Barbuto (US): “The massive pro sound system, the club lighting and everyone dancing – it was fantastic”

barbuto press picca 2016
Marcy Goes Wild interviewed the American DJ Christian Barbuto about his first gig. "Don’t play it if you don’t love it!"

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DJ Barbuto press picture

In 2016 Marceline interviewed the American DJ Christian Barbuto about his first gig. "Don’t play it if you don’t love it!"

“My first club gig was in a really cool club in Sacramento, California, called the Tower Club, right next-door to the original famous Tower Records music store. I was 23 at that time. Was I nervous? Maybe just a little, but I mostly felt really excited!”

Exciting time

“The audience was a really enthusiastic crowd in their early 20’s, who were totally into house music. There were around 150 people, which felt like a lot to me! This was in the year 2000, so dance culture was at its peak in the city. It was a really exciting time.”

Fifty records

“During this time it was all vinyl records and I was just getting started with playing, so I had a bag of around 50 records with the highest energy at one end of the bag and lowest more chill at the other end, and evenly placed in between them I went from high to low. Regardless of all those options, I pretty much just played all my high energy ones, which is what I still do today. Even now I don’t fully plan out a set. I usually have 5 or 6 tracks that I will be wanting to play for sure and then I will skip around in between.”

Warehouse parties

“In that day and age we used to have really big house parties. In fact, these were often bigger than any club-party. Sometimes over 300 people would show up, so when I started to play in the local clubs and warehouse parties after doing all these house parties for such a long time, me and my colleagues had dozens of friends supporting us in those clubs.”

No clue

“Honestly, I had no mentor back then. I had to learn everything on my own, which, now that I look back on it, I believe was the best. In the beginning I really didn’t have a clue about what to do with turntables. I would just stare at the DJ for hours and went home and practiced for sometimes days at a time.”

barbuto press picca 2016


“All of my friends were there, when I played that first gig. It was a great feeling! There wasn’t really a girl I wanted to impress, I wanted to impress everyone! And I still do, haha! That first gig was so much fun. I was addicted after that and have never looked back. All I really still want to do after all this time is DJing.”

Train wreck

“I was really happy with my set and the experience. The massive pro sound system, the club lighting and everyone dancing – it was fantastic. I don’t recall making too bad of a mistake if any, but I am pretty sure – since I was mixing with vinyl – that I probably made a little train wreck here and there. Well, maybe once, hehe. I’m much more critical of my sets today.”

Full house

“What I learned during that first gig, is to know that, when you have the opportunity to be behind the decks, it’s your own special time to express yourself and play your favorite music and to just have fun. Besides that, it’s important to always play like you are playing for a full house, even if there are not that many people. Just go for it and if you make a mistake, blow it off and keep mixing. Take risks, so your transitions and drops are wild and fun and don’t just stand there like you are bored! Only play your favorite tracks, the ones you absolutely love. Don’t play it if you don’t love it!”

“On June 6th 2016 my new track Vantablack is released at Octopus Records. Enrico Sangiuliano, a real studio-wizz, rounds off the EP. At this point I’m very much looking forward to that.”

barbuto bike competition when he lived in the Netherlands

“From the perspective of funny trivia: before I started DJing, I lived in The Netherlands for four years and was part of the Dutch Cycling team Sauna Diana from Zundert. This was a famous amateur cycling team. When I was free, my team mates took me to raves and clubs all over The Netherlands. That’s how I fell in love with the music.”

This interview was originally published on on May 26th 2016

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