A Sit Down With DJ Gorgon City

Gordon City have already reached great heights relatively early on in their career, yet it seems as though they are still just getting started. Shortly after Foamo (Kye Gibbon) and RackNRuin (Matt Robson-Scott) began gaining a little local traction in their native London, their combined effort swiftly propelled them to the top of the global dance scene. Now doubling as revered performers and chart-topping tastemakers, the British duo has big plans for the future.

 

“When we first started, we all kind of went through the same process together. Our live shows are kind of similar, in the way that it’s electronic music, but it’s very much like a proper live band.”

 

How did Gorgon City form?

We met because we both had the same DJ agent and ended up playing at the same nights together. One night we had the idea of getting in the studio and making a tune just for fun. Many dance music producers do that – collaborate just for a laugh and put it out as an EP. That was the original plan, there was no thought into making it into an actual thing. But it worked really well and we finished tracks every time we’d meet. The sound was pretty different to our solo stuff so we decided to give it a real go.

Who are some of your influences?

We were influenced by a lot of underground house music, obviously underground UK dance music over the years, things like drum and bass and jungle. I think just influenced by everything, like growing up, like what my parents played at home, what my brother was into. Just everything from reggae to trip hop.

When you first met, was there ever a ‘did we just become best friends?!’ moment? Any songs or artists in particularly you both bonded over?

Not really sure, but after we did a live PA with Yasmin for the first time and everyone knew the words to “Real”, I think there was that kind of moment! After working with people like Basement Jaxx & The Klaxons it’s often a pinch-yourself moment.

What are your favorite cities and venues to play, and are there any specific places you’re excited to return to?

We always have an amazing time in San Diego; we’ve got an amazing following there. I don’t really know why, we just feel very welcome there and our shows sell out really fast every time. I think it might have something to do with CRSSD Festival, we’ve always had an in with those guys, and we did a great headline show a couple years ago there, maybe that helps. Also, we love playing in all the major cities, like New York, LA, San Francisco, Chicago. And also we loving coming to Austin, Texas. We love touring in America, and I can speak for Kye as well, I know he’s really looking forward to this tour. He can’t wait to get back out to America, so we’re really looking forward to it. It’s gonna be a big one.

How did you get into dance music?

I grew up in the UK surrounded by my brother’s crew of friends and listening to their rave tape packs. I became really intrigued by jungle and hardcore, bought some rubbish decks when I was 14, started buying records and making my own music soon after. I was always into other music through my parents but after hearing jungle and garage, that UK London underground kind of sound, it got me really into dance music. I started working on my parent’s rubbish laptop with fruity loops and Logic and went from there.

How did you get hooked up with Black Butter and how’s it been working with them so far?

I have been working with Black Butter since it’s beginning doing my solo stuff, alongside Henry Village who managed the project. Kye then got involved when we started collaborating. It’s been a great home for the development of Gorgon City and Greg, Henry, Ollie & Joe are wicked people to work with.

What are your thoughts on the current state of dance music?

There’s a lot of amazing music being made at the moment and some people are jumping on the band wagon and doing a similar thing. That happens with all types of music, particularly dance music, but I think the real solid producers and artists – their tracks stand the test of time because they sound original. In America, EDM doesn’t feel very European or British. It’s a very different vibe. We went to the club and didn’t want to see the DJ, just hear the DJ. We don’t care what they look like, we just wanted to dance and listen to the music. So EDM doesn’t feel very relevant to what we’re about. But then again, if they’re gonna embrace our sound, then great. Watching Disclosure at Coachella this year felt like theirs was the most important set. 50,000 American kids dancing to garage like they were in a garage club in London but they were actually in Palm Springs. It’s quite weird but amazing to see it.

Speaking of your music in general, your quality songwriting has led to popular success that many electronic artists do not reach. However, your mentality for your music and shows seems very club oriented. So, when you’re kind of straddling that line, where do you guys see yourself in the scene?

We love being able to do both sides of it. We love to be able to do a track that gets on the charts and the radio and the BBC playlist, but also we love playing at Amnesia every Tuesday and playing techno and house to thousands of people. We don’t really see ourselves in the commercial scene or the underground scene, we just see us as Gorgon City, like the act in itself. But we love being in the house music kind of family of DJs that we’re friends with. People we see in Ibiza every week, people like MK, Duke Dumont, and Solardo and people like that. We’re part of the same scene, we play together all the time. We might have a bit more commercial aspect to our brand but we’re still in that scene, in the UK house music world and we definitely feel part of it.

 I would love to talk about your album Sirens– congratulations! What was it like working with Jimmy Napes on Unmissable?

Yeah, that was crazy. He tends to work in different ways than a lot of writers and that was interesting to work with. It’s hard to explain, but it’s just the way he comes up with the melodies – it was great to work with him because we learned so much. We also recorded a choir on that track – it was our first time but Jimmy taught us a lot. So it was a great experience.

Having spent a decent amount of time touring the states, what are some of your favorite things about the US? 

The crowds in the US are great as they know how far you’ve come to play the shows etc. The energy is very high in the parties. Some of the clubs and scenes are amazing and have their own unique vibe, like a warehouse party in Brooklyn, is completely different to club in downtown Chicago.

Advice for young DJs / producers? 

It’s pretty simple. You need a lot of passion and a lot of work. Be honest with yourself, and produce original music. Do not follow a fashion, produce music that you like. 

Questions? Comments? We want to know:@djfollower