Gui Boratto Interview
Chromophobic Gui Boratto talks to endclub.com about his new album.
Brazilian Gui Boratto has been one of electronic music’s revelations over the last few years. His debut album Chromophobia was a genuinely great album, as pleasing on the ear to the occasional techno listener as to the ardent trainspotter. A myriad of tempos, moods and styles, Chromophobia was laced with emotion and personality and marked out Gui as one of the genre’s brightest talents. With Gui preparing for a live set at Olmeto alongside Layo & Bushwacka! we got him on the phone for a chat and discovered Mr. Boratto is not only a great producer but an affable gentleman too. He told us all about life after Chromophobia and gave us the heads up on his latest projects…
Endclub.com: Hi Gui, how are you and what are you up to right now?
Gui Boratto: I’m travelling at the moment, I’m on my way to Ghent to play at the 10 Days Off Festival. I’m in Spain right now, in Barcelona, I’m based here for the whole month with my family.
Layo & Bushwacka!, who you’re playing with next week, have often cited Brazil as a massive influence on their music. As a native, do you feel the same way?
Yeah, sure. In all senses Brazil is really great. I still live there, and although we’re talking about a third world country, there’s lots of amazing things, especially when talking about music. You have amazing venues, amazing parties, also amazing beaches – especially in the south of Brazil – and the scene is still growing there so it’s really nice.
When you were growing up did you listen to a lot of traditional Brazilian music?
A little bit, but really I listened to more rock, more 80s stuff. I don’t think I have many influences of Brazilian music in my music, but I can tell you I did listen to quite a lot of Bossa Nova when I was growing up, and I still do.
You spent ten years working as a producer for other artists, has that time influenced your current sound?
Definitely, especially working with different styles. I am a guitar player, I don’t know if you know, and I carry a lot (of my past experiences) with me. When I was producing rock bands, and other styles of bands, and even these days with my own music, I put in a lot of melodies that I used to create on my guitar, which sounds totally different when you translate it into the piano, or synthesiser. I carry all these other influences with me even today.
What was it that made you decide to switch focus and work on Gui Boratto the solo artist?
It was super natural. Actually to be honest I was a bit tired of working for other artists, but more than that, the way it actually happened was I was invited to produce two remixes for the ‘City of God’ soundtrack, and after that I thought I should keep doing this, doing my own stuff.
So before the City of God soundtrack had you been making house and techno as a hobby?
Actually I was already doing my own techno in my home studio, but professionally I was working for the major companies. After ‘City of God’, I started sending my tracks to European independent labels and it went from there.
Since the release of Chromophobia on Kompact you’ve been releasing music on a variety of labels, what’s your plan for the future?
I’m working on some remixes now, but I’m in the middle of the process of writing my new album. I have already started to produce it, and I have five or six tracks, I’m playing two or three of the tracks already. The album’s going to be out in January, released on Kompact as well. In the meantime, maybe I will do some extra jobs, like remixes, but right now I’m super focused on the album. I have to take a pause in the process while I’m on tour though because I’m a totally old school guy, I really need my hardware synthesisers, I really can’t produce just with a laptop. I have a lot of friends who can produce just sat on the plane you know, really talented guys who can write a track during one day’s travelling, but I need monitors. I’m a musician and I need keyboards and keys to play on and to put my ideas down. When I get back to Brazil, I will be working on it some more.
How are the tracks sounding so far?
There’s different styles in there, if you listen to Chromophobia there’s lots of styles on there too. I think the album will find its own way naturally. From the six tracks I have already made, three of them are really slow. I started with slower tracks, then there are two or three more techno, so I still don’t know which way it’s going to head.
Were you surprised by how successful Chromophobia was?
Yes, I was super surprised. Firstly because the album was not really for the dancefloor, so I wasn’t expecting it to be so successful. I mean it wasn’t super successful but for a techno album, yes, it reached all the charts, and I was super happy with the result. The feedback from the people was great, in the clubs people were singing along to the melodies, it was crazy. I’d never seen people singing synthesiser melodies before, singing lyrics yes, but not synth lines, it was great.
What is your favourite piece of hardware studio equipment?
It’s hard to say my favourite. But I really love my Roland SH-09 synthesiser, which is my newest piece of old equipment, I bought it in Japan like four or five months ago. It’s 25 years old, I’ve been using it a lot especially on my new album.
What are your thoughts on the young Brazilian groups such as CSS and Bondo De Role that have enjoyed mainstream international success in recent years?
Bonde Do Role I don’t know so well, but CSS, I got some of their first album, which I really liked. It sounds really rough, and really honest. I still have some of the tracks on my iPhone, but the new album ‘Donkey’ sounds too polished, I think they lost their punk atmosphere, that roughness which I liked.
Finally, what makes your life beautiful?
My daughter and my wife. I rented an apartment in Barcelona to have a base here while I’m on tour, and so my daughter and my wife could be here. It’s really nice to play on the weekends around Europe and then come back to Barcelona and have a little summer vacation with my family. It’s perfect.