Spanish House Star John Talabot on Rediscovering Destiny’s Child
The Barcelona producer-DJ shares his best-loved books, music, and more
The music of Barcelona producer John Talabot is what you imagine Spain sounds like. His beats roll along on a sloshing midtempo, the easy deep house grooves glimmering with the laidback vibes of Balearic disco. He lovingly embraces his on-the-nose aesthetic — one of his earliest standouts was the aptly named “Sunshine” — but also snips at your heartstrings with moments as simple as a sweeping key change or a pulsating hi-hat.
His 2012 album fin was a breakout statement, but after recording both it and an accompanying remix EP, Talabot was ready to take some time away from his solo music. Speaking on the phone from Barcelona, he explained that he plans to collaborate with a number of producers on 12-inch singles as a refueling method. Before that, though, he spoke about some of his favorite things, from an old Italian cop show to Destiny’s Child.
Deptford Goth’s Life After Defo
“There’s an album I’ve listening to a lot lately by Deptford Goth. It’s new. I really like the production. It’s quite an enjoyable album. It’s really spacious. It has a lot of dynamics and isn’t stressful to the ear. It’s quite nice to listen to. I think the guy sings in a spatial way too, I really like it. It’s really chill. It’s like pop music with electronic elements.”
“I’ve been enjoying some old Italian TV show from the ’70s or ’80s called La Piovra. It was really popular in the ’70s or 80s and it was related to the mafia. It’s about a police officer, that kind of police officer that’s the good one between all the bad ones. [He is like] Eliot Ness, but cleverer than him. It’s really good, it’s the kind of show with the relation of politics and the crime organizations, the mafia, but in a really raw way. It’s not cinematographic at all. The script is really raw — all the murders and relations between the police and government and the mafia is really true. You believe it, you know? [Because] it’s in Italian, I don’t understand everything of the show but I really like it. I have the DVDs. I bought them in Porta Portese some years ago and they were really cheap. It’s a show I discovered through a musician who is really into Italian stuff. It’s really ’70s, and all the colors. I really like it.”
Rome’s EUR Neighborhood
“Last week I played in Rome in a neighborhood called EUR. It was built by Mussolini, and the buildings are so big — that kind of Fascist architecture you know? Like, only white, huge ceilings, huge stairs. That kind of place that you imagine a scene from the second World War or something like that. We played inside a place like that, and it was really amazing. I thought the sound wouldn’t be good because the place was so huge and the ceilings were so big, but it was a really, really nice experience.”
Paul Cronin’s Herzog on Herzog
“I’ve been reading a really good book. It’s a conversation and interview with Werner Herzog. I really like the book because it’s his life, played by him. Everything is so epic [that] you don’t understand if he’s telling you the truth or having a vision of his life. But everything he explains, you think, “Oh fuck, he’s totally amazing.” If you like his movies, you need to read that book to see how he is, why he shows those kinds of stories in his documentaries. I really like his documentaries, and that’s why I decided to read his books.”
Destiny’s Child’s #1’s and the Fugees’ The Score
“I don’t listen to too much pop. The last pop music compilation I heard was Destiny’s Child and the Fugees. I’ve been listening to all kinds of stuff I recycle and put in my iPhone. I’m not really into the new stuff, not because I don’t like it, but I don’t have time to check it. I just bought all the singles [Destiny’s Child] made together. They made lots of really good singles. I really like the production on them. Sometimes I just buy stuff to check the production, to remember from five, six, 10 years ago. It’s so different. I want to refresh it. I just bought this and The Score, the Fugees album. It’s amazing. But I just do it to check the tracks and enjoy them again. Sometimes it’s nice to just listen again, they bring new memories.”