To readers of a certain age, Gorge is a name you’ll have been familiar with for some time. A veteran of the house and tech house scenes, he helped popularise the so-called ‘Mannheim Sound’ alongside fellow 8bit man, Nick Curly. A seriously consistent producer, he continues to release astounding productions, the latest of which is a killer remix for Jochem Hamerling on Adesso Music. A remix that’s been turning heads aplenty, it’s the sign of a producer who’s most definitely been around the block a couple times. We caught up with him recently to see what’s what. In his world…

 

How are you, how has the last year been for you?

 

Thanks for the invitation. I’m doing well. The last year has been very busy for me as I’m working with a lot of artists in the studio and it was much more productive then the years before playing on the weekends and producing music during the week. It’s sometimes hard to find enough energy on a Monday after a long weekend playing.

 

Are you back to playing gigs now? How does it feel? Can you tell us a bit about the first gig back?

 

Yes, it started slowly but I was playing every weekend over the last 6 weeks and it felt great to be back trying all the music I produced over the last 16 months. The first gig I played was in Zürich daytime at Landesmuseum for Rundfunk FM together with Markus Homm and it was fantastic. It’s a big open air summer venue for around 2,500 people in the middle of the city and we had a great time. After that we played another four hours b2b in one of my favourite clubs at Klaus and we had a fantastic time also.

 

What are your thoughts on artists who played so-called ‘plague raves’ during the height of the pandemic? 

 

For me it’s an absolute no-go! I have people in my personal environment who died and others still suffering six months after the infection not being able to do sports anymore. I’ve cancelled several gigs for November because I don’t know how the situation is going to be in two months. Everything is still very fragile and I’m feeling bad to play big venues knowing this might spread again after.

 

What is the art of house music for you? Why did you first get drawn to the sound, what did you like about it?

 

There’s just a few words to describe house music: groovy, sexy, timeless and always fitting on the dancefloor (even after a dj playing techno before you start :-)). I came to electronic music in the early 90’s with the turntables of a friend of mine starting to explore this sound. The 90’s were wild and a big mash up between all styles of electronic music as it was a new thing and lifestyle like the 90’s hip hop which was parallel. So these years have been more a trip through everything. The real deephouse and house sound was starting for me at the end of the 90’s with all the Defected and also some tribal stuff.

 

How has your style and sound evolved over the years, do you approach music in a different way now with all the skills and experience you have?

 

As I explained above I went through a lot of styles from D&B, trance, acid, house, progressive, techno through all the years and you can still find all these elements in my productions. I’m totally open and I have no fear of contact mixing up these genres. One main thing you can find in all my productions is groove and baselines for me the most important elements to build a track that works on the dancefloor. I used to work with a lot of samples back in the days and I still do but the most melodic elements I play myself nowadays. Also i got back from mostly 100% digital production to more analogue production like i used to do in the end of the 90’s. I don’t think the sound is better when it’s more analogue, but in combination with the digital world I found the best way to combine it to give my mixdowns more deepness and wideness.

 

And what are some of the key tools in your toolbox, do you have fav bits of hardware or software?

 

I work with loads of plugins and some of my favourites are the Arturia bundles for synths, Soundtoys and UAD for mixing and fx and Native Komplete and UHE for synths. To go into details this would fill up a complete interview. But to name some of my secret weapons i use the Pultec EQ Plugin from UAD in every baseline or drum group as just the saturation effect is amazing. Echo boy from Sound Toys is a great delay which i use very often and also the Arturia FX collection 2 is fantastic.

 

You have remixed for Adesso Music recently – how differently do you approach a remix to an original? 

 

I know a lot of people hate remixing, but I love it! Someone else already found a main theme which is the hardest part of a production and I have the opportunity to bring it into something new fitting my sound. The first time I hear the original I decide directly if I can do a good remix or not. The original track needs to have some parts which work for me and i have a sketch in mind immediately or not. If I work on an original it’s the way round. I start with the kick and main theme and I’m arranging it very quick before getting lost in the track. If that does not work in 2 hours I work on something else and keep the other arrangement for the next day.

 

Are there certain rules about remixing like how much you must or must not change a tune?

 

A remix should contain some of the main elements of the original. Even if you play these with your own sounds these should be included. I always try to transport the original vibe into a deeper melodic sound using chords (my favourite element) and lead it into my direction so I could play it in one of my sets.

 

Sometimes there’s remixes where I don’t think the remixer hasn’t even listened to the original parts as it’s a completely different track which is past the goal.

 

Where do you start, always in the same place or is it just experimenting until something works?

 

Always in the same place as I have my basic setup for productions. In the production process the setup changes for sure using different effects or synths.

 

What makes your music unique, what do you pride yourself on when producing?

 

A lot of people tell me they can hear the “Gorge” sound in all of my productions and remixes and it’s not getting boring. This really makes me happy to hear. Also I’m very proud to jump into different styles of electronic music as I’m working with several artists producing their music with them.

 

What’s next, what else are you working on that’s really exciting you right now?

 

I have several projects in the pipeline for later this year and beginning 2022 which will be another collaboration with Midnight workout and Sil Romero. At the moment I have the “Holos” EP together with Markus Homm out on Poker Flat and the “Oyama, Maru EP” together with Oliver Schories on Knee Deep in Sound. The next EP is coming at the end of October on my 8bit label.

 

Can you talk us through three pieces of music/literature that have really provided inspiration over the past twelve months? 

 

As i’m not so much into reading about music and more into producing it i can give you 3 records that i really liked and inspired me:

 

  1. Damian Lazarus – Into the Sun – Crosstown Rebels (A real masterpiece with fantastic vocals by Jem Cooke)
  2. Bicep – Isles – Ninja Tunes (Very inspiring as they’re closing the gap between club music and listening music)
  3. Gruuve – Cloud – Glasgow Underground (Such a great driving tune where i’ll do a remix soon and i’m really looking forward to that)

 

Gorge’s remix of Jochem Hamerling’s Speculation it out soon via Adesso Music. Buy/listen to the release here