Nobody makes techno "pop" like Sao Paolo's Gui Boratto. An architect turned ad exec turned Top 40 industry head with an ear pitched perfectly to a futuristic underground, Boratto produces some of the darkest and most seductive minimal techno on the international music scene. He first caught everyone’s attention in 2004 with his self released LP Royal House. In 2005, he released his smash 12” Archipelago on K2, and has called Germany's vaunted Kompakt home ever since. It was Boratto's 2007 album, Chromophobia, and the single "Beautiful Life" made the DJ's DJ a bona fide superstar. In recent years, he has produced singles and albums for Pet Shop Boys, Goldfrapp, Moby, and Bomb the Bass.
On July 15th, Boratto will release a 12" EP entitled 'Too Late.' The A side title track starts out with a slinky synth-funk vibe and morphs into a melancholy tech house burner. Things get more incendiary on the flip side, where a snappy beat is riveted to a molten, gurgling bass line, and capped with a defiant chant perfect for our rebellious times: "We can stay, we can fight…or We Can Go." In addition to his EP, Boratto is also launching a new record label, and working with an up and coming duo, Elekfantz. Get the details on Boratto's various projects and stream the 'Too Late' EP below.
VIBE: You've had a long history as a pop/commercial producer. How has that experience influenced your approach to dance music?
Gui Boratto: My dance music comes from my rock, pop, Bossa-Nova background. Of course, the glorious ‘80s are a big influence as well, like the post-punk bands. I put a bit of everything on my music. For me, the most important thing is the music itself. Not the style or the production, but the melody and harmony.
Who were some of your favorite artists growing up? How did you get involved with electronic music?
My first contact with electronic music was Kraftwerk and Jean Michel Jarre. But my main influence comes from bands from the ‘80s, like New Order, Sisters of Mercy, Echo & The Bunnymen, Yazoo, Depeche, etc.
When most people think of techno, they think USA, or UK, or Europe. But electronic music has always been popular in Latin America. How do you see your career fitting into that tradition?
I belong to South America like these guys. The good thing is that we sound very different. Luciano, Vivanco, Villalobos, Aguayo, Cattaneo, Click Box, me, etc. And this is super nice. It's not good when everybody sounds the same.
Tell us about the new record label.
My new label will call D.O.C (Denominazione di Origene Conttrolata). The name refers to quality assurance for food (cheese, wines, etc.), but in this case: MUSIC. It will be out soon.
My first artist is Elekfantz, a duo formed by two Brazilians. One producer/DJ, and a drummer that sings. They are just amazing! Their new single is coming out on the 13th of August. It is called "Diggin' On You" and it includes remixes by Solomun and me. He's playing a lot in Ibiza on his +1 party at Pacha. Kompakt, my mother label, will be distributing D.O.C. After years thinking about launching my own label, now is the right time to put out serious music that has a different approach on the dance floors then techno, house. I'm talking about melodies, vocals, lyrics, recorded instruments.
How did you get involved with Elekfantz?
I have known Daniel, the DJ/producer for a long time. He started to work with Leo, the singer and drummer, and they both came to me to produce a single called "Wish", that was released on a pictured vinyl special edition through Kompakt X. It was a huge success and we all decided to produce a full length album (still in progress), which will be released on March 2014. I'm very happy with the final result of the whole pack. The people are in love with this song.
“Too Late” and “We Can Go” are both floor fillers, but they're different in mood. Who's the female vocal on “Too Late”, and is it a sad song? Who's the male vocal on “We Can Go”, and is it a political statement?
Yes, they are very different indeed. And I adore that. Luciana, my wife, the one that sings all my songs is again singing on "Too Late". And yes, it's a bit sad, but there's hope at the same time. "We Can Go" has totally different mood and it's more aggressive and has not just a political meaning, but something more. Something that can encourage you to do something big, in your life. Something that you can be proud of. The vocals from comes from a friend of mine.
Speaking of political statements, what is your take on the current political activity in Brazil?
Well, I think after years of corruption, the uprising was necessary. Me, and lots of friends of mine, went out on the streets to do a pacific uprising. Actually 95% of that was completely [peaceful]. But there's always a minor group that takes advantage of that kind of protest to steal and destroy public buildings, set cars on fire, etc. But in the end, the protest was beneficial. We need to claim our rights. We still don't have decent hospitals and public transportation, for example, because of corruption. And we have the resources to do whatever we want. We pay a lot of taxes. You know, Brazil is a very big, rich country. We will change, for sure. But we need to demand our rights.