Mix & In Conversation: Burno
Updated: Jan 4
Bristol's BURNO goes behind the decks for number 9 in our guest mix series. Having warmed up for some huge names in the game such as Folamour, O'Flynn and Sally C be prepared to get funky with all things disco in this energy building mix.
Hey Tom, cheers for chatting to us. Let's start at the beginning, what got you into DJing?
I inherited my love for disco from my mum and dad, who were always playing it in the car and around the house when I was younger; but I actually got into DJing through a love of trance originally. Watching videos of DJs like Tiesto, ATB, and Paul Oakenfold playing notorious events in the early 2000s peaked my interest in the actual skill of Djing, before starting to explore the more classic house side of things with djs like Carl Cox, Todd Terry and Laurent Garnier. However, discovering DJs like Denis Sulta, Mella Dee and Mall Grab in 2017 undoubtedly had the biggest influence on me, as their blend of underground house, disco and trance/rave music was what I had been attempting to mix for a while, without having a clue how.
What's your workflow when putting a track together?
My process of making a track is very chaotic. Usually i will hear a slower disco sample, work out which bit sounds good looped and then speed it up using youtubes speed adjuster to see if it sounds better sped up or not. After importing it to my DAW, i’ll start manually quantising the sample, before suddenly deciding to look for a synth sound to go with it, then back to quantising, then maybe find some effects, then work out the bass notes, then back to quantising - and then probably start a new project. It’s not very systematic but i know when im making a good tune because i tend to stick to the quantising for a good hour or two.
When looking for samples what do you mainly look for?
I don’t really look for samples, because when i actively try i never end up finding anything good. The best ones come when i have a random 70s disco playlist on in the background, and occasionally a tune will make me stop what I’m doing to go and listen to it, probably replaying the same 5 second period on Spotify 30 times in a row, before deciding to start the drawn out process mentioned above. That being said, clear female vocals, good production and relatable lyrics are the things i seem to go for most in a sample, as it can be more difficult to work with some poorly produced songs from the 70's.
You mentioned that you've recently done a stint out in Ibiza - what was it like? How are the crowds different?
My disco/house style wasn’t really the kind of music that people wanted to hear in the places we played in Ibiza. I help run an underground house/disco/techno event round the UK called Tekno Disco, and we took the brand to Ibiza for the second time this summer, where we did 5 shows in 5 days, culminating in the final event at the prestigious Eden nightclub. The crowds there responded very differently to what we play and expect people to like in the UK, as they seemed to prefer big buildups and tech house drops. Although this isn’t exactly what we were used to, we adapted well to make it work and ended up selling out nearly every show. Although that week in Ibiza was probably the best experience of my life, i prefer playing to a UK crowd just due to the kind of music that gets played at underground clubs here.
What has been your stand out gig and why?
I’d say my most stand out gig was playing to 3,000 people at Bluedot festival in Manchester, playing a 12-3am set in a huge tent. I’d just done a 4 hour drive after playing in Wales the same day, and arrived completely sober with no time to spare at the festival, and was promptly driven in a buggy to the stage before being thrown on 10 minutes early because the last act had ran out of music. I was shitting myself initially, as it was the first time i’d looked out to a crowd that big, but eased into it a bit with the help of a few cans of Heineken. I started off playing disco and 90s house, as i could see a lot of older people and kids on their parents’ shoulders, but by the end of the set i was up to 135bpm classic trance and the crowd was bouncing. That’ll always stand out to me as it was the first huge crowd i’d played, as well as the fact that people had queued up afterwards down at the barrier to tell me i’d made their night. I then went and slept in the back of my Renault Clio in the car park so it’s not all glamour and glory.
What artists, groups and collective should we be watching out for?
Some groups and projects I really like at the moment would obviously be our Tekno Disco brand, and we have some exciting events coming up nationwide in the next year, but other than that theres a lot of exciting groups coming up in the Bristol scene, such as Dad Bod Boogie and Utopia who are getting in acts like Mele, Folamour and Crazy P. At the moment my favourite DJs would have to be Folamour and Dan Shake, and I’m proper excited to see this new Denis Sulta e.p.
For the future I’d love to have a record on glitterbox or defected, or someday to play at the warehouse project in Manchester as the buzz there looks mad. Another thing I’d love to do is release an album, as creating a flowing mood all the way through is one of my favourite challenges.