MEETING: FULMEN RECORDS – Utopyk Jones and El Fulminador
Today we present you Utopyk Jones and El Fulminador – two multi-talented artists and the founders of the record label Fulmen Records. We chatted about the limits of conventional labels and the possibilty of leaving the established methods behind in order to create your own artistic path.
Your record label is called Fulmen Records. What was the inspiration behind the name?
Andrés: The name Fulmen Records comes from the word “fulmen”, which in Latin means ‘flash of lightning’. It’s from this word that I took my stage-name as well, El Fulminador.
Bea: Fulmen is a vast concept. It entwines many things. The label, our parties … Not to mention that we are now in the process of rolling out Fulmen Buch, a new editorial project.
Andrés: Fulmen Buch was created to output the huge quantity of artistic graphic material and text that we have in our group: the photography production, illustrations, the ‘making-of’ of the video clips. The editorial section, however, will be kept separate from the label. It will be accessible via a new page presented in e-book format with the option to print for whoever so desires.
What genres of music does Fulmen Records represent?
Andrés: We have released 5 discs: one album and four EPs. Four of those five combine a variety of related genres: Slow Techno, Dark Disco, Downtempo, Slow Motion. With this in mind, technically our style can be called Dark Downtempo or Dark Slo Mo.
However, we also have Kabuki by El Fulminador and Cocodrill, which is Tech House.
This is the difference between Fulmen and the other labels. The label doesn't mark itself with a specific genre but with the tonality of the music which is published. It can be Techno, Tech House, Slow Motion or Experimental. What unites them all is a certain vibe, a criteria that goes beyond the established limits of a musical style.
Who are some of the artists working with Fulmen Records?
Andrés: We have published for artists such as Utopyk Jones, El Fulminador, CocoDrill and Sacv, as well as having worked with other invited musicians who have remixed our tracks, such as Tarmac, Chica Andina, Niels Poensgen, Hobo Baggins, etc. Furthermore, there is a selection of artists which are in the Fulmen Records database, and we will be publishing with them in the near future.
Lola Tiene Peligro and Maper form part of the Fulmen DJ Crew, together with the aforementioned artists.
In the field of performance, we count on Pequeña Muerte y La Libélula de Hollywood, who collaborate often in live acting as well as in recording the live performances.
Why have you started your own label?
Andrés: Firstly, we needed to allow the release of a large quantity of material which we had composed without being constrained to the limitations of a conventional label. Secondly, we wanted to organise our own parties, the Fulmen Nights, in order to have our own location in which we could play as well as to invite other DJs which we admire.
Andrés, you are from Buenos Aires, and Bea, you are from León, Spain. Why have you chosen Berlin to use as a base?
Andrés: Simply because it is the capital of the electronic music world up to an international level.
Bea: I came to Berlin the first time in 1999. Even then I was attracted to the history but also because it is a hotbed of activity. I love this city! When we arrived to live in Germany, we set up in Frankfurt but then we thought, no, let’s go to Berlin. In Berlin we will be much better off. And it is.
Where did you meet each other?
Andrés: In León in 2004.
Bea: Working. We began our adventure together quite a few years ago, in a call-centre talking to British people on the phone.
Sometimes it is difficult being in a couple. Playing together as DJs and managing a record label, how do you manage to not fall out?
Andrés: She does everything I say. (Laughs)
Bea: No! Liar! It’s just that we understand each other well, at a personal level as well as a professional level.
Where would you most like to put on a Fulmen Night if you could choose?
Bea: Fabric, London.
Andrés: In Golden Gate [in Berlin]! There we feel at home. Afterwards, if we are talking about a place a little bigger, I would pick Sisyphos [also in Berlin].
Who would you like to work together with some time? Or do a B2B during your parties?
Andrés: With Front 242, with… There are so many people that I admire that I can’t choose one… but with Cristoph or with Hot since 82 - in case of putting on a house party.
When can we look forward to the next Fulmen Night?
Bea: The next Fulmen Records Club Night will be in May.
Andrés: Friday, 12th May, in Urban Spree in Berlin. Warschauer Straße, on the corner of Revaler Straße.
Bea: It’s going to be special. We are thinking about who to put into the line-up. We will be getting in contact with members of the Fulmen DJ Crew as well as a few other specially invited artists.
What advice would you give a young DJ coming to Berlin?
Bea: Hahaha,fight! Many times you will have to spin for empty venues or you’ll take nothing home. It’s just a part of the process that you have to go through.
Andrés: I would advise to not let external influence change you. Stay true to your style. Nothing else matters. Even if the venue is empty. You shouldn’t change just because you aren’t having comercial success. Do not forget your musical intention. Also, be careful with playing for free! You can do it a few times but it’s important to value yourself and your time as a musician.
Berlín, for the rest of your lives?
Andrés: I don’t now. I really don’t know.
Bea: No idea…
Andrés: One of the characteristics of Berlin is that you don’t make plans. In other countries or cities, you usually plan for the future, but here, in this city, you live a little more day by day. As do we.
Bea: Yeah, you live in the here and now in Berlin.
What’s your favourite track out at the moment?
Andrés: ‘Let A B!tch Know’ [by Kiddy Smile]
THANK YOU SO MUCH, BEA AND ANDRÉS!!!
- Written by Julia Schwenner
- Photo credits: Fulmen Records / Oscar Barbosa
Get in contact with Bea and Andrés: