#74 - Gary Martin / ADE 2015 special
Gary Martin is one of the unsung heroes of Detroit techno. Since 1993 he has had his own label, Teknotika and by 1996 he had already released 20 EPs and began to DJ and perform live internationally. Whether as Gigi Galaxy, Mole People or as Gary Martin, he is known for his use of emotional strings, pounding grooves and deep melodies. His production technique has consistently retained a unique deepness that is almost at odds with itself. Both hypnotic and equally off-kilter, his distinctive production sound craft carries through to his new album. All of course layered with a healthy dose of Detroit funk.
Escape From South Warrenis just released on Motech Records with the accompanying singles ‘Well’ / ‘We Get Down’ featuring remixes from Robert Hood and DJ 3000 and ‘This Is It’ / ‘Galaxy Style’ featuring remixes from Mark Broom and Rolando.
Q&A with Gary Martin
1. One hour doesn’t give you the full range of DJ expression but would you say this mix is a good example of what you are currently playing?
It depends on the event or location, I often play deep house but for this mix I was thinking of a big techno gig.
2. You moved to Detroit in 1983, one year after first starting out as a performing musician. How was that period for you both personally and as a burgeoning artist?
I was very excited to move to Detroit knowing it had a very progressive club scene. I was a leader of a band by 1985 but the best thing about it was the forever friendships it created.
3. What were your first experiences of dance music? What clubs were you going to?
There once was a club in downtown Cleveland called Traxx. The music was more pop but the crowd was pretty hardcore into debauchery. My first experiences with dance music was gay clubs and black clubs, in Cleveland. Then Detroit. Todd’s had cool alternative music clubs such as Todd’s, Bookies and City Club to name a few.
4. I believe you are originally from Cleveland and by chance I’m listening to an interview with Pere Ubu’s David Thomas as I write this. How much impact did the post punk, experimental music of your local scene have on you? Do you still go back to those records?
Detroit was very punk rock I can tell you that much for sure and first of all. I did go from the band to a half electronic project called Neo Dada. But in the last 20 years I don’t listen to music from that era much at all.
5. I’ve always found it hard to place your music between techno and house. But at the same time I don’t really consider it tech-house either. Would you agree?
That is exactly true, the truth is any genre in it’s generic form or as a whole can turn me off. I really have to pick and choose what I like by songs or artists for any genre. It is hard to put me in a specific niche of dance music but historically speaking I’m a techno artist.
6. Your new album is called ‘Escape From South Warren’. Do you see the ‘escape’ as a metaphor or are you really trying to escape from where you live?
It was both mentally and physically. Making the music was my escape, my medicine my psychological therapy for sure. And the fact is I moved very far from South Warren. I thought I was trapped there forever because of the real estate crash but I bit the bullet of financial loss and relocated.
7. DJ Mag recently featured you as one of Detroit’s ‘Unsung Heroes’. Do you consider yourself an ‘outsider’?
I’m always an outsider in my mind pretty much no matter where I am my whole life. But I have lots of love that comes my way from the underground community of house and techno. I am an outsider for not being booked all the time if that’s what you mean, yeah I feel that.
8. They say ‘don’t meet your heroes’ but having travelled and played around the world for the last 20+ years are there any musical heroes you would still like to meet?
Yes for sure, absolutely! In the underground I can remember thinking a guy at the bar of a Gigolo Records party in Miami had to be Hell, but when I told him in an email he said it wasn’t him. I don't believe it.
9. How did you first come into contact with DJ 3000 and Motech?
Submerge management and distribution, Franki worked for them in the sales department I think.
10. What’s your current DJ top 10?
Horse - Tom Hades, Ray’s Wild Meat Remix - Girafe Sauvage
Sinfonia Della Note - Dennis Ferrer - Strictly Rhythm
Detroit - Tiger Stripes - True Soul
Play The Room - Hot Since 82 - Saved
Well - Gary Martin, Rob Hood mix - Motech
We Get Down - Gary Martin - Motech
De Natte Cel - T&T Music Factory - K7
Deep Space Radio - Antwon Faulkner - Hijacked
It’s My Fault - Danny Ocean - Opilec Music
Disco Bass - Okain - Saved Records
EPM Podcast 74 Tracklist – Gary Martin
- Gary Martin – Well (Robert Hood Mix) - Motech
- Aden - Whip - Ultramajic
- Ben Sims & Vincent Davis - Freaks (Kink Remix) - Hardgroove
- Tommy Four Seven - Track 5 (Robert Hood Remix) - CLR
- Tom Hades - Horse - Ray's Wild Meat Remix - Girafe Sauvage
- Harvey McKay - Silk Road - Drumcode
- Dennis Ferrer - Sinfonia Della Notte - Strictly Rhythm
- Afroziod, Rods - I Can't Sleep - Cock Pitch
- Hot Since 82 - Play The Room - Saved
- Thomas Schumacher - Hush (Catz & Dogs Remix) - Pets Recordings
- SCNTST - Basement Structure - Boysnoize
- Detroit Swindle -That Freak Stuff - Tsuba
- Roman Lindau - Blue Jive - Matter
- Steve Poindexter - Work That Motherfucker - EPM Music
- Technasia, Greenvelvet - Suga - Toolroom
- Gary Martin - This Is It - Motech
- DJ Sneak - III Dish - Exploited
- Runaway - Caprice Drive - Mule Musiq
- Ben Sims - Can You Feel It (Joseph Capriati Remix) - Drumcode
- DJ 3000 - Burough & Beer (Greg Gow Remix) - Motech
- Antwon Faulkner - Deep Space Radio - Hijacked
- Gary Martin - Well - Motech
For more information about EPM’s digital distribution and other services: