“It’s like building racing cars; if you build racing cars then you want to drive them.” - Gab Olivier on, of all things, DJing.
The quote above might seem a little obscure, however once you’ve listened to Gab’s tunes, or heard one of his sets, then obscure is generally not the word you end up fishing for. Gab is one of a small bunch of Southerners who’s not only producing some of the dirtiest, darkest and most forward thinking tunes around, but also taking the challenge to the dancefloor with their own studio creations.
“It’s like a little kid with a new toy – I don’t know how to explain it really,” Gab muses when asked what it’s like playing your own tunes out in a club.
Collaborating with artists like Ivan Gough, Jason Digby and even local Canberra export Jono Fernandez, Gab pushes the deeper and more minimal approach, showcased in style on his mix disc of the new Zero Tolerance double pack, No Nonsense.
“Zero Tolerance is no commerciality, no cheese. Its fairly serious music, but not necessarily not happy, there’s some fairly happy tracks [on No Nonsense] but no top forty,” Gab chuckles. “It’s a fairly good minimal selection.”
“[Minimal tracks involve] good solid f**ked up sounds. We make minimal records – we’re not putting too much in – so therefore they have to be good sounds. If you’ve got one sound there for a while and it’s not doing anything then it gets pretty boring. You’ve really got to search for the right sounds: obviously good loops, good kicks, snares, good solid minimal grooves. You find a good groove then build it up around it with flashes of noise and sound, it’s hard to explain.”
And the minimal groove, the underlying funk, seems to be a constant element in Gab’s agenda, be it behind the decks or in the studio, probably best illustrated by his primo work with the aptly named Deep Funk Project with Gough. But when does music become too deep and minimal and disappear up its own arse with a ping noise?
“You have to know how far you can push the boundaries [and] know the limits. You don’t want to haunt anybody on the dancefloor, you have to keep it deep and dark, but you’ve also got to know how to get the funk out of it. Otherwise it gets too serious; it’s not fun anymore. You’ve got to entertain.”
No Tolerance is out now through DMC.