This week’s GVR podcast comes directly from Spain, where Brunetto hails from. A musician, composer, DJ and music journalist born in Seville but based in Barcelona, Brunetto’s musical soundscape is a wide one, as this eclectic mix proves.
Brunetto’s artistry can be traced back to the broken beat school, after which it followed a journey that saw him traverse through 80s funky-rap, trip-hop, 90s rock big beats, post-beats, post-dubstep, IDM and even future bass. Describing his musical output as “diverse” would be an understatement, just as it would be to use the same adjective to describe his involvement with the electronic music world.
He has played festivals the likes of Sónar, Move, Klubbers Day, Space of Sound, Territorios, Electroshock and Observatori, all the while holding DJ residencies at venues such as Bauhaus, Funclub, Sumo, Elefunk, Jackson, and Demo. His tours have taken him to DJ booths throughout Europe, all the while working as an artist manager, agent and holding several PR and journalistic positions within the industry.
His guest mix for GVR clocks in at just under a hour-and-a-half. Listen to it below, download it for free here and read on for our interview with Brunetto.
Hola Bruno, how are you doing? Recovered from ADE yet?
Hi there! Ah yes, absolutely recovered from a new and intense adventure in Amsterdam! Have to say it was my best ADE experience so far. Virtually everything helped to make it so, included the unexpected and wonderful weather. C’mon, it’s Amsterdam and the end of October!
It is always great to catch up with friends, colleagues and new professionals from the dance music industry, to split yourself in several parts to have quiet meetings, then visit bars, clubs, showcases, records stores… and at the same time you’re enjoying one of the most authentic cities in Europe. I cannot wait to return next year!
Firstly thank you for the mix, what can listeners expect from it?
Anytime! It was an honor to prepare this mix! I decided to gather some club oriented cuts that people can check out and test their bones dancing to, including some contemporary techno and house fused with ’90s sounds (including one of my confessed passions, the broken beats), a yo-yo of dark melodies, thrilling arpeggios and why not, some touches of acid and airy vocals as well.
I wanted to ‘invite’ some names t the party that have been always great inspirations to me. I mean artists like Leftfield, Depeche Mode or Jamiroquai, but all the tracks chosen are very recent remixes of their music. Joining them are artists of today that I admire very much such as Maya Jane Coles, Special Request and Dark Sky whose last album “Othona” released on Monkeytown is just brilliant! I hope you all enjoy the trip!
You’re as busy as ever. In Amsterdam you told me everything you have going on and was impressed in seeing how involved you are with the industry and how many different hats you wear. Can you talk us through what you’re involved with at the moment?
What I am mostly involved with now, and have been since 2007, is working conscientiously as a publicist, music journalist and composer. That year, 2007, was my debut as Head of Press for one the most important electronic music distributors (mostly vinyl) in Spain: Decoder Muzique. Sometime later I began to do the same in the agency Miracle MGMT (Coyu, Suara, Lee Van Dowski, Victor Ruiz, etc.), from 2010 until now.
I also decided to start my own press and communication agency, Freelastica, which is going pretty well. I cannot complain about the amount of work I have. In addition to all this, I’m contributing with my words for Spanish titles like ClubbingSpain, OCIMAG, DJ MAG ES and SMD Mag. I did it previously for Go!Mag, Spinner / AOL or La Milk. On the other hand, I’ve been composing solo music since early 2000s.
My last LP was “Sheroine” (Irregular, 2014), and I have a lot of fun writing for ads, apps or documentary scores, also remixing other artists, and of course preparing some original new songs… My next EP to be released will be in early 2018 via Sincopat (“Humanity”) and I have a brand new project along with another artist –Isam Alegre- under the name of Wolf and Amadeus.
How did you first discover this passion for electronic music?
Hard to say, but I think it was certainly at the end of the ’80s and beginning of the 1990s. I started playing (even singing and dancing) rap music, but I quickly realized, especially listening to pioneers like Ice-T, The Glove & Dave Storrs with ‘Reckless’, Hashim ‘Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)’, Mantronix or Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force with ‘Planet Rock’ there were some very interesting synthetic sounds and beats, not just old jazz-soul vinyl borrowed samples. People like Tim Simenon / Bomb the Bass or Robert Del Naja / Massive Attack great culprits of my passion as well.
Curiously I evolved at the same time consuming a lot of UK beats (from IDM, hard hop to jungle to trip hop… Warp, Ninja Tune, Shut Up and Dance, Skint and Wall of Sound were the labels) and soundtracks of sci-fi films (Vangelis’ Blade Runner, John Carpenter’s Escape from New York, etc.) I’ve been non-stop digging and playing since 1993 until 2007 – sometimes playing up 4 times per week. Then I moved from Seville to Barcelona, decided to radically change from nightlife to sunlight life, but keeping myself fully involved in music, especially electronic music. Journalism and a Polish princess with which I will live the rest of my life made this possible (laughs)
How involved are you with your artist side these days?
As said before I’m preparing a new EP as Brunetto for Sincopat entitled Humanity. The original song features Bearoid, one of my favorite vocalists from Spain right now. I will focus also on my new duo project Wolf and Amadeus, which will be a more experimental side, electronic music but with a more atmospheric and cinematic treatment. Our first work together was this 2017 for a fiction novel titled ‘La Séptima Vida de Kaspar Schwarz’, first time we met was on the stage preparing an unforgettable hybrid of metal, drones and beats some time ago… Isam, my partner in crime, used to play for this band called Obsidian Kingdom.
You’re an artist yourself, a producer and DJ but also wear several business related hats. Do you have a preference between the two?
I used to love DJing but right now what I love most is composing music in the recording studio. When I have time, of course. Especially when it comes to work for some curious stuff such as applications, presentation of books, scores, etc.
As mentioned we met up during ADE. How was the conference for you?
Amazing! The only thing here is that I’d wish to have more time to attend more showcases, interesting presentations… and catch up with everyone I’d love to see. It’s quite impossible schedule and that everything get completed smoothly. You know, so many things happening in such little time, good that Miracle MGMT have this cosy and relaxed Meeting Point, a perfect place to meet. Also centrally located with a small Greek restaurant in front which is a dope!
You’ve been going for years. Has its role, significance and scope changed for you and if so, how much?
Don’t shoot me please, but this 2017 was actually my second time over there! I’ve been another couple of times in Amsterdam but not during ADE. So, just two years experienced but enough to say that yes, it changed for me substantially because I’ve organized myself two times better than in 2016. I had some amazing days filled with meetings while sharing a hot tea or a beer during the week just before the always insane parties across the weekend.
At ADE you meet almost every one of the clubbing industry key players, in fact you walk down the street and you can’t stop seeing familiar faces, it is as if someone created a mini-universe in the middle of Europe for a whole week. I love how the government entities believe in ADE and if I’m not wrong, they give it a lot of support. It is nice to visit hot-spots like DeLaMar Theater, wonderful nice clothes shops offering their places to media or labels for showcases, what Kompakt does is just insane… It’s worth living and surviving this week.
Your work is mostly in Spain, a country with an effervescent love for techno, house and everything in between. Why do you think it is the Spanish love it so much?
Ah yes, techno, house and everything in between as you well just said. I’m from South Spain, Seville, where broken beats have always been the kings of mambo. I actually had a band (Bockors) which did a hectic mixture of beats, rap and metal! We warmed up great concerts for the likes of The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers or Junkie XL. But I also loved techno, trance and underground house sounds.
Nowadays the music scene is unstoppable, no matter, wherever you look, south, north, west … there are great talented people. I’m lucky to work, or worked, for many of them: Piek, Skygaze, AFFKT, Coyu, Ramiro López, Edu Imbernon, Bastian Bux, John Vermont, Lasers, The Suicide of Western Culture, Easy Kid, etc. I believe techno music made in Spain is working really well. Also those who believe in original and impossible mixes of electronica with many other genres.
I’m a big fan of El_Txef_A for example.
You’re based in Barcelona, one of the hotspots for our industry, the home of many artists, labels, great clubs and of course festivals like Sonar. What’s the benefit for you living and working there?
For me Barcelona is the place to be. As you just said it has plenty of artists from all over the world, great venues and of course Sonar, but not just Sonar! In my top festivals are also Mutek, MIRA!, DGTL, Live Soundtracks… Every week, no matter if it is winter or summer, there’s always a lot of things happening. Barcelona is an inspiring place, people are respectful and open-minded, and don’t forget Catalunya is the birthplace of Salvador Dalí, Albert Serra, Joan Miró or Antoni Tàpies.
Despite the politicians who govern us and do a pretty bad job, Barcelona will be always a magic place.
What are your favorite food spots in the city?
For burgers: Timesburg and Oval. You can prepare your own hamburger choosing all those ingredients you prefer, and of course there is a veggie option too! I like to visit Crock’n’Roll, they’re specialist of the ‘croquettes’. For Japanese food lovers check out Rio Teppan Okonomiyaki and Can Kenji. For some traditional rice plates Can Ramonet, Martínez… and of course some amazing Italian food, very close from where I live is this small Neapolitan spot called BelleBuon, the chef is 100% Napoletano and prepares the best pumpkin lasagne I’ve ever eaten!
In my opinion Barcelona is not the best city for ‘tapas’, for this I would always recommend my hometown Seville, Granada, Santiago de Compostela, Salamanca or Logroño, where they are are called ‘pintxos’.
Any “hidden” and non-touristy spots visitors should check out?
Labyrinth Park of Horta, Montjuïc Cemetery with great sculptures representing death, Sat! to discover new talents in contemporary dance, El Bosc de les Fades, Antic Teatre, several air-raid shelters from the Spanish Civil War, Convent de Sant Agustí were you can sit calm and have a coffee with some tasty muffin… all of them, have been trying to hide from tourists, what in the Barcelona of the 21st century is practically impossible. I’m not exactly helping to stay them calm by mentioning them here and now.
What does Bruno do in his spare time when he isn’t working or enjoying music?
I love practicing and watching sports, I am especially big fan of soccer and athletics. I used to play both when I was much younger, but now I’m very rusty? I’m also addicted to cycling and walking, Barcelona is a perfect place for all this. I like to read illustrated novels and of course watch some TV series and movies.
I’m very much into horror and science fiction ones, and if they are also historical… bingo! Just two minutes from home I have an amazing movie theater called Phenomena where I recently watch movies like Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk, etc. it’s a unique experience, with some of them in 4k and all of them in original version. They also play classics there and this weekend I’m going for the “Phantasma III Weekend of Horror” with movies like Suspiria, Salem’s Lot or Scanners. I could move my sofa there if they allowed it!
What are some of your goals and things you plan to be working on as you move into 2018?
My main goal always is keep on following my great passion… music! At the same I’m learning continuously. I do not want this to ever end; I love thinking that I always seek personal satisfaction before money. I also want to work on losing my belly a bit, I spend too many hours a day sitting (laughs)