Suara fans have no doubt heard of Bastian Bux, an artist they've been championing since his debut in 2015. Label boss Coyu even devoted a spot to his fellow Barcelona artist in his guide to Spanish house for us, identifying "Lights" that was released on Monday as one of his choices. Bastian is also a resident for Elrow, which has dominated the party scene in recent years, from its humble beginnings in his birthplace. We grabbed 20 minutes with Bastian last month to find out how he got here.
It's a Thursday morning when our line connects to Bastian Bux, we've reached him at home in Barcelona as it approaches his favourite time of year in the city. "The weather is still good and it's more chill for me," he details. Of course, dance music flocks to Barcelona every June for Sónar and OFF Week.
"Sonar is super good but it's also exhausting. It's difficult to handle because you have all the events happening and at the same time you still have your regular life here. I feel better when I go to ADE or Miami Music Conference because I'm travelling and I'm out of my city."
Bastian soon explains the benefits of living in the Catalonia capital, better connected than ever for a travelling DJ, "Now we have more international flights it's easier to live here." One trip that has always been convenient is the one to Ibiza, a mere 30-minute plane journey separates Bastian from the notorious party island where Elrow is once again hosting a summer residency. This year in Amnesia, having jumped ships from Space after it ceased events last season.
Bux has been nabbed for six shows there. "I love Amnesia, it is the best club on island now that Space is closed," Bastian says, comparing the club to summer festivals: "The feeling of a big space with a great crowd in front of you. Everyone's in the best mood possible." Bastian first visited the island ten years ago, he recalls to EARMILK. "The first thing I did was go to Space for Carl Cox. John Digweed was playing in the main room and wow, it was unbelievable!"
He began playing for Elrow in 2015 as the brand was expanding and looking for more resident DJs. "I was starting my Bastian Bux project at the time and they were interested in me. They tested me and I think they liked it," he laughs. Elrow has got Bastian out of his comfort zone, the party amasses colourful inflatables, outlandish performers and bright production design, before his first visit to the daytime and open-air party he felt more at home in dark clubs. "They have changed my way of thinking about this and I do enjoy daytime parties a lot now."
When we talk about the beginning of his passion for electronic music, Bastian recalls his older sister introducing him. When she started to party, she'd bring back CD and cassette recordings of John Digweed, Erick Morillo and Paul van Dyk. "That was the key for me to be interested in electronic music. Then I started to discover the production side of the business."
Making music since he was 14, it's that side he aligns himself with, "I'm more of a producer than a DJ." In this industry, more of the latter comes with successful tracks. "You start playing more gigs and you have more ideas to record, then when you're producing you are having more ideas for playing. It's a synergy."
Ten years ago Bastian was producing under his real name Joan Reyes and was playing frequently in Spain and South America. "I had a great career, but after three years of touring, I started to become really tired of it and decided to quit. It was boring for me because everything sounded the same."
Since his return, Bastian Bux has released almost solely on Suara and that's no coincidence. He'd known Coyu since his Joan Reyes days, during a lunch with him after he quit, Coyu invited Joan to send over new stuff if he ever came back to the game. "When you love something you just can't stop doing it," he says.
"I started making music again just for fun and I sent him the new tracks. Coyu liked them and helped me to release them with a new name. I felt Suara was the best place to release my music and that's why I release 90% of my music with them."
Even now tech house still gets stick for recycled sounds. "I think it's a great moment for underground music, but there's some part that starts sounding less original. It's a typical situation inside electronic music when some type of sound gets popular. At the same time, there's a lot of exciting and fresh music coming especially from the techno side." Bastian names melodic techno acts like Patrice Baumel and Stephan Bodzin as artists who are bringing freshness to electronic music and keeping him inspired.
After his rebirth on the tech house scene, Bastian Bux is certainly in his groove and the rest is yet to come. Check out his five tracks of the summer below.
Bastian Bux's five tracks of the summer:
- Patrice Baumel - Glutes
- Artbat - Wall
- Adam Beyer vs Pig & Dan - In Love
- Rebolledo - Discotico Plexico (Maceo Plex Remix)
- Lee Van Dowski & Bastian Bux - Miss One