Barcelona-based Cora Novoa made a stirring label debut this month with sumptuous two tracker ‘Sun/Black Out’. While the EP closes out the Twin Turbo series as the last ever release on the imprint, it also marks the first in a series of new releases from Cora Novoa on Turbo. We took some time this week to get to know her a little better, touching on her newly announced Sonar+ / Factory artist residency, her day to day routine and her advice for budding producers in this challenging time.
Turbo: Cora, we are so happy to finally have you here! It’s been a long time coming. What does Turbo mean to you and what are some of your earliest memories of the label?
Tiga has always been a reference for me and releasing on Turbo Recordings is a dream come true. I remember that my first contact with club culture was in Madrid, I had just arrived from Ourense to study as a sound technician and I had not yet experienced the nightlife scene of the Spanish capital. Thanks to clubs like “Coppelia 101”, I discovered artists and labels like The Hacker, Dopplereffekt, Jori Hulkkonen, Miss Kittin, Tiga, Nitzer Ebb, Gigolo Records, Turbo Recordings, Anthony Rother and Ellen Alien, and I was able to enjoy the best electro and techno at the time.
14 years later something has happened that I never would have imagined, and that is to be able to be part of the Turbo family together with artists like Jori Hulkkonen (one of my favorite artists of all my life), TWR72, Brodinski, Chromeo or Charlotte de Witte, so I am super happy.
Turbo: Where and when did you produce the ‘Sun/Blackout’ EP?
The balance of this EP is perfect, as I produced “Sun” before the lockdown and “Black Out” during the lockdown. I’m very happy to have reached this moment as a producer, I feel I have the sound I always wanted to have, and all thanks to a lot of effort and daily work.
Of course my sound has evolved and right now I’m focused on working more with industrial and dirty sounds, with some electro reminiscence, going back to my roots. “Sun” has that touch of clubby vocals that fits perfectly in any of my sets, and “Black Out” has that New-synth noise that can fit either at the beginning of a set or in a more cathartic moment of the session.
Turbo: You’ve spoken previously about being creatively influenced by the likes of design, mythology, books, and the occult. Was there a particular inspiration behind this EP?
I love to work with a background behind me, especially when I’m creating an album and can weave one track into another through a storytelling. In this case there is a same sound palette but I haven’t worked behind a concept that would unite everything under a story.
Turbo: Production-wise, what are some of the key tools that were used in the process of crafting the two tracks?
My current weapons in the studio are modular synthesizers and drum machines for creating rude and much darker sound. And on the other hand the sampling, I love to sample audio of people talking about concepts or ideas that I like, also of my own field recordings. I process all the sampling digitally with the computer, so I have achieved the perfect mix between the analog and digital world.
Turbo: It’s been a whirlwind journey for you over the last couple of years, your CV is packed with impressive accomplishments and you’ve always kept a DIY attitude. Can you share with us some of the standout moments along the way?
Thank you very much for such nice words, I really appreciate them and I like that people value all the work behind every project I do and get involved in.
There really isn’t any secret, working very hard, being consistent and being surrounded by people who love and support you. I have wanted to throw in the towel many times, this industry is really difficult, but not impossible, and above all to make a space for yourself is what really costs, but if you’re consistent, you have your feet on the ground and you adapt to the unexpected (like bamboo), everything will flow.
Turbo: You’ve been chosen for the Sonar+ / Factory artist residency in Berlin. What do you expect to accomplish in your time there?
It’s a dream come true being part of this residency!! I was shocked when they made the announcement, so I’m gonna give all my energy, creativity and effort on that project. All the people selected are awesome, and I can’t wait to meet them physically and create something big with art, music, technology and fashion.
I also want to thank “Institut Ramon Llul” and “Ramon Llul Berlin” for all their support, without them it would have been impossible to have been part of this residency.
Turbo: What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to a budding producer trying to break out in this challenging time?
That he works, learns and knows how to adapt to the limits of this unusual situation. It’s very important to have the best attitude possible and avoid thinking about the future, so one of my tricks is to work, work, work, so I live in the here and now, and don’t think in the long term.
It’s very good to set annual, quarterly and monthly goals, especially now as we approach the beginning of 2021, and to be open to adapting them according to the changes that occur along the way.
Turbo: If you could have an extra 4 hours in the day, what would you spend it doing?
I love this question! Without a doubt go to do a training in the Crossfit box or weightlifting wod, read, play the flute again, as when I was 17 years old, and of course spend more time with my girl.
Turbo: As we head towards the tail end of 2020, what would make the ideal finish to the year?
To spend this Christmas with my family and my girl in Galicia, and to invent effective quick COVID tests to do before entering all cultural events in order to enjoy the music without masks or safety distance.
Out Now: Cora Novoa – Sun/Black Out – Stream/Download here.