Super excited to share our latest mix with you, the one and only DJ Garth, the man behind the esteemed Grayhound imprint, steps up and nails a slow and menacing meets mean and moody concoction of sounds for us.
The DJ slash producer (and actor now too—his debut feature film Speed Dragon will premiere at Cannes film festival in May and filming for 300 Roses starts this month in February) has long been on the scene—for like twenty years now—and is one of the big reasons why we feel in love with house music in the first place. Couldn’t even begin to count how many times we made the drive from So Cal. to San Francisco for the Wicked Sound System parties (Garth, Jeno, Markie & Thomas Bullock) throughout the mid- to late-Nineties.
DJing doesn’t really translate well to the stage. There is no show. It’s just a vibe. Ain’t nothing but a party y’all.
Now living in Los Angeles, Garth Wynne-Jones runs his Grayhound Recordings outta So Cal and has release more than fifty singles since launching the imprint in ’98. Everyone from the Wicked crew to Rocket, Perry Farrell, DJ Harvey, The Glimmers, Ray Mang, Michoacan, DJ Rasoul, Nectar, Stranger and EBE have debuted on the label.
SF will always be my musical home. It made me who I am and I can’t turn my back on that...
Pseudo new work from Garth work includes “Pancho’s Revenge,” a collaboration he did with Anthony Mansfield for Hector Works and his King & Hound edit of “High Pressure Days” by SF synth punk pioneers The Units is getting some new life. The record first came out on Grayhound with James Glass and Golden Goose edits but was recently licensed to Italian label Opilec Music with more remixes from cosmic disco legends Daniele Baldelli, Alexander Robotnick and Todd Terje.
Ok, now for the mix… it’s time for you to pick a partner and get on down.
Which do you prefer, a smoky, low-lit club or a big stage with bright lights and colored gels?
Smokey and low lit is always what’s up. DJing doesn’t really translate well to the stage. There is no show. It’s just a vibe. Ain’t nothing but a party y'all.
Do you have a favorite party right now?
My favorite gig is a quarterly party that I throw at the Public Works loft in San Francisco. It's just me playing all vinyl, all night long for 6-hours. The crowd, vibe ad sound are just right. It's the best party in the city right now (thanks SF weekly), which makes me so happy, having moved away a couple years back. SF will always be my musical home. It made me who I am and I can't turn my back on that. It’s too deep.
I still buy all my music—100% vinyl...so I’m more selective than ever.
If you visualize music as your listen, what (generally) do you imagine?
I listen to cosmic rock albums where the sky is the limit & anything is possible.
What life activities are made better when listening to music? Talk about the last time you enjoyed one and the other.
There was a time I when music was always there. 24/7. Wake up put a record & the kettle on. Music in the car, music in the record store. Music to sleep to. Music to make love to. To do drugs to. Now I appreciate the silence between the gigs, outdoors in nature, even in the car. I'm very careful what goes in. I actually feel I'll listening to awful pop music, the pitch corrected plastic nonsense that insults my intelligence and pollutes my headspace. I still buy all my music—100% vinyl...so I’m more selective than ever. Those that come to hear me play get nothing but the best. No filler.
How would you describe your sound to a deaf person?
Dark and moody acid rock space disco with a happy ending.
Discuss a musician or an era which has influenced you. When and how did you come upon what moved you?
Do you remember the first time you had a live audience’s complete attention? Do you remember how you felt at that moment, what records you were playing?
I had a 10-year residency at a wonderful mid week house club called come unity in SF. Back in '91 I closed the night and everything clicked. There were maybe 50 people left on the dancefloor. I put on Ce Ce Rogers “All Join Hands” and they all linked up and started spinning in a giant circle for the whole 7 minutes. I thought lord-o-mercy! Maybe this is something I should keep doing.
What have you learned about yourself from being on the road and touring?
That 6 weeks on the road is too long—DJ garth & DJ Harvey Australia tour 2011.
If you were starting out now, would you do anything differently?
Not a thing. No regrets at all.