– Hi Rodolfo, I’m glad to ask you some questions for Differentgrooves.com:
Briefly, what can you tell us about the electronic music and clubbing culture scenes in Brazil?
The electronic music scene in Brazil is a big rollercoaster, especially now with a lot of money being injected into it. Brazil now has DJ Mag’s #1 club in the world, most main festivals are held here with big electronic music line-ups, like Lollapalooza, Rock In Rio, Sensation, the list goes on… All of this is very business based, the country is massive but most regions are not so well established, and the culture in general is not rooted to our people. Hopefully with this new wave of investment in our scene things will eventually move from the business only area to a deeper level.
– Do you think that festivals contributed a lot in the last years to the development of electronic music in the whole of the South American continent?
I’d say that the big festival brands contributed to bringing in more investment into the South American market, but maybe not necessarily played a big part in its actual development. Of course, there are completely different scenes from country to country, but when you think about South America, it’s not a reference continent for electronic music, there are lots of artists being exported, and often more valued abroad, while locally things seem to be more unstable.
– Focusing on your album, why is it called “Square Two” and when did you decide to start creating this new adventure?
My first album was called “Full Circle”, an expression meaning the fulfillment of a journey, and of course refers to a geometric figure, the circle, while “Square Two” is an allusion to the expression “back to square one”, meaning starting over, but since I’m not on square one anymore, as it’s my second album, I’ve called it Square Two, also an allusion to another geometric figure, the square, and also refers to the perfect square in geometry, and the golden ratio…it’s a huge trip actually. I decided to do this once I felt I was living off my first album for too long, I needed another big statement in my career.
– If you compare this new album and your debut, “Full Circle”, what are the main differences you notice?
I think this album is both more relaxed and straightforward than Full Circle. It was done both on the road and at home, according to how I felt. On the first one I’d locked myself in studio for a long time, rejected gigs, and the result was very personal, but very methodic as well.
– Your “Square Two” album also features 3 downtempo tracks – are you interested in other musical genres apart from tech-house and techno?
I’ve always been interested in variety, I listen to all sorts of music and I’m a very eclectic DJ as well, for example, I host a weekly party in my hometown, whenever I’m there, focused on downtempo and more chilled out music. It’s a great thing to keep the inspiration juices flowing.
– Listening to your old techno tracks, released on labels like Pattern Repeats, many elements of your style are still recognizable, today your tracks aren’t hard anymore and with less bpms; do you ever think about the process of how your style has changed?
It was a very natural process, really. I’ve started out as a house music DJ back in the early 2000s, then suddenly I’d started working on sort of harder techno tracks for fun with friends, but suddenly it got me international recognition. By the time I started to play more often, that sort of music was already out of my system, of course my love for techno is ever growing, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the harder kind, so now that both house and techno music have about the same bpms it’s easy for me to navigate through both.
– What are the tools you use in your studio? Also, how much time do you spend to learn how to get a high quality audio on your tracks?
I use a computer with both Ableton Live and Steinberg Cubase on it; have the UAD cards for audio processing and a few hardware synthesisers, but also a lot of plug-in ones. I value a fast workflow, so I rely a lot on stuff ‘in-the-box’. About the quality, that’s something that I’m always trying to develop further, I read a lot, and discuss a lot with other engineers as well, so the more I learn, the better my stuff sounds, in the audio world this learning curve never ends.
– Is anything new forthcoming in the next months you want to tell us about?
I finally did a few collaborations with Christian Smith, we’d only worked on remixes together up until now, so we decided to make a few original tracks, and to be honest, they are some of the best ones I’ve ever done. We even had the chance to make a track in collaboration with John Digweed and Nick Muir, two of my all time favourites, and I’m super proud of that. I’ve also created an alias for my house-oriented work, called Rosco Sledge, on 20:20Vision. The first record was out in April, and there are many more tunes to come over the next months.
– Thank you for having spent the time to let our readers know more about your music and thoughts!
Thanks to you for having me! Grazie mille!
Interview by Matteo Pitton
Wehbba’s artist album ‘Square Two’ is released on Christian Smith’s Tronic label 20th May 2013: www.beatport.com/label/tronic/12576
To get a taste you can listen a special album mini-mix by Wehbba here:
On June 12th Wehbba will perform at the Tronic Showcase @ City Hall, Barcelona, off Sonar. Then, the Ministry Of Sound, London on 15th June. Wehbba will also be making his Ibiza debut with Christian Smith and Pig&Dan at the Tronic Treatment Party at Sankeys on 25th June. Catch him if you can, you won’t be disappointed.