Better Lost Than Stupid
Better Lost Than Stupid: an electronic music supergroup that comprises three of the world’s finest producers and DJs – Martin Buttrich, Davide Squillace, and Matthias Tanzmann. Three friends who’ve known each other for over a decade, and who’ve carved out impressive individual legacies within house and techno.
With all eyes on their debut artist album, set for release later in 2019 via Skint/BMG, Better Lost Than Stupid have spent most of the last year in studio sessions, writing and producing new music. The first glimpse of the eagerly awaited longplayer is the truly excellent vocal-driven club stormer ‘Inside’, which sees Martin, Davide and Matthias team up with 21-year-old UK-born vocalist Chaney (AKA Theo Altieri). First released in its dub form, ‘Inside’ quickly became an anthem at the close of 2018 for DJs ranging from Marco Carola, Dubfire, Nicole Moudaber, and Richie Hawtin, to Kolsch, Carl Craig, Eats Everything, Adam Beyer, and beyond.
Though ‘Inside’ is set to do the most damage, each release reveals the ambition and depth to Better Lost Than Stupid’s sound. The band’s debut single, the moody and meditative ‘Alto’ (premiered by Pete Tong on Radio 1), was backed with the equally insistent and more Circoloco-centric ‘Dynamite’. Their music isn’t the kind of throwaway electronica that can be replicated with a laptop and an Ableton rig; the collective sound of three incredible talents, it’s a maze of music to lose yourself in as the clock strikes midnight, when all of the night people come out to play.
“We’ve known each other for 10 or 11 years,” nods Davide Squillace of their unique coming together. “We were meant to play Electric Zoo in New York and as we’re all good friends and have respected each other throughout our careers, I said ‘why not come up with a name for all of us?’.” What happened next was pretty clear: someone shouted out the phrase within earshot and it resonated with all 3 of them. “Yes,” smiles Davide, “this is how Better Lost Than Stupid came about!”
“For me, it’s great because I have two partners [alongside me] who are intelligent in making music,” continues Martin. “If one of us doesn’t know where to go, the other two do. In a team of three, one can lean back and see what other people do. Two guys can be the same as one, but if three sit on the machine, this is what makes it super interesting. Everybody can have a hand on the wheel.”
“We take inspiration from electronic bands, from other directions.” Squillace says that the project, while underground in spirit, also has more potential to cross over thanks to its tracks’ carefully sculpted hooks. So, it’s pop, but in the best sense of the word: pop as in ‘popular with people’. And popular they certainly are.
Since forming, Better Lost Than Stupid have sold out Koko in London, broadcast a standout BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, performed a Miami Winter Music Conference headline show for Arcadia, headlined the legendary Ibiza venue, Amnesia, and played the likes of Razzmatazz in Barcelona, Circoloco at DC10, Krystal Club in Romania, and BPM Festival.
2019 will see them take things much further, with rumours of a big, debut live show planned for early summer: “We want to produce an incredible live show. It has the flavour from all three of us, but nothing to do with what we do in our day to day club existence. We don’t want to lose the foundation of where we are coming from – the only difference is that Better Lost Than Stupid moves us forward in a more alternative direction. None of the tracks will sound anything like what we have done before.”
It’s not hard to see why these three work so well together: after all, they all have copious quantities of house and techno experience from the road, from the studio, and from a shared musical and artistic vision. “Martin said it very well,” says Davide. “You might recognise a few aesthetics in the sound, but it really is a new path for us, and that was the interesting part, to work outside our usual range and explore new sounds. To get where we want to go – more indie, more melodic, more experimental – we needed to go a certain way.”
With festival dates and further gigs to be announced ahead of the debut album, Better Lost’ are set to make 2019 their year.