A couple of years ago I discovered the outstanding tune, Gluk from a then unknown producer mysteriously named Gardens Of God. The tune was rather magnificent for a fairly brand new artist and the dance music world was definitely taking notice.
Although, the Gluk EP wasn't Gardens Of God's first go at a professional recording career. The very first dance track he put out was earlier that year on Maceo Plex' Ellum Audio and prior to that he was actually composing music for television in his home country of Lithuania. But it appears he's not looking back anytime soon thanks to three relatively successful years of recording high-quality dystopian techno.
Dial the clock back to the 16th of January. I've just entered Maceo plex' highly anticipated Ellum fiesta in Tulum. However, the mood isn't quite right. There's far too much chatter and not enough dancing. Those that are dancing are probably far too inebriated to understand the gravity of what has just occurred. Everyone has just learned of the tragic events that took place in Playa Del Carmen. Partying is the last thing on most people's minds but we were all there to come together for the love of techno and of course for our appreciation of Maceo's Ellum brand.
As for me, I was mainly there to talk shop with Minidaugas Lapinskis, better known to most as Gardens Of God.
How are you getting along in Tulum so far?
I just got here a few hours ago and all I've done is taken a nap.
How long are you hanging around for after the Ellum gig?
I'll be here for two very relaxing days.
Have you ever played BPM or any Off-BPM events before?
Last year I played the The Mayan Warrior here in Tulum.
That was great.
Yeah, that was pretty amazing.
What do you think makes the jungle parties down here (In Tulum) so special?
I don't know.....the (Ellum and the Mayan Warrior) parties are really my first time playing out here in the jungle. However, with a name like Gardens Of God, I have to admit that playing in this natural environment is really a cool and unique opportunity for me to truly get into character.
Considering the setting, have you prepared your set any differently than for an normal party?
I don't prepare my sets. I'm always improvising. I mean I have a few tracks that I consciously decide to play before hand but that's about it.
So you're playing an Ellum party but you haven't released any material on the label in over a year. Do you have anything planned for the label in the near future?
Nothing is set yet but yeah of course. There will be something coming up.
Speaking of labels, you now have your own brand new one called Sodai. What do you planned for it?
There are a few upcoming releases planned with some new guys that I've signed so I'm pretty excited.
Can you tell us about some of the new artists.
They are very new names who have never released anything before.
So you're doing some A&R in finding new talent?
It's more like they are finding me. One guy was sending me stuff through Soundcloud and I really enjoyed it. Another guy is a friend of mine who was doing a different genre but he decided to try out my side of the spectrum and it blew me away. So I said to him, "let's do this."
Is there an artistic direction you have in mind for Sodai?
There's nothing specific. I just want to release music I'm playing. Music that I'm really feeling.
Can we expect a full-length from you anytime soon?
I'm making it right now [chuckles] but I don't want it to be rushed so I'm taking my time with it.
You've had a couple of EP's released on fellow Lithuanian producer Ten Walls' imprint, BOSO. If you had one thing to say to the world about your compatriot. What is it you would want the world to know about him?
He's a great producer. A really, really good producer.
What do you have planned for the next couple of days?
I'll be here for tomorrow and I'm leaving on Tuesday.
Then where are you headed?
Back to Europe to return for my holiday and of course work in order to focus on a new album for a few months. I'm only here cause the (Ellum) guys asked me to come so I came for this gig and then I head down to Buenos Aires for another gig then back to the studio again.
I noticed that your set was cut short and the party was shut down early too. Tell me exactly what happened.
Due to the shootings in Playa Del Carmen, the Ellum event crew decided to shorten the night to ensure the safety of everyone. So my set at the main stage was unfortunately cut.
In light of the shootings in Playa Del Carmen, what are your thoughts on the future of partying in Tulum?
I think everyone knows there are lots of issues with the blackmarket, the government, etc., The place is amazing but it has big problems as we see, so it must be solved, otherwise it’s a big risk for promoters, ravers and DJ’s.
Do you think anyone should be held accountable for what went down at Blue Parrot?
It’s not an accidental shooting, everybody understands that. But I’m not the judge.
What about Mexico as a whole? Would you ever come back here to play a gig?
The gigs I've played in Mexico have always been great. The country has a nice crowd and I will come back as long as they want me to.
Are there any venues or cities in the world that you refuse to play? If so, where and why?
I wouldn’t do a gig in unsafe place, I mean territories of war are really problematic places where anything can happen anytime. The world is crazy nowadays and you never know what can happen even in places like Berlin, London, and Paris. So there is no safe place you could say…