British-Colombian producer and DJ Florentino is going back to his roots, with today marking the release of his latest EP entitled Kilometro Quinze. Released by the legendary London label XL Recordings, the five-track offering is an evolutionary odyssey, bringing fans on a journey to discover the artist’s key musical influences and personal heritage. Written over three years across major cities like London, Bogotá, New York, LA and his current homestead of Manchester, the sonic exploration is a clear display of Florentino’s signature sound which sees a Latin-American edge injected into underground club music.
Infused with an intimate narrative from beginning to end, the EP’s title is taken from Florentino’s grandfather’s farm in central Colombia. The dichotomous position of Kilometro 15 (a nameless road near the farm), which sits in between marsh-like terrain and a military base, was a well of inspiration for the creative, with a sense of settled belonging woven throughout each track. A testament to his multifaceted approach to music, the EP also pays homage to his father’s penchant for dub and acid house as well as his own youth spent discovering the Mancunian club scene.
Although a heavy-hitter in his own right, the tracklist also features some stellar collaborations, with Shygirl appearing on club-ready heater “Pressure”, while fan-favourite “Constrictor” features Bambii and KD One. As his second solo release of the year – following the April release of jumpy bop “Xcuse Me/Loka” – Kilometro Quinze marks a watershed moment in Florentino’s career as he carves his own space in the dance music scene.
We sat down with Florentino to talk all things Kilometro Quinze, whether he prefers the pub or club, and tasty Colombian cuisine.
1. Let’s get acquainted. In a nutshell, who is Florentino?
“I’m just a guy who listened to “Adagio for Strings” by Tiesto when I was 12, thought about how much I loved club music and realised I’d be very happy if I could dedicate my life to it.”
2. Your EP Kilometro Quinze is dropping today – how would you describe the project in 10 words or less?
“Slightly evil/harsh but sensual sounding world-building fantasy, club music.”
3. How was it working with artists like Shygirl and DJ Python?
“Honestly, it was a dream. Python is a close friend and ‘Sicaria’ just came very naturally the first time we ever met, pre-pandemic. Shy was amazing and it’s always a delight to see her kill it. I showed her beats and she wrote to them while we had some tequila and chatted about life, no pressure. The legend Uffie pulled up halfway through to hang as well. It was very chill.”
4. What’s your favourite track on the EP?
“They are all my babies, it’s impossible to pick one out – “Pressure” I feel really reflects the present version of myself sonically. “Sicaria” marked the beginning of this new sound I’ve been building as it was first track made off the project, it holds a special place for me as a consequence. But they all have major significance to me personally, I could delve deep on each one. It really was a journey making this EP and I’ve grown and changed as a person over the course of that process.”
5. What’s your guilty pleasure?
“Dad jokes and just being a goofy prankster with my close circle.”
6. What is something that people might not expect about you?
“I made Scary Spice cry once and she isn’t scary, she’s actually very nice. Also, I cant ride a bicycle.”
7. You’ve cited your Colombian heritage as a source of inspiration – what is one Colombian dish everyone should try?
“Mojarra Frita, deep fried fish. Crispy on the outside & tender on the inside. Heavenly.”
8. Who is your dream collaborator?
“If time machines existed, Ryuichi Sakamoto. I admire the way he journeyed music, his ethics/morals and how he breathed music until his last moment. I know I could’ve learnt a lot from him if I ever had the opportunity to watch him make music. RIP to one of the best to ever do it.”
9. You’re currently based in Manchester – what’s your favourite thing about the city?
“There’s no denying it, Manchester isn’t the nicest looking city but it makes up for it in an unmatched atmosphere. Our DJs are incredible, our producers/artists are too. Not only that, we’re very unique and different to each other stylistically. There’s a real sense of community around club music here and for the most part, we show up for each other despite everyone’s sound being quite different from one another. We don’t need a certain sound to form around, we celebrate people’s sonic individuality in this city. If it’s good, we’re here for it.”
10. What can we expect from you for the rest of 2023?
“I’ve got my foot on the pedal at the moment, I’m really happy creatively speaking and very excited to make/release more music. The sound you hear on this EP is now a sound I feel fluent in and that I feel comfortable reflecting me, so expect more exploration of that sonic territory.”
Photography by Shaun Peckham. You can stream ‘Kilometro Quinze’ on all major platforms now.