Sep 19, 2017
2 On 1: Illyus & Barrientos
Celebrating their official remix of Sam Supplier – “Night & Day” on Champion Records, we caught up up with Scottish duo Illyus & Barrientos to learn more about them and their latest work. Best known for their single “Takin’ Over” on Defected Records, the duo have a knack for turning out top notch house tunes, and their remix for Sam Supplier is no different! Enjoy a look into their dynamic, productions, and achievements as you get to know Illyus & Barrientos.
Hi guys – for those not in the know, what are the top 5 things we ought to know about Illyus & Barrientos right now?
- 1. Illyus & Barrientos are actually our names…
- 2. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, at all.
- 3. Despite our exotic sounding names, we’re actually Scottish.
- 4. Illyus doesn’t like eggs.
- 5. We’ve been working together as a duo since 2014.
You’ve just remixed Sam Supplier’s “Night & Day,” which is a seriously cool track with plenty of Ibiza vibes. Is it the kind of music we’d normally hear from one of your sets?
To be honest it’s a little bit deeper than you would hear in our sets. Our DJ sets are a bit more high-tempo, high-energy house/groove type stuff. Not to say we wouldn’t play it out, but it definitely has that afternoon beach-time feel to it. Music you can drink a cocktail to!
Do you find it easier to work on a remix over an original track?
Sometimes. If the track we are remixing has great original parts (like Sam’s track did) the ideas around that are easy to come by. We’ve done pretty tough remixes in the past, but the majority of them have been fun to work on.
It seems to be easier than ever to give music production a go now – what advice would you say to anyone looking to dip their toes in the world of making music?
Stop spending four weeks “perfecting” that kick. Nobody cares. If you keep practicing writing music, you’ll get better at it. Don’t get hung up on that one “killer” track you made.
You both come from very different backgrounds – how do you think this has influenced the music that you make together now?
Absolutely – I think having a broad taste in music really helps you appreciate various aspects of music. It makes you try writing in different styles, understand the quality of music in various genres. Having a nice balance between technical and creative is probably the ideal situation to be in when making music together.
Everyone loves to label music these days and there are some seriously inventive genres springing up – do you think that it’s helpful to artists and fans with all of these sub-genres and discussions about what ‘tech house’ really is, for example?
To be honest, a lot of these sub-genres are just fads – they come and go, and nobody truly knows what that actual sound is. It feel likes it’s just a way for music platforms to sell music. Although if creating these sub-genres helps people navigate their way to some new artists they haven’t heard of, then it’s all good! We don’t personally get too bogged down in labelling sounds, just enjoy what you enjoy!
Can you pick a production that you feel is a signature Illyus & Barrientos production and tell us a bit about the defining elements?
Illyus & Barrientos – “Takin' Over.” This really sums us up! We’ve got a grooving bassline, energetic percussion and an absolute killer vocal hook. It’s a simple formula, but difficult to really nail. We do make these types of records from time to time and we can really feel the energy in the club step up when we play it out.
In terms of your own careers, you’ve certainly travelled the world and played some amazing places – are there any moments that stand above the rest? Anything still left on the bucket list to tick off?
We still think being bumped up to a headline slot at Boardmasters Festival was a highlight. We ended up playing Monki’s slot, and there were thousands of people going nuts to our music. Really special moment. Yeah there’s definitely loads more on the bucket list to tick off – US tour would be amazing, and definitely South America tour would be a dream. We’ve just got to keep grafting hard!
And finally – looking ahead, what else have you got lined up that we can expect from you both?
We’ve got some cool records coming out with Seamus Haji’s label, and we’ve got a huge disco/house record coming out on Lyceum Social Club. Chuck in a few remixes (including a massive remix of “I Feel Love” on Cr2 records) too. Keep an eye out for gigs in London, Liverpool, Leeds, and Sheffield to name a few…
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