on the record ~ john barera


undoubtedly one of the breakout house producers of the last year or so is john barera. the boston based dj and supply label head has a knack for crafting classically informed but fresh feeling house in many guises, from filter heavy disco jams to deep and dubbed out basement tracks via subtly sampled peak time bombs. steffi is a fan, not only reaching for one of his tracks – alongside frequent studio sparring partner, will martin – for her panorama bar mix last year, but also tapping up the duo for their excellent debut album, graceless, for her dolly label. it’s due out soon and is an essential purchase that will surely sit pretty in many year end lists come december.

on saturday november 1st, john comes to the uk to play just jack’s celebrated annual halloween party at in: motion, bristol. paranoid london, jay daniel, mano le tough, local talent jay l, shed as head high, delano smith and many more all play, and tickets can be gotten on facebook. ahead of that, we quiz him about the music of his life so far…

first record you bought…

the first record i can remember buying was krs-one’s ‘return of the boom bap’. as a kid i listened to my dad’s records and i had a few cds, but when i decided to start my own record collection i bought this one in brooklyn, on my first record shopping trip . it’s a great record, i used to love listening to records like this and ‘midnight marauders’ by a tribe called quest, and i still do.

last record you bought…

i bought a nitzer ebb record today called ‘control im here edition number one (command control confront)’.

love them, i saw martyn playing one of these mixes last night and i was freaking out. my friend was telling me “oh i have this record you should get it ” and i pulled the trigger this afternoon on that purchase.




record you wish you’d written…

‘songs in the key of life’ by stevie wonder because i would have just written one of the greatest records of all time. my favourite part of the album is the synth breakdown on ‘black man’ and the synth sounds and the playing on that track, i remember that blowing my mind when i first heard it .

he’s doing a ‘songs in the key of life’ tour soon and i’m going, it has been a goal of mine to see him play one day, i just hope he also plays ‘too high’.

record that makes you happiest…

sly & the family stone’s ‘let me have it all’, this is the anthem for me. the whole album ‘fresh’ is extremely solid. this is what i would put on when cooking at my house and stuff like that, this is the record i would put on if i just got some really good news.

record that makes you saddest…

gil scott-heron & brian jackson’s ‘peace go with you, brother (as-salaam-alaikum)’ . this is a really somber and haunting, beautiful song.

i admire socially conscious records, like the album this is from ‘winter in america’, or ‘what’s going on’ by marvin gaye.

record you put on for sexy time…

d’angelo’s cover of roberta flack’s ‘feel like makin love’. i read recently about the making of the album ‘voodoo’ and they sat around in the studio listening to prince, sly and the family stone, al green, george clinton, and fela kuti . that’s what i do when i sit down to make music too. i listen to classic amazing works and think about how i could i possibly try and get close to that musically.

record you’d use in an emergency when the dance floor was empty…

‘head’ by prince. lately i cant stop myself from throwing price and price related tracks in my sets, i played ‘the glamorous life’ out last month and it was a lot of fun. i like to play along with and try to learn his tracks in the studio, people seem to enjoy it when i play his stuff out.

best after party record…

ricardo villalobos’ ’808 the bassqueen (queen of bass mix)’. this is a lovely record that would be nice to play as the sun is coming up.

record you had your first kiss/dance to…

one record that is associated with romance for me is a joão gilberto solo acoustic record i used to have with ‘samba de uma nota sò’ on it. unfortunately i forget the title of the record and lost my copy of it.

record that had most influence on you…

‘i wanna be there’ by model 500 aka juan atkins. he is one of my biggest heroes in terms of being a techno producer and artist. this track is really special to me, juan named it as his favorite of his own tunes, and it was engineered by moritz von oswald.

your own record you are most proud of…

‘graceless’ my album with will martin, we are really happy with the way it came out. i think it builds on the music i have been doing and takes it to the next level. will and i have found a really good flow working together.

current favourite record…

‘next step 4wrd’ by timeline is a record that i plan on ordering when it comes out soon and have been enjoying listening to on youtube. i admire the keyboard playing of jon dixon, and mike banks is one of my biggest influences. i saw them live this year and i loved it.

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