We last caught up with our good friend Wehbba back in 2014 – who since then has become a permanent fixture on the international scene. We delve deeper in to his career as he officially joins our #culegends ranks…
Wehbba, there have been a lot of changes in your life since we last spoke. You said back then, Europe’s where the action is and since then you moved to Barcelona. Has it increased the amount of gigs you’re playing? And have you built any new friendships since you moved?
Moving to Barcelona represented a big shift in my career, not only the amount of gigs improved, since I’m closer to any destination – being more central, but also the quality of gigs have improved quite a lot. I’ve been able to focus on my own music as well with a lot more freedom, and have been more inspired than ever! I’ve already had a lot of friends who lived in Barcelona, and I’ve been coming every year since 2009, so the move was really smooth on the personal end.
2016 was a big year for you with two more debuts, both on ELEVATE and Knee Deep In Sound. Both labels carry a very different sound. Do you have a preferred style or genre?
I have been a lot more focused on techno, as it’s always been my main source of influence and inspiration, and that’s showing a lot on my most recent work. I’ve never been a purist and have always enjoyed the freedom of exploring any sounds I like and that inspires me, so I’ve always looked for labels that shared this same ideals, and I’ve been lucky to stumble across good people like Pig&Dan (Elevate) or Hot Since 82(Knee Deep In Sound), who have a broader vision like my own. There’s a lot more coming in 2017!
We saw you did your first tour in the USA in February, and have just returned from another this week. What’s different about the US scene to Europe and which was the standout gig for you?
I’ve really enjoyed my first gigs in the US, it feels like the newer crowds are not as used to different sorts of underground music as the ones in Europe, but they are all up for it and up for a good time, and it reminded me of how it was in Brazil over 10 years ago, so I really enjoyed that open mindedness and party spirit.
We’ve always been a fan of your productions, and you gave us the lowdown on your studio setup last time we spoke. Has it changed much? And in your opinion, has technology improved much in the last few years?
Oh yes, that’s changed a lot. I’ve done a major upgrade when I moved to Barcelona, and shifted mostly to just hardware, as I feel a lot more inspired when working with real instruments. It’s also a lot easier to get new gear while based in Europe, compared to how it was down in Sao Paulo. The room is also bigger, but we still keep it at home. I haven’t noticed any major developments in technology for the past couple of years, but I did get myself into the Eurorack mania, which has been growing exponentially in recent times.
We heard Adam Beyer dropping your remix of Johannes Heil’s – Paranoid Dancer on Drumcode Radio. I was smiling when I heard it in the gym, as it’s still one of my favourite techno tracks of all time. How did you come up with the idea to remix it?
It’s always been one of my favourite tracks, and ever since I’ve been focusing a lot more on techno on my DJ sets, I felt it was time to give it an update, without losing any of its essence, so that I could play it more easily, as the original is not easy to fit it with the rest of the stuff I normally play.
We know Christian Smith is a big supporter. How did you two guys get to know each other? Do you see him more now you’ve moved to Spain?
We’d worked together for about 7 years, and became really good friends in the process. I’ve been friends with his wife, who’s a fellow Brazilian, for about 15 years, and we got to know each other through her. Being a big fan of Tronic since my early days as a DJ, and also having a very similar taste in music, we hit it off from the beginning. I owe most of what I’ve accomplished so far to him and to Tronic, and am incredibly grateful for the ongoing relationship.
Can we look forward to you releasing an album in the near future? If so, what label would you naturally be guided to release an LP on?
I’ve been a little concerned about putting together a new album, as I feel the format has already ran its course, but we never know what the future may bring. Both my previous albums were milestones related to moving countries and reflecting that shift in my life, maybe this new phase deserves to be crowned with another one, who knows!
You’re back at EGG London on the 1st April. Are there any other UK venues on your wish list?
I really enjoy playing at EGG, I’ve done it 3 times before and I really look forward to it. I suppose Fabric and Subclub would be high up on my list, but I just love playing in the UK in general, had some nice gigs in Manchester and Liverpool recently, there’s always a great energy over there.
It’s said that UK ravers still have a reputation for being some of the hardest partyers around. Do you still go out to a club as a ‘raver’ or is it now totally about work?
I have been and always will be a raver in essence, and I still go clubbing whenever I get a chance. I could never do what I do if I’d face it as “work”, that’s not why I started it in the first place. I do understand people who get tired of it over the years, but thankfully that’s never been the case for me, and I don’t see this changing any time soon.
Name 5 producers you can’t get enough of right now?
ANNA, Cleric, Obscure Shape & SHDW, Slam and Radio Slave.
Can you tell us a little more about what’s in the pipeline and when we can expect your next release?
It’s all pretty much up in the air right now, but I’ve been working on some very exciting projects that will make 2017 one of the most interesting years for me to date. Unfortunately there’s not much more I can say at this point, but do expect some news very soon!
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