Gui Boratto - Biography
Gui Boratto is one of techno’s most successful producers. His music enjoys wide crossover success beyond the world of dance music thanks in large part to his 2007 masterpiece Chromophobia. That album’s blend of propulsive rhythms, glossy production and irresistible melodies transcended the minimal techno tag to find favor with indie audiences worldwide. Boratto has stayed busy since that high mark and proven himself a consistent producer of high quality dance music.
Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1974, Boratto has worked in advertising since the late 1980s after studying architecture and design. An early interest in music found him producing pop and rock bands in Brazil, working in studios for major labels like EMI. Boratto started to explore his own productions in the early 2000s, self-releasing his debut Royal House in 2004. These early tracks gained immediate attention for their dancefloor friendly blend of Latin percussion and classy, timeless house music patterns.
Boratto immediately knew where to send his budding music. The producer mailed a two track demo to the mighty Kompakt label in 2005. Kompakt immediately released the Arquipelago 12” that same year. The title track and “Simetria” still rank as some of Boratto’s finest music, fusing minimal techno, house and a slinky sense of Latin rhythm with slick, detail oriented production.
In the following year Boratto seemed to be everywhere, releasing countless singles and EPs on labels like Plastic City, Kompakt Pop, Audiomatique, Harthouse Mannheim and Platipus. Standouts include the Twiggy EP, the stunning, hypnotic three track Beluga single and the career high Sozinho single. Seemingly unable to release a bad track, Boratto’s music was in demand with DJs everywhere. With tracks like “Sozinho” and “Noronha” it’s easy to understand why. Boratto’s music injected the predictable and safe world of minimal techno circa 2006 with some much-needed color by way of melody, reference to pop song structures and deep production value.
Then the producer dropped his best music to date. 2007’s near perfect Chromophobia full-length is easily one of the best techno albums of the decade. Bringing his pop sensibilities to the fore, Boratto created an utterly addictive set of songs featuring swooning synths, buzzing basslines, lush ambience and stuck-in-your-head-for-days melodic writing. Tracks like “Mr Decay,” “Shebang” and the peerless anthem “Beautiful Life.” The later features the gorgeous vocals of Boratto’s wife Luciana Villanova, making the track a full on minimal synth-pop stunner. Chromophobia signaled the emergence of a major talent in dance music. Its mesmerizing blend of blissed out pop melodies, dense textures drawn from shoegaze and complex drum programming remains a benchmark for producers.
While Chromophobia received the remix treatment from greats like Robert Babicz, The Field and Sascha Funke, Boratto’s own remix skills were in demand. Among others, he has remixed the Pet Shop Boys, Bomb the Bass, Goldfrapp, Moby and most recently Massive Attack. He also maintains a grueling tour schedule, appearing in big clubs and festivals everywhere. Still finding the time to make new music, Boratto released several great singles and EPs in late ’07 and ’08, including The Rivington EP, Tales From The Lab and the great The Island single with Martin Eyerer.
In 2009 Boratto released his second full-length, Take My Breath Away. Moving even deeper into synth-pop territory, the album mines an extremely melodic style on tracks like “Atomic Soda,” “Azurra” and “No Turning Back,” the later again featuring Villanova on perfectly detached vocals. Guitars play a more prominent role in the overall sound here and the tracks are more traditionally structured like pop songs. Boratto isn’t exactly moving away from techno as he is creating a genuine synthesis of synth-pop and minimal dance music. If Take My Breath Away has any obvious flaws it’s a lack of classic dancefloor tension and release. Chromophobia does that so well, it’s surprising to see so many of these tracks eschew that dynamic for a safe pop glide.
Gui Boratto’s innate understanding of both pop music and techno has produced some of the most progressive dance music of the decade. His talents are obviously deep and his next move will undoubtedly be an exciting one.