#49 - Greg Gow
After Colin Dale’s journey through tech-house we now hand the controls over to Canadian techno aficianado Greg Gow. Celebrating the release of his and Gareth Whitehead’s ‘Vacant’ EP this week on EPM, Greg delivers a tight techno playlist that includes Robert Hood, Mark Broom, Speedy J, Benjamin Damage, Carl Taylor, Tom Trago, Arnaud Texier, Silent Servent, Ø [Phase] and tracks from Gow himself, building the pressure into a heady techno punch.
Toronto-based Greg Gow is one of Canada’s leading techno electronic dance music artists. His international stature is well established and growing rapidly – as a DJ, producer, promoter and label manager. Currently Greg holds down DJ residencies at some of Toronto’s leading electronic dance music destinations, including Footwork, and Guvernment. As well, he is an ambassador for Canadian electronic music around the world, with recent DJ performances in Japan, Germany, Italy, Holland, Mexico and South America. In the USA Greg has also made appearances in Miami, Detroit, New York, Chicago and San Diego.
In the studio Greg combines analogue and digital equipment to compose banging yet soulful Detroit style Techno. Many of his prominent releases have been on Restructured, a highly respected international record label, which Greg founded and continues to build. Restructured highlights a wide variety of premier artists from around the globe. In late 2009 Greg had his first of two releases, The Pilgrimage, an EP re-launch, for Transmat, the world-famous label of Detroit's Derrick May, one of the Godfathers of Techno. The second Transmat release in 2011 features Twilight Soul. Both have been highly acclaimed.
Increasingly Greg’s creative focus has been on crafting remixes and original compositions for a number of innovative small and medium sized international labels including: Bulletdodge (UK), Jeton (Turkey), Abstract Theory (Italy), and Movement Sound Recordings (Italy). This year sees him deliver EPs and remixes on Kevin Saunderson’s legendary KMS; one of the Netherlands longest running Techno labels 100 % Pure as well as his brand new collaborative EP with Gareth Whitehead for EPM. As Greg explains, “Gareth and I have combined forces with a vision of making moving, groovy techno with a touch of soul” – as evident on The Vacant‘ EP which is released this week and features a superb remix from Sandwell District and Jealous God man, Silent Servant.
EPM Podcast 49 – Greg Gow tracklist
1. Intro - Unknown
2. Gareth Whitehead & Greg Gow - Vacant (Silent Servant Remix) - EPM
3. Mark Broom - Afterlife - Beard Man
4. NHP Pascal - Shoreline - Shape 01
5. Carl Taylor - Debbie's Groove - EPM
6. Speedy J - Electro Deluxe - Novamute
7. Jerome Sydenham - Bicept - Desolat
8. Robert Hood - Drive (The Age Of Automation) Phase Nocturnal mix - Music Man
9. Floorplan - Baby Baby - M-Plant
10. Greg Gow - Flood Zone - Restructured
11. Benjamin Damage - 010x (Truncate Remix) - 50 Weapons
12. Brickman, Kirill Matveev - Exalted B (Greg Gow Remix) Bullet: Dodge
13. Arnaud Texier - Let's Turn It Out - Bullet: Dodge
14. Greg Gow - Reflektionz - KMS
15. Secluded- Mercy (ROD Remix Two) - Soma
16. Tom Trago - Two Together - Rush Hour
17. Jerome Sydenham - Tha Bone – Desolat
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Q&A with Greg Gow
1. Please give us a quick run through the music in the mix. What inspired you to choose these tracks?
The tracks that I picked reflect what I feel is good music. - They have energy, a touch of soul and work the dancefloor. As well I picked some recent tracks that I have either remixed such as the Exalted track for Bullet:Dodge and a couple of originals. One on my own label Restructured called ‘Flood Zone’ and ‘Reflektionz’ which came out this past July on Kevin Saunderson's KMS.
2. How has Toronto embraced techno over the years? There seems to be a strong connection between the two.
The Toronto scene has gone through lots of phases with electronic music... Currently there are a great deal of electronic events happening every weekend. However most of them are wack (by wack meaning very commercial). The better quality shows do happen but once a month every. The next quality techno event I am playing is October 05 I am opening for Marcel Dettmann @ Footwork which is hosted by Platform. Plus in November some friends and I are bringing in Truncate for a proper tight jam.
3. Growing up in Canada what were your first experiences of dance music? Was there a ready made scene when you started?
I actually began doing a radio show back in the mid 1990s playing mostly garage and deep house. Then the Rave scene hit Toronto around 1996 and I began to listen and experience other artists. Industry was by far the best club at this time and still today in my opinion they brought in everyone from Carl Cox to Jeff Mills plus house and trance DJs. During that time I met two brothers Fred and Derrick Ortencio who ran a production company called DETOR which focused on techno events in Toronto and Detroit (because they were going to school there at the time). I started going down to Detroit to their events and was exposed to artists such as Derrick May, Rob Hood, Murat, James Ruskin, Kevin Saunderson… The rest is history and after being exposed to the Detroit sound I found my sound. By the late 1990 early 2000 a good friend of mine named John Lickorish threw a techno event every month for about 3-4 years. We brought in all the big names under a company called Mono.
4. How in your eyes has the music landscape changed since then?
Technology has made it too easy to make music and DJ now..LOL. Every week thousands of tracks come out which back in the day would never have made it to vinyl... Plus with Traktor and Serato anyone who owns mp3s can be a DJ and they may not even know how to mix two records if they had to use CDJs or 1200s - what a joke. Don't get me wrong if you embrace the technology properly and use Traktor in a creative way then that's cool…but most of the time that’s not the case. I have tried the computer thing but feel it takes away from the performance as well. Currently I play USB and CDs. I would rather hear some one fuck up live than hear a computer playing the whole night. What happened to the days when you saw artists like Jeff Mills with three tables locked and synching a 909 to them. Just saying, times have changed.
5. When you set up Restructured was there a plan other than for it to be a platform for your music?
Restructured from day 1- Mission was to release good music from artists from around the world that focused on the sound that I liked. Which is Detroit Influenced, records that have an element of soul and nice grooves and move dance floors. Each year I have brought on board new artists This year I have material coming from Gareth Whitehead (Scotland), P-Ben (France), Get Serious (Italy), Mikael K (Sweden) Antwon Faulkner (Detroit) and some where in the mix I will slide in a release from myself or a remix.
6. What for you is the essence of a great techno record?
A good record is a record that has energy, something unique about it and has to have feeling. Now an amazing record is something that is timeless. That could have been made many years ago and you could play today and people will go crazy like Joey Beltram's Energy Flash, Mr May's Strings of Life, Inner City's Good Life and even Joris Voorn's album on Sino ‘Future History’.
7. You recently started collaborating with Bullet:dodge’s Gareth Whitehead. How did that come about?
Gareth contacted me for a remix about 1.5 years ago after that we just stayed in touch and the relationship developed into US doing some collabs
8. You’ve now released on both KMS and Transmat, two of the most highly regarded techno labels of all time. Which label would you most like to add to that pairing?
I would love to do some stuff for Soma. I’m really into what they are putting out these days.
9. Which new producers or DJs have recently caught your eye?
DJ 3000, Bleak, Luis Flores, Truncate and Silent Servant.
10. Please give your top 5 of Canadian producers?
1. Carlo Lio
2. Mateo Murphy
3. The Junkies
4. Kenny Glasgow