Tel Aviv DJ/producer Gel Abril has been on fire as of late. Brandishing a sound that skirts along the border of house and techno, he’s been building a global reputation by consistently issuing rock-solid releases on top-notch labels such as Be As One, Moon Harbour and Ovum.
Last month Abril issued his debut EP on mobilee, When It’s Just You and Me, and it’s undoubtedly a sign of even bigger things to come from him. In this exclusive interview, we paired the rising star with mobilee co-founder Anja Schneider for a fascinating conversation about art, passion and food.
Anja Schneider Interviews Gel Abril
Anja Schneider: Your debut EP on mobilee is called When It’s Just You and Me. How did you manage to find even two or three days with such a crazy schedule to complete it? And how did you make it so special?
Gel Abril: Thank you for the kind words! At the time I was concentrating on the studio because the idea came to me! For me music is my natural way of releasing my passion. As an artist you just have to find the right balance between everything. I love what I do, and I’m glad I can express my art through music.
What is the best thing about being a DJ? Do you enjoy being a “leader” and the front man of the night?
I feel like there is a lot of magic being a DJ. I believe there is a time and place for the right music. When the selection and transitions are right it locks everyone in the room into the groove. At those times it give me the chance to tell a story which the crowd can relate and will follow wherever you go! For me this is priceless, one of the best feelings.
You’re doing this since a long time and have seen so many different times and genre and hypes come through the business. What is the most essential thing in the music/DJ business?
I am DJing for a long time indeed. I think you always have to stay true to yourself and don’t jump on any trendy wagons. I look for music that stands out as timeless. You can still keep your distinctive sound that the people will recognize and respect you for.
Why did you choose mobilee to find a new home base and what makes it interesting for you?
Throughout the years mobilee has been a go-to label for me. I had the chance to connect and love [Anja] for many years; the offer you made me was a no-brainer. We played together in Tel Aviv, and then boom! You made me feel really welcome and it was an easy choice for me to make.
Techno or house? Meat or fish?
I’ll have both plus desserts!!!
You’re living in Tel Aviv which for me is great spot — it has great landscape and amazing energy in all creative ways. Where are you going to relax when you take holidays?
I love Tel Aviv. It is a great city with amazing energy and action all around. We call it the real city that never sleeps! When I truly want to relax I love to go to the islands of Thailand like Koh Samui and Koh Pi Pi, some of the best times ever!
Gel Abril Interviews Anja Schneider
Gel Abril: Mobilee Records started in 2005 with Ralf Kollmann. If there was a movie made that told the label’s story, which actors would play you and Ralf?
Anja Schneider: There is actually a movie about our label – it’s the documentary of Pan-Pot, and we are playing ourselves. Otherwise I would say Thelma and Louise [laughs]. I have to think about who is who. Brad Pitt is not counting on this.
What is your musical vision and agenda for the label. Do you have a specific sound or vibe in mind?
Mobilee always should deliver music you can dance too. It doesn’t matter which time of the day or which state of mind. Even when you are dreaming you can dance around.
What is your best gig ever, if you can recall a particular one?
Had so many good gigs and intense times. It’s always very difficult for me to pick one. But for sure the best moments are mostly when we are all together — Barcelona rooftop moments are always ones to remember.
During the adolescent stages in your career, were there any early influences that you looked up to?
I got definitely got influenced and grew up with Depeche Mode and The Cure. But without Kraftwerk I would never have discovered Detroit which I still love the most and will never ever forget.
What is your favorite type of comfort food?
I love almost every kind of food when it’s fresh and from the region. I’m definitely a foodie.
What is your idea for a great night out (but not clubbing)?
Of course the best thing for me in my life is to have a great fantastic dinner with friends and family. That can be very easily homemade and doesn’t have to be in expensive environment.