Today Glasgow, Tomorrow The World: Barrientos
As part of the ongoing quest to unearth the new wave of talent on the cusp of breaking through, we had the chance to delve into the world of Glaswegian house prodigy Barrientos. With a mix of Chilean and English in his blood and a life that started in America, before moving onto Glasgow, Ivan Barrientos’ music inherits a deft touch, classical inspiration and the hedonism that comes with the Scottish party scene
Already notching up remixes for FCL and Romanthony, Ivan has the first footsteps on the way to respectable discography, and has found a champion in the shape of Glasgow Underground’s Kevin McKay. With this being the musical equivalent of the Man from Del Monte’s “yes”, Barrientos is a name you will start to see more of over the coming years.
Sparing a few moments before heading off to co-host a regular slot on Sub City Radio, it was a chance to mull over inspirations, classical training and life in the studio.
So, I believe I’ve just caught you just before you are off to a radio show, is it a regular thing?
In Glasgow we have a radio station, Sub City Radio. It’s the former home of Optimo, Slam and Bicep also used to be on it, really good independent radio. My friend and I, we have a two hour show where we just play all the stuff we just like, all the promos we’ve been sent over the last couple of weeks. We also do a label feature where we focus on a label that we like…
Giving a bit back to the community.
Yeah yeah, we try to cover loads of things, try to cram as many tracks into two hours as we can as there is so much good music!
How long have you been appearing on the radio show?
We got it back in November, we’ve only just started up and want to keep going as long as possible. We got some good material; we went to Croatia for the Garden Festival, got to talk to PBR Streetgang and people like that, some good interviews. We’re only just starting out but we want to try and build it as much as we can.
It’s not a bad first step, a proper reputable radio station.
Yeah, you have to apply to be on it, you’re interviewed to see what your format is. It’s good, there is a lot of variety on Sub City, a good wee radio station!
Let’s talk history – what or who are your inspirations for you as an artist?
I have a lot of inspiration in a lot of the current music; I love what PBR Streetgang are doing, people like Paolo Rocco, Omar S…
Raw edged producers.
Yeah, exactly. Although the stuff I first got into was a lot more minimal; one of my favourite artists is Luciano. I think I have a little bit of an affinity with him as my background is Chilean. When I just left high school, his music was like nothing I had heard before. Really nice energy, latin rhythms, bass…
Unique and intricate.
Exactly. Once I’d heard Luciano, then I got into Ricardo Villalobos and kinda built from there. Once you’ve started with that, then it evolved into listening to more deeper, more house music.
You are penned as being classically trained, what is this in and do you find it helps you with electronic music?
Back in high school, I used to study flute and piano, and I was also briefly at the Royal Scottish Academy Of Music And Drama [now the Royal Conservatoire Of Scotland] in Glasgow. It was brilliant, I was listening and playing classical music, gaining this technical ability. Once you’re forced to hear a lot of classical music and break it down, you get an appreciation of structures and how intricate music can be…
So you don’t find it is at odds musically with electronic music at all then?
That’s the thing, when I was doing all the classical, I wasn’t listening to a lot of other music apart from a load of post-rock. It wasn’t until I’d left that classical world that I realised that there was this whole electronic scene going on. A lot of electronic music is as complicated as classical, you can hear a lot of inspirations in it. All the classical stuff was great, although I used to hate composition, all I wanted to do was blitz technical ability. It wasn’t until I left high school that I really wanted to start writing stuff.
Photo: Richard Gaston