Perhaps it’s already been obvious to some, but I don’t think we’ve said it yet… Wolfgang Gartner is back.
And we know that he’s never stopped releasing music, but as the Gartner that we came to know for “Illmerica” and “Wolfgang’s 5th Symphony,” this is the side of him that we came to love.
Gartner returns with JayKode to drop the hybrid electro and trap banger “The Upside Down” via ALT:Vision Records, and it’s got all the trappings (pardon the pun) of a classic Gartner tune. Wild, flourishing orchestral elements make their way through the intro and bridge, while powerful electro synths and a classic four-on-the-floor beat hit hard in the drops. There’s also a significant portion devoted to a more minimal trap drop, no doubt JayKode’s contribution, that gives the track more depth and variety.
All the way through, it’s a pretty fun ride with plenty of peaks and troughs. Check out “The Upside Down” below.
Considering Wolfgang has shown a willingness of late to work with more up-and-coming artists, like JayKode, Aero Chord, and K?d, we felt it prudent to catch up with him and get his thoughts on the state of EDM and the like. After all, Wolfgang Gartner has been an established name for more than a decade. Check out our interview with him below.
As one of the real figureheads of the electro boom in the early 2010s, how do you view the demand for electro to make a huge comeback?
As for the entire dance music demographic I really have no idea about the demand for it, that’s not really something you can gauge, the only thing I can gauge is my own fan base’s demand for it which is really clear from my interactions with people at shows as well as social media. As for whether the general market has a demand for it, who knows, but I’ve got a supply so I’m about to find out.
What’s it like to be working with these younger artists, like JayKode, Aero Chord, and K?d, who were probably first exposed to dance music years, maybe a decade, after you started producing?
It’s refreshing because they’re not jaded, yet, and they tend to know a lot of new production tricks that weren’t on my radar. Aside from that each one of those artists obviously has their own set of skills that made them good to collaborate with, but really my favorite thing about it is just working with people who have an optimistic attitude and haven’t been jaded by decades in the industry.
What are some things that are getting you really excited in dance music these days?
Pretty much everything I’m excited about right now is in my own bubble of production, like new things I’m working on or in the really micro view of things new sounds I make that I’m excited about using in songs. I’ve finished about a dozen new songs in the last 6 months and it’s really hard for me not to get completely caught up in my own excitement about having that cache right now. I guess if I were to think about the big world of dance music in general I’d say that people are open to pretty much anything these days musically, which is cool because most periods in dance music’s past have been sorta dominated by a tunnel vision attitude toward sounds and genres. It’s pretty much the opposite of that now which is a nice change.
What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in dance music culture from 2011, when “Illmerica” was released, to now? (culturally, musically, technologically, etc.)
The pie is a lot bigger, but there are exponentially more hands in the pie. The industry grew, but so did the amount of people participating in the industry, be it producers and djs, festivals, or businesspeople in general. Musically, the biggest change has been a shift away from house-driven styles of EDM – not necessarily house music itself, but other more electronic styles based on house style drums and tempo. To me, EDM isn’t really a proper term for this genre recently, since a majority of the music that’s succeeding is Electronic, but not really dance-driven. It’s electronic music, but it’s not necessarily dance music. This particular trend seems to have reached a plateau recently and I feel like it’s creeping back in though. There was a definite bubble that burst around 2015 in many respects and I feel like one of the effects of that burst was people being tired of standard dance music and venturing off to make other styles of electronic music that weren’t based in traditional styles or tempos. Bass music has had a massive resurgence as well which had a ripple effect across the entire industry in many ways.
If there’s one skill not related to music that you’d love to master, what would it be?
Cooking. I love coming up with crazy culinary masterpieces, I seem to be pretty good at it, but there’s so little I know about the culinary arts in general in order to be a full-on proper chef. I doubt there will ever be time in my life to go to culinary school but I’d like to just to be able to widen my skill set and knowledge in the kitchen.