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The Juice... with Wehbba

Martin G-H still had the promo CD spinning in the disc drive when he spoke to Rodolfo Wehba about his new release on Christian Smith’s Tronic.

Wehbba - Full Circle Remixes (promotional mix) by wehbba

The Plug

Spotlight: So, these remixes - why release them as a package?

Wehbba: “The remix pack was an idea that came later, at first I was doing the album and we needed a couple of singles for promotion before release, around last June. So when the album was ready we started to think about remixes and stuff for the singles.

“We had Samuel Sessions doing the first, and when he finished it was great. Then we thought OK, let's leave it with one single, do the album, and get some really good remixes done later, and release it as a compilation whenever they're ready.

“We tried to work with friends or whatever, and contact people that were interested in the project, and in taking part. After a few months and everything was finished we said OK, let's put it out.”

How difficult was it to choose which to include?

“It was easy, because all of the ones that were on the package are related to us, in some way. Either personally to me, Christian [Smith], or through the label, and these are some of my favourite artists at the moment.”

And you're happy with the results?

“Big time.”

Any highlights from the remixes?

“I love them all, and play them a lot. The one I was really surprised about is Peter Horrevort's remix. He's the most up and coming artist on the whole package, and when he delivered the remix I wasn't expecting too much because the original wasn't the best track on the album, and it wasn't the easiest thing to remix.

“He did an unbelievable job with it though, and now I don't even remember the original. All the others put their touch on the records too, and I'm really pleased with them. Like Christian's mix, because he took one of the downtempo tracks, and turned it into something clubby.”

The Issues

Your resume includes dentistry, diving instruction, and martial arts. What made you think you could DJ?

“The thing is, when you're young and going to university there's a lot going on. So I was finishing high school, and going to college to study to be a dentist. Just before that I went away for a few months, to Australia, and there it's very common to learn how to dive, and I had the Barrier Reef on my doorstep. When I came home I stopped though.

“Then I got into jujitsu, and took it seriously for a while, then dropped that when I finished college. So I was on and off with all this stuff, but the one thing I was never off was music. When I moved to Australia I got really into the electronic stuff, and when I left took it with me and decided to keep on doing it, for myself; I had no career plans.

“But then it kind of became a profession. Just after I graduated as a dentist I had been DJing a lot, and that side of things was evolving much faster than everything else. So I dropped everything else.”

82 Recordings, the label you set up a few years ago, has quietened down. Is it still operational?

“Not really, for now. I have no plans for anything. It's still selling, even though we're not releasing and haven't for a year, which I think is pretty good. I plan on re-activating it sometime in the near future but right now things are too messy. Too many remixes, I'm touring a lot, and I just moved back to Brazil from Czech Republic.”

If and when it does start up again, will it still release vinyl?

“I think so, yeah. I like to have all kinds of media for the label, I don't like to limit it to one type of DJ- I think that's important.”

Do you share in the common complaint that there is too much disposable dance music being distributed?

“I guess. There are too many producers, and too much music is being made very easily. There is no quality control. Before it was harder, as a label had to pay to put stuff out. Now people are less careful about what they release, as they have to spend very little.

“Also cheaper technology means everyone can try it, which I don't think effects music positively. But it's a natural progression, and I don't think it can be stopped. It just has to be dealt with.”

And how do we do that?

“By focusing on quality, not quantity, and good producers, instead of putting stuff out all the time- less output, but better. And then trying to get this music to the kids that need to be educated by more than what's out there. They can still be saved, but for some people now it's maybe to late to change them.

So are older producers better?

“I guess so yeah. Older than five years, before everything went to MP3. People had more of a background, and used it to get something out there that lasted.”

In terms of styles in dance music, things are cyclical. 2011 has been billed as the year house came back, what sub genre would you like to see come to the fore?

“I think house is a broad concept. It's very diverse, just like techno. I think it's a good focal point though, as house it the very thing that created club culture, and club music is forever linked with house music.

“When it gets too commercial that usually takes over everything else though, so you can't really expect to have proper music made once that begins to happen. But as long as it's stuff people will still play in two years then that's fine.”

Finally, some say laptops are ruining DJ sets. What would you say?

“Well, I'm a computer DJ nowadays, and I like it. I like the versatility of it, the way I can manage all the tracks the way I want, and use three decks without just throwing loops on top of loops- in a cleverer way.

“But I also do enjoy going back to playing vinyls, because the way you choose the music you want to play, and the way you mix, it's simpler. Both are good really, I don't like to take part in this debate as I like them equally I suppose.”

Wehbba's Full Circle Remixes is available now on Tronic.

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