sonar. In the past years however, we have been collaborating with different clubs and venues trying to mix the local scene with international artist of our likes.

Barcelona is always a active city from a music point of view, not only during the Sonar off week. Can you describe your relationship with the city you are born in, and how you see it evolved and projected in the European clubbing landscape?

Barcelona is a warm place where people come to relax and disconnect from their boring lives, that has been a plus and contra to the scene in my point of view, as you get a lot of tourists that come to exceed and not to enjoy & learn.

Recently, with the mixture of people moved here Barcelona regenerated the night scene and started  to be influenced by more intellectual and musically cultured cities like London and Berlin and even Moscow or Kiev, where the music is the conductor and the main reason to go out.

In the last 9 years we have seen a big change in the city nights with new brands and collectives working to improve the quality of the clubbing experience. I am referring to brands like checkpoint, Nut Records, Subwax, Eightswuare, Kommuna and Loud which are collaborating on a monthly basis with clubs and spaces like RED58, Atipico, Macarena, Input and more, to bring the best artists in Barcelona.

Influences are very important in shaping an artist style, which is constantly evolving: what was the artist/environment that more influenced you?

My early influences came from jazz, soul and rock songs from the radio back in the early 90’s.
I used to love to record tapes with songs that i liked from the Doors, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, Depeche Mode, Sting, Pearl Jam, Sublime, etc…
Around 2000 I got into electronic music and started to collect vinyls from local record stores in Barcelona (Verdes records, SCI fi, cddrome) and since then I have been influenced mostly by artists like: Statis, Daniel Bell, Atom, Submania, Roman Fluegel, Hi Ryze, Titonton Durante, Ricardo Villalobos, Metro Area, DMX crew, Zip, Mathew Jonson, Gary Martin, Rudolf, Cesare, Viudez, Pablo Tarno, Robin ORdell, Onirik, Cesar Merveille and I could go on more and more. Last I would like to mention Fabric family which saw us grow since the beginning and gave us amazing moments in their London club.

What is the record that is always with you?

It is by D.S – Volume 1 released by French label f comunications. In particular, the B side, Additional Elements

What do you have in mind for the upcoming future?

I´m working on the 4th release from my label In Therapy records, that will be 2 of my original tracks with a remix by Hi Ryze.
At the same time, I am working with checkpoint crew to develop the brand and expanding it abroad.
As far as gigs go, I´m very excited for June that is looking busy for me with a little trip to Moscow for the Meets Summer at Rodnya, Barcelona for Sonar, plus I will be performing at Half Baked & Checkpoint.
Last,  I am also very excited to be part of Sunwaves festival again for this summer edition!

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Follow Rainer: Facebook / SoundCloud
Follow checkpoint: Facebook
Listen to Rainer lastest podcast for Trommel on our SoundCloud