Illyus & Barrientos are the odd couple of Glaswegian dance music. Brought together by Glasgow Underground’s Kevin McKay, their disparate backgrounds (one was growing up in the local hip-hop scene while the other was still taking classical piano lessons) make them unlikely partners. Put them in a studio, though, and they have a knack for whipping up the kind of unashamedly big, floor-filling modern house tunes that have propelled them to somewhat dizzying levels of acclaim.
Their first two releases, Do Anything You Wanna (Glasgow Underground) and Ballin’ (Love & Other), proved that McKay’s intuition was correct: they gained instant support from tastemakers like Skream, Gorgon City, Groove Armada and Pete Tong. Their first major remix – Gorgon City’s Go All Night was followed by their Need Me Ep on Glagsow Underground. This caught the attention of Annie Mac & Pete Tong, which led to coming up with one of the mini mixes of 2015 as well as an BBC Radio 1 Afterhours mix. A string of high-profile remixes followed for the likes of MK, Lovebirds and Above & Beyond. Gigs at Space Ibiza, Ministry of Sound, XOYO, The Arches and Boardmasters Festival have cemented their status as one of the hottest duos in Scotland right now.