Apr 16, 2014

FEATURE: Guti – Heartbreak, Healing & Music
WORDS: Alex Caslano

Talking to Guti ahead of the release of his new album, ‘Rompecorazones’, we get the feeling that the Argentinean producer has arrived at an important crossroad in his life. Having spent the last four years in Germany and now based in Barcelona, it becomes apparent that he’s been on a personal journey which has taken its toll emotionally. But as he suggests himself, heartbreak is often a catalyst for inspiration, and if emotional anguish translates to pain, then it also translates to incredible music.

Classically trained and an exceptionally talented pianist that remains deeply immersed in the sounds of his native Argentina, Guti’s relationship with house & techno is a beautiful thing. Signed up to Loco Dice and Martin Buttrich’s label, Desolat, his 2011 album, ‘Patio De Juegos’, used stunning instrumentation to channel a real, live Latin flavour. It’s a sound which has proved popular both on and off the dancefloor, but in the year that followed its release Guti became somewhat disenchanted with the scene in which he was now so deeply rooted: “It was late 2012 and I was a bit disappointed in electronic music” he reflects. “I felt the need to do something else. I sat on the piano and started recording. The first song was ‘El Solitario’, and then came ‘Rompecorazones’ which later would give the name to the album and then the label. I then realized that I had to do it.”

Absorbing the heartbreak he experienced during his time in Germany and translating it to music, the result was something pure and unaffected, closing one chapter in his life and starting another. “When I wrote ‘Patio De Juegos’ I was in my late 20s; now 5 years after I am finally a man, grown up in many things, as an artist and as a person” he concludes. Already being described as a ‘landmark release’, ‘Rompecorazones’ will undoubtedly reflect Guti at his most visceral: the product of emotion, personal enlightenment and a musician who has truly invested everything.

Check out Guti’s massive collaboration, ‘The Light’, with Mark Fanciulli below, as well as last year’s incredible ‘Hope EP’ for DFTD:

Guti - Hope EP by DFTD

We also had a rare opportunity to chat with the man himself, talking about the heartbreak that inspired new album, ‘Rompecorazones’, and his evolution as an artist over the last five years:

Synth: So it's an absolute pleasure to talk with you Guti as we've been fans ever since hearing 'Patio De Juegos'. I guess the first thing we'd like to chat about is your move to Europe from South America. You're based in Barcelona at the moment, right? Musically, was it important for you to stay connected with Argentina?

Guti: I’ve been in Europe for five years, almost four of them in Germany. Now I’m loving Barcelona; beautiful city, food and people, and it’s always sunny which is important for me as a Latino. I lived for 27 years in Buenos Aires so it will always be part of me and I’m always connected.

Synth: We gather that the move and the years that followed were inspiration for your forthcoming album 'Rompecorazones'; can you tell us a little about the journey this record has taken?

Guti: ‘Rompecorazones’ is the last year of my life in Germany. It’s looking back to everything that happened during these 5 years and it was the last thing I did in Germany. I recorded the album and moved to Barcelona; in these 5 years I’ve been heartbroken many times - now is time to strike back with music (‘Rompecorazones’ means heartbreaker).

Synth: Was there one track which started things off or did you set out to write a body of work?

Guti: It was late 2012 and I was a bit disappointed in electronic music; I felt the need to do something else. I sat at the piano and started recording and right away I got something - two songs that happened on the same day. The first song was ‘El Solitario’…kind of like music for movies, and then came ‘Rompecorazones’ which later would give the name to the album and then the label. I then realized that I had to do it. It was about time.

Synth: We read that the majority of it is going to be instrumental and of course very musical with a lot of piano-based tracks; why did you feel like stepping away from the club and the traditional 4x4 beat was important for this album?

Guti: I needed it. I love club music but I come from another background – I felt it was time to put things together. I’d say it is an electronic music album because it was produced by me, but it is also a piano album too; a jazz album, an album to listen to. It’s many things and I’m happy with it – a whole story in 12 songs.

