We've explored Guti's life as a classically-trained jazz virtuoso, Argentine rock 'n' roll superstar, and international house favourite; we've documented his inner struggle to evolve and improve; we've chronicled his much anticipated recent return to club music; and we've witnessed the kind of influence and camaraderie he shares with some of his renowned peers. The reasoning for our continued consideration is simple: Guti's story remains one of the most spellbinding in dance music—no, in music period—and it's been our pleasure to carry on telling it.
Our latest dialogue with Guti found him plugging away at his Barcelona studio, which he was quick to inform me was a full house. In Guti's words, a "mess of musicians and instruments." This would make sense. Besides commandeering his first weekly Ibiza party, People Like Us, Guti's in heavy preparation for this week's upcoming premiere of Rompecorazones Live in Concert, a bold performance extension of his experimental new label.
THUMP: Although the first Rompecorazones record is still on the way, you've been building up the imprint for over a year. When exactly did it officially launch?
Guti: Technically we 'launched' the label back when you and I first spoke last summer about the release of my album, also called Rompecorazones. Then we teamed up with Defected again for the remix LP with Carl Craig, Osunlade, Charles Webster, and others. That was an amazing joint effort. With the upcoming live concert project, the Rompecorazones identity truly kicks off this week at Sónar.
Ahead of talking about that gig, what can you tell me about your overall vision for the label?
The vision is to create a platform that will fuse the different music inspirations in my life and experiment with them, ranging from my history in jazz and classical with my more contemporary electronic and analog productions. I just want to collaborate with fellow artists of all types and try to make some beautiful songs.
But as an artist with such contrary musical stylings, do you think the releases on Rompecorazones will tip to any one direction more than the other?
It's going to be a mixture of everything. Most of the music has either been created or inspired by sessions here at my studio in Barcelona. This gives it a certain feeling and vibe. Even the show reflects that if you see the line up.
Which makes now the ideal time to discuss Rompecorazones Live in Concert. Quite a program you've put together...
Thank you! We have an intimate concert planned at a secret location in Barcelona on June 18 that will feature a few of the core artists I'm working with on Rompecorazones right now. We will be premiering the new music we've been working on this past year, which we are all very excited about. It'll be more of a jam with no specific plan, just great musicians trying to connect and express themselves.
Can you explain how the live set-up with all your collaborators will work?
We have Livio & Roby playing modulars and drum machines. Rosanne Philippens, one of the most prestigious violinists in the world—she uses an exquisite Stradivarius—is also there. So is French pianist Julien Quentin, a top musician in the classical world. He's on the keys. And coming from a jazz background, Greg Paulus will be performing trumpet. Finally, there will be myself playing and directing the whole thing. We're going to record the production and the idea is to release a live album of it.
Very ambitious. It's not the only Sónar party that Rompecorazones is involved in either, correct?
Well, I'm teaming up with Jonny White from Art Department for the night before Rompecorazones Live in Concert. We are inviting friends and people of the industry for a little private soiree at his incredible house. We call it "The Lair" [laughs]. Julien and Rosanne are going to be performing a night of classical music with selections their favorite composers. Just an incredible chance for people to see them doing what they do best! A good night with friends and great melodies.
Focusing back on the label, will the artists who release on Rompecorazones be well known or more unrecognized talent?
The artists on Rompecorazones are the ones that inspire me. So it's really not about being established or not. This project is purely about the music. We are bringing people from different worlds and trying to create our own language.
On that note, why don't you introduce "Jazz Queen"? It's my understanding that we're the very first to hear it.
"Jazz Queen" is the first song off a record we have coming up this summer on Rompecorazones. It's the result of a collaboration with Julien Quentin and myself between recording and studio sessions in Berlin and Barcelona over the last couple months.
Listening to the track, I find it's definitely more in line with the handcrafted instrumentation of Rompecorazones than the club energy of Rompecorazones Remixed.
It's definitely an exploration of acoustic and electronic sounds, with Julien getting out of his comfort zone and being pushed into free jazz improvisation. It was a crazy experience to be able to work with a musician of his level.
Before we say ciao, is there anything cool coming up on Rompecorazones you'd like to announce?
We have some super interesting things due. There is the collaboration with Julien Quentin, which definitely got a bit innovative. Then a beautiful record by Livio & Roby, as well as the live concert album.
Are these good times for Guti?
Exciting and creative times!
Stay tuned to Rompecorazones and Guti's social pages for the announcement of Thursday's secret location for Rompecorazones Live in Concert.
Christopher is on Twitter.