Guns 'n' Bombs
Electro-house duo conquers the underground scene with Torq
Guns 'n' Bombs has been called "America's answer to Justice"—and the Los Angeles-based production team boasts the credits and accolades to back it up. In just two short years, the group has released a string of highly successful remixes (Chromeo, The Gossip, Klaxons) and secured a record deal with ultra-hip French label Kitsuné. Comprised of Ima Robot bassist Filip "Turbotito" Nikolic and Chicago DJ Johnny Love, Guns 'n' Bombs is known for taking underground clubs by storm and rocking the crowd with their ambitious style of robotic electronica. Their hit single "Nothing Is Getting Us Anywhere" practically dares you not to dance—pulsating with digitized basslines and infectious synth grooves. With a production rig based on Torq DJ software, Guns 'n' Bombs continues to attract international attention for their powerhouse performances and dance-friendly remixes.
Performing Live with Torq
The Guns 'n' Bombs sound was born from a musical melting pot of hip-hop, electro house and disco influences. To reproduce tracks live, Turbotito uses Torq DJ software for advanced control over his sound clips and backing tracks. "I used to produce a lot of hip-hop in Denmark and we always dreamed about having the vocals on vinyl so we could cut them up," he explains. "Torq has made all of that possible. We can record a live vocal bite, add effects to it, drop it back in a sample clip and instantly scratch it into our set. Torq allows us to go beyond emulating vinyl by doing something that's impossible with traditional records. For Guns 'n' Bombs stuff, it's great to manipulate sound clips using vinyl control. I can just throw down my hand for edits and speed control—it's really fun for experimenting."
Turbotito was an early adopter of digital DJ technology—he initially tried out Serato and Final Scratch before discovering Torq DJ software. "Torq has extremely accurate pitch controls and beat calculations, making it superior to the other DJ applications," he says. "It's super precise, which makes the loops tighter as well. The looping is the best I've tried on any system—including CD DJ players and other DJ software."
For live DJ performances, Turbotito enjoys the intuitive user interface that Torq DJ software provides. "I never really understood the waveform display on Serato," he relates. "Every time I use it for correcting stuff, I kind of make it worse. I like the waveform display in Torq much better. If you are unsure of what's going on with your beat matching, it's so easy to see which track is behind. It makes DJing a visual experience."
Unique Studio Sounds
Turbotito has developed a unique production style that involves tweaking and manipulating original sounds using a variety of hardware and software tools, including Torq DJ software. "I never use sampled material," he states. "When I first started making electronic music, I bought a sample CD—but after six months I started hearing those clips and sounds in other people's music. So now we only use drum samples, no loops.
"I use hardware synths and software plug-ins to make the majority of the Guns 'n' Bombs sounds. If you just open a synth and start playing it, it's going to be totally recognizable. We alter all the sounds we use because I don't like playing the presets that come with the synthesizer. The looping controls and effects in Torq are great for altering prerecorded synths and drum tracks to create something unique. Torq lets you make your own sound."
For more information, check out myspace.com/gunsnbombs.