Synth: The album will be credited to Gutierrez as apposed to Guti; what separates the music under the two names? Did you feel it was important as part of an artistic progression or was it simply a matter of distancing yourself from the club?

Guti: After thinking about it a lot, the album is gonna come out as Guti because I’m all those things; I can write club music and I can sit at the piano. When I wrote ‘Patio De Juegos’ I was on my late 20s; now 5 years after I am finally a man, grown up in many things as an artist and as a person.

Synth: As mentioned, there is a new label in the pipeline too; what can we expect from it musically?

Guti: The label is called ‘Rompecorazones’ like the album. It’s gonna be a space for music and for musicians to explore their feelings and go deep. I’m working with Francesco Tristano for the follow up and more amazing talented friends are delivering crazy music. This label is the dream of my life and it’s coming true…

Synth: So you'll be joining the likes of Adam Shelton and John Dimas at a One Records showcase at Love Action this weekend and we're pleased to see that it will be a live appearance; how does a live set take shape for you and will we be hearing music from 'Rompecorazones'?

Guti: I've been playing live for a long time and I make music all the time, so it´s gonna be as I always try to be: completely different. And yes, you will hear some bits of the album here and there.

Synth: You were in Miami for WMC during this interview and as I type the 'guTINI' boat party is in full swing; now that you're back on dry land can you give us a rundown of the party? Any tunes in particular that did the business?

Guti: Miami was great; playing with tINI…it's getting so good. We are really connected and it’s a good feeling. The songs of the conference for me were a collaboration with S.A.M that is gonna come out at some point and a song from the album called ‘We Love You’.

Synth: You've had some incredible releases and remixes on the likes of Defected, Viva Music and DFTD recently; what can we expect from Guti as we head into the summer?

Guti: After the album I have an EP coming on DFTD…I'm really looking forward to it!

Guti plays the Love Action weekender this Saturday as part of a One Records Showcase at SWG3. Tickets are £17 advance for one night and £39 for all three – get yours now from The Arches website. Look out for the release of 'Rompecorazones' soon.

Guti on Soundcloud
Guti on Facebook
Guti on Twitter

Apr 15, 2014

COMPETITION: 02ABC Presents George Clinton & P Funk

Ain’t no party like a P Funk Party, and it’s a party which has been rocking for some forty years. Whether it be his influence on Dr Dre and ‘G-Funk’ rap or his groundbreaking work with Parliament and Funkadelic during the 70s, George Clinton is one of music’s most influential and revered artists – attested by his entry in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. A grandmaster of funk, his instantly recognisable sound can be heard in everyone from Outkast to Primal Scream, with ‘Atomic Dog’ ( the #1 single from his first solo album ‘Computer Games’) being perhaps one of the most sampled tracks of all time, and certainly a huge influence on the West Coast rap of the 90s.

But it was his work with his respective bands Parliament and Funkadelic which really shook things up, recognised for ‘revolutionising R&B’ in the 70s and building on the sound of James Brown, Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix – a concoction which was of course as eccentric as it was essential. Scoring numerous hit singles and a series of platinum albums, Clinton is a true music great, and someone whose influence can not be overstated.

Check out a playlist of George Clinton’s funkiest below, as well as a special ‘Atomic Dawg’ minimix recorded by Glasgow’s own Bunty Beats:

So, apart from being one of the most important men in music, George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic were also known for having one of the most impressive live shows to ever hit the stage. Extravagant, larger than life and bursting with energy, it was a reflection of the man himself and this week you can experience it in Glasgow. Once again 02ABC have nailed an unmissable performance and we’ve got two tickets to giveaway to this Friday’s show on their behalf. Just head over to the Synth fanpage on Facebook and type ‘P-Funk Me Up!’ on the wall – we’ll select a winner at random this Thursday. Please be sure to check the terms & conditions below.

Terms & Conditions: Please note that this prize is for two places on the guestlist for 02ABC Presents...George Clinton & P Funk on Friday 18th April. There will be one winner. The competition closes at 5pm on Thursday 17th and the winner will be notified via Facebook comment (please check your Facebook entry in the hours following the closure of the competition). The winner must be 14 years or older. After we have passed on the winner’s details to the event organisers we then pass on responsibility for entry on the night.

