Mike Guggenbuehl is the man behind the electronic hip hop soul project Guggenz (pronounced: Goo-genz) out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. His sound is defined by beats that pop mixed with his own melodic synthesization and, of course, sampling inventory that gives his production a special edge. The artists out of Philos Records each mix the old with the new via sample-based production doing so each in their own unique manner. We've covered a few of the Philos Artists and knew we had to invite Mike on as well.
The sound that Guggenz has created is defined by emotional sampling and melodies mix with chilled out and, often, more uptempo hiphop beats. The world of electronic hiphop has taken notice to the Guggenz sound with features on Pretty Lights Music's The Hot Sh*t Podcast and exclusives through Chillhop Music, to name a few. Now, we have Guggenz in the Stereofox Mini mix, so plug in and get ready for some smooth sailing.
Hey Mike, thanks for joining the minimix series. The mini mix is amazing. First, what’s your story?
What’s up? My name is Mike Guggenbuehl and I produce music under the name Guggenz. I make sample-based music that is somewhere in between electronic, hip hop, funk, soul, and jazz music.
I see that a lot of your album art is representing Minneapolis hard… what is it about your Minneapolis love that inspires you?
I actually grew up in La Crosse, Wisconsin but have been in Minneapolis for a little while now. I don’t know, Minneapolis is great. There is a ton of appreciation for art here that probably is unmatched for a city of its size. It’s just a super scenic place and I like to capture what I experience from day-to-day in my art. I think that when you make art, your environment will have some sort of impact on you no matter what. Also - for those who aren’t from here, my logo is the Minneapolis skyline.
I've observed that some recurring themes in your music. What do you hope listeners get out of your tunes at the end of the day?
Hmm, that’s tough to answer. I like to think that meaning in art is something that is existential. I don’t necessarily sit down and plan each track to have some sort of meaning before I write them. Often times it is just a product of my mood and what I feel that is out of my control. I hope that people feel something from my music, no matter what that may be.
You mix a lot of eras into your music - do you have any particular influences that help shape your music?
Yeah, I really take influence from genres all across the board. I really like 90’s hip hop and take a lot of influence from the production that came from that era. In terms of what I like to sample, music from the late sixties to early seventies is my favorite. There is a kind of organic timbre to music from this time that mixes well when combined with electronic elements.
How did you get on board with Philos Records? How long have you been with the Philos gang, actually?
I saw a bunch of artists that I really liked were releasing music through them so I reached out to them when I had finished an EP. My first release on Philos was Pass the FeelingOn, which came out last fall. Something like eight months now, I believe. I’ll be playing a show with in Wisconsin with Artifakts next month, which will be awesome.
What about the Philos crew has given you unique ingredients to grow as an artist and person?
Yeah, each of us on Philos brings a unique sound and I’m a fan of all the artists on the label. I’m not gonna promise anything, but there may be some collaborations in the mix moving forward.
That's sick, man. So, what’s the next move for Guggenz?
I just put a track out that will be on the Chillhop Records summer compilation album, which will have a bunch of other dope artists on it. I’ll be playing at a couple of music festivals
Anything else on your mind that we didn’t cover – Wisdom, shout-outs, or last thoughts?
Thanks for doing this interview with me! Do what you love and focus on the details.