#97 - Gary Beck
EPM Podcast 97 comes from BEK Audio boss Gary Beck. As As a regular fixture at the world's top clubs and festivals, Glasgow born producer and DJ Gary Beck has long been established as a primary figure in techno. Known and respected for his unique sound, he has gained support from the best names in the business and released music on some of the genre's leading labels, institutions such as Drumcode, Cocoon and Saved as well as his own BEK Audio. Gary’s take on the EPM Podcast is very much the sound of BEK Audio. Featuring numerous versions of his own productions, remixes and edits his tech-funk sound cuts through the mix as Gary takes on S-File, Planetary Assault Systems, DJ Shufflemaster, Hardfloor, Adonis and his recently released remix of Mark Broom’s anthemic ‘King’ for EPM. EPM Podcast 97 is BEK Audio!
Since his emergence onto the scene in 2007, Beck has accumulated an impressive list of achievements. Highlights include a BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix and 2 Boiler Room session's, as well as numerous collaborations with similarly exceptional talents such as Green Velvet, Mark Broom and Speedy J. 2012 saw the release of his debut album 'Bring a Friend' on the legendary Soma Records label. The last few years have seen Gary Beck's career trajectory continue to soar, with shows at renowned clubs such as Womb Tokyo, Fabric London, Awakenings, Output NYC and Timewarp, to name a few. In addition to a packed performance schedule, Beck spends time as head of BEK Audio, an imprint that has quickly become one of the most revered techno labels on the scene.
Gary Beck’s remix of Mark Broom’s ‘King’ is out now on EPMMusic.
Q&A with Gary Beck
1. How did you approach the mix? Was it a different process to how you would DJ in a club?
I wanted to use this mix as a platform to let the listener hear what I'm getting up to in the studio right now, as there's lots of unreleased music in there. I haven't released too much lately so I decided to let people know that I am still being productive! The mix also features some tried and tested club tracks that I'm really feeling right now.
2. As a DJ, where is the balance between reading the crowd and playing what you want?
If you're going into a set playing what you want, you must have complete faith in the music. It's great when you have a real open minded audience who allow you to go your own way, however when it doesn't quite go to plan, you have to adapt, so a back up plan is always required. I like to play lots of my own material as I try to keep the set as unique as possible. I've had occasions where after 5 minutes things had to change! Reading the crowd is one of the most important features a DJ should have.
3. Was music always part of your family life? Did your parents or any siblings have a musical influence?
Yes it's always been there. My Mum has been a really influential person throughout my life, especially when it comes to music. She would be coming home with cassettes from the likes of Carl Cox and John Digweed during the mid 90s, while I was still playing the Sega Megadrive! Football was always the main thing in my life however music was always around me. As a kid I played trumpet and later went on to do highers in drumming and keyboard.
4. What were your first clubbing experiences like? What were the key clubs in your music education?
I can't remember a great deal about it, however I know it was in the Arches Glasgow. The line up that night was John Digweed and Boy George! My sister decided I should come along with her friends to check it out and I was completely blown away. I knew at that point I had found my calling! After that I went almost every week to various other clubs in Glasgow such as The Sub Club, The Temple, and basically anywhere that played house and techno. I went around everywhere trying to hear what the DJ's were playing. I remember always pestering Silicone Soul's Graeme Reedie but he was great with me. He gave me some brilliant advice and I'll always be grateful to him for that.
5. How did it feel to release your debut album ‘Bring a Friend’ on Glasgow’s legendary Soma?
It was a huge moment for me. I've always been a massive fan of Soma Records. I remember when I used to work in an office just round the corner from their office. My job at the time was a Recruitment Assistant in the Oil & Gas industry and I would walk past every lunchtime dreaming of being part of their set up. I would regularly hand in demos with my arm shaking like a leaf as I passed it over to Glenn Gibbons! So to finally release my album with them was an extremely proud moment. They are a great bunch in there and all the success has been so well deserved.
6. You now seem to be concentrating on BEK Audio after releasing on numerous labels over the years. Was that an important step for your sound?
Yes, I felt it was something that I had to do. I wanted a platform where I could really express myself and take risks, without having to worry about labels coming back with a yes or no. The initial idea was to release only my own work, however that didn't quite materialise! I heard so much great music being sent to the label, so I decided to open the label up to other artists. So far I've been lucky enough to have top artists such as Robert Hood/Floorplan, Mark Broom, Slam and many more.
7. Just what is it about Glasgow and Techno?
Glasgow has turned into a real breeding ground for Artists and DJs. It's hard to pin down exactly what it is! All I know is that we have one of the best crowds in the world along with extremely talented producers and DJs.
8. How do you switch off?
I moved to the countryside a few years ago and it's a great place to chill out after a busy weekend. I have a wee boy who's a year and a half and he also helps me switch off from the music side of things. It never lasts long though, I'm always itching to get back in the studio after a day or two!
9. Best gig of 2017 so far?
Cordoba was incredible, it was my first time there and the energy was just amazing. It was my birthday that night and having 800 people in a club singing happy birthday was a real joy.
10. Who would play you in ‘Gary Beck – The Movie?’
James McAvoy is some actor, Scottish as well ;)
EPM Podcast 97 Tracklist – Gary Beck
1. Gary Beck - Sendos
2. S-File - Shelter
3. Alias - Untitled
4. Planetary Assault Systems - Desert Races
5. DJ Shufflemaster – ReWeekender (Gary Beck Remix)
6. Mark Broom - King (Gary Beck Remix)
7. Adonis - We're Rocking Down the House (Gary Beck Bootleg)
8. Gary Beck - Just One More
9. Gary Beck - Sythen
10. Gary Beck - NTX
11. Flug - Space Buildings
12. Hardfloor - Rosininbrot (Gary Beck Bootleg)
13. Gary Beck - Santos Basin
14. Vonda7 - Cuckoo Night (Berlin Version)
15. Gary Beck - Patio
16. Jeroen Search - Explaine Variation