Spotlight On: Barbuto
The hard-working techno mainstay of the Live Music Capital of the World is better known as Barbuto. From releasing tracks on Sian’s Octopus Recordings to his residency at the city’s home of underground electronic music – Kingdom Night Club – where’s he’s opened for Adam Beyer, Nicole Moudaber, Jay Lumen, and many more A-listers, it’s clear he means business behind the DJ booth and beyond. We got to catch up with the dedicated DJ/producer about his journey to Austin, production philosophy, and more ahead of his upcoming adventure to one of our home bases, Dallas.
RP: You live outside of Austin, TX and have played a big role in the city’s electronic music scene for a while. In your experience, how is techno received there compared to other cities?
CB: It’s taken the last 8 years but we are now one of the biggest techno cities in the U.S. and have a steady stream of A list techno artists usually weekly. Austin has a long history of hard edged music so sound wise it’s always been accepted and enjoyed. It just took time to expose the culture. Kingdom has become one of the most requested clubs to play from international artists.
You’re originally from Sydney, Australia, what brought you to Texas?
Well I have been in the United States on and off since I was 8. I was living in California most my life before coming here and now I think I sound more Texan than Australian these days! (laughs) I chose to come to Austin in 2009 to do some party promoting and to start producing music. I was living in Los Angeles doing the corporate sales thing up until then. It was a wild chance to make it work but holding steady so far. With any luck I will be playing some shows in Australia this year.
You’ve been busy DJing, playing alongside Christian Smith, Allan Gallego, and many more. What has been your favorite time behind the decks recently and why?
Yeah it’s been inspiring to play with such legends especially Christian Smith as he was playing at the first real techno party I ever went to in 1999. As far as special parties I think the most memorable has been Coda in Toronto during an Octopus label night with Sian and Weska, the BPM Festival for sure, and of course playing at Space in Miami was the icing on the cake.
How do you prepare for DJ sets? Any favorite ways or places to find tracks?
Fortunately these days I get a ton of promos from artists who are closely related sound wise so I usually filter my favorites from there. I still love to kick back with my laptop and headphones on the couch using Beatport Pro app and build play lists.
If you could pick one club or festival in the world to play, what would it be and why?
I think it would have to be ADE as it seems absolutely nuts and I spent 4 years of my life living in Holland and hanging out in Amsterdam. Also I am really keen to play any party in Australia.
On the production side of things, your home is Sian’s Octopus Recordings. How did you first get involved with them?
We booked Sian at Kingdom a few years ago and we hit it off as friends with similar interests. I was just starting to finish tracks with a few releases on some small labels and he started to give some general feedback. It took a lot to find a few singles but it eventually happened and we landed the Arcana EP.
Tell us a little about your “live-in trailer studio.” How did that come to be?
Well I was living down town in Austin at a really cool spot on Town Lake and as much as I loved it producing music inside an apartment is obviously not ideal. I had always thought it would be cool to live humbly in an RV out in the woods where material things are not just unimportant but impossible due to limitation on space as well as being out in the forest is really inspiring with all the wildlife and trees. It’s a great way to save money while focusing on the dream career.
Any current must-have pieces of software or hardware?
I am a believer in the “it’s in the ear not the gear” philosophy so any way you can get a catchy piece of audio noise into your computer whether it be hardware, software, or samples, just capture it. I typically use a Moog Sub Phatty in mono for my low end foundation, Diva or Sylenth soft synths for mid-range elements and always searching for high quality drum bits by sampling old records or using some sample packs. My productions are very simple, I only have between 8 and 12 tracks running per project and usually no more than 5 sounds at any one time including the drums.
Lastly, what upcoming gigs and/or releases should our readers be on the lookout for?
Well I am really excited about the Octopus / Beatport Live party at Kingdom on April 30 and my follow up Octopus EP comes out on June 6 with a massive remix by the great Italian producer Enrico Sangiuliano. And of course coming to play in Dallas with you guys on April 7!
Follow Barbuto on Facebook & Soundcloud for more techno goodness!