OBK in Mexico: 31 years of emotional electropop and its reflection in Depeche Mode, Moenia and Opposite Senses

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In a chat with Infobae México, Jordi Sánchez, leader of the Spanish electronic music project, spoke of his fidelity to the style that positioned him in his native Spain and Latin America with classic themes of the genre such as “Love Stories” and “Heaven Doesn't Understand”

By

Armando Guadarrama

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OBK in Mexico: 31 years of emotional electropop and its reflection in Depeche Mode, Moenia and Opposite Senses

The musician began in his puberty experimenting with synthesizers and keyboards. Without having studied music, he has achieved a three-decade career in the electro scene (Photo: OBK)

31 years ago, when rock dominated Spain with bands like Héroes del silencio and Celtas Cortos, < b>an electronic music project -a novel rhythm at the time– emerged on the radio with songs such as What's the use of crying and Heaven doesn't understand, and its singer , Jordi Sánchez rose from anonymity to fame and concerts.

In conversation with Infobae México, the vocalist who finds “magic and emotion” in music generated by computers and synthesizers talked about his influences and his relationship with electropop made in the country, regarding their upcoming performance in Mexico City.

“More than a concert, I want it to be a party. I really like the complicity from the first moment and review these 30 years of career”, he tells about the show that he will offer this Saturday, November 19 at the La Maraka Hall, and in which he will present his hits, some of which he started creating in his bedroom at the age of 11, when he was experimenting with keyboards, influenced by bands like Depeche Mode, Eurythmics and Yazoo.

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“We bet on technology 30 years ago and we were looked at as weirdos when we made electronic music and it hasn't always been in very good health, it wasn't until Depeche Mode released Violator that people started paying more attention.

“They have been like the Beatles, a band that has influenced OBK and has made it possible for electronic music to have a respect that perhaps in the 80s it did not have”, says the 54-year-old from Malaga years, for whom electro music is a melting pot of possibilities.

“There is something of Eurodance in OBK. I've always liked electronic music, perhaps the one that attracts me least is the instrumental, the chill. I come from more than Eurodance, from Italo Disco, when you are a kid you are influenced by everything what you listen to”.

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And it is that after one of his first successes in Spain, the song Historias de amorIn 1992, a group in Mexico popularized the song to the point that, some time later, Jordi noticed that the Mexican public believed that the song was original by Chacho Gaytán and Alessandra Rosaldo.

“It was a surprise when they informed us that there was a group in Mexico that was remaking Love Stories and that they were having a lot of success, we didn't know anything, they hadn't asked us for permission … Whenever we went to Mexico, people thought that we covered it. But we are grateful to Sentidos oppositos, that they have made one of our songs popular, of course it is a hit that everyone in Spain and Mexico knows.”

OBK in Mexico: 31 years of emotional electropop and its reflection in Depeche Mode, Moenia and Sentidos opposidos

For Jordi, music created by technological processors has a special magic, it is that it is not perceived when playing, for example, an acoustic bass (Photo: OBK)

With whom Jordi does have a closer relationship is with the band Moenia, with whom he finds differences in the midst of the possibilities offered by electropop.

I have followed a lot closely to Moenia out of friendship, because we've known each other since 95, Aleks Syntek also seemed interesting to me at the time, now I'm far away”, said the musician who dismisses comparisons with Mexicans, as they are perceived by the public as projects similar.

“We are different groups, we come from the same sources, but each one has their own personality, OBK and Moenia are similar in that they do electronic pop, but each one has their own different way of doing it and the attitude is different although we are part of the same family.”

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Being influenced from a young age by the band led by the Englishman David Gahan, the question “Would you consider OBK to be the Depeche Mode of Spain?” was inevitable.

“No, because I have always played trying to be them, I have never been them. I have realized that I sing like I sing, I compose like I compose, and no matter how much I want to, no. I have always been very honest with my influences … ”, he stressed.

“I have always been influenced by what is done in England, I find it more interesting, in Germany, the European scene has always attracted me… The name OBK comes from an instrumental song called < i>Oberkorn, that says it all”

OBK in Mexico: 31 years of emotional electropop and its reflection in Depeche Mode, Moenia and Opposite Senses

At 54 years old, Jordi has the dynamism and drive to continue providing his fans with many more years of electronic music in Spanish (Photo: OBK)

“The really fascinating and catalyst thing about me devoting myself to making music with synthesizer was Depeche Mode, it's my raison d'être, as I say in one of my songs, OBK wouldn't exist without Depeche Mode because somehow as a kid you try to play to be that idol”.

And it is that although electronic music continues to be an important movement today, the rise of reggaeton worldwide is a sign of this era, from which Jordi Sánchez takes inspiration to continue feeding the sound of OBK.

“Each person has a different DNA, I'm not going to go crazy because urban is the style that is succeeding Right now, in fact, there are very interesting things, there is electronic music as well, the important thing is to bring everything to your ground”, he said regarding the genre from which worldwide exponents have also emerged in Spain.

OBK in Mexico: 31 years of emotional electropop and its reflection in Depeche Mode, Moenia and Opposite Senses

The British band made up of Martin Gore, Dave Gahan and Andrew Fletcher is the biggest influence on OBK. Jordi "played" to be like them while discovering their passion for computer-generated rhythms (Photo: OBK)

I think what Rosalía and C. Tangana do is fantastic, although It has nothing to do with electronics, but at the production level there are brilliant things, as curious as I am I like to observe although it is not what I would do. I'm not into the world of urban music, but there is interesting music.”

Looking back at his career Jordi is grateful for the combination of talent, luck and the time he lived through generationally, but he maintains the hope of continuing to provide the front of OBK, many more years of “emotional” electropop.

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“My dream has more than come true. My first records were on cassette or vinyl, now everything is streaming… I don't like to be a standard-bearer either (for the defense of electronic music), art has to excite honestly, OBK has sold millions of records in my country, I've been making a living from music for 30 years. If I've done something good, it's been to move the listener, as a creator that's extremely important, whatever your style”