With 2023 firmly underway, Andrew Meller’s REWLER Records imprint is back following its first three impressive releases in 2022, welcoming Gulou Home Studio to the label with ‘Satellite’ – an immersive three-tracker with a remix from celebrated Chinese DJ, Producer & Sound Designer Mickey Zhang. An EP with an undeniably diverse electronic range spanning house, techno, minimal and everything in between, we caught up with its creators for an exclusive interview, exploring the elusive world of Gulou Home Studio…
DMC: Hey guys, thanks for joining us at DMC World. Tell us about the foundations of Gulou Home Studio and your journey so far.
GHS: Hello, DMC World! Thanks for having us! Gulou Home Studio is Aida Minibaeva and Uros Veselinovic; we are solo performing artists that share a production studio, among other things. We founded GHS during a city-wide lockdown in the winter of 2022 in Beijing’s Gulou area, where we used to live for many years. We couldn’t leave the city since rules were pretty strict back then, so we locked ourselves in the studio for two weeks and started making music together for the first time. It was quite fruitful!
DMC: Your latest release is on Andrew Meller’s REWLER imprint. Tell us about ‘Satellite’ and how it all came together.
GHS: The title track was inspired by the night before its composing: we were doing some painting in the house and listened to synth wave and retro music meanwhile. So, the next day we decided to make a synth-heavy lead; we used a retro drum machine for the toms and some hats to fit the vibe. It came together quite fast! We sent a video of the studio session to Andrew, and he immediately said he wanted to release it!
DMC: ‘Satellite’ is quite an eclectic release. Were there any specific intentions with this release, or did it all come together naturally?
GHS: Yeah, it got us pretty hyped that Andrew took the original mix straight away, so we kept working in the studio. Also following a proto-House vibe, Floating In The Living Room is more mellow to balance out the sound. It still keeps a strong groove and has a simple but effective baseline, but it works better after hours.
DMC: You had Mickey Zhang work on a remix for the release. What was it like working with someone of his ability and reputation and hearing your work reinterpreted by him?
GHS: A true honour, to say the least! We’re good friends with Mickey, his music style also shifted in the last few years, and we immediately said he’d be great for remixing the track. When we asked him if he would do it, he modestly said, “I can try”; two weeks later, he sent the remix, and it was a done deal. Mickey Zhang’s sound is unique, and being a top boy in the Chinese electronic music scene makes us feel so proud to have him on board.
DMC: Your tracks champion a lot of analogue elements. Are any specific equipment or techniques contributing substantially to the GHS sonic signature?
GHS: We try to keep it simple, so we don’t get distracted by a lot of equipment, and it actually made our workflow smoother and got us to finish tracks faster. We believe it’s a winning combination. We use both soft synths and hardware for the melodic parts, and drums are almost exclusively machine-made. It doesn’t make the sound better or more mature or anything like that; it’s just more fun to touch knobs and fine-tune parameters on the fly. “Floating” has both our voices as part of the track. We usually multitrack and record long pieces of audio and tweak the sound as we do, layering channels one by one and making them work with one another. Working as a duo makes it even more suitable cause we have an extra pair of hands and intuitively change parameters – which makes the music more dynamic.
DMC: Your productions indicate an evident ability inside the studio. What’s life like professionally and personally outside the studio for you? Do you have any specific hobbies outside of music? Do you also DJ out a lot etc.?
GHS: Yeah, we started out as DJs and worked as promoters, both solo and as a team. We had a few residencies while living in Beijing, a monthly event with local and international guests, and played a lot of clubs across not just China, but the pandemic changed that a lot. Travel restrictions made it almost impossible to tour and play at that time. Hobbies and sports kept us going: running, yoga, football, painting, writing – we try to be active as much as we can. Also, we have day jobs, both of us, and very different ones! One of us is a teacher, and another worked in the fashion industry (you can guess who does what!) It’s good to have some contrast in life.
DMC: What is your best advice for artists developing their own sound and getting noticed in the current market?
GHS: Hahah, we would like to know this, too! Developing one’s sound is a constant process; music trends change, and new equipment comes out all the time, which makes it harder to find a position in the music scene. Therefore, the best advice would probably be: be patient and do what you do because you like doing it!
DMC: Lastly, what can we expect from Gulou Home Studio over the rest of 2023 and more?
GHS: We are excited to see it as well! We relocated to Serbia to be closer to our friends and family, to have more opportunities to play out our music and grow as artists, to exchange experiences and work with others, and to travel to new places – travelling is definitely something we adore and miss so much! We have a lot of music done, and we hope to share it with the world real soon.
Gulou Home Studio’s ‘Satellite’ (incl. Mickey Zhang Remix) is available now via REWLER Records