DJ, Producer and label owner, Gary Beck, is Glasgow through and through. Born and bred in the Scottish city, he remains there today, running his own label and churning out some serious electronic music. Apart from when he’s travelling the world and playing at some of the planet’s most prestigious venues, of course.
Gary will be playing KOKO, Camden at the forthcoming Playground event, 22 August. We caught up with him ahead of the show to talk Glasgow, Techno and Bek Audio.
Hi there Gary, where are you speaking to us from today?
Hi! I’m in the studio in Glasgow preparing the next release on my label.
Can you describe what it’s like growing up in Scotland as an artist? What is Glasgow doing for it’s musical youth that no one else is?
It’s great! I’ve always loved Glasgow and I would never move anywhere else. There are so many great producers coming from the city. We also have some special clubs like The Arches and the Sub Club. Unfortunately, The Arches has recently closed, but growing up with that club was amazing. They brought in so many amazing DJ’s right to our doorstep. It was a real education.
How do you prepare differently when playing a Boiler Room/a small venue compared to a huge production set like at Awakenings 2014?
Just the same, actually the audience for Boiler Room is probably much bigger as its streaming worldwide! I always have a bunch of tracks that I might play, however I never plan where each individual track will go. I always like to improvise.
What shall we expect from your set on August 22nd? Will we be treated to any new material?
I have so much new stuff to play. I’ve been extremely busy in the studio, so I’m really excited to play it out to the audience. I’m sure there will be a few classics in there too.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Mostly Jazz and Scottish traditional music. I was so sad that one of my favourite composers passed away last week – James Horner. So I’ve had him on a lot recently.
Can you give any insight on any future plans with BEK Audio, and do you have any future releases as an artist?
Almost everything that comes out on BEK features myself. That was the initial plan with the label. I wanted to use it as a platform to release my own material. The next EP is another one by myself, and will feature four tracks which have been working well in my sets.
You’ve played countless gigs in Europe, how does the that crowd and experience compare to a classic Friday night in good old Sub Club?
Not many places come close to the Sub Club. It’s definitely up there in my top 5. The vibe is so unique and the sound quality is brilliant. And the crowd, well, they are just bonkers. I think in Europe, Italy is the place that comes closest, however every country is special in its own way.
How do you find time to head up Bek Audio and continue to make music as an artist?
I don’t put any pressure on myself. If I have something good then I put it out. If its been half a year with no releases, then I don’t panic. The music must be right.
Do you have any studio/pre-show rituals that are essential?
I always go for a sleep before the gig, even if its for 10 mins.
Genres seem to be popping up and dividing into sub genres all over the music scene at the moment, how do you see the next 15 years will be for techno?
Techno will always stand alone. Even in 15 years, it will sail through all the other sub genres. It will never go away.
What’s the best BPM for techno in your opinion?
Totally depends, I’ve heard amazing techno tracks made at 118 bpm, and ive heard amazing things at 140, so lets go with 128 for now!
If you weren’t a DJ, what job would you of woken up for this morning?
Something involving working with animals. I don’t mean I would wake up with the animals, I would just work with them after I’ve had my cornflakes.
Do you remember the first time you heard someone else playing one of your tracks?
I remember I hearing Laurent Garnier playing one of my track around 2005. That was huge for me and I’ll never forget it. It’s things like that keep you going and strive to do more.
What are your top 5 tracks of all time?
Wow, that’s far too hard a question. there are too many pieces of music that I have loved over the years, however Mr. G would probably take up the first 4 places.
Gary Beck will be playing at KOKO, 22 August, alongside Oliver Huntemann, Juan Atkins, Gregor Tresher, Dubspeeka and Agents of Time. Click here for tickets.