Hailing from Brazil’s main techno hub, São Paulo, Wehbba has long been considered one of the country’s premiere electronic music producers and DJs, with regular appearances on labels like Kompakt, Soma, Systematic, 2020Vision, and Tronic.
And, now, he unveils his long-awaited first album Straight Lines and Sharp Corners on Drumcode. 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.
Wehbba’s evolution as an artist and his desire to champion what resonates with him rather than faddish trends, have contributed to his artistic vibrancy and defined his production output over the course of his decade-long career.
Balance Selections Q+A
My last 3 releases:
Wehbba – We Have Bass
Wehbba x SCB – Red Planet
Wehbba – Straight Lines & Sharp Corners
What music did you listen too as a child?
My father used to play the acoustic guitar at home, often slow jams from the Brazilian Jovem Guarda, or rock stuff from the 70s, he also listened to a lot of Beatles, Santana, Phil Collins, The Temptations, Jean Michel Jarre, pretty diverse stuff. I didn’t really appreciate that at the time, I did like rock though from a very early age, and got into dance music when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I used to record music from the radio onto my cassette player all day long, and make pretend radio shows sometimes with a friend.
When was the first time that you realized that you liked electronic music?
It was back in the late 80s, listening to stuff like New Order, Depeche Mode, Erasure or even ultra pop, stuff like Madonna, Technotronic, etc. There was something about those sounds that was so euphoric, I didn’t feel the same kind of emotions coming from rock or other pop styles around at the time.
When was the first time you saw a DJ in a club?
I used to go clubbing a lot when I was only like 10 years old but it was a different experience, I barely even realised there was a DJ actually putting on music back then, it was always about finding girls, or “feeling grown up”. The very first time I actually noticed a DJ was much later, when I was 16 or 17. I’d gone for a student exchange program in Australia, and down there I went to this really underground club in Oxford Street in Sydney, could barely see anything in the club, barely any lights, lots of smoke, then the DJ booth was this kind of oasis, and there was only techno coming from there, and it just felt like I saw my whole future right at that moment. That vision is still very clear in my memory. I was too shy to go and ask for the DJs name though.
Which producers/artists/acts inspire you?
This is an ever-expanding list, it keeps changing, updating, so I’ll go over what I’m listening to at the moment, which is a lot of Autechre, Joey Beltram, Floating Points, Speedy J, Lapalux and East Forrest, in electronic music that is. A seemingly random list but that’s what keeps it interesting for me. Other than that, I have been a little obsessed with Miles Davis and John Coltrane over the past year or so. I just really like to explore different kinds of artists and sonic palettes so that listening to music doesn’t become “work”. It’s important for me to truly enjoy what I listen to through a personal lens, to really understand how the music affects my mood, my behaviour, how it inspires my thoughts, and I feel the names I’ve just mentioned have achieved something that currently resonates with me in their work.
What was the last album that you downloaded/bought?
That was ‘Royal Flush’ by Donald Byrd and Herbie Hancock. I actually didn’t know about this record, even if it is a classic, but I came across the cover with both legends on it when I was flipping through some vinyl at the Jazz Messengers shop in Barcelona, and I just bought it without even listening. No regrets.
What is your current production and DJ set up like?
In the studio I have a bunch of hardware and software synths and drum machines, also effects processors. I like to mix between in and out of the box units, my go to synth as of late is the Sequential Prophet 6, but I do use the Moog One a lot, as well as the MKS-80 from Roland and the Matrix 6 from Oberheim, this list changes every couple of months. In the box I use Reaktor a lot from Native Instruments, Aalto from Madrona Labs, also Diva from U-HE, and Pigments or the Music Easel from Arturia. On stage as a DJ I’m currently using 3 CDJs, an Allen & Heath Xone 92 and an Empress Effects Zoia pedal, with some custom effects I’ve created.
What releases do you have on the horizon?
I have just released a full length album on Drumcode Records, “Straight Lines & Sharp Corners”, and the plan was to start touring with it and perform live with my new “Live Station” project, so I had nothing else planned right now…but current circumstances have changed this a little bit. So, I’m back in the studio 100% and hopefully some new things will start to come out once we get to live and enjoy our lives collectively again.
Where can we hear you perform?
Right now, I’ll be streaming live from my studio in Barcelona weekly and possibly turn it into a podcast. Everybody’s tour schedule is on hold for now so that’s where you can find me…the internet!
Tell us more about the podcast you made for Balance?
The mix was recorded in a nice afternoon in my living room, with my laptop running Ableton Live and a Play Differently Model 1 mixer. I chose not to use a whole lot of looping and effects, like I normally do when playing live. Being a studio mix I felt like letting the tracks breathe a bit more and didn’t feel the need to be performing while I was mixing. It starts off funky and gets going pretty quickly, with some of the tracks I’ve been playing out the most and some of the tracks from my album, like ‘Basic Pleasure’, ‘Deluge’, ‘No Sleep’ and ‘Second Nature’.
The top track in my DJ wallet currently is:
Wehbba – Basic Pleasure
If I could recommend only one of my tracks for you to listen to it would be:
Wehbba – Coup Of Doubt
If I could recommend only one track for you to listen to it would be:
Lapalux – Earth
The last movie I watched that I really liked:
All The Bright Places
My favourite TV show:
Balance Selections 122: Wehbba
1. Avision – Innocence
2. Chris Liebing – Trilogy (ANNA Remix)
3. Wehbba – No Sleep
4. Pig & Dan – Tunnel Vision
5. Frank Biazzi – Transition (Rudosa Remix)
6. Wehbba – Basic Pleasure
7. Brennen Grey – Dawn of Man
8. Michael Klein – Passion (DJ Emerson Remix)
9. Wehbba – Deluge
10. FBK – Headless (Len Faki Hardspace Mix)
11. Juliet Fox – Through The Pain
12. Wehbba – Second Nature
13. Harvey McKay – Sequence Four
14. Lucas Freire – Sleep Over