Back in his native Australia for the first time in over two decades following a twenty-five-year stint living in the USA, Antipodean producer, DJ and label boss Barbuto is a man on a mission. Boasting a slew of hugely successful releases on the likes of Octopus Recordings, Tronic, Phobiq, Unity, OFF Recordings, Transmit Recordings and his own Mavic Music imprint over the past few years, the Sydney-born talent now looks to grab 2022 by the horns as he unveils his latest musical offering, Techno Colour Dreams.
Released via his burgeoning label Mavic Music alongside a trio of remixes from some of the most exciting up-and-coming artists on the Australian circuit, Techno Colour Dreams is a veritable masterclass in modern, driving techno, courtesy of a producer at the very top of his game right now. Inaugurating the four-part package with the uncompromising title track Techno Colour Dreams, Barbuto’s relentless opener exudes raw, energetic dynamism across its six-minute duration as he combines pulsating basslines and cutting-edge production techniques with MC Flipside’s inimitable spoken word topline to open his 2022 catalogue in emphatic fashion.
Hi Chris, and welcome to Techno Mood. So great to have you with us for the first time.
Thanks very much. It’s a real pleasure and honor you guys feature phenomenal artists.
How was this year been for you so far? Any early highlights?
So far so good. I arrived in Australia after living in the US for most of my adult life so I am getting re-acquainted as an Aussie and having a blast. I love Australian people. It’s been a bit off with the whole covid thing but I am glad to have gotten in a solid session on New Years in Sydney at The We Love party at The Cult.
Starting at the beginning, can you tell us how you got into music and production?
Like allot of people I was a bit of a raver in my early 20s after living for a few years as a pro cyclist in Europe which sparked my interest in electronic music. It only took a few months to want to get a set of turntables and get stuck into it. In 2009 after playing as a serious hobby in California I moved to Austin Texas which is a small town but has a massive scene. I knew in order to grow as a DJ production was the next step so once I was in Austin I really went for it. By 2015 I was releasing on some nice labels like Octopus and Phobiq.
Who or what were your biggest musical inspirations growing up?
Carl Cox was my main inspiration. At the time I don’t think anyone came close to the way he played. I went full circle when I opened for him in Austin during his Carl Cox and friends tour.
How would you compare the techno scene in Australia to the scene in the US?
Personally I think the scene here is fresher and more vibrant. Obviously in the US it’s bigger but on a large celebrity sort of scale. Here in Australia there is allot of respect for local artists and the quality of the clubs and the sound systems are quite good. The one thing that stands out are the artists. There are so many top notch producers here.
Talk us through your new Techno Colour Dreams EP on Mavic Music..
I try to make music that doesn’t sound the same as all the popular techno coming out. I know this hurts my sales and probably keeps my profile more exclusive but I don’t want to have a sound that isn’t my personal vibe or frequency. I have a certain warm but dark heavy groove that is quite easy and fun in nature in most my tracks with simple bold riffs and impacts. I did that with this track and played it without Flipside’s vocal for several months and it did well but I wanted to do better so I reached out to him for a top line and he rocked it. The track has a real flowing message. It is also my first release having landed in Australia so wanted it to be special. There are 3 top notch producers from around Sydney on remix, Lisa May, Ludovic and Mike Turing who gave the original a solid rub.
What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not touring the world or making music?
I like to hike and ride bicycles. I live in a pretty country sort of area South West of Sydney in a beautiful winery type area so it’s great for riding. To be honest though I pretty much just do music related things when I’m awake. This industry is hard so if you are not at it non stop you won’t get far.
Do you have any other releases planned in the coming months that you can tell us about?
Aside from Techno Colour Dreams I have 3 singles that I am shopping around and a solid EP I did with HART from London. There is a single coming out on my agencies label WeLove and a hot one on my desk right now. If I am chatting with a cool label owner who is keen I am up to releasing somewhere other than Mavic but typically I am pretty commited to my own label now.
On the live side, where can we next see you perform?
January 29 I will be in Sydney for WeLove and Feb 26 back in Sydney for a Victor Ruiz party and will be playing in the next months in Melbourne and the Gold Coast.
Any final words for our Techno Mood readers?
Be patient and have fun with the music and don’t scroll through social media pages comparing yourself to other artists. Just be an individual and be honest with your sound. Play your own music and do a radio show.