To say Glasgow boys Illyus & Barrientos have been making waves these last six month would be a massive understatement. The pair have enhanced their reputation incredibly with a top notch start to the calendar year.
2014 saw the boys set out their stall with attention-worthy releases on the likes for Love & Other and Glasgow Underground (an imprint, which has very much gone on to become their “home”), but multiple standout cuts in early 2015 have seen their stock rocket into orbit. Most recently, their rework of Lovebirds & Stee Downes Classic “Want You In My Soul” not only won the adoration of the public but also of one Mr Pete Tong.
With plenty more still to come this year, including a number of new remixes and a release billed for Defected Records’ DTFD outlet, we’re delighted to have them join us for a chat!
WWD : Great to have you back guys! Things have picked up big time since our last chat. How did it feel to have Pete Tong list your Lovebirds & Stee Downes remix one of the biggest tracks of Miami this year?
Illyus – That was a good one for us, big Pete done us a turn. We honestly were happy when we read about that because the original meant something to both of us, so the fact that someone like Pete Tong gave the seal of approval to our version was a big thing.
Barrientos – Yeah it was pretty cool, it’s still an amazing feeling to have someone like Pete Tong on your side, supporting your tracks. I think Miami WMC has that really cool vibe to it, it’s like the prequel to Ibiza almost… it’s just a shame we weren’t there to see how the crowd reacted to our remix when it was played out!
WWD : Did the fact that the original mix was such a big hit have any effect on your thought & creative process going into the project?
Illyus – We always knew we wanted to do a club version of the track. We had DJs in mind, plus the fact we wanted to use the vocal a little differently. Personally, I was a little anxious about the reception but seems like it all worked out okay.
Barrientos – It was always going to have a huge effect on how we were going write the track. But to be honest, it’s not something that we thought about for too long or else the creative process becomes a little convoluted – we basically thought “yeah okay this is a bit of pressure, the original is ace and everyone loves it” so naturally you assume there are going to be critics (which there were) about how it doesn’t live up to the original. We just went with our gut on this, and wrote something that we loved and something that the DJs out there would love to play too. I still think the original is amazing and untouchable.
WWD : We hear you’re about to feature on DFTD. Big news! What can you tell us about that release?
Barrientos – We’re really excited about it, but we can’t say too much about it at the minute because there’s a few things we need to iron out in terms of sample clearance etc. but watch this space! It’s a huge honour to be working with Defected Records, so we’re hoping we can build a nice relationship with them over the next while.
WWD : Of course, as you have mentioned before Glasgow Underground will remain your “home”, what can you tell us about your role there? When did you first get involved?
Illyus – I’m not sure we have a role or job title as such. We’re mates with Kev and he manages us, it’s all just a good vibe. We are all locked into a text group which I don’t think any of us will ever reveal the name. As a duo we started to submit tracks just over a year ago. We had an idea which was the first thing we thought could be a potential winner for us (Do Anything You Wanna). My relationship with Kev just started before that. One of my mates from Mia Dora suggested I submit some of my own demos to GU, and because of that I got chatting to Kev and valued all the feedback on my demos.
Barrientos – I’ve been working with Kevin since around 2012 or so. He’s been great at helping me develop as a musician, and I’m really grateful for it. I love that honest feedback you get from him, which I know quite a few people struggle hearing. If something’s shite, he’ll tell you it’s shite! Similarly, I’ve been helping the label out for a while doing some A&R for the demos they get sent so it’s nice to see Kevin respecting my opinions and taste in music. It’ll always be home for us, and we love being a part of it.
WWD : Festival season is impending, have any dates been locked down yet? Any parties you’re really looking forward to playing?
Barrientos – Our first ever festival is sorted! We’re playing at Boardmasters Festival in August and we are so ridiculously excited for it. The line-up is awesome and we’re going down for 2 days to really soak in the atmosphere. We’re really looking forward to playing at Lightbox for the Shuush party over summer as well. We’ve played Fire a bunch of times now, but we’ve yet to play in the awesome light show that is Lightbox, so that’ll be a cool experience.
WWD : Can you give us one track you can see being an anthem this Summer?
Illyus – I know this track has been doing the rounds for a bit now and we play it a lot in our sets but I reckon Adesse Vesrions – Pride on Numbers is going to be massive over the summer.
Barrientos – Always a tough one to predict but I reckon that new Serge Devant & Damiano – Fearing Love record will get a second wind. It’s such an awesome deep track, but I reckon it’ll pop up again over the Ibiza season or something.
WWD ; You’ve very kindly put a little mix together for us what will one find in there?
Barrientos – we decided to go a little deep and dark with this mix. Trying to find that balance between and clubby, really try and take the listeners on a bit of a melodic experience. In particular, I’ve put in some beautiful remixes by Rodriguez Jr. and Dixon, plus some of the more club oriented friendly stuff material by Cristoph.
WWD : Before we let you go, what are the big dates on the horizon for you guys?
Illyus – I cannot wait for Boardmasters. We’re gonna be there all weekend having a good one, checking out loads of acts and of course playing in the sunshine. I’m actually gonna have a go at surfing, might as well make the most of it!
Barrientos – I’m definitely looking forward to getting some of our new original material out there to be honest. We’ve been remixing like crazy since January, and we’ve somehow managed to still write some new material. So once we get them finished and polished, I’ll be excited to hear how they go down with the DJs and music lovers.
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