INTERVIEW & ARTCAST #118 Gallegos

Releases on Desert Sound Colony’s Holding Hands and DJ Autumn’s Banoffee Pies have made Oliver Gallegos a driving force if not to say an innovator of the UK’s electronic music scene. Besides realising music on the beforemenioned labels the Bristol-based artists put out a collaborative EP with in-demand producer Baby Rollén on Feelings Worldwide called Along the River and another UKG four tracker, Garry’s Theme, on Service Please. For Torture the Artist the humble artist, who does not see or perceives his music as something as futuristic as other artists do, exchanged his synths and other production gear to mix and compile the latest edition of the art:cast series. Furthermore, Oliver speaks about weirdness in music, SHAPES, his black pepper obsession, a line-up to die for and delivers some insights from his musical past as well as his favorite gear to wear at a gig.

Torture the Artist: Hello Oliver, tell us something about your day.

Gallegos: Hi Torture the Artist! Today I moved my desktop computer to a small table next to the sofa so I can be comfortable looking for records and writing these answers. Both armrests have snapped off my desk chair from 18 months of constant use. Breakfast is 1 boiled egg cooked for 6 minutes with excessive amounts of black pepper.

The person who should be in my day everyday is my mum.

Torture the Artist: A couple of weeks ago you released your EP Chronic Ensoniq on Desert Sound Colony’s Holding Hands Records and the press text says “Gallegos is one of my all time favourite producers. Absolutely no question. He has a completely unique sound […] There is an incredible balance of weird sh*t mixed with super catchy motifs and big time grooves. I wish every day was a Gallegos day!“. How close does Desert Sound Colony’ description hit to what you have in mind when producing music and whose day should be every day in Oliver Gallegos world?

Gallegos: I never really set out to make unique music. Some producers are futurists like Juan Atkins or SKREAM who genuinely come up with new sounds. I tend to try and just pick my favourite elements from different genres. The person who should be in my day everyday is my mum.

Torture the Artist: Where does the beforementioned weirdness on your music come from and is this also something that attracts you in music from other artists?

Gallegos: I think this comes from a mixture of when I originally bought my turntables for scratching / turntablism, the Breaks’n’Beats records would have very weird sound FX’s or movie quotes. And secondly how fun I used to find it to hear such sounds on a massive soundsystem.

It always feels good to work with people you like.

Torture the Artist: Your first official release under Gallegos dates back to 2017 and was released on Banoffee Pies’ Black Label Series. Later, in 2018, your track Less Questions The Better was digitally released on the V/A Banoffee Pies Digi 03. Quite some start into the electronic music scene, how did working with Banoffee Pies come about?

Gallegos: I was one of the founders and resident of the club night SHAPES in Bristol and we booked Banoffee Pies for a DJ set. They had just started up a label and I had just reached a point where I felt comfortable releasing my music. Plus they were mates and it always feels good to work with people you like.

Torture the Artist: When and how did you start your career as a producer?

Gallegos: I bought some music softwear from PC WORLD with my dad around age 12/13. Got home and the whole thing was just gobbledygook. Shortly after I bought Reason 3 and managed to find my way around that better.

Torture the Artist: Following the question before, when was your first date with electronic music and what made you decide to go on a second one?

Gallegos: My mate took me to Glastonbury festival when I was also 12 and we went down to what was known as the ‘Dance World’ then to see Zinc and High Contrast. I remember being very intimidated by how crazy and