The 134th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Gus Donnan.
1. Where are you based and how long have you been DJing and producing?
I´m from Buenos Aires, Argentina where I live. I´ve been producing (and learning to do it) the last three years, I don´t have yet professional experience in Djing apart from some private parties and jams with friends. Now I´m spending the most of my time in the studio, consolidating my sound and producing some EP´s.
2. How did you first discover electronic music? Where do your musical roots lie and when did you know you wanted to pursue electronic music seriously?
My roots are very diverse, I´ve spent my teenage years among classical music, rock, pop, jazz blues, heavy metal, progressive rock and even Tango. I took piano and drums lessons since those years.
My relationship with the electronic music was progressive starting, when I listened to music like Alan Parsons, Emerson Like & Palmer even Vangelis and experimental music I felt that the expression of the synths was the most spectacular and hypnotic for me, more than rock, pop or other sounds. Later Robert Miles arrived to my ears and I listened many electronic music of different genres so this take me to the classic trance until I began to listen John Digweed, Sasha, Martin Garcia and Hernan Cattaneo selections and this became in my major influence the last five years.
I choose electronic music production because I realized that one can express very different feelings, emotions and ideas through it, and to do this I need to mix the expressions of melodies with the groove of a rhythmic pattern, it´s all that I wanted.
If you let me I would like to quote Henry Saiz words about influences which I´m very identified with: “My influences are pretty diverse, taking me all the way from Italo Disco to Black Metal. From Abba to Aphex Twin, Vangelis and Pink Floyd (via Detroit) – I believe that electronic music can, and should, have a message. The infinite palate of sounds and textures give the power to evoke much more complex feelings and mindscapes than the traditional pop-rock instruments – the fact that you can dance to it in a club doesn’t mean it can’t transmit a message (and a thrill) to the listener on many levels.”
3. If you had to pick one track which solidified your love for electronic music early on what would it be?
Children – Robert Miles and For an Angel – Paul Van Dyk.
4. What do you do outside of electronic music? what is a regular day like for you and what do you enjoy doing besides producing music?
I work in the maintenance area of the flag carrier Aerolíneas Argentinas as Technician but in an Technical Office.
5. What was the first and last record / track you purchased?
I remember my father purchasing me a Beethoven Symphonies cassette tape at my nine years old. My lasts CD Records I´ve purchased are Le Onde – Ludovico Einaudi and The Wall – Pink Floyd. On Beatport my first track was Ventura – Hal Incandenza and my last one was Apolonia – John Cosani (Kintar remix).
6. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I´m Counselor and photographer.
7. Who are some of the best undiscovered talents in your eyes?
I don´t have the crystal ball but I think that many people in the underground of Argentinan progressive scene is doing the right things and there´s a good future for them, people like Santiago Teillagory, Nicolas Petracca, Ezequiel Anile, Diego Berrondo, Marcelo Paladini, Julian Rodriguez, Sergey Gebio and many others I´m forgeting have very professional and great sound.
8. Which producers consistently inspire you?
I don´t have one in particular but in most way they are Guy Gerber, Guy J and Henry Saiz.
9. What artist or track would you love to remix? and who would you love to be remixed by?
I would like to remix some track of Radiohead or something like that, more than a remix it would be adding my groove and melody to a very sensitive and emotional vocal like Thom Yorke , Frank Wiedemann, Jan Blomqvist, Ane Brun, Saint Saviour, Jeremy Wrong or Antony Hegarty. Being remixed it would be great by anyone of the question 8.
10. Record labels are a dime a dozen these days, which ones if any standout for you?
It´s difficult choose one label because all of them are good if you are looking for very different and original music, but when I´m looking for something more musical and original I trust in Natura Sonoris, and when I´m looking for something for the dancefloor I can trust in Sudbeat for example.
11. What would you say is the best mix compilation of all time?
Hernan Cattaneo – Parallel [reinassance-The Master Series]
12. Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Food: Argentinian Meat ¨Asado¨
Drink: Cubalibre, Caipirinha, Corona Beer.
Animal: No pets for me.
TV Show: I don´t watch much TV but sometimes I find myself hypnotized with The Simpsons or some good movie.
Movie: The Lords of The rings (And the books), Forest Gump, Benjamin Button, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Video Game: I´m retired of the video games but the last I played was Call of Duty, I remember shooting to my brother in the other pc (I killed of course).
Album: The Wall – Pink Floyd
Track / Song: Pink Floyd – High Hopes, Comptine d’Un Autre Été-Yan Tiersen, Sommerliebe – Solee (Eelke Kleijn Remix), Guy J – Dizzy Moments and many more.
Producer / Band: Henry Saiz, Guy Gerber, Jam Blomqvist, and many others I´m forgetting.
Record Label: Natura Sonoris
Nightclub: Barhein, Crobar, Pacha (All in Buenos Aires)
DJ: Hernan Cattaneo
‘Afterclocks’ is out now on Stellar Fountain, you can purchase the release: here