Arnaldo: The Ransom Note Mix


Argentina is a hotbed of worldly influences and tropical sounds. Arnaldo was born in South America in the 80's but is well traveled having lived in England for many years and now Berlin. At the turn of the millenium he first began to collect records whilst working in the renowned record shop Eastern Bloc in Manchester and became a resident at the meandyou party series. The rest is history as they say and since then Arnaldo has gone on to produce and release music on the likes of Smallville, Until My Heart Stops and Greta Cottage Workshop. The latter is on which he has appeared most recently as part of a split EP with Monoak. 

A household favourite here at Ransom Note towers we are delighted to be able to welcome Arnaldo to the mix series. Read his interview and listen below…

Please introduce yourself…Who are you, where are you and what are you?

Hello my name is William aka arnaldo and I am currently in Berlin, I have released music on Smallville, Blank Slate, UMHS and Greta Cottage workshop plus others.Ha what am i!? Depends who you speak to I guess ;)…. I guess I am one of those DJ/ Producer types…a rare species these days I know.

What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)? 

Hmmm what does my music sound like…..I guess I could say ‘deep’ but tbh that reference has been a bit of a pigeon hole champion. ‘Too slow’ is what I get a lot from dear friends. I guess loose, warm and organic. A friend (George) once lent over and said ‘your music is like ‘Naturist’ music. More leaning on the Organic sounds rather than my inability to keep my clothes on at festivals. 

How would you describe the Argentinian influence on your music and tastes?

I owe a great deal to the original ‘Arnaldo’ (my late grandfather). He was a bit of a tango fanatic. Heard so many stories about his younger years a lot revolving around dancing the Tango…..from women not being able to dance with men and to incidents involving revolvers and horses (this was rural Latin America in the 20’s and 30’s after all). I have his favourite Tango vinyl boxset in my collection, the case and inner sleeves are so worn but the records are in such good condition. You could say it is one of my most valuable possessions. Latin rhythms move both my body and my mind a great deal which in later years then ignited a love for African and world music which I guess the roots of a lot of latin music came from.
I wish I could say that I was breast fed whilst listening to Jorge Ben but my parents only had one album whilst growing up and that was Eddy Grant’s ‘Electric Avenue’ on cassette… I guess that is why I get my love for song based music also.

You used to build playlists for gyms, what was your number one workout jam?

Equinox – acid rain (breakage tape edit) – trying to follow the drums is a workout in its self. Add a lunge or two and you will hit that catatonic state in no time.

What inspired the move to Berlin?

I was in London and I was just working a lot of could see myself heading into a life/ lifestyle that I was not really into…mix that with a heavy heart for someone and you have a van full of records heading for Dover.

Where was the mix recorded?

The mix was recorded in my Kitchen/ Living area here in berlin on 3 turntables and a mixer.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

This mix is definitely for the house party whether its before or after the party. You know when that person you dont really know keeps sticking on 4 minute edits of tracks on youtube at a party. Well this mix is for that time. 

What should we be wearing?

I recommend loose fitting natural fibers….or not much. Kind of gets hot pretty quick.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?

Outdoors, somewhere where i can have the volume pretty loud with no fear of every music lovers nightmare which is that broom handle being banged against your upstairs neighbor's radiator the weird person from downstairs knocking on your door. System wise im not to fuzzy as long as i can get a nice listening triangle going with the monitor speakers…stereo image is a pretty big thing for me as I tend to get my fill from moving to a kick drum so a good stereo setting means you can get inside and really move within the confines of the 1 and the 2’s. A third deck would be a nice little touch though a studio grade effects unit would be nice just to get some spacial effects going on like say Mr Scruff does so well.
When it comes to format I guess it would just be records. Depending on what wants to be achieved if it more about blending and harmonics then vinyl all the way. I am not a vinyl purist/elitist I just own a lot of records and my file storage game is piss poor to say the least.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

A tough question but I guess it would have to be The Bayara Citizens ‘Bambarra’ (Rhythmic Vocal) on Sacred Rhythm Music. What Joe Claussell does with space and intricacies in his music is nothing short of jaw dropping. There is also a part that sounds like the theme tune from ‘The Mysterious Cities Of Gold’ which I was pretty fanatical about as a child (well it does to me anyway ha). It also has the ability to make people stray from the usual shuffle esc movement and really move.

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

My favourite mix hmmm. I tend to listen a lot more to albums these days but when i worked at Eastern bloc in manchester there would always be a few things that would get heavy rotation on the shop system which was Maurizios ‘M-Series’ CD, Shifted Phases ‘The Cosmic Memoirs Of The Late Great Rupert J. Rosinthrope (half of Drexciya) CD and LFO ‘Frequencies’ CD. A mix that would always make think wow which I still pop on to this day is Dj Pierres – Mix The Vibe (The Wild Pitch Jam) (1995) made to dance and smile. Something that is very important to me when it comes to body music. Plus this was done with zero affects so the use of using double copies to create phasing blew my rural mind. I would of course have to thank the guy who first played me this and a thousand other things Mark Turner.

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

I guess it would be someone who saw a lot of the stages of history within dance music. The hardest part on deciding is because of the olden times (pre internet/ easy jet) you have to commit to a continent as people travelled but not as much and as easily as they do now so experiencing scenes or movements would of been near impossible. 

Growing up in the england I guess I would have to choose someone who is british. Someone who helped with the birth of what we now call dance music culture in the U.K. Someone who experienced the hip hop and street culture explosion of New York in the 1980’s. Someone who still to this day stays true to what he believes in. I guess it would be DJ Harvey.

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

I had a sort of numark ‘DJ in a box’ set up. You basically got everything you needed in one box…even headphones!!! Luckily I managed to get a couple of Technics 1210’s which changed my life. My first mixer survived until I went to university but when I think about it. 2 years is not that long and I destroyed that mixer. At the end of the work horse life I had superglued a small ruler across the top of the line faders as they began to crackle like all faders and pots do after time but these got so bad that pretty much half of the upfader crackled leaving around 5cm of fader mobility…bloody nightmare thinking about it but did its job. My friends dad was a drummer in a band and he had two huge P.A speakers he was not suing so I was allowed to look after them. No idea why my parents agreed to letting me have such large speakers in my very small bedroom. Those speakers then went on to helping me do small parties or mobile discos as they were known around my parts.
Now I have three 1210’s a xone 92 mixer and 2 Harbeth acoustics Expression 1 monitors speakers. The speakers sound incredible but the reason I love them so much is because the cone driver is purple!!! (Prince!!!!…cough).

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

They are both just as important. I would say equally. For a mix definitely so. I find when you come on after other people in a club scenario the importance shifts to keeping the groove and energy instead of setting the mood. If you are lucky enough to open a club and truly warm up now that is a special first track. A wise man once said to me ‘the best music is played when no one is in the club’. Take that how you will but for me it is not far from the truth.

What were the first and last records you bought?

First record was Mr Oizo ‘flatbeat’ and the last was this

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

Like when you eat your chocolate before you eat your ready salted crisps.

If it was an animal what would it be?

A whaling Hyena running off with another animals kill.

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

THIS – can’t mix it all 😉

Upcoming in the world of… 

I am starting a label called a clip of one of the tracks is available to listen to via the link. An outlet for mostly my own music both for the body and the mind. The first E.P is out mid January 2017 and will be distributed via Unearthed Sounds. Catch my ‘Climbin Ombú’ Monthly radio showon the fine NTS channel 2 monthly .

Anything else we need to discuss?

I currently have this split double A side with Monoak on Greta Cotttage Workshop.

Follow Arnaldo on Facebook HERE.  

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