Brazilian DJ and producer Wehbba’s creative aspirations seem to grow day by day. Following a series of globally impactful single and EP releases on the circuit’s leading label Drumcode, he now unveils his long-awaited first album Straight Lines and Sharp Corners on the label. This expertly configured montage of instrumental offerings not only showcase Wehbba’s refined skill set in the studio, but also proposes an immersive conceptual study that echoes a tenacious dedication to his craft. DMCWORLD checks in for another world exclusive…
Hey Wehbba thanks for taking the time to chat to us, especially during this uncertain time. How has the current situation been affecting your work?
This is the craziest thing I could ever imagine happening in my whole life. Most places went into quarantine and events started to get cancelled on the same week my album was released, so the album tour also subsequently had to be cancelled. As are all of my gigs for the next months, as is the case for most artists (hopefully). I have been trying to stay positive and focused at home, but it’s hard to quantify at this point the current and resulting effect of the pandemic in the entertainment sector.
You’ve just released your third album Straight Lines and Sharp Corners how long did the entire production process take? Did you have additional cuts that didn’t make it into the final track list?
It took approximately 8 months between jamming to the first ideas and delivering the last pre-master recording. The concept hasn’t been compromised at all at any stage and all of the tracks were intentionally created as part of a whole. There were 3 other tracks I had intended to include that didn’t make it into the final release, for different reasons, but the final track list is a perfect representation of my vision for the project.
Your debut album contribution to Drumcode features a lot of different musical references. Have you always taken inspiration from such a diverse array of genres?
Always. It’s what keeps the flame alive for me. I’m a musician first and foremost, besides being a producer or DJ, and it’s crucial for me to study and understand music through a more direct experience. Using instruments, I get a lot of ideas exploring different styles and trying to incorporate them into my playing, so that I can use it all somehow into my productions.
Which other artists in particular spring to mind as references?
Autechre, Brian Eno, Speedy J, Laurent Garnier, Steve Rachmad, but this list would be totally different if you asked me tomorrow.
Thomas Gandey, Laercio and David Carretta feature on the album, what was the decision behind inviting these artists to collaborate – had you worked with any of them before?
As I was trying to achieve a specific mood or vibe for each track on the album, some of them just wouldn’t be complete if I hadn’t reached out to David, Thomas or Laercio. For ‘Digital Sunset’, the singular flute playing style from Laercio was essential, and being a friend of mine for years, it felt like the perfect moment to work on something together. I had worked with Thomas before on a remix that I did for a track he collaborated on with AFFKT, and I’ve always loved his tone, and the way his voice works so well drenched in effects without losing its clarity. And when I was working on ‘Sharpshooter’, and had the bass line and beat going, the electro-techno-ebm vibe reminded me of David’s unmistakable style right away, so I tried my luck asking him if he’d be up to work on it with me, and was blown away not only that he accepted it, but with the parts he sent in, it was totally different from what I was expecting but that only added to the excitement. All in all, I’m very honoured to have these amazing artists as part of this project, that is so important to me.
How do feel this long-player differs from your previous two albums?
It’s my purest work to date. I’ve gone through great lengths to find and understand what really inspires me, musically and in general, and tried to translate and represent it as closely and as honestly as possible. I’m much more mature and confident as an artist than I was 10 years ago, when I wrote my first album “Full Circle”, and I also have more resources, with a collection of instruments and studio equipment I’ve collected over the years, that gives this whole project a lot more personality.
You grew up in Brazil but now reside in Barcelona. I noticed the album’s title references a quote from Antoni Gaudi, has the city been an inspiration for you on this LP?
Barcelona inspires me in every sense, every day. It’s my spiritual home. I did try to represent my life on the road also, by working remotely on many of the tracks, trying to capture my mood and vibe in different places, but I don’t think the album would have turned out like it did if I had started and finished it anywhere else. The architecture, culture, food, landscape, people, lifestyle, all of it helped me grow so much as an artist, I’m incredibly thankful for the time I’ve been here.
How do you feel the Brazilian music scene has influenced you as an artist?
Of course, it has massively. We have a very rich musical culture in Brazil, not particularly in electronic music, but I am deeply inspired by a lot of music from the 60s and 70s from Brazil, like the Tropicalia and Bossa Nova movements for example, or stuff like Time Maia, Casiano, Jorge Ben, Azimuth, Mutantes, the list goes on. I find the electronic music scene in Brazil a little limited, but in constant development with amazing artists, collectives and brands working hard to break the commercial music monopoly.
Are there any other Brazilian producers we should keep an eye out for?
Of course, Laercio is definitely one of them, but we have many expressive exports and great up and coming names like ANNA, Victor Ruiz, Gui Boratto, Alex Stein, Renato Cohen, DJ Marky, Vinicius Honorio, Davis, Lucas Freire, Fernanda Martins, Andre Salata
Finally, how are you filling your time at home with the current lockdown in Barcelona?
Meditating, reading lots of manuals, cooking, brewing lots of coffee, learning about internet streaming and video editing, and doing prep-work for my “Live Station” setup to be fully ready when we’re all back on the road!
Thanks so much for your time – any final thoughts for the readers of DMCWORLD?
My pleasure! Please stay home and stay safe so we can all go out and be reckless again pretty soon!