George Clinton & P Funk play the 02ABC this Friday. Tickets are available from Ticketweb priced at £28.12 (inc fees and entry to The Funk Room afterparty with Simon Hodge & Andrew Divine).

George Clinton Website
George Clinton on Facebook
George Clinton on Twitter
02ABC on Facebook

Apr 10, 2014

FEATURE: The Blessings’ Top5 90s Slow Jams

He’s one half of beat-slinging hip hop duo, The Blessings, he helped launch the career of Hudson Mohawke and also co-founded one of electronic music’s coolest labels. But apart from guiding LuckyMe into the stratosphere and doing the damn thing at the likes of SXSW and Sonar, Martyn Flynn is also a ridiculously tight DJ, and tonight he joins Sam Vitamins for a highly anticipated b2b at throwback R&B party, Freaky Freaky.

You’ll most likely already be aware of LuckyMe; a hotbed of talent, its extended family of producers, artists and DJs include everyone from Éclair Fifi to Konx-om-Pax, releasing early music by the likes of Jacques Greene, Rustie and Baauer. But as part of The Blessings, Martyn has been responsible for some truly exceptional (if somewhat infrequent) music of his own – 2010’s ‘Galaxy High EP’ is a good place to start. Having promised to dig deep for his set tonight at Freaky, he’s picked five 90s slow jams to get you in the mood, ranging from the downright erotic (Mokenstef) to the straight up seductive (Xscape). Let's get nasty…



3. 702 – GOTTA LEAVE



The Blessings play b2b with Sam Vitamins tonight at Freaky Freaky at Nice N’ Sleazy. Entry is £4 on the door.

The Blessings on Soundcloud
The Blessings on Facebook
Freaky Freaky on Facebook

Apr 10, 2014

COMPETITION: 02ABC Presents…Expansion Team Soundsystem

So you probably remember Dilated Peoples, right? Established way back in 1992, the group comprising of DJ Babu, Evidence and Rakaa Iriscience are hugely respected by the underground hip hop community, having released four studio albums, including ‘Expansion Team’ which spawned the Top40 smash ‘Worst Comes To Worst’ in 2001 - a certified jam! Having collaborated with everyone from DJ Premier to Kanye West and dancehall don Capleton, they’ve remained hot throughout their career, never bowing to mainstream pressure.

With their fifth album ‘Directors Of Photography’ rumoured to be dropping this year, Babu and Rakaa are out on the road again with the Expansion Team Soundsystem, bringing their block-rocking, party-starting show to Glasgow’s hip hop epicentre, ABC. Boasting a real crowd-moving experience, the duo capture the essence of the culture, using turntablism and lyricism to get heads nodding and bodies dropping. "ETS is something that developed naturally with Rakaa on the mic, me on the turntables, and us just rocking a party together and having fun" says Babu. "We really try to keep it spontaneous and connect with the crowd." With over twenty years experience and the Dilated Peoples back catalogue at their disposal, that shouldn’t be too difficult…

Check out the classic ‘Worst Come To Worst’ below, plus Babu talking to Fuse about his extensive vinyl collection:

As always, we’ve of course got two tickets to giveaway to this Sunday’s show courtesy of our good friends at 02ABC. All you need to do is head over to the Synth fanpage on Facebook and type ‘02ABC Present…Expansion Team Soundsystem’ on the wall and we’ll select a winner at random tomorrow afternoon. Please be sure to check the full terms and conditions below:

Terms & Conditions: Please note that this prize is for two places on the guestlist for 02ABC Presents...Expansion Team Soundsystem on Sunday 13th April. There will be one winner. The competition closes at 5pm on Friday 11th and the winner will be notified via Facebook comment (please check your Facebook entry in the hours following the closure of the competition). The winner must be 14 years or older. After we have passed on the winner’s details to the event organisers we then pass on responsibility for entry on the night.

