Aera: I follow my intuition and my taste

Versions – the remarkable first instalment in a brand new mix concept from Berlin-based imprint Innervisions – is released today, September 16, courtesy of German DJ and producer Aera.

Embarking on a captivating excursion of left-field electronica, trip-hop and down-tempo sound palettes, Versions sees the Applied Magic label head revisit and reimagine some of the most notable records from his extensive back catalogue, as he delivers an impressive opus of edits that explores the more experimental side of his diverse sonic repertoire.

Giving us a different insight into his acutely honed craft as a multi-faceted producer, the in-demand German pulls reference from a plethora of realms beyond what many perceive to be his immediate musical home. Returning to Innervisions following an emphatic contribution to Secret Weapons Part 14 with Acido back in June, Versions shines a light on Aera's innate passion for the cross-pollination of genres, as he marks the beginning of a new mix series format on Dixon & Âme's esteemed Berlin-based imprint. We caught up with Aera to find out more.
Hello Ralf, thanks for taking the time to chat to us. How has 2022 been for you so far? Any highlights?
— Thanks for having me! The year has been great so far. It's really hard to single out a special moment, as there were so many...from touring India and Mexico, to playing shows in some amazing places like Moni Mykonos, Volt Milano or Zukunft Zürich...but really it's the little moments in between that make it special. Seeing the sun rise over the Aegean sea. Having a real Indian Biryani. Making new friends on the other side of the world. I feel truly grateful to be able to experience all of this.
Where in the world are you right now?
— In a small town in the mountains of Northern Spain, right next to Girona. The late afternoon sun is shining through the window, bathing the living room in a sweet golden glow.
Congratulations on the upcoming release of your new mix concept 'Versions' on Innervisions. Can you talk to us through the release and how it came about?
— The idea was to create a continuous mix with some of my already released music, but putting it in a completely different context. I just wanted to show another side of my musical personality and Innervisions were immediately up for it.

I decided to slow it down to 105 BPM and make it an immersive home listening experience.
Once I had the concept, the music came to me within just a couple of days, which is always a good sign for when I'm making something. Not overthinking it, just letting the music take its course. I really feel this is a timeless piece of work and hope that many people will find enjoyment in it.
Going back to your formative years, can you explain when and how you fell in love with electronic music? Was there a particular moment when the penny dropped?
— I still remember a particular day when I went record shopping with my older brother. I must have been around 11 or so. There was this picture disc 12" with a huge yellow smiley on it. Back home, I listened to it and was blown away. It was an early Acid record, off course. It felt otherworldly. I had to learn more about it, and I was especially intrigued where these strange and futuristic sounds came from. I was hooked eversince.
What music (or artists) have played the biggest role in shaping you as an artist over the years?
— That is a hard question to answer as there are so many. Everything I have ever listened to has probably left a mark somewhere.

But when it comes to my approach in the studio, I would have to say Brian Eno. I devour all of his writings and interviews. He's a huge source of inspiration.

I also love how Rick Rubin approaches production, his podcast "Borken Record" and his Instagram are a steady source of wisdom.
How would you describe your current sound, and why have you chosen to pursue this particular brand electronic music over other styles? What is it about the genre that you love so much?
— I try not to think of my music in terms of styles or branding too much. I follow my intuition and my taste. Everything else happens as a result of this.
How's everything going with you label Applied Magic? Any exciting projects in the pipeline that you can share?
— For me, Applied Magic is one of the most exciting things I have going on at the moment. I just love to be able to put out great music into the world.

Just recently I had a split release with Frankey and Sandrino's Sum Over Histories label. We called it Applied Histories.

Up soon is an EP by myself with 3 dancefloor focused tracks.

I'm also thinking about doing a compilation and currently gathering the music for it.
Any up and coming producers we should be keeping a close eye on?
— Komenda, Last Men On Earth, Auggie, Aemygdala, Skoko, Solique, Ede, Baime, Lerm, Adrian Roman, Valiete, Radeckt, Dahu... Just from the top of my head. The list goes on.
Looking forwards, do you have any specific goals or objectives you would like to achieve with the label?
— Continue to release exciting music by great people. Built a bigger platform so that I'm able to branch into different sectors like events, fashion and art. Create Magic.
And as an artist?
— Continue to follow my own path, make people happy and make a living doing so.
If you could put on your own show anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would you have joined you on the lineup?
— Just me, playing a 12 hour set in the Uyuni Salt Desert in Bolivia, surrounded by friends, fans and family.
Where can we see you perform over the coming months?
— I'll be playing my debut at Fabric London later this month, as well as another Mexico Tour in October and finally going to Argentina and hopefully Brazil in Winter.
Best place to check is
Finally, do you have any other projects coming up soon that you'd like to share with us?
— There's always something new around the corner, but right now I just can't wait to get back in the studio!
Thank you Ralf, we wish you all the best!
— Thank you! All the best.