Home Interviews Feature: Sebastian Busto [Interview]

Feature: Sebastian Busto [Interview]

34 min read

Widely regarded for crafting the deep and progressive spectrum’s of house, Sebastian Busto has long been a favourite of world class DJs Hernan Cattaneo and Nick Warren. Also laying claim to an impressive discography of releases on Magician On Duty, Replug, Sudbeat Music and The Soundgarden, the Buenos Aires resident remains on the pulse of all that is progressive minded. Now on the cusp of a remix for Italy's Cigarette Music, we had a chance to catch up with Sebastian in this exclusive interview. Enjoy!

Hi Sebastian, thanks for sitting with us today! Tell us, what does a studio day look like for you?

Hello, friends of Progressive Astronaut! Thank you very much for receiving me. Right now my days of study are increasingly divided between my tasks as a producer and my tasks as a dj. For a while now I am lucky to be playing every weekend, and many of those gigs happen in Buenos Aires, so I strive to offer something different every time I play. I spend a lot of time listening to new music. The rest of the time, which is not always a lot, I dedicate to production.

What’s been on your to-do list this week?

Prepare music for my gig on Sunday in the city of Cipolletti in Río Negro, move forward in the composition of a new original, specify loose ends of my December dates and gradually begin to talk with promoters preparing my next tour of Europe for March Next year.

Tell us more about your story. How did you discover electronic music and what led you down the path of wanting to be a producer and Dj? 04. At which club or event did you experience electronic music for the first time and what memories have stuck with you from that moment?

The first approach to electronics was at the end of the 90s, attending the massive raves that DJ Dero starred here in Buenos Aires. I found them very funny, but it was little more than that to me. Everything gained another dimension the first time I entered Big One, an amazing club in Buenos Aires, and heard its resident Aldo Haydar play. I started going every Saturday thereafter. I remember the sensation of being entering a new universe, an almost mystical space where everything was interesting. The freedom and pleasure I felt dancing on that dance floor was one of the most intense experiences of my life. Today my main goal as a DJ is to help people who are listening to me achieve a connection with music and dance equally deep. Shortly after those Saturdays at Big One I listened to Hernán Cattaneo at Creamfields, and it was musically so extraordinary that it ended up making me love electronic music forever. Even so, it took me many years to decide to embark on my own path as a producer and DJ.

Can you name three tracks that were influential in your musical development?

Paul Oakenfold - Southern Sun (Tiesto Remix)

Sasha Vs. Junkie XL - Beauty Never Fades (Original mix)

Tomaz vs Filterheadz - Sunshine (Original mix)

Argentina is well known for it’s love of progressive music. How has growing up and living there shaped your sound and career?

I must say that my first great love in electronics was the trance old school of the late 90s and early 2000s. When I wanted to start my career as a producer in 2014 that music was already dead, turned into EDM and trash commercial. At first I found myself a bit disoriented on what direction to take. But I was lucky enough to find a set of Dreamers on youtube, Fernando Ferreya's show, and there I met again with the melodies that I loved so much, with the only difference that they now had less bpm. That is the progressive of today for me: trance old school at 120 bpm. And I have the great fortune that Argentina is the most recognized progressive country in the world. So it was easy for me to carry on my career without having to worry about the sounds that were fashionable in the rest of the world. Undoubtedly, the fact that the progressive is so important here in Argentina is largely due to Hernán Cattaneo, who is our great reference, and the greatest legend of the genre worldwide.

Who are some up and coming Argentinean artists to look out for?

I could name a lot. There is a lot of talent in Argentina. I will name only ten, to not make an eternal list: Guhus; Emi Galvan; Ezequiel Arias; Antrim; Nicolás Rada; Lucas Rossi; Juan Sapia; Matías Chilano; Paul Deep; Mario Puccio.

You’ve been releasing music for a while now and you’ve been supported by some of the most reputable DJs so does hearing a DJ you admire playing your track or giving praise via feedback still feel as good as it did early in your career?

Of course. I will never stop getting excited when Hernán Cattaneo or Nick Warren decide to play a song of mine. It is a beautiful feeling, which mobilizes me on several levels: personally and professionally.

The industry and how fans discover new music has changed dramatically in the last 10 years or so. How do you discover new music nowadays?

To work in my gigs I am super updated thanks to all the promos I receive from the producers and the labels that send me their music. From what I can say I am always up to date in relation to progressive and deep house which are the styles that I like to play. Regarding rock, pop, and any other genre, honestly, today I am completely lost and outdated. I don't have much time to explore new artists and basically I still listen to Guns N 'Roses, Aerosmith, U2 and Pink Floyd when I want to disconnect a little from the beat of electronics.

Your productions are quite unique, some can be deeper and some are more on the peak time tip. Is this versatility something you strive for in the studio and what do you want your music to convey to the listener?

Yes, versatility is something I am consciously looking for, for several reasons. I have very different gigs during the year, and although most of the time I am the main artist, sometimes I have to open the night, sometimes close it, and sometimes even take care of the club all night long, and I like having my own music to play on each occasion, at 1:00 in the morning or 5:30. That led me to compose deep house music for my warm up sessions and very aggressive and groovy music for the closing moments. On the other hand, I find it interesting as an artist to be able to show the different aspects of my personality, express my moments of calm, joy, anger and all other emotions that I need to express through music. It would not make much sense for me to do the same song over and over again just because I know it works well.

I think for a lot of artists music allows you to write a sketch of your own personal universe in a way; your travels, life experiences etc. Is this something which is true for yourself? Where does inspiration come from?

I personally consider it impossible to say where the inspiration comes from. I think that a good part of every creative process is unconscious and therefore a mystery. I never believed in the linearity with which some critics have tried to explain art by implying that a man in love writes love songs and a sad man makes sad songs. It doesn't work that way, at least not for me. I only know that I am in the studio every day, trying to make the best possible music, and at a certain moment an idea arises that moves me and I try to capture it. Where that idea came from, I think I'll never know.

You have a new remix of Edem & Govan ‘Ankh’ out on Cigarette Music. Tell us a bit about how you approached the project and why is was such an attractive track to remix?

The original is a beauty. It has incredible textures and vocals. It gave me a lot of calm and a transcendent feeling when I heard it. It is a perfect theme for me, only that it is at a very low bpm, which takes it too far away from what I could use on a set of mine. So my attempt with the remix was essentially to respect the magic of the original by transferring it to my own universe in order to use the song. I built a deep house base with the groove that I usually need and I left a lot of space for the original environment. Also I changed a little the harmony, to add a new color, but the idea was always to respect the essence of the original. I think I achieved exactly what I was looking for. I am very proud of the result.

Which do you enjoy more writing original material or remixing? And what do you look for when choosing a remix project? Why did Cigarette Music seem like a good home for one of your remixes?

I enjoy both things equally. Once I'm in the process, I don't find too many differences. I try to make all the projects mine, I dedicate the same level of attention and effort. The condition that I need to make a remix is not necessarily that I like the original a lot, but that I have elements that I like very much, which is not the same. There are times when I fall in love with a bass line and a voice, and that's enough for me to want to do the remix.

I chose to work with Cigarette Music because it is a coherent label, with its own distinctive sound, which shows that they have clear ideas of their general proposal. And also for the kindness and professionalism with which they do things. It is a pleasure to work with people like that.

When working on music is the dance floor always something that’s taken into consideration? Or does a certain vibe or flow sometimes transcend that?

Yes, if you are making music that you intend to include in a club set, the dance floor always has to be taken into account. Even when it is a very quiet piece of music, it has to be groovy, and it has to be danceable. At certain moments of the process I like to silence most of the channels and leave only the bass and rhythm to be well convinced that the groove is correct and that it works for dancing. I think a producer should never forget that this music is to be danced before not to be just heard. In fact, being a dj and have more and more gigs is one of the things that has helped me more to understand the production process.

How much of an influence does music outside of the electronic spectrum have on you?

I listened to rock and pop all my life. I also like classical music a lot. That is always present in me. In fact, I consider that sometimes it is too present and I have to consciously do the work of remembering that I am doing dance music, and not going too far with harmonies and composition.

Is there a movie you would have loved to have produced the soundtrack for? And if so why?

I would have loved to make the music of the Matrix saga, although the movies really were perfect as they are. I think that Master Oakenfold did an excellent job there. The scene where everyone is dancing in the cave at the rhythm of the drums is sublime and incredibly aesthetic and the music of Paul fit incredibly well.

Is there a side of yourself which you wish to explore more in your upcoming projects?

Yes, I would like to make a little more organic music and play instruments like the guitar, bass and acoustic piano again. And even sing. But it would have to be a parallel project, with an AKA, something quite different from what I am doing now. Maybe I will when I find some time.

Most artists go through periods of creative blocks, what do you do to help break through these moments?

I never stop working. The work of a dj and producer has many very different aspects, and not all of them need inspiration or creativity. Part of the job is to coordinate the gigs, answer interviews, download music, select it and even load the pendrives. And within the production itself, you don't need to be really inspired to equalize a kick or filter a bass. There is always something to do, and on the way there is enough time for inspiration to reappear on its own. It is not necessary to force it. It is only necessary to remain in the study and work.

Describe one or some of the best sets you’ve played in your career. Where was the venue and how was the vibe? Do you often feel inspired to make music after being on the road?

Every time I have the opportunity to play in Bahrein it is super special. I think any progressive DJ should ever go through the experience of playing in the basement of Bahrein. It has a unique, incomparable atmosphere. It is the best club in Argentina for me and probably one of the most intense in the world.

There are a lot of factors which affect the perception of an artist other than his music these days, social media for one, how much emphasis do you put on stuff like this? and what are your thoughts on the current state of the industry?

Social networks are a very big tool, and like everything else, it can be used well or misused. They are misused from the moment you become addicted to superficiality and ego, and you spend all day worried about the amount of likes you receive or trying to demonstrate a fantastic life and a status you don't have. It is well used when it serves as an instrument to communicate with your fans, to coordinate gigs with producers from other cities, to discover new artists. I think the industry today is supersaturated. That's good, because it will always be a joy for people to express themselves and turn to creativity. The downside of that is that it costs a lot to be seen in the middle of so much proposals. But well, everything has its positive and negative side. I honestly enjoy my work and I am very grateful to have the possibility to do it.

Looking back over your discography, which one of your very first tracks still puts a smile on your face when you listen to it now, and why?

"Making Life". Although, as you can expected, after a few years I find many mixing and audio problems on it (which I can not touch up because I lost the original project) is still a song that makes me proud. I think it is very original and has a very particular energy that is unmistakable. At the same time, my friend Fernando Ferreyra has used it so much and for so long, that it has made it a small classic for a certain group of people. So I keep using it from time to time and always steal a smile from my face.

Current five favorite tracks?

1.Sebastian Busto - Workaholic vs U2 - taring At The Sun (Brothers In Rhythm Club Mix) (Sebastian Busto Mashup)

2. Matter - Eastern Sunset Vs Ian Brown - F.E.A.R. (UNKLE remix) (Sebastian Busto Mashup)

3. Alex O'Rion - L'Arbre Des Contes Vs Allure - The Loves We Lost (Sebastian Busto Mashup)

4. Jiminy Hop - Fantasy [The Soundgarden]

5. Luka Sambe - If animals could talk [Balance]

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

My girlfriend and my daughter.

What can we expect from you for the rest of the year? Any releases or special dates we should be looking out for?

I am waiting for a release in Bassick Recordings of two originals that I love, that I have been testing a lot in my sessions and always works very well. I guess they will be in beatport in the coming

Thank you very much for everything, my friends. It was a pleasure talking to you!

Sebastian's remix of Edem & Govan 'Ankh' is out now on Cigarette Music, you can purchase the release here: https://bit.ly/31KPG2W

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