Today Glasgow, Tomorrow The World: Barrientos
How did the link up to Glasgow Underground come about?
I actually did a mix for website called Synth Glasgow in 2012 and I think Kevin McKay heard it, not sure how thinking about it. I think the Synth Glasgow guys mentioned to him that I was writing music, so he sent over a message a short while after saying he had a Romanthony remix up for grabs. It was a track called Bring You Up, going to be remixed by Deetron, PBR Streetgang, Toby Tobias, Lee Webster… I was like “Is this for real?!”. He said he’d send the parts over and to get back to him with what I could do.
I’m sure I heard a small explosion emanating from the direction of Scotland around 2012, so I’m guessing that was you receiving that news?
[Laughs] In all honesty I was pretty overwhelmed. I obviously knew all the stuff Romanthony did with Daft Punk and, over the years as I got more and more into dance music, I got to appreciate who Romanthony was, tracks like Ministry Of Love…
One of my favourites from back in the day.
Yeah, so I was totally taken aback by the whole thing, it was a lot of pressure. Kevin is a bit of legend here, but I just gave it a bash and it was nice that he put a bit of faith in someone like myself, who has never had a release.
I do find that, up in Scotland, that there is a bit of a community atmosphere, where the labels will help up and coming talent, no matter whether you’re from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife… everyone seems to pull together and say “let’s do some great music to put us on the map”.
I think Glasgow has got this amazing scene, nobody really gives a f*ck, and you just send it to loads of people and they’ll tell you the truth back but still help you to grow. You can be candid with anyone in Glasgow.
You don’t need yes men.
That’s the Glasgow mentality, they’ll call it as they see it.
Effectively, you seem like you are at that point where you are starting to turn the corner. Any advice for people starting out in production? Apart from moving to Scotland.
You just need to keep writing. Ever since I got into it, I write music, I read magazines, listen to music every day. Keep refining what you are, if you like a particular style, don’t copy it but try to find something new.
I think that is a really important point right there.
You can certainly hear sometimes when people have decided “I like that Detroit Swindle track,” and they’ve made a derivative version that’s not really making waves. There’s nothing wrong with taking influences, as it’s easier said than done to be original.
As a reviewer, I get a hell of a lot of material into my inbox, and there was a patch in life where everyone appeared to be sharing the one Hot Natured bassline, so I know what you mean.
You need to experiment, make tracks that sound like sh*t as a starting point. I certainly can admit that you’d never want to hear the first track I’d written, but you need that beginning. Trial and error. It’s only now that I’m at a point where I can start moulding things the way I want.
Oh, and get a good set of monitors.
So they say!
I just got a new set monitors and it’s made all the difference. So nice!
Finally, Celtic / Rangers / indifferent?
[laughs] St Mirren! It’s not anything to be proud of!
Photo: Richard Gaston