‘Love You So Much’ marks your first debut on Toolroom. Why do you think the label is a natural fit for your music?
Illyus – 1st of all we’ve been fans of the label for a long time & it was actually an ambition of ours to get a release on toolroom, so happy days. Think the label fits our music cause we always try and incorporate a bit of feel good into our style of house. That seems to always come across in Toolroom releases.
Barrientos – Yeah, as Illyus said we’ve been huge fans of Toolroom for years now and especially the last two years. You can see the direction the label is going with the type of music being released. You can hear this really cool, underground style that still has this accessible sound. That’s why our track fits perfectly – The catchy vocal from Trina works so well over an understated groove… The type you could definitely hear in ibiza!
How did you both meet?
Illyus – I had been hassling Kevin Mckay (Glasgow Underground) to release my music as I thought after doing a remix I was in there. Listening back now my stuff was nonsense!! But to my surprise, Kev called me one day and asked if I had heard of my fellow weegie Barrientos.. “Yeah sure guy with specs, melodic stuff”
Barrientos can take it away from here…
Barrientos – Kev basically put us together …. He thought we would be a good fit, so we went for Japanese food and some beers. A true romance flourished from there!
You both have interesting backgrounds within music, can you explain a little bit about what you were both doing before you were Illyus & Barrientos?
Barrientos – Before I was writing electronic music, I was playing classical flute and piano. Nothing but performance, but it came to an abrupt end when I was 17. I quickly got into Electronic music and decided I wanted to write Ambient/Electronica and that soon turned into writing slow, summer, Deep Souse style tracks. Right before I started working with Illyus, I had just released my debut EP ‘Feel The Waves’ with Glasgow Underground (Thanks Kevin McKay!).
Illyus – I was DJ’ing on the Glasgow circuit. Bars, clubs you name it. Basically scratching all sorts of records. At the same time I had a few solo releases and really just trying to further the production thing.
Talk us through clubbing in Glasgow, what were your favourite and most influential club nights?
Barrientos – My favourite club night was definitely Death Disco. This used to run at The Arches (RIP) when Electro House ruled the world. This was a really great introduction to clubbing for me. I loved the ethos, it was an “anything goes” night that had everyone from drag queens, to hipsters, to 48 year olds who just wanted to dance to good music! I’ll never forget a very, very messy MSTRKRFT DJ set…
Illyus – I always just answer this with a club because we are so fortunate to have one of the clubbing treasures of the world right at our doorstep. The Sub Club educates and influences me all the time.
How do you produce your tracks as a duo?
Illyus – We both come up with our fair share of ideas on our own or together and from there we just utilise each others strengths. Barrientos is an absolute musical genius. He could literally join an orchestra instead he hangs about with me having a good one. I’m like the mixing geek and love all things sampled since I come from the Hip Hop scene. Combining our 2 different worlds makes for a good blend. Main thing that helps us is that we try to develop ideas really quickly that’s when we know that we’re on to something.
Barrientos – We normally start with one hook we like and build everything around it. The hook could be a vocal sample, or a synth line and we layer everything around it. We then roughly arrange the track and develop the full sound from there! Illyus puts his magic touch on the tracks with some production trickery and then we try to get a finished demo version ASAP.
If you could give anyone any advice in wanting to get into DJing / producing, what would it be?
Barrientos – Finish your tracks. Stop tinkering with that kick! Be clinical with what you write, and if it’s not working… Move onto the next one! Also, put your phone away. No bigger distractions than social media.
Illyus – I would say determination, time and do it for the right reasons. That poppin bottles, loads of cash thing…. Forget all of that. Really commit and stick at it. Most people might think it’s easy and those are the ones that fail at the 1st hurdle but if you really want to do this as a career be prepared to lock yourself away in a dark room for hours. Perfect your craft.