Tentiente Castillo: The ‘Ransom Note’ Mix

Teniente Castillo Web Image

Listening to Teniente Castillo‘s mixes, you can imagine his sultry, driving sonics soundtracking the action on Miami Vice; the inspiration behind the Madrid-based producer and DJ’s name.

On home turf he’s been an advocate for pushing these psychedelic, slow burning sounds, be it through his own output, his DJ sets, sporadic parties or, most prominently, through his Play Pal Music imprint.

For over a decade he’s been steering the label through dark and deep waters, which has become a home for artists synonymous with this vibe and style; the likes of Mufti, Vox Low and Curses to name a few.


It’s been a home for several of his own tracks and remixes too, whilst beyond Play Pal he’s delivered music on labels with a similar ethos and output to his own, including Ombra Intl, Relish, Roam, Tici Taci, Playground Rec and Sinchi Collective.

He’s selective with the mixes he puts together, beyond those shared through his own platforms, so we’re honoured to have him contribute to our series with an hour of the heady sounds that he’s become known for.

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

My artist name is Teniente Castillo, an alias taken from the original tv show ‘Miami Vice’, which I’ve been using for the last 10 years or so. I live in Madrid, I’m a DJ, a producer, I run the label Play Pal Music and I’m also a promoter from time to time.

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)? 

Impossible to sum it up in just one image but having in mind the mix I recorded for your series, this one from floating bstrd, the artist in charge of artwork at Play Pal, comes to mind.


Where was the mix recorded?

In my living room in Madrid, on a sunny day in front of a large window on the eighth floor

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

Good sound system, good sub bass, low light

What should we be wearing?

Anything comfortable

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

Don’t have one in mind in particular, but maybe sunrise at a desert island with a crowd into it / any of the last Pioneer CDJ & a Rodec MX180 / Wav

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

I love all of them actually but I’d say Local Suicide ‘High Buildings’ feat. Lee Stevens (Album Version) and Tiempo de Maldad ‘Disco Gold’ (Azaria Remix)

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

Honestly I don’t listen to mixes that much, mine either, record them and move on to the next one but any mix from Andrew Weatherall would always be on my list and this series of mine are the only ones I do listen to at the proper time.

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

I played disco and nudisco for many years so even though I am not into it as much as I used to, a b2b with Larry Levan would be top of the list but I also have to mention Andrew Weatherall again, as he’s been one of my favourite artists for many years, and I’ve been into similar kind of music than him for a long time.

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

If it counts as a ‘set up’, it’d be a mini hifi system I used as an amplifier and also as ‘deck 1’ with one of the cassette and a radio cassette I used as ‘deck 2’. I spent hours mixing on those. Later on I bought a pair of technics SL1200 and a home mixer and now I still have the technics, a Rodec mixer and a nice Polkaudio sound system.

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

In a mix, the track you start on but at a club, the track you end on with.

What were the first and last records you bought?

The first one was either Age of Love ‘The Age of Love’ or Microbots ‘Cosmic Evolution’ and I can’t remember the last one. I stopped buying vinyl 6-7 years ago but it’d probably be a dark low bpm italo-ish vinyl, as I bought a few of those right about that time. The last record I got was a present, and it was Dire Straits ‘Alchemy’ (live album) – I’m a big fan of them and of Mark Knopfler in particular.

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

A soft black chocolate cake

If it was an animal what would it be?

A black panther

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

Don’t have one in mind really. A lot of old disco records are difficult to mix but I’d mention this 20 min version of Emperor Machine. It’s not impossible to mix, especially if you use one part or the other, but it has a big change in bpm.

Upcoming in the world of … 

New track out this month on Playground Records as part of their ‘9 years’ compilation, which includes an amazing list of artists like Sascha Funke and Curses, among many others. Another track out soon on Modular Project’s label, Nothing is Real and I’ve just finished a collab with my friend and great producer Amarcord. A new EP on Spanish label Latido will also be out this year and promoter-wise I’m starting a new venue called Muscaria, in Madrid and Barcelona with my friends from Playground Rec., and finally, a new tour in Mexico and Guatemala coming up, exciting year ahead.

Anything else we need to discuss?

How can any person or country in 2022 still consider war as the solution to any problem? It’s beyond my comprehension.

Thanks for the invitation and the fine work you do, both on the web and the soundcloud channel.