There is a universal trait shared by all those who say they don’t like techno – they’ve never been on a dance floor when Victor Ruiz has stepped up to the decks.
Thankfully, this is a problem that can easily be remedied.
The Brazilian-born, Amsterdam-based producer has embarked on an endlessly rolling tour bringing his unique brand of techno to warehouse parties, mega-clubs, secretive establishments, and the dusty dance floors of festivals all over the world.
“I never thought I would become a DJ.” - Victor Ruiz
Though all this travel may sound exhausting, Ruiz is blessed with an unusual way of perceiving his surroundings that allows inspiration to spring from every place he visits, as he explained to 15Questions
“I see colours in everything. Some call it synaesthesia. For me, music has colours and visual textures in my mind, and that’s how I get inspired and feel music. It’s very different, but it’s how it has always been with me.”
This low-key superpower makes music an ethereal experience for Ruiz and in turn, it allows him to add a touch of transcendence to his own creations.
He’s able to translate sensorial input into sound, injecting elements of rock & roll, and heavy metal to create a sonic brew that stretches beyond the genre its grounded in. This makes him a 'daywalker' in the techno world, able to please the genre’s biggest fans while also winning over people who thought they hated it.
The funny thing is, if young Victor had been given a glimpse of his techno DJing future self he would’ve been deeply unimpressed. “I never thought I would become a DJ,” he told The Waveform Transmitter
“I wanted to be a f...ing rock star! I was playing bass guitar in rock, punk, and metal bands, not going to clubs and raves.”
Though clubs and raves are now a pivotal part of his life, he enjoys listening to a broad spectrum of music. Speaking to 909Originals
(March 2019), he explained: “I basically don’t listen to techno at home, so all the major influences of my work come from every single band and artist that I listen to. I absorb and try to translate it all into my music.”
One way this comes out is the epic remixes of classic songs he works in with his original tracks. If you’ve ever been in the midst of a vibrant dance floor and heard the first notes of Ruiz’s remix of The Prodigy’s 'Breath' roll out, you’ll know what a trip it is.
The upswing of energy that comes from it is palpable, and as nostalgia mixes with the thumping bassline and iconic riff neurotransmitters start firing so profusely you can almost see the sparks in people’s eyes.
Over the years, he’s developed a knack for configuring sounds in just the right way to get your happy chemicals flowing. His love of heavy metal lends a deep undercurrent of darkness to the music, but floating above you will find a multitude of playful layers that send goosebumps rippling through the dance floor.
Ruiz loves blending forces we think of as opposing to reveal how much harmony they actually have. And his motivation for doing so is adorable. As he told Ravergluek
(November 2019): “I just want people to be happy and dance. . . I want to surprise them.”
Though he is now an icon to techno lovers all over the world, it took an insane amount of work and dedication for Ruiz to build himself up to the internationally renowned artist he is today.
Speaking of his first attempts at producing electronic music, Ruiz is hilariously harsh on his young self. “I sucked! At least for a couple years,” he told The Waveform Transmitter. “After spending roughly 13 to 16 hours per day in front of my computer E-V-E-R-Y day for two years, I started to do some decent music.”
Ruiz embarked on this journey before the rise of YouTube and free online tutorials. He had to figure everything out for himself (hence the 13-hour days), but he’s adamant he wouldn’t have it any other way.
All those years of grinding were instrumental in developing the uniqueness of his style and the high production level he’s famous for. His hustle and determination have also earned him 14 years (and counting) in the industry, and the ability to travel the world with his music.
Though Brazil is home to one of the best house and techno clubs in the world (Warung Beach Club) and has produced some massively successful techno artists – including Alex Stein – Ruiz says the scene isn’t all that big in his homeland.
This is one of many reasons why, in 2018, he made the move to the techno capital of the world – Berlin. Though he’s since relocated to Amsterdam, the vibrant art-loving scene in Berlin deeply influenced his music. And Aussie fans will be stoked to know that we’ve been a huge influence too. Ruiz’s longest ever track is called 'Down Under'.
Speaking with The Waveform Transmitter, Ruiz described it as being: “More than ten minutes of an evolving melodic, harmonic journey through sound. I started it while on tour in Australia and ended up being very inspired by that land.”
In his words as much as his music, Ruiz believes his role as an artist is to share the beauty he finds in the world with the people who populate it. “We can reach millions of people, so instead of posting bullsh.t on social media, let’s spread a good message. Let’s spread love and peace. Let’s be role models that our future selves will look back [on] in some years and be proud of.”
This techno maestro is heading back down under for a brief but super-packed tour, so if you could use some good vibes in your life, check out his tour dates and get among it.
Victor Ruiz 2020 Tour Dates
Fri 17 Jan - Fat Controller (Adelaide)Sat 18 Jan - Greenwood Hotel (Sydney) - Electric Gardens launch partySat 18 Jan - Bloom (Geelong)Sun 19 Jan - Revolver Upstairs (Melbourne)Fri 24 Jan - The Family (Brisbane)