He is a man with many talents! A local Barcelona legend who has solidly grounded himself as DJ, producer and the go-to guy for electronic music press and promotions. My interview with him was enlightening, motivating and inspiring, and it was a pleasure for me to hear his take on Barcelona, talk to him about the electronic music scene here, learn about what makes him tick and what new ideas he has brewing. I won’t bore you anymore with an introduction because this interview is s**t hot and speaks for itself! Meet Bruno Garca, or “Brunetto”, the man behind concepts like Miracle MGMT, Suara, Freelastica and more. Let’s get down to it!
Hey Bruno, how are you doing? How is 2019 going for you so far?
Brunetto: Hey there! I’m fine, thanks! The start of 2019 has been better than the past year. Basically, there were some family and health-related issues but everything is under control now. At a working level, there are always many things to do, many things to discover. I’m one of those guys with the radar always on. We already know how this is… Although I must admit that my intention for this year is to be calmer. I will visit nature and the recording studio more often, and try to reduce the stress of working too many hours straight in the office.
It’s really great to meet you! You are not only a well-established DJ and artist but also a PR guy by profession. I like how you have combined your love for music with working in PR, did this happen naturally for you?
Brunetto: Yes, indeed. I needed a radical turn in my life. I wanted to keep my link with music but I needed to change the night / insane weekend life, for a life in daylight. I’ve been involved with music since I was a child. I used to breakdance, I made radio, I rapped for some local projects and then in DMC parties in the South of Spain. I also DJ’d and was in an electro-rock band. Crazy times.
Without a doubt, my most important years were from the early 90s to mid-2000s. During this time, I was playing at least 4 times per week, including some unforgettable DJ residencies and festivals. I had this band called Bockors, we played on the same stage with The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, Junkie XL, Lunatic Calm; and I released my first 2 albums “Déjalo Asi Bru” and “Homeself”. It was all very hectic! When I decided to move to Barcelona, the main idea was to start working in an office or something similar, but I could not turn away from my love for: MUSIC!
Very quickly I became a PR guy working for Decoder Muzique – one of the most important distributors of electronic music in Spain at that time and after that, I became Head of Press at Miracle MGMT & Regular – Irregular labels. This is how it has been from 2010 until now. I do not regret anything and now I even have a decent girlfriend. Finally!
You are the head of press at the Miracle MGMT agency, work at the Irregular and Suara labels and you are also the Director of the agency, Freelastica. You have played at festivals like Sónar, Move, Klubbers Day and Space of Sound and have had DJ residencies at venues such as Bauhaus, Funclub and Demo to name a few. You really have managed to accomplish a lot and I bet you love what you do. How does it feel to have so much going on?
Brunetto: That’s right my friend. Well, maybe I should say that Irregular label is now in a kind of ‘stand-by’, instead, I’m usually working with a no less interesting imprint called Beautiful Accident. Ah, and Freelastica, it’s actually only a PR agency, not a label anymore. And of course, yes and yes, I’ve always been doing all of this because I love it this stuff! It is not for a stupid hype or just for money.
Growing up in the ’80s and ’90s must have played a huge factor in your development of musical taste. Can you name me 3 points in your life growing up where you were blown away by the work of a musician, band or artist?
Brunetto: For me the 90s were the times! Undoubtedly that was the time that inspired all my sounds alongside my way of being and acting. I am still mad about those trip-hop, jungle, hard hop, UK urban beats, techno and trancey sounds. If I had to name 3 key moments in my artistic life, these could be:
1) The first time I performed live in Sónar-Barcelona introducing my ‘Homeself’ LP (that was in 2007, Sónar by Day);
2) Performing also live but now with the Bockors band and warming up at The Prodigy’s concert (“The Fat of the Land” tour) in 1998 which sold out in the Plaza de Toros de la Malagueta in Málaga;
3) And, the most recent, the ‘Reinventing Alice’ show, where I was performing live with a video artist –Xarlene– for the motion movie “Něco z Alenky” (based on “Alice in Wonderland”, by Lewis Carroll) directed by Jan Švankmajerby. This was in 2015.
But in all honesty, I can name you many more, like programming all the electronic music for the Nokia Totally Board and Red Bull / Waterboard events and the presentation of my first album in Bauhaus.
How did growing up during this time influence you later as an artist?
Brunetto: It is difficult to answer this (very good) question. But it is true that I have thought many times that having grown up in a decade like the 90s made me be more of a fighter and entrepreneur. It also made me a very practical and creative person. Things were not as easy in those years as they are now in the 21st Century. When I say this, I am referring to technologies, transportation (thousands of kilometres in a van carrying record bags or hardware) and social networks, as these specifically have allowed artists to always be in touch with their fans around the world.
I used to prepare loads for parties, etc. I always evolved without getting into the alley that led many to the underworld. You know what I mean: drugs, alcohol, etc. I have always been a creative and active mind but at the same time a pragmatic and realistic boy. I like to be practical and organized. Something that helps a lot with this is to practice some sport and get lost in nature from time to time.
That’s awesome, thanks for sharing! Let’s talk about the Spanish electronic music scene. Your work is mostly in Spain, a country with a big love for electronic music. What do you think about the scene here? How have you seen it evolve over the years? Is it getting better or worse in your opinion?
Brunetto: I have no doubt that the Spanish electronic music scene has evolved a lot since I started working in it. I’m from the South of Spain, Seville, where broken beats have always been the kings of mambo. I think we were very good at that. Especially DJs. Nowadays the music scene here became more international and it is unstoppable, no matter where you look, north, south, east, west … there are many great talented people.
I’m lucky to work, or have worked, with many of them such as: Piek, Skygaze, AFFKT, Coyu, Ramiro López, Lasers, Edu Imbernon, Nolah, Bastian Bux, John Vermont, Lasers, The Suicide of Western Culture, Easy Kid, Fernando Lagreca, Litorate, BeatLove, Pablo Bolivar / Pulshar, etc.
I also admire or respect artists like Angel Molina, El_Txef_A, Ioan Gamboa, Pina, Talabot, Psyk, Oscar Mulero, Downliners Sekt, Wooky, Ylia, BeGun, Sau Poler, Clip!, Ed is Dead, HD Substance, etc. I believe electronic music made in Spain is really worth it now. I will support especially those open-minded artists who believe in original and impossible mixes of electronica with many other genres, textures and beats.
Your last track “Humanity” came out this time last year on the Sincopat label. Great track by the way! Are you working on any new music right now?
Brunetto: Ah thank you, thank you so much! That’s really kind of you. Actually yes, I am finishing a remix for the Spanish artist Daniel Van Lion right now, for his song entitled “Amaina”. And, I will also start to prepare a 4-track EP –3 original cuts and a 2019 version of “War Games”- that I would like to publish in November. To release it again on Sincopat would be a very nice option; however, they used to publish always EPs with more club remixes. I want it to be something very electronic, but at the same time quite cinematic and atmospheric. Let’s see what happens…
We are having this interview in Barcelona, the city where we both live. It’s a great place to be and I really love it here. How long have you been living here? Can you tell me some of the things you are looking forward to here in 2019?
Brunetto: I moved to Barcelona from Seville back in 2006, and have been here until now. The main reason continues to evolve giving a 360º turn to my previous life. Barcelona is a very cosmopolitan city; it is also very well connected to the rest of the world. You can breathe culture everywhere. If you need to go out and party hard or go to concerts, there is always something here. If you prefer to visit art galleries, even small-scale theatres (micro theatres), places to eat quietly, dig for vinyls or just take long walks, Barcelona is the place to be!
Ok, maybe it is too crowded and tourism in some zones is an invasion, and now with the Catalan independence movement, there has been some impact, such as when streets and urban furniture have been victimized with “anti-graffiti”. This is sad, as it hurting and dirtying this beautiful city. Anyway, Catalunya is still a beautiful place, full of culture, great people coming from all over the planet and with beautiful landscapes and small towns.
Do you have any tips or advice for people who have moved here not that long ago?
Brunetto: Well, I invite them to discover all the hidden spots, stories and possibilities that this wonderful city offers you. “Barcelona is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest cities, but it gets even better once you’ve unearthed a few of its precious secrets” I read this once and this is absolutely true. My main advice is, while you are in Barcelona, to avoid residing near those tourist anthills, and then let yourself go without haste. Live the night, but also live the day.
Which club is your favourite here to spin tunes in?
Brunetto: LAUT club, that’s the place man! Very close to Paral-el Avenue and another great club is, Apolo Nitsa. LAUT have the best sound system in town. The booth is a gem; I believe is the perfect place to still play vinyl. The crowd are music lovers and want to dance at the same time, which is amazing. Ah, the owners are excellent people.
MUTEK festival is about to take place here. It’s a really inspirational event that showcases not just music but also the influence that technology can have on it. Will you be involved in MUTEK in any way?
Brunetto: Yes, for me MUTEK is an annual appointment in Barcelona that I can never miss. The same thing happens to me with Sónar / Sónar+D and MIRA. I’m kind of tired of festivals with just a huge line-up and one main floor with maybe 2-3 other smaller stages where people play without compassion all night long. The reason that events like MUTEK are held over several days, including the daytime, is to create a wider focus that does not only revolve around BPM but in the dissemination and development of digital creativity, of new sounds, techniques, music, and also audio-visual art… that is really amazing to see man! In the case of MUTEK, it is beautiful to see how different spaces of the city –LAUT included hehehe- are invaded by this ideology. And yes, this time I will be covering the festival for OCIMAG (a print magazine). To be honest, I would love to play again there; the 1st time I did back in 2014 it was a really good experience!
Being based in Barcelona and because of your work, you must see Ivan (Coyu) around quite a lot. Are you also big into your cats like Coyu? Has he had some influence on you with this?
Brunetto: Well, I have been working for Iván (Coyu) since 2013. I don’t see him too much because he is almost always touring, or in the Suara Store / Suara Foundation, lately in his studio finishing his debut LP “You Do not Know” (out this June)… but it is true that we talk almost daily (especially by email). I really appreciate what he has been doing for years to help street cats, and lately in favour of animal equality.
I have been continuously sensitized to uphold the fauna and flora. I have loved both of these things since I reached the age of reason. They are life, and for that reason, and many more, we must respect them. I’m not particularly into cats, but just as I am fond of other species of animals. The truth is, I am in love with birds, reptiles, wolves, sharks, all kind of felines and spiders! (Ok, I won’t forget my love for cactus ☺ )
We are called Clubber Confession, and I always ask this to the artists I meet. Have you been a clubber before being a DJ and producer? And do you think it is necessary to be a clubber in order to be a good DJ.
Brunetto: I’m afraid not, at least not necessarily. I’ve been a DJ first and then a clubber. Also, I have some colleagues on the radio who knew how to mix and remix music incredibly well but they weren’t great night crawlers at all. I’ve always been a radio junkie. Well, once I became a solid DJ I must admit, I couldn’t stop dancing, I’m a kind of hybrid in the DJ booth hahahaha, when I play in a club or festival with other DJs lined-up, I’m the first to be sweating on the dance floor, instead of locking myself with other artists in the backstage…
I became a producer later after experimenting with the mic, sampler machines and rhythm boxes like the Roland SP-808. So not just clubbing, but also going to live concerts, listening to the radio, messing around with other colleagues in basements/rehearsal rooms, visiting weekdays record stores to buy vinyl and exchange opinions, helped me a lot to discover more and more sounds.
To be a good DJ you must have a very open mind, have a personality, love what you do, forget Top Charts, develop your own skills … and of course, have a good sense of rhythm to mix!
Also, finally, can you tell us a memorable clubbing location for you? i.e. a city or festival. Where have you had some of your best clubbing experiences and why?
Brunetto: I should say Sónar Festival here in Barcelona, especially a few years ago. I lived memorable moments dancing and enjoyed to the max, some DJ and Live sets. For example Laurent Garnier, Clark, James Holden, Mouse on Mars, Modeselektor, Adam Freeland, DJ Krush, Alva Noto, The Gaslamp Killer or Kid Koala!! I also had great experiences at DGTL, Piknic Électronik, Razzmatazz club, Nitsa, MOOG, Macarena, Bauhaus, Fábrica de Colores, La Na.B., Observatori, Eins B., Funclub, Demo, MIRA Festival, and of course MUTEK! In all those cases, the musical proposal was bombastic, and the crowd around me was perfect to enjoy these experiences with.
Thank you so much for your time Brunetto! It has been great to hear your story and an absolute pleasure to meet you! I look forward to exploring the electronic music scene of Barcelona more and I hope to see you around very soon!
Check out Brunetto on Soundcloud.