Actualites Electroniques - Your daily dose of electronic music  
Actualites Electroniques

You will find in this category each week, an interview or a biograhpy of a Dj or artist which is breaking the news. All styles are on the “menu” of this category: minimal, house, electro, techno or even trance in some cases.

The topic will be supplemented by other Djs following the latest electronic music news.

Gusgus - Interview

Started as a leftfield music project in the early 90s, Reykjavik-based GusGus have emerged to be at the forefront of the international electronic dance community. Today, the Icelandic group has nine full-length LPs under its belt, first debuting on legendary indie label 4AD before developing in a more dance-orientated outfit, switching labels a few times before finally signing to Kompakt with 2009's “24/7“. Following 2011 best seller ”Arabian Horse“, Birgir Thorarinsson, Daníel Ágúst, Högni Egilsson and Stephan Stephensen release their third full-length album „Mexico“ via Kompakt in 2014, where they leave no stone unturned on their journey to sonic bliss, delving ever deeper into timeless melodies with every subsequent track and stepping further into the future of anthemic pop music. This interview follows notably the one of other duo or trio we interviewed like Booka Shade, M.A.N.D.Y., Lemaître or Catz N Dogs. First of all we would like to thank the trio who answered our questions with enthusiasm. Have a good reading!


“Hi Stephan, Birgir, Daníel, Högn,

Honestly, it's a real pleasure and honor to interview you, because I discovered your music some years ago with your track “David” released around 2002 on your album “Attention”, which was a big hit in France. So, I was really impatient to listen to your new album, the main reason for this interview, as I like a lot your previous productions notably the ones under Kompakt!

Indeed, in a few weeks you will release your 10th album “Mexico” with 9 tracks and a great first single “Crossfade”. Could you briefly tell us how this new album was born?
> Dear Aroy... First of all thank you for “les fleurs”.  We are honored that you think of us this way.  The birth of an album with GusGus normally comes when touring the previous one is done and people have had their mental rest.  It’s the endless loop.  Album, tour, rest, work and then loop that with your life.  

And more precisely why the title “Mexico”? Some souvenirs about a nice tour or date over there?
> The title “Mexico” was a pure aesthetic choice but was ignited by “Mexican crickets rubbing their wings” lyric line in the Crossfade track.  But when the title was thought to the core it revealed itself to be a superb word for opening up a universe of its own.  It’s glamorous, spot on, colorful and brings up thought and smiles.  Just the way we like it.

Will there be official remixes of some of the tracks of the album soon? If so, could you please give us some clues or information about it?
> Yes, we already have superb remixes of both Crossfade and Obnoxiously Sexual. Maceo Plex, Michael Mayer, Gluteus Maximus, Patrice Baumel of Trouw fame amongst others give those singles more colors…
After you give us this info about your music news we would like to go back to your musical roots. Could you briefly tell us how did you become DJ and producer?
> For me personally it was following the winds that were blowing in my sails... I did not really envison this as to be my life but it did... And I try to do my best, as I probably would have done with any other wind direction at the time :)

Few months ago, we interviewed M.A.N.D.Y. who informed us they met on a tennis court. What about you? How did you meet each other?
> No, we are a laboratory creation.  We are all put together, kind of like a super group... Hahaha.

At the beginning, did your family understand what you did for a living? And now are they proud of what you achieved?
> My family still does not understand…

More and more people are asking us about the material DJs and producers used. What is the software or instruments you use to produce and create a track, and especially for this album? Could you please be more specific on a technical side let’s say?
> We use logic and live for software.  We have many analogue synth and June 106, Doefper a-100 series modular, Korg trident, arp 2600, sh-101, sh2 rolands, drumachines like 808, 909,707, compressors, pre-amps and microphones or all sorts…  The list is just too vast... But make one thing sure… It’s not the equipment that you use, but what you do with the stuff you have. 

Concerning your career as producers, have you a pre-determinate role in the production of the tracks? How do you composed together? What is respectively your role inside GusGus? For instance I know on “Arabian Horse”, you produced things separately in our studios. Was it the same here?
> We always work a lot in our separate studios but we try to finalize our music together which sometimes does work and sometimes not.  It’s a flowing state of creation…

Previously I said I became fan of your music because of your release “David”. Is there anything special that you can say about this track, maybe about how it is born, the way you created it? Can we consider it like a turn in your career?
> David was one of the first tracks that we did with Earth.  I remember hearing hear sing this melody in the studio.  Then it was “daybreak, I still have last night in my body” but I misheard. Like so many times in my life... Hahaha... And thought she said “David”.  That got stuck and ended that way... As it became kind of a very personal thing. So, not a deep thing but a simple misunderstanding. :-)

You’re known for your remixes like the one for Moloko, Björk, Depeche Mode, Sigur Ros but you did also a lot of productions together. What do you prefer? Start from scratch or start from an already existing track reusing vocals and samples? Why?
> There are two ways of approaching this... The ones you mention here above.  Both are valid and good but mostly the mix just gets created on its own, if the stems are really good... You use them and put your color on that... Or you create something completely new... And use the stems to color that… I have not a preference… It’s all good.

Knowing that you come from Island, could you please tell us a bit more about the Icelandic electronic scene, not very well-known? Are there some upcoming artists, DJs or producers to follow besides of you?
> There is a lot happening in Iceland at the moment, electronic or not.  So much.  I would ask people to Google it... J

Any other things to say to our readers?
> Vive la France!


GusGus, before we conclude this interview we have a few more questions. Sometimes one word is enough!

Where are you right now for answering our interview? Studio, airport?
> Studio.

The song you advices us to listen in your discography?
> When your lover is gone.

An artist you would like to work with one day?
> Adele.

3 words to define your music?
> Bassdrum, bassline, melody.

One privilege, being DJs, gives you access to?
> Taking photographs of other DJs.

One word about France?
> Renault 4L.

Some words about our website, the one where the interview will be published?
> Niquel chrome.

The best club in Iceland (name of the nightclub and city)?
> Boston, Reykjavik.

Your favorite track these days?
> Lots of love (can be undone) - work in progress. Högni’s solo album…
Gusgus, thank you so much for the time you devoted to Actualités Electroniques and particularly for this full and exclusive interview. We will wait for sure for your next productions and especially your tour dates. A bientôt!”

Dj Aroy


Written by Dj Aroy
Article en Francais       
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