Destructo & DJ Glen Talk Debut Collab "Distorted Reality" & Wowing The Dance Floor
Jan 28, 2022
Ana Monroy Yglesias
6 min read
Destructo and DJ Glen have never met in person, but their love and respect for each other—and creative compatibility—run deep. And today, January 28, the energetic duo shared their first collab, "Distorted Reality." The six-minute track goes hard from the start and is a sonic response to the unhinged state of the world. With its extra-long build-up—a hallmark of DJ Glen’s sound—it is made to stir the dancefloor into a frenzy.
The accompanying video is also a wild trip, featuring images from the DJs' hometowns (São Paulo and Los Angeles), protests, raves, and the FLUF World metaverse (see for yourself below). Read on for Destructo and DJ Glen's first interview together, in which they dive deep into the new track, their admiration for each other, and what’s to come in 2022.
"I play a lot of Glen's tunes when I DJ—for years now. He's got a very distinct sound. I really like the way he does breakdowns," Destructo shared over Zoom from his L.A. home. "I was stoked he reached out. I always try to find stuff that other people don't play, and it's hard to find that stuff that's really good. It's always Glen's stuff."
"He sent me some stuff and I was like, 'We should do something.' And this one resonated, especially with the vocals. I'm kind of tired of doing happy party tracks. I always feel like I want to say something with the music…The words are very simple, but it [speaks to] the world that we're living in."
"I've followed Gary [Richards, a.k.a. Destructo] for years and I realized we have the same rock and roll roots," Glen added, from his home studio in Americana, São Paulo. "I think a lot about how to bring my roots into electronic music, and with Gary, we found a way to do it."
"After I started to sent some ideas, I watched the whole MasterClass from Tom Morello, who is my favorite guitarist ever. Then, with his ideas, I made more tension, with the biggest drops," Glen explained.
Destructo noted they referenced Rage Against The Machine several times in "Distorted Reality." Morello uses guitars like a synthesizer or turntable, Glen did the reverse; using synths like a guitar. Proving that the best music is often uncomplicated, the track uses scant elements to bring the dancefloor to a fever pitch: one drum, two synths, and his voice with a vocoder.
As for the collaborative process, Destructo tested the track out at his shows last year, observing and adjusting its elements after each play. He and Glen worked on a version to have ready for his Electric Zoo set last September, and when he played it, the reaction was priceless. The whole crowd waved their arms from side to side during the buildup without any prompting.
DJ Glen hasn't been able to play "Distorted Reality" out in his home country yet to see the reaction there, but it's likely to be a powerful one. He draws the connection between the big build-ups in his music and Brazilians' love of soccer:
"Brazilians like soccer so much because they like to be a part of a bigger crowd and bigger scene, they like to be together with people who think like them. And this is why the drop and the one big crowd dancing together at the same time is so special here, because everybody likes to be together as one. You need to be very clear in the music to make it happen and [when you do], it sounds like a goal in soccer stadium. if you're gonna play in Brazil, you need to make bigger goals and bigger drops. They don't care about the things you put between the drops. Just put the fucking drops and make the goals and everybody screams together. It's so cool."
When asked to describe his production style, the Brazilian powerhouse explained that beyond creating tension and massive drops, it's really about being true to himself and using the music to speak beyond words and connect with others.
"I try to be totally true with myself, using the music as a universal language. For example, Gary understands my music, the way I produce, all my references without us talking a lot about it. I don't know your language very well, I cannot express myself using the words, but using music I can be whatever I am. When I'm producing in the studio, I can be 100 percent honest with myself, [which is] different than when I'm playing, because it's a little hard to put all yourself in your set because there's more people in the room," Glen said.
"I released an album [Every Hi-End is a New Beginning in 2020] was this kind of vibe. I made it for me, not for the dance floor. There's a lot of tracks that work in the dance floor, but I made it for me and the things I believe."
For Destructo, remixing Dolly Parton's "Jolene" was a worthwhile and fruitful challenge.
"It's a big one to not fuck up.” he laughs. “When I do a remix, I don't try to change everything. I try to just figure out how can I take the song and the melody and make it work for the dance floor. It was a long process, but I was very excited and happy that Dolly liked it and that it got out," the "Shine On" producer said.
"I think it was around the same time we were working on 'Distorted Reality,' I was playing some shows and I was like, 'How am I going to play this in my set?'…I think I played it probably the same time as 'Distorted Reality,' towards the end of the set, just to see the reactions. And the reaction I got immediately for the Dolly one was like nothing I've gotten on a song ever, ever, ever—immediately, 8000 people singing the song. I was like, holy shit! It was the same thing with "Distorted Reality," when I played it, that's when you really know. We're lucky we get to make shit and play it out and see what happens."
And even as the years roll on and his discography of bangers grows, Destructo is still stoked on his big bops from the past, including 2014's "Dare You 2 Move," and "Party Up" with YG. "The only reason why I started making songs, is so I could play them when I DJ… I was just trying to get tunes that are unique to me. So they're all kind of weapons to begin with. And we're just adding more to the collection now."
You can expect more collaborative weapons from DJ Glen and Destructo in 2022, possibly an EP! And both artists have more of their own tunes up their sleeves to keep you moving all year.