Exclusive: Gui Boratto Talks Techno, São Paulo, and the “Beautiful Life”


With the release of his debut album, 2007’s Chromophobia, São Paulo native Gui Boratto popped up out of nowhere, becoming a techno titan almost overnight. Showcasing a glut of techno and house subgenres, album stand-0ut “Beautiful Life” garnered the most attention; bolstered by vocals from Luciana Villanova, Boratto’s wife, the track is a bona fide club anthem.

Released earlier this year, Boratto’s follow-up, Take My Breath Away, continues to build on the themes of his first album. After the jump, Boratto talks about landscape’s role in his music, how family impacts his creative life, and what NOT to eat in São Paulo.

Flavorwire: It’s not a stretch to say that your music gives off an atmospheric, dream-like quality…would you say that a lot of that stems from where you’re creating it? There’s a sense that the music is drawn from the world around you rather than say, the crate-digging you see in a lot of techno/electro.

Gui Boratto: I think my whole environment totally defines my music. I think the music we [musicians and producers] is the reflex of our way of life.

FW: You’ve said in other interviews that you’re a bit of a homebody… could you have imagined recording anywhere else besides São Paulo?

GB: I’ve been doing my own music while my little daughter was playing in my living room, in the morning, when most of my inspiration comes from. I’ve done some recordings away from home, but, to be honest, my home-studio is the place where I feel more comfortable. So, where I feel really free to create.

FW: Since you claim to not really follow the current music scenes too much, do you feel like a certain level of insulation is necessary in order to create something unique to yourself?

GB: I don’t think too much when I’m producing. Also, I’m not, and never was a clubber. I came from rock. Guitar is my main instrument. That’s why the final result of my music is different than a DJ’s album.

FW: A less abstract landscape question… if one of our readers happens to visit São Paulo, where should they visit? Clubs, restaurants?

GB: Speaking about clubs, I suggest 2 special places: D-EDGE and Clash. These are by far my favorites. But, speaking about restaurants, it’s hard to say, as you can find lots of amazing places to eat. São Paulo is the international gastronomy capital. But I suggest a place called “ICI”. A very charming French bistro. I always go there with my wife. A few months ago I went there with my Swedish friend DJ Christian Smith. He’s a foodie just like me. And he loved it too.

FW: How do you feel São Paulo has changed since you started your music career?

GB: The city changed a lot. Also the local electronic music scene. 10 years ago, people were more into rave and trance. Now, São Paulo is a very important city and part of an international circuit of techno clubs.

FW: Your work was originally in architecture and advertising before you started making music. Do you think that background gives you a different perspective on making music, different modes of inspiration than other people?

GB: It wasn’t before. I’ve started to produce and program music back in 1988, when I got my Roland MC-500 sequencer, an Ensoniq EPS sampler and a Casio CZ-3000 synth. But to follow music in Brazil, can be a very hard thing. It’s not a very recognizable career. That’s why I did my second passion: Architecture. I can tell you that Architecture and music are pretty much the same. And of course it changed the way I look and hear the music.

FW: Did your process change at all making the new album, now that you already had one under your belt?

GB: No it didn’t. And I can say my last album Take My Breath Away is a continuation of Chromophobia.

FW: It seems like “No Turning Back” is getting the most attention of Take My Breath Away. Given how varied the album’s songs are, does it bother you at all that people seem to be paying the most attention to a specific type of song you create?

GB: Most of the people really like vocal tracks. I totally understand that. I really don’t mind that. I think they like to sing lyrics.

FW: You’ve spoken a little bit about a poppy new Bomb the Bass album you’re working on…can you tell us a little more about it?

GB: I’m super excited with this. Me and Tim [Simenon] stayed together here in my house for 2 weeks doing the scraps of the tracks. We did 10 ideas, including real drums recording, some bass and guitars I did myself too. Tim got everything back to Amsterdam to do the vocals. Maybe we’ll have some collaborations… let’s see. We already have four really nice tracks. We’re not in a rush. I’m really happy with the first results of this project.