you tell us about who you are and what is your background?
Edmundo Fernando Corona Murillo, born in Tijuana, Baja
California, Mexico on july 26th 1970. I lived most of
my life in Ensenada which is a small port about 100
miles south of Tijuana down the Baja peninsula, I also
lived a couple of years in San Diego and attended primary
school there, that’s how I learnt English. I studied
to become Technician in Analysis and Systems Programming
in Ensenada but never went to work as a DJ with my own
mobile DJ system back in the 80’s and later, I
got a slot at a club in Ensenada which sucked and still
does. Before that I worked as a warehouse manager for
my uncle Eduardo. And from the early 90’s up until
a couple of years ago, I worked for a nursing agency
in San Diego with mostly elderly patients with terminal
illnesses. I now dedicate myself only to making music.
Having grown up in Ensenada, was the access
to music easy then?
Not to music other than Mexican and American mainstream…
The radio sucked and there were hardly any record shops.
The ones that existed didn’t have a good selection.
It still is a small town so there’s hardly any
specialized record shops. We had to go to San Diego
to buy our records and music magazines, that was the
only way to keep up with what was happening outside
of the mainstream.
You’ve grown up listening to your father’s
Beatles and classical records. Was that what gave you
the envy to record your own music?
It wasn’t until my early teens that I started
to gain interest in making music. The fact that I listened
to a lot of my father’s records, with him teaching
my sister and I to really listen and pay attention to
the details in the music, whatever the genre, helped
me to better understand it and to know when something
was good, weather I liked it or not..
What are you main influences? What made you
concentrate on electronic music?
My early influences were Jean Michael Jarre, Jon Santo,
Kraftwerk, etc. I later developed a taste for the mid
80’s industrial scene and synth pop. In the classical
music section, my father was a big Bach fan, so we had
a good selection of his music and listened to a lot
of it, so that was also an influence.
You have been a very active member of Tijuana’s
Nortec collective of artists with your Terrestre project
for some time. What is Nortec? What disciplines does
Nortec stands for Norteño-Techno, which is an
aesthetic concept invented here in Tijuana by us, a
group of musicians and graphic artists, were the main
ingredients are northern Mexican popular and border
culture (also called cultura norteña) and technology,
in our case as musicians we take elements from norteña
and tambora bands. We record loops and samples from
real bands that play these types of music in seafood
restaurants, bars, streets and even studios were they
record their demos, once we have these recording we
go home to our computers and mess around with the samples,
crating new compositions based on these loops.
How did you get involved?
I got an email from these guys from Tijuana (Fusible,
Bostich and Panoptica) inviting electronic musicians
to work with some norteña and tambora tracks
that they had downloaded from a studio in Tijuana, I
became very interested because I was doing something
similar things at that time (sampling from tambora,
danzon and salsa vinyls), and I also thought it was
cool to work as a collective. That way we could accomplished
way more than if we had worked alone, so I got in touch
with them and we started sharing our views and later
our compositions. It was funny because for quite some
time our main influences were ourselves, meaning that
when one of us finished a track the other members of
the collective got influenced by it.
The Mexican electronic scene is just starting
to get recognition abroad. How big is electronic in
I would say it is still pretty small. There are people
who are working on interesting things, but in general
the Mexican electronic scene still needs to mature in
many ways, from the creative and technical aspects of
composing to creating a solid infrastructure. I can
count on one hand the few good electronic music publications
and radio shows that are worth paying attention to.
Do you think Nortec was pivotal for Mexican
artists to get noticed abroad?
It helped a lot, I think without Nortec it would have
taken us longer to get where we are right now, (if we
are anywhere at all, lol).
As Terrestre, your music is very much based
on or uses elements of traditional Mexican music. What
is the inspiration for this project?
Just working with the sounds that I hear on an average
day in Tijuana gets me going. We like to say that Nortec
is the soundtrack of Tijuana. What we wanted to do with
Nortec is to use our environment and the city we live
in as inspiration.
How did the idea of Martes emerge?
Were you working on Murcof in parallel with Terrestre,
or did this project start from a need to explore other
It started, like you say, from the need to explore other
territories, I’m always working on several projects
at a time so that came naturally. I was messing around
with some Morton Feldman and Arvo Pärt tracks I
had ripped from CDs on some plugins, slicing and dicing
them, I came across some interesting results that later
became my first Murcof track, MF Relay. The
other tracks followed shortly after, and then, before
I knew it, had a bunch of tracks done. The next step
was to get them released.
Martes was originally released on
Static Discos, a small record label in Tijuana. How
did Leaf come to distribute it in Europe?
I met Tony Morley at a Leaf party he was having at a
club in Barcelona round the time of Sonar 2001 (I was
there to perform with other Nortec Collective members
there). A friend of mine insisted that I gave him my
demo so I did, we went to the club and met up with Tony
and I gave him the demo and signed a contract and released
You achieve with this record a perfect balance
complex stuctures and accessible melodies. I assume
this must be difficult…
It wasn’t difficult for me to be happy with the
results, the tracks almost composed themselves and I
hardly revisited them for further tweaking, it was great
fun to do the album.
A lot of electronic musicians look towards
jazz for inspiration. Your music establishes a rare
link with classical composers such as Arvo Pärt
or Henryk Goreki. Do you feel it gives a different dimension
to your compositions?
I’m a big fan of these and other composers. Classical
music is what I listen to the most so it’s natural
for me to look into it for inspiration, especially with
These composers are obviously a huge influence.
How did you come to listen to their music?
It was a natural evolution for me, having listened to
pre-1900’s classical music for most of my childhood
and adolescence, I grew tired of it so I started to
look into 20th century music, from Stravinsky and the
Schoenberg school to Wolfgang Rhim and Giya Kancheli.
These musicians used their art to rebel against
the communist regimes of their countries by composing
religious music, then forbidden. Would you qualify your
music, as Murcof, as equally as spiritual, although
for different – non political - reasons?
I find it hard to get the emotional and spiritual depth
on other styles of music, that’s why I like it
so much. If I can share that with someone else through
my music, that’s more than enough. There is no
political motivations behind my music, it’s just
music and what I can do with it. I’m also not
very religious, I was raised a Catholic but I don’t
follow it’s conventions.
There are loads of string sequences on Martes.
Are they actually played for this record or were they
sampled? Is all the string work on Martes sampled?
Most of them are sampled, and most of the melodies,
sequences and harmonies are made out of small sampled
fragments which I later cut, paste and stretch to form
new melodies and textures.
Would you consider working with an orchestra
for a future project?
Yes, I’m actually working on that right now, I’m
also having friends of mine who play classical instruments
come to my studio for some sampling sessions. I’m
just finishing a new track based on some violin samples
I did last week with a violinist friend of mine at them
moment. I’m also talking to these and other musicians
to try and incorporate live instrumentation for my live
performances, still not sure how it will end up.
Why is the album called Martes (Tuesday)?
Because I started my first Murcof track on a Tuesday.
Eight of the nine tracks on Martes have a title
that starts with a M. Is this a coincidence?
When I named my first 3 or 4 tracks I later noticed
they all started with “M”, it was unconscious,
I thought it was interesting so I continued to name
them with “M”, except for the last track
wich starts with “U”, the second letter
in “mUrcof”, silly huh…
You recently became a father, and you are now
in demand in Europe. It must be difficult to juggle
everything at the moment?
Any parent will know that being away for long from your
3 month old baby is difficult, but I try to make up
for it by staying home most of the time when I’m
not performing. I got my studio at home and I hardly
go out, “somos hermitaños en la ciudad”
(NDLR: "we are hermits in the city").
Are you involved with other artists on other
I work mostly alone, I’m too obsessive, I do collaborate
with other people sometimes, but that’s not very
Who would you like to collaborate with?
Hmmm, I don’t know.
What is your opinion of the current electronic
Well, too many releases to keep up with and too many
styles of music, there’s a lot of interesting
things out there; stuff for all kinds of taste; infinite
ramifications. I think because of technology becoming
more accessible, we’ll see more and more new music
emerging from unexpected places, which is great.
Are you planning to release an album as Terrestre?
Yes, next year I hope, although I just released a split
mini-album with another Nortec artist, PlanktonMan thru
Lake Shore (better known for their movie productions)
and Provider/Run Recordings.
Do you already have an idea of what the next
Murcof album will sound like?
Not really, I have some ideas, but what really matters
is that I maintain an open mind and see what happens,
I think I will work with the same intention, on the
same emotional territory.
you to Fernando and Lauren.