Magnetic Magazine Guest Mix: beGun

Fly with beGun across African inspired soundscapes in this dreamy guest mix.
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Fly with beGun across African inspired soundscapes in this dreamy guest mix.

Come now, it's time for a trip, a sonic adventure with beGun to his African inspired soundscape. Up next on our guest mix series is a melodic and dreamy mix from Barcelona based beGun.

He's fresh off the release of his debut album "Amma" and his sound certainly has the capability to jet him the world over to visit the many landscapes and geographies he finds so inspirational. Be sure to catch him at Primavera Sound this weekend if you are headed to the festival!

Now, buy the ticket, take a ride with beGun. What are you waiting for? PRESS PLAY! Oh, and while you soar over the sahara or serengetti, check out an interview with the good man beGun below.

You've delivered a wonderfully dreamy mix. What is this mix all about?

Like my new album, this mixtape is about Africa in a more melodic and dreamlike way. I selected a few songs from African musicians that I respect (like Vieux Farka Touré's “Ana” or Afefe Iku's “Mirror Dance”) as well as songs that were somehow inspired by African traditional music (like St Germain's “Real Blues” or Gold Panda's “Black Voices”). On the other hand, I don't really enjoy “flat” mixtapes, I do prefer to generate a rising speech not just in terms of tempo but also in terms of intensity and depth. This was the aim, if I succeeded or not, I can not judge it... I just hope that you guys enjoy the trip!

You also have recently released AMMA, your new full-length album. How has it been received so far?

Well, I'm pretty happy. The general reception was really good, not just here in Spain but also in a few places around... I've been receiving some nice reviews from Europe & the US as well, which I appreciate. At the end, this album is a bit risky, I'm not into any present-day voguish genre. I didn't pretend to sound cool or modern or whatever, I just tried to be loyal to my own way of understanding music.

Your sound is ethereal, dreamy, and maybe just a touch otherworldly. Where does this sound and style come from?

I just try to avoid dancefloor, that's it. This music is not made for clubbing, this is not my main focus. I feel that these songs are made as a music trip to somewhere and that's why all my tracks are named like cities or certain places around the world, not only the old ones but also the new ones on this record. My main influence comes from artists that work on this “emotive” side of electronic music like Jon Hopkins, Apparat, Bonobo, Koreless, Gold Panda, Floating Points, Caribou or Kiasmos amongst many others. But as I said before, I don't want to sound like these fellas because it would be boring for me and because if you want to listen to Apparat then you already have Apparat.

How would you simply and succinctly describe beGun?

I come from classic & jazz world, I started studying music when I was 5 and after many years involved in one or another way in a few electronic live bands, dj projects and club promotion around Spain, I just decided to create my own baby, beGun, whose meaning is actually the sum of the verb 'to be' with an abbreviation of my real name 'Gunsal'. Then, in terms of music, I try to produce songs focusing on emotions not on dancefloors, avoiding modern genres or state-of-the-art styles... and as I said before, the main 'topic' of this project is this link between music and geographic places all around the globe that I use as a source of inspiration for my songs. However, I confess that this is just an easy way of marking some abstract boundaries when I start a song, so that I avoid facing an infinite blank canvas.

What are your favorite tracks on the album?

I'd choose the first one, Yoko, because it has a bit of the whole album in one single song. Technically, the tracks of this record contain many elements of African traditional music like homophonic polyphony, heptatonic scales, cross rhythms, tonal languages as well as real traditional instruments like Mbira, Kora, Balafon, Qanun, Zurna... and obviously many tribal percussion samples too. It was not about slightly exploring African sonority but also learning from it in a deeper way. At the end, the music production process is also a learning process itself.