They’re criminally underrated and that’s okay.
Ojodeapolo is one of the unsung record labels in deep house. Founded by Jorge C, Ojodeapolo has one foot in his native Chile, one in his adopted city of Berlin and a third foot that shouldn’t be there at all stomping through Detroit and Chicago and the greater Midwest of the United States.
The list of people who have had original productions or remixes on Ojodeapolo is staggering – Reggie Dokes, Kai Alcé, DJ Sprinkles, Rick Wade, Chicago Skyway, Basic Soul Unit, Heiroglyphic Being, etc. Ojodeapolo has a sound curated and often composed by founder Jorge C. (aka “Receptor”) and often characterized as classy, sometimes jazzy and with a mechanized tech flair.
Alton Miller and Terrence Parker join the roster with Ojodeapolo’s latest release, Jorge C’s EP “Brother.” Both remixes are choice, and so are the originals. I talked to Jorge as the coronavirus pandemic began dragging a curtain of closures around the world. After many delays, Brother will be available shortly on wax from Clone.
Here’s our introduction, if you’re not already friends, with Ojodeapolo and Jorge C. on the making of “Brother.”
Chile/Berlin is a strange place of origin. Which one are you now and how long have you been producing music?
Until a couple of years ago I thought the same thing, but I’m increasingly impressed by the number of Chileans living in Berlin, at least on the artistic side, which is the atmosphere I encounter the most.
I’ve been living in Berlin for 9 years and I’ve been coming back and forth from Santiago de Chile since 2000. The truth is that the Chilean scene, despite being small, has always had a very active local scene of electronic house, techno, etc. with a certain relationship to that city.
Where did you start on “Brother” – with drums, the melody or the sample?
I usually start with the rhythmic base. It must be because I have a background as a drummer and some percussion but in the case of this track it started with a melody sampled from an old record I have from The Penguin Cafe Orchestra.
The truth is that this song marks a stage of old tracks of mine that were strongly focused on sampling and rhythm. I think that the rhythmic is still strong in my productions but since I started studying piano 5 years ago my tracks are well marked in the melodic part and executed in its totality by me.
What equipment or software did you use? Anything new (for you) or unusual?
For this track specifically, as much as I remember it was created with an Elektron Machine for the rhythm and some pads and other percussive elements, plus samples by the Korg Electribe ESX-1 and all edited in Ableton. The new or unusual was in the post-production process.
Ojodeapolo has looked to Detroit quite a lot, with your split Combo EP with Rick Wade, Reggie Dokes “House Is My Soul” and you’ve got Terrence Parker and Alton Miller remixing this one. What’s your relationship with the music of Detroit and can you tell us what Terrence and Alton brought to “Brother”?
As a result of my relationship with Berlin, in the late 1990s I got to know the Hardwax record store, which since then had a good catalog of house music from both Detroit and Chicago, and I immediately loved that style. From there, I researched and got to know exponents of this trend and dedicated myself to writing to those who respected their work.
Some answered me, others did not and that gave rise to their contributions to ojodeapolo.
On the contributions of the remixes to “Brother,” Alton brought more warmth and sensuality to the original track and Terrence more adrenaline and a new melodic approach.
If someone is new to Ojodeapolo, where should they start when plundering your back catalog?
Each album has its own history and moment, but personally I feel that since the 4th production of the catalogue until “Brother” I have been creating an identity. I feel especially appreciated by the work of Reggie Dokes and he was the one who opened the doors for me to be distributed by the great label Clone.nl
What happens next for you?
Always learning new production and composition workflows are a source of inspiration for me to continue building material in the future, but at the same time it becomes interesting to go deeper with the tools I have. And as I get material out, I try to release it on my own label (which is slow due to the high costs of production) as well as sending demos to labels that I find interesting.