Slam, Gaiser (live), Lee Van Dowski, Optimo, Dusty Kid, Vince Watson, Harvey Mckay
Following a string of finely crafted releases on Minus and Resopal (as Fraktion), GAISER has rapidly become one of the most exciting and sought after producers of his generation. With an instinctive feel for the intricate mechanics of minimalist sound sculpture, his music contains the perfect balance between rhythmical energy and sonic finesse. Just check out tracks like 'Egress' from his first Minus EP or his classic remix of Troy Pierce’s 25 bitches. Growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Gaiser spent most of his teenage weekends staying with his older brother in Detroit, hanging out with friends and going to gigs. He’d grown up listening to punk and played drums in a few different punk bands but around the age of 14, he attended a techno event for the first time. Richie Hawtin was at the controls and Jon was completely blown away by the energy of the music and fascinated by the originality of the sounds being used. It was so new and fresh to him as a musician that he needed to figure out how this music was made, so he quit the bands and began collecting drum machines, synths and fx units, finally moving to Detroit upon graduating from high school. For the next few years, if he wasn’t at home patiently programming his machines and perfecting his studio skills, he could be found digging through crates of vinyl at a place called Record Time in Detroit. Plus 8 had an office in the back of the building, so it wasn’t long before he became friends with Tim Price, Clark Warner and the rest of the crew and from this chance meeting he has developed into an integral part of the Minus family. It’s not hard to see why. His natural energy and rhythm are clearly responsible for the irresistible drum patterns that drive his productions forward but it’s also the subtleties - the delicate melodies and dramatic changes in atmosphere that give his sound such a distinctive edge. Music has always been in his blood, his early punk rock exploits counter-balanced by the more considered approach needed to learn piano and symphonic percussion and by drawing on these earlier experiences, he has avoided the genre’s more self-referential clichés. On top of his prolific studio output, Gaiser has spent much of 2006 touring Europe, the US and Japan, and 2007 promises to be even busier as demand for his live set grows. What stands out about his performances is his ability to make an immediate connection with the audience, soaking up the vibe and playing according to their reactions. He’s a musician who lives off his instincts, channeling his moods and emotions directly into his computer, translating new experiences and sensations into sound. There simply is no other way.
Lee Van Dowski
Lee Van Dowski is a young French artist who settled in Geneva with his wife and their two children in 2000 to fine-tune his production skills. For the last 5 years he has dedicated himself to composing punchy electronic pieces.Highly curious of all music styles and perhaps inspired by a stepfather well versed in musique concrète, he learned instruments at an early age. Also, LVD has actively participated to the massive and now legendary events of southern France in the mid-90s. Lee Van Dowski became a certified sound engineer, specialising in audio design. He has developed evident film soundtrack capabilities.Producing with classic British electronica influences such as the Warp and the Rephlex labels, he successfully links German and British electronic influences to develop a distinctive identity, keeping both a sophisticated melodic flair and a genuinely danceable production style. His sound now goes well beyond complex patterns and organic bleeps, connecting with funky minimal techno.
Optimo started in 1997, though Twitch and Jonnie Wilkes had each been DJing separately for ten years. Both had started out playing different music - Twitch - electro, noisy rock and the eighties New York punk funk of Liquid Liquid (from who they borrowed their name) and Wilkes reggae, funk and jazz. Then techno came along and Twitch co founded Scotland's first techno club, Pure, which ran for ten years, became legendary, was the first club in Europe to book Jeff Mills, Green Velvet and Richie Hawtin. The club also spawned thee labels which released music from amongst others Coil, Chris and Cosey, Jimi Tenor and Orlando Voorn.
In 1997 they founded the clubnight Optimo as a reaction to 4/4 techno all night long. Anything goes was the philosophy and the club night proved to be a hit. "I didn't care whether it would work or not, or whether anyone would go, it was just something I had to do," says Twitch. "I love DJing with all my heart but at this point I was so bored with seamless mixing - it was all just too obvious, too predictable and too easy - that I had to do something to preserve my (in)sanity."
Don't expect easy club hits at a night at Optimo, depending on the duo's mood, the sound will veer from sleazy funk to post punk, electro, 50's swing and anything inbetween. According to their bio, "Serious DJs would come and watch in horror while several times, seasoned trainspotters would come up to Twitch and tell him 'You've lost the plot' or 'You can't play this in the Sub Club - it's sacrielige!' or 'But... you started Pure, how can you do this?'. People would get really angry about it which of course only fuelled the flames!"
These days Optimo is taking the sound to the world with dates across Europe, America and Japan. And while Twitch and Wilkes remain the residents, each week Glasgow is treated to Optimo guests, who have included the likes of LCD Soundsystem, Atom Heart, Luciano, Four Tet and Justus Kohncke.
DUSTY KID [aka Paolo Alberto Lodde] was born in the first half of the decade of the 80’s. As a new ‘enfant prodige’ he immediately showed his natural attitude for the variegated ‘music world’. At 10, after just one year of private lessons of the basic notions of piano and violin, he was admitted directly to the 6? year of the piano course in the conservatory of his native city. Following the accademic experience, his tasks moved gradually from the austere classical world to the electronic system, free from binds and traditional old-fashioned diktats. DUSTY KID started to manipulate synthesizers, samplers and sequencers, and he realized that one passion was growing and growing: the ardor for arranging and producing his own compositions. He released his first single ‘I Found A Reason’ at 19 on the English label Lowered Recordings, and then he produced various singles and remixes for Mutiny UK, Robbie Rivera and Trinity Hi-Fi. The first official single under the aegis of the pseudonym DUSTY KID was ‘The Summer of Love’.
But it’s during 2004 that Dusty Kid creates the project Duoteque with DJ Andrea Ferlin and releases numerous EPs on Boxer Recordings and the tracks were immediately included in the DJ sets of some of the most important names, like Richie Hawtin, Tiefschwarz, Ricardo Villalobos, Domenic Eulberg, Sven Vath and Magda.
After the Duoteque experience Paolo decides to take his own way and to release his own productions as DUSTY KID.
First release was the NEW ORDINAMENT EP on Motivo, followed by a second EP in 2007. 2007 is also the year of various releases as Dusty Kid on labels such as Kling Klong ‘Signal ’63 EP’, Systematic ‘Tsunamy’/‘Milk’, Boxer Recordings ‘Anatome EP Vol.1’ and Southern Fried Records ‘The Cat’ / ‘The Kitten’, all hugely supported by DJS all over the world and still doing damage on the dancefloors and in the charts, as well as getting amazing reviews from press.
But there’s still time to the end of the year?!and while producing tracks for his debut album and the various gigs around the world, Paolo has in the mean time placed some more tracks due for release prior to the end of the year as well as delivered some amazing remixes for the like of Josh Gabriel and The Droyds (the latter for #1 dance Italian label Rebirth)?!?!?!
The disruptive age of 7 is where Vince Watson began his journey towards electronic music. After excelling at music in secondary school, Vince gradually opened up into hip hop and early house music before electronic and industrial elements finally caught his attention. His school needed a new DJ to play at the local weekend disco and this is where the story really started taking shape. With a selection of records unlike any other young DJ around, it wasn’t long before Vince realised he wanted a musical career. Just as the House scene broke large in 87 / 88’, the experimentation began with other styles and the stage was set for what was to be his introduction to Detroit Techno and Electronica, just in time for the summer of love, albeit too young at the time.
As the 90’s took shape, the build up of music equipment started. A course in Music Technology was attended, learning about a new technology called MIDI as well as regular trips for Piano Lesson’s to the Royal Academy for Art, Music and Drama in Glasgow. Vince graduated with an HNC in Music Technology in 1993 and the mission to release his own record was set in motion. It was two difficult years that past until he was able to buy the extra equipment he needed.
Finally, in 1995 Vince decided to send his rough first demos away, and to his delight none other than Dave Angel had offered him a contract with his label Rotation. Overjoyed, he realized it was the start of something he had always desired. The 1st Innovations EP was a great starting point and was to put Vince’s name on the techno map.
Harvey McKay is one of a school of new young artists to come out from Glasgow’s thriving underground club circuit. Music runs through Harvey’s blood. With a drummer for a father he was constantly exposed to rhythm even in his days in the womb and eventually began his own exploits in primary school at the age of 10. While other kids were busy learning Maths and English, Harvey was cutting about with all the wrong crowds and learning how to mix on his first decks. It eventually paid off when he earned his first residency in Tin Pin Alley at the less-than-legal age of 16. Since then his DJing career has been on the up, touring with Smirnoff Ice and M8 Magazine (now Tilllate.com) before he finally made the decision to turn his ear to production.
Making his own music came naturally to Harvey, who uses a set-up of Logic, Cubase, Ableton, Reason and a rather mean Moog to compose his work. He was quickly picked up by Jon Virtue and had his first release on Virtue’s Artificial Silence label. Since then he has gone on to release on Perc Trax, Cubism, and now Soma, and is soon to feature on Mihalis Safras’ Material Series amongst others. His influences range from Alex Under, Mark Romboy, James Holden and Soma label-bosses, Slam. Ironically enough one of Harvey’s first attempts at production was attempting to recreate the sounds he heard on Slam’s Alien Radio album, in particular the deep, techy bass frequencies.
His sound now is clean and crisp, but undoubtedly dancefloor-friendly. Often described as minimal, Harvey avoids this tag. Although his sounds and textures used are distinctly minimal in nature, Harvey deliberately swerves the minimal scene, choosing instead to pad his tracks right out to their fullest, falling somewhere in between techno and techno.
The skeletal clicks and beeps are all there but they’re mixed with some perfectly deep basslines, glitchy melodies, chunky kicks and terse snares, combining to a floor-shattering effect. These are all glued together by Harvey’s masterful touch and his keen knowledge for how to drive the floor into a frenzy. Drop any one of his productions at peaktime and the crowd will go off the hook.