Expansion Team Soundsystem play 02ABC on Sunday 13th April. Tickets are available from Ticketweb priced at £13.50 (inc fees).

Dilated Peoples Website
DJ Babu on Facebook
Rakaa Iriscience on Facebook
02ABC on Facebook

Apr 9, 2014

LOVE ACTION: Waze & Odyssey
WORDS: Alex Caslano

There’s never been a shortage of big parties over Easter, but when The Arches announced the line up for Love Action – a three day weekender which boasts some of the finest electronic talent the world has to offer – there was an audible gasp in Glasgow. From bonafide legends such as David Morales, Kevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins to current house heroes George Fitzgerald, Eats Everything and MK, this is arguably the hottest ticket in the UK this month. So in the run up to the event we’ll be checking in with a few of the acts which deserve your attention, building the hype for a weekend which has got us frothing at the mouth with anticipation. Up first, 90s inspired house duo Waze & Odyssey.

Taking cues from golden-era New York, Serge Santiago and Firas Waez have been on a hot streak for over two years now, churning out dancefloor bombs like it’s going out of fashion. Appearing on labels ranging from Kerri Chandler’s revitalised Madtech to Tsuba and their own imprint W&O Street Tracks, the pair come from the same school as Ejeca, Citizen and Bicep, dealing in effortlessly slick house which jacks, bumps and grinds like no one is watching. Having recently done the damage in Miami, while also unveiling a suitably sleazy video for new EP track ‘Everything (You’re Made Of)’, things are certainly heating up for 2014…

Check out the ‘Real Good Like EP’ below, as well a bitesize interview in which we talk touring in America, studio upgrades and music videos:

Waze & Odyssey - Real Good Like / Everything (You're Made Of) by Waze & Odyssey

Waze & Odyssey - Don't Bring Me Down EP by Waze & Odyssey

Synth: So you’ve had a bit of a crazy tour schedule recently with a run of dates around America which culminated in Miami; do you experience a different type of dancefloor when you’re out there? Do you notice that electronic music is still relatively fresh to some people?

W&O: Everywhere generally has a different type of dancefloor/crowd trying to achieve its own identity - it’s up to us to adapt accordingly without straying too far away from our own identity. Most of the time you get the perfect fit which makes for the perfect night. There are a load of dope parties; LA particularly has a vibrant warehouse scene. Smart Bar in Chicago has been going since 1982...there's heritage there.

Synth: We caught a glimpse of a recent studio you were working in which was adorned with exotic house plants and some very impressive equipment; how does it compare to your first studio set up?

W&O: Yes, it’s MUCH better but with the same feel if that makes sense. We’re not massive fans of those mega studios, they seem to take character away. You have to be careful of adding too much to your studio at any one time as learning it all takes time and you never get round to writing; that’s when you become a tech-head. We’re happy with what we’ve got right now.

Synth: You’ve commissioned videos for some of the W&O releases including your own track ‘Everything (You’re Made Of); did you have creative input in the final cut?

W&O: Yeah, we came up with the idea for that one; Citizen's came from his own mind. We've got another idea for a video that you may see in the near future!

Synth: For tracks like Citizen & Ashworth’s ‘Situation’ which features the vocal talents of Shona Carmen, do you feel they could break through given the right push? The idea of charting doesn’t seem so ludicrous these days…

W&O: I suppose the fact it has a vocal might prompt that thought, but really it's an out and out dancefloor monster...still sounding big.

Synth: You’re playing the incredible Love Action at The Arches in Glasgow next week with legends such as David Morales, Kevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins; will you be checking anyone out from the dancefloor?

W&O: We'll just roll up and see what goes on - we'll be checking some of the sets for sure!

Waze & Odyssey play Love Action at The Arches on Fri 18th April. Check the full line up and buy tickets in advance from The Arches website. Waze & Odyssey ‘Real Good Like EP’ is out now on W&O Street Tracks.

Waze & Odyssey on Soundcloud
Waze & Odyssey on Facebook
Waze & Odyssey on Twitter