Photo: Press (Intergalactic Gary)
After electro and italo disco returned to the dancefloors, a revival of the so-called West Coast sound was inevitable. Intergalactic Gary was one of the DJs behind the curious Dutch take on futuristic yet gritty music and after receiving some well-deserved attentin in the past few years, is now back with his first solo record in what seems like eons. Signs Of Disarray for the Singapore and Berlin-based Midnight Shift offers a swirling take on the recipe that made the West Coast sound so unique: both rough and uncompromising, the four tracks are also deeply seductive and playful. The same can be said about Intergalactic Gary’s contribution to our Groove podcast. Starting off slowly, it picks up more speed and fearlessly delves into different regions, from acid to UK ambient techno. It’s a wild and tender ride.
You took up DJing under the influence of italo disco around 1980. Why was this particular genre so well received in The Hague at that time and how did the local scene look like in those days?
Other than American, Canadian and European disco records that were coming to the import record stores in the late 70s and early 80s here in The Hague, there were Italo disco productions coming our way too. To name a few examples of artists that were being played at that time: Kano, Vieven Vee, Azoto, Easy Going, Macho, Revanche, Peter Jaques Band, etc. This italo disco sound was often inspired by American disco but was comparatively more synthetic. Also, the American disco and Hi-NRG sound from Patrick Cowley, Bobby Orlando, Gino Soccio etc was well received and was on constant rotation in the pirate radio stations, also at the main club in The Hague named Discotheek De Marathon. This paved the path to Italo disco productions which started arriving in 1982. Somehow this sound worked really well in The Hague, while in other cities Italo disco was ignored, since the focus was mainly on american funky and soulful disco.
In 1995, you debuted as Silverstream and after that were a part of The Parallax Corporation and the adjacent The Conservatives project together with I-F. As Intergalactic Gary, you have only recently started to release new material. There’s somewhat of a gap in your discography between 2003 and 2016 however. Why did you stop releasing music – and what made you pick it up again?
I’ve had a day time job making architectural scale-models for many years, and during those years it was not easy to find the time, energy and focus to work on music. Also, I’ve noticed that my most productive hours are in the morning or late evening, hours that are not easy to combine with a daytime job. Basically I started being productive again when I had already quit my daytime job.
Your latest EP Signs of Disarray is your first solo record under the moniker. How did the record come together and what does your studio set-up look like these days?
I was kindly asked by Kavan Spruyt who runs the Midnight Shift label if I would be interested in doing a release for his label. Since there are quite a few solid releases and talented artists on his label whom I appreciate, I was more than happy to contribute a release for the label. My studio set-up is based on hardware & modular synths, drummachines, samplers and FX processors. I do the recording, arranging and editing in Ableton Live.
One of the highlights of last year’s Dekmantel Selectors festival was your B2B with Pasiphae, with whom you released a split single in 2016. It’s not the only time you shared the decks with her recently. How would you characterise your work together behind the decks, and what makes a B2B in your eyes?
Initially Pasiphae and I were planning to play a B2B session before Selectors, since we haven’t played together in a while and we thought it’d make the four hour set at the festival feel more smooth and fun. The truth is we never managed to do it since last summer as it was pretty busy for both of us – still i like to think it was a fun B2B nevertheless! We both share a lot of similar tastes in music, like to shift in different directions during our sets and play tracks that the other might not play – which to me adds a good deal of unpredictability to the B2B and therefore keeps it interesting.
You have a very idiosyncratic way of mixing, doesn’t that create friction when you’re playing together with other DJs?
I think it’s good to step out of your comfort zone every now and then, and B2Bs can challenge you in a nice way.
What was the idea behind your contribution to the Groove podcast?
The idea behind my Groove mix was to make a mixture of recent discoveries and re-discoveries, different moods and vibes.
Last but not least: Where can we see you behind the decks in the near future and what are your plans as a producer?
I’ll be playing at Oumaumau in Amsterdam alongside the Disco Total crew tonight. Coming up gigs will be including a mini tour across the Atlantic ocean, then London, Helsinki and Berlin for the Midnight Shift label night. The plan is to be more productive in the studio and finish more tracks this year. Some upcoming releases for this new year will be: a remix for Imre Kiss on the Dalamata Daniel label, a split release on Dalamata Daniel Split, which be a collab with Pasiphae and a various release on the Brokntoys parent label Casting Shadows.
Stream: Intergalactic Gary – Groove Podcast 240
01. Plaid – All To Get Her (Intergalactic Gary Edit)
02. Solitary Dancer – Generation Exit
03. Special Request – Panaflex Sunrise
04. Memorial Home – Fade
05. Intergalactic Gary – Invisible Intruder
06. Killerhertz – Love Bytes
07. Final Cut – She Destroys
08. Space Opera – Space Opera Theme (Intergalactic Gary Edit)
09. Konstruktivists – Konstruktivists (Intergalactic Gary Edit)
10. Cyrnai – Digital Grit Box (Intergalactic Gary Edit)
11. The Black Dog – Utopian Dream
12. The Connection Machine – Blue Genes Copyshop
13. Memorial Home – Radio Static
14. Steffe Lewry – Mutate
15. Le Jeane Fluck – Lies and Deception
16. Dibu-Z – Breakaway Civilization
17. Carlos Peron – The End (Intergalactic Gary Edit)
18. Trevor Linde – Flash of Dignity
19. Final Cut – Open Your Eyes
20. Two – To The Moon
21. The Black Dog – Virtual (Gods in Space)
22. Vanderstrooik – Espionage (Pasiphae Remix)
23. Mark Franklin – Release To The System