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Xceed Premiere 016: Cristian Varela – Scheme Z3

The techno legend fuses his EBM, electro, and new-beat roots with the underground sounds of today's techno music

I created this particular work during the quarantine, testing one of my new machines, which I am deeply in love with: Jupiter XM. I started trying several sequences and, synchronizing several arpeggiators (System 8 and Jupiter XM), I got the main sequence of “Scheme Z3”. The rest came by itself.

Told like that, it looks easy. Cristian Varela is one of the most eminent figures in the Spanish techno movement, although, as a good prophet of the genre, he has also gained followers around the continent. During the confinement caused by covid-19, Cristian has not wasted any time.

I have been working for several years on new creations based on my roots in electronica, such as EBM (Electronic Body Music), electro and new-beat. “Scheme Z3” is based on that period, between the 70s and 80s, where bands of the magnitude of Nitzer Ebb, Front 242 or Signal Aout 42 stood out. I have tried to give it that retro touch, but with the most underground technology and sound of the present time.

Xceed-Artist-Cristian Varela
Image: © Cristian Varela’s Press Kit

Next Monday, July 6th, the label Konekt Croatia will release the N3uron EP, a release consisting of two original tracks –“N3uron” and “Scheme Z3”- and a remix of “Scheme Z3” by Brazilian Fernanda Martins.

Fernanda is one of my favourite artists and we have a good friendship for several years now. When the idea came from Dario Debeljuh (the label’s owner), we thought it was great to propose Fernanda to reinterpret “Scheme Z3” with her personality when creating techno. It’s an honour to have her on this EP.

Cristian Varela tells us that he is constantly in his studio testing new Roland machines or new plug-ins that he buys. As soon as he manages to put together several sequences and/or sounds that he likes to create a new track, that’s when he starts to “organize the pieces of the puzzle” until he manages to generate a track that excites him. He doesn’t hide his predilection for the combination of hardware and software: “I use Logic X, and, for mastering, I never lack my Manley of EQ valves and my Distressor compressors (Empirical Labs).”

“Scheme Z3” is a relentless track. In the 6 minutes and 20 seconds of the track, we hardly find 20 seconds without bass kicks, divided into three cuts: one of 10 seconds and two more of 5. “Scheme Z3” is a proper banger, a creation that doesn’t worry about the intro or the most suitable moments for the mix. From the first second to the last, double percussions, an infernal kick, a line of hypnotic acid and rave frequencies that start in the distance and gradually approach the listener make us jump from the chair as soon as we start listening to it and don’t stop dancing until it ends.

The result is exactly what I was looking for to define an EBM concept within today’s techno. Without a doubt, it is an EP focused on the dancefloor and, specifically, on festivals.


  1. Cristian Varela – N3uron
  2. Cristian Varela – Scheme (Fernanda Martins Remix)
  3. Cristian Varela – Scheme


(Cover Image: © Konekt Croatia)



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