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Feature: Guy J [Interview]

17 min read

Hello Guy, thanks for joining us today, you are just back from stops in Toronto and Montreal, an eight hour set at Coda and a mammoth 20 hour back to back set with Hernan Cattaneo at Stereo. Tell us about those, how were they and how do you prepare for a 20 hour set? physically, mentally and musically?

For me the preparation for that weekend was producing music that I can play at different point of the set and just digging for good music! Both gigs were amazing thnx to the great crowd of Canada, Playing with Hernan is always fun, he is a master of a dj and a good friend so it goes very smooth. For the 20 hours set we had the best sound system for it which is in Stereo, you just want to keep playing there, its unreal how good it is. The club was always busy and the people gives you the energy to keep on playing, we both absolutely loved it.

Although you're primarily thought of as a progressive house artist, your music sits in a space that transcends the genre. A wide assortment of artists and music fans from other genres also seem to gravitate towards what you do. What do you think it is about your music that brings people together in such a way?

I Never try to block my creativity by genre and it allows me to explore different genres of house music in my productions. Electronic music today is so wide and there are so much great gear to use when creating music so I don’t believe in categorizing under one genre only. I do it for the love of electronic music and I find each genre gives something else, so why not to combine all of them ?

For anyone that follows your social media, it will come as no secret that you love Argentina and the country loves you. How did this strong bond between yourself and the people come to be? And what is it that makes it such a special place for you to play?

Argentina is so unique for my music because of the culture of the people, they are very passionate and there is amazing “drive” in the air when you arrive here. You can see it by the way they dance , its the best crowd out there. Since my first tour here i felt straight away a special connection with the people here and I'm lucky to have this unique thing bond going on for that long, one of most insisting place.

You're about to embark on another hugely anticipated tour of South America, It's 3 weeks with some massive nights including The Bow, Warung and other famous spots. Does playing a large venue change or perhaps limit what you can do artistically? Or does it at times allow more freedom?

I play in some of the venue long sets about 4 - 5 Hours so i think in this amount of time its great to build up the set and not straight away to “bang” it. and like mentioned, the crowd here that comes to the club they come from the beginning to end to experience all the build up, its challenging in a great way, makes you get the best out of you and inspire for creativity.

I feel there are few “events” in a year that are like circulation for me of what i do and like coming to Argentina is one of them, same as playing at Stereo. you want to come and show where are you in your career and what you’ve done till now.

Outside of the clubs and events, where are some your favourite places to visit in Argentina, do have some favourite places to eat or shop perhaps?

I Always stay in Buenos Aires with my friend Diego and we just take it easy to be honest. I did some touristic stuff the first time I came here, now it's like visiting a place I know and I just relax between the gigs :-)

A vast majority of your biggest tracks seem to take quite a while to get released, is this by design? And once they are released how if at all does your perception of the track change?

I Write a lot of music to be honest and I’m not in a rush to release so much, I think that is what keeps my gigs unique, I come and give the people something they can’t hear anywhere else. When a dj gets booked and there is all that hard work around getting him or her to a club I think it should be special for the people who come to hear him or her, and thats was I'm trying to do. So I make a lot of music and people are looking for the tracks :-) I feel when a track is being released then thats it, it belong to the people, it's kind of letting go...

You had two high profile remixes come out this year, of Third Son ft Haptic and Way Out West. Both were underground hits yet stylistically very different. The former a deep, cosmic creation while the latter is chuggy, dance floor bomb. Can you explain the approach on both remixes and how they fit into your sets?

With Third Son ft. Haptic, I fell in love with the vocal since first time I heard it and I asked Mitch who runs microcastle for the parts of the track, I had the remix ready in my had before working on it. I knew exactly how I wanted the track to sound.

With way out west I tried different direction, to build up to the melody with a mega groove under it. The original is very beautiful and its east to fall in the trap of doing the obvious “thing”, the challenge with remixes is to give the original different approach.


Your studio seems to be growing quite nicely, what's the latest addition to the family?

Later addition is OB - 6 by Dave Smith which is a monster like all Dave Smith’s gear.

I remember somewhere that you've become addicted to analog, how if at all has adding more hardware changed your music or creative process?

I think the biggest change for me is I feel there is more warmth to the tracks and I think it also did something to the way I produce. With analog its once its recorded from the synth then you have to work with it and I like it.

The first synth you bought was the Virus T1, is it still a staple in the music you make?

Once in a while I bring it back, I have many great synths now but the Virus TI will always remain special for me. I always recommend getting it as a first synth its very rich with sounds and you can learn a lot using it.

Omnisphere was one of the only VSTs you used on a regular basis, is it still? and has anything else been added to the mix software wise?

Software wise I didn’t add much, I know some people can argue about the sound difference between analog great and digital, but there is something different when you touch the knobs of a synthesizer, its like a monster that comes alive.

Netflix is something which pops up on your instagram from time to time, what are you currently watching?

I'm now deep into 'Peaky Blinders' and a lot of documentaries. Already done Fargo, Narcos and some of the very good stuff there.

Lost & Found continues to be a dominate force in progressive house, Chicola's recent album was a highlight this year along with your MDQ / Diagonal EP, what does next year hold for the label?

First release on the label is a beauty from Budakid, and after that Then is back with a massive remix along Eli Nissan, Hermanez and more great music coming up!


What does 2018 hold for Guy J, what new music can you tell us about and where will your sound go?

I Have 2 releases on Lost & found coming up, one release is original and the other is 2 remixes I made for Eitan Reiter for his beautiful album on Armadillo, I also made remix for Clarian and Monkey Safari which will come out in the first half of 2018

regarding my sound, let’s just wait and see cause i don’t know myself :-)

have beautiful 2018

x Guy

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