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Interview: Sega Bodega

Scotland has been making up for creating the bagpipes over the last few years, producing one underground electronic music star after another. From Hudson Mohawke to Numbers, it’s now the turn of Glasgow’s Sega Bodega, or Salvador Navarrete as he is more uncommonly called, a producer who is fast making cinematic, beat-laden epics in his trademark style.

Having released his latest EP Song Dynasty in December and with a much-anticipated album in the pipeline, Planet Notion teased out all Sega Bodega’s plans for the New Year and looks back at 2013.

Planet Notion: Tell us a little about how you first got started in electronic music?
Sega Bodega: I think it was bound to happen. I started with Daft Punk and from there it just flowed. I listened to Homework and Discovery to the point I didn’t like them so much and I thought, ‘what else sounds like this?’ From there it grew. I wouldn’t say Daft Punk is my biggest influence but they were definitely how I got into electronic music. They were the bridge. Bob Marley was the bridge for reggae and Nirvana was the bridge for grunge. Daft Punk was the bridge to electronic music.

PN: Who out of your peers has been an influence to you?
SB: I think a lot of Scottish music like Numbers and All Caps. Everything sounds so much more, not to knock London or England, raw up here. I have no idea why it seems to be like that but it really is. You wouldn’t think it either as a lot of the nights up here are just house and techno and considering the amount of people that come from Scotland and have different sounds, you’d think it was an ocean of DJs and clubs but it’s not. It’s only really techno and house. You’ll occasionally have a hip-hop night but ten to one it’s house and techno, which is really fucking annoying.

PN: You released your Song Dynasty EP in December,  how was the process of putting that together?
SB: All of the stuff on this one is from 2009 or 2010 as I had an old hard drive I came across. I am trying to work on an album but because it’s taking so long I didn’t want there to be a year’s gap between releases. I can’t do that.

PN: How do you go about choosing which samples to use?
SB: I listened to a bunch of T2 remixes as that original is so good – and it still is. I was listening to a bunch of remixes of it and all of them were so bad. I’m not saying mine is the best but there is so much emotion in it. She sounds so sad and it sounds so lovely. It was cool as a garage track but I thought it could have done with something different.

PN: On your last EP, 34, you named some of the songs after victims of the serial killer Jeffery Dahmer. Was that not a theme you wanted to continue?
SB: Only some of them were but I’ll do that with the next one! The names were so nice.  There are no words in some of the songs so it is kind of hard to name them. Fair enough if there is a chorus or someone is singing a specific line then you just call it that but if there are no lyrics you have to give it a completely off-topic name. I wanted a name that looked very nice and all those names were quite nice to look at. They were a nice combination of letters.

PN: VJ Adoxo made your video for ‘Security’, how does that partnership work?
SB: He can do whatever he wants. It was my manager that put me on to him and he liked my music. He does my live visuals as well so when I play in London he comes and does a live thing along with me. If not I have a DVD, which is basically the live show, but flows along by itself and not with me. I tell him to do what he wants because I really like what he does. He does stuff for Quark as well.

PN: How important do you feel visuals are for live sets?
SB: So important. So many times I’ve heard people go along to Chemical Brothers or Prodigy and they may not be fans but they’ll always talk about the visuals. People that are just walking by may only hear a bit of a song but they can see it, which makes it so much better.

PN: You’ve been tipped quite heavily for success next year, do you feel any pressure from the hype?
SB: I don’t really feel like it is hype at all. I’m the kind of person that every single time someone says something nice to me, maybe it’s my own insecurities, but I always feel like they’re saying it because they have to. When a blog posts something I always think it’s because of a favour.

I’d like to feel like there is a hype, I’m sure that would feel great but maybe if I felt like there is a hype, I would feel stressed and pressured. Maybe me thinking it’s all favours helps keep me on my feet?

PN: Your music is quite cinematic. Do you think you’d ever like to do a film score in the future?
SB: That’s definitely the call. No plans in the pipeline but there is a short film that used one track of mine. I don’t know when it is coming out though.

[Talking about film scores, we couldn't resist sharing with you this genius tune built around samples of Summer Heights High's Mr. G.-Ed]

PN: Will the new album that’s in the works be all new material?
SB: It’ll be new to everybody else. There is this one track I have been working on for the last two years and I’ve never been able to finish it. In the last two weeks though I just got this new programme and it’s got all these big orchestral sounds, like all these really fucking good strings so now I’ve finished it. The reason I’ve been sitting on all this shit is because I didn’t have the right gear for it. It’s really annoying but now it’s happening. A lot of it is from 2010, 2011 and 2012 but not much from 2013. I have no idea when it’ll be out though.

PN: So, now 2013 is all dusted, have you got a plan for 2014 or are you taking it as it comes?
SB: The one thing I want to do is to get a show going, DJ everywhere and do lots of sets because that is fun. I think I want to get music done. It’s a boring answer but the truth. I’d love to do the festivals next summer but we’ll have to see.

- Sarah Joy

Sega Bodega’s Song Dynasty EP is available now. You can buy it here.

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