NEOPOP 2022 is kicking it off tonight, and Numéro Netherlands couldn’t be more excited to join the ride.

We had the chance to speak to the amazing Carlota Marques, one of the key artists on Nina Kraviz’s Trip label who will be playing her debut on NEOPOP’s Anti Stage this Friday night.

The Berlin-based Dj and producer is well known for her highly visual approach to production, weaving the subtleties of emotion and memory into vivid sonic excursions. Born in Ibiza during the 90s the influences of beat and trance music and the eclectic blend of genres highly shaped her sound till now. ”Electronic music can describe things that would be difficult for other genres to approach. It has helped me express in ways I could never do with words only, practicing the principle of listening, realizing the power of the mind and how unlimited our imagination is.“ Carlota highlights.

How would you describe your sound? What are your favorite machines to produce?

I like to think of music as a medium for exploring “new” and unusual sounds, discovering the musical qualities of “non-musical” sounds, and ultimately creating a new timbral world. To achieve a sort of electronic sonic grammar that feels more organic, I customize different processing chains with my modular system and some hardware effects avoiding plugins, but at the end of the day I don’t rely on a specific way of creating sounds, I feel drawn by different instruments and tools such as Modular synthesizers, DYI field recording, acoustic instruments and vocals combined with digital tools. It is exciting to explore both the analog and digital worlds. Depending on the project that I’m working on, I feel all these parts are essential to the process.

To what extent do the musical influences from back then in your home country reflect in your sound, and your way of producing?

Being born in Ibiza, Spain during the 90s, the most predominant music that I was in contact with was Balearic beat and trance music, the eclectic blend of genres highly influenced  me to never be content with one sonic direction exploring new ways of blending sounds.

In terms of rhythms, how far would you say are producers able to discover and develop rhythms and sound, and what will the future bring?

With this technological era comes a more accessible process to write what is sometimes extremely complex music. These evolutions are changing the way we listen, view, think, consume and compose music. We are experiencing new emotions and new feelings that weren’t possible before, because of the new ways we are connected with each other. Despite, conversations that announce the end of art, human art, I think that these new technological tools still offer incredible options for any artistic discipline. Producers have highly benefited from the use of virtual studio technologies and more accessible hardware gear, allowing for very creative ideas to be expressed in ways that are much harder or impossible to do with traditional instruments.

There is something innate to human nature that cannot be achieved yet by technology. Hopefully this new technologies will allow us to be more human and more expressive together. Feeling and listening to your internal rhythm. For me, translating this through sounds is music’s highest form of expression.

Electronic music is giving us a collective yet also a personal spiritual experience. What value would you give to your experiences looking back?

Through my musical journey I feel I have opened a door, to a very personal and unknowable experience. Electronic music can describe things that would be difficult for other genres to approach. It has helped me express in ways I could never do with words only, practicing the principle of listening, realizing the power of the mind and how unlimited our imagination is. These are experiences that are outside one’s perception, but once you experience it, it becomes part of you forever. Considering the positive impact music can have upon us, I want to make full use of it, to expand and enhance the mind, both collectively and individually – thinking about our interconnectedness. I think the biggest value has been to not ignore this.

What place does electronic music have in our society? And what role do clubs and festivals play?

The distinction of electronic music from other music is the technology behind and how it shifts from being a communal experience to being something that a single person can do with a machine. I think it is an ecosystem that evolves at a fast pace, offering new possibilities to today’s generation. What’s interesting with this multi-model creation process, is that it contributes to new ways of listening. The role of clubs and festivals are key agents for restoring the value and impact that music can have on society.

What I really like about electronic music is the community and people that come together, I feel very lucky to be able to meet wherever I go to play music, other people, exploring and sharing diverse values and interests. Music, for me, is a therapeutic tool. As I view it, it is an ancestral communication channel used for expanding your mind. I think our generation can highly benefit if we focus on the good aspects of this ecosystem, using it to create and have a positive impact on the importance of mental health as a collective.

What do you expect from the NEOPOP Festival and what can we expect from your set? What are you most excited about?

It will be my first time playing at NEOPOP Festival so I am very keen to discover the festival. No expectation, just excitement!

In my DJ sets, I am interested in the music that surprises me, looking for sounds that inspire me, I am not so much concerned about having a pure sophisticated style. For me, it comes down to finding the balance between experimental and accessible music and blending those together. I am drawn toward an entropic and isentropic musical experience, leaving space for contrasts and unpredictability yet trying to create a flow.

Interview by MAGDALENA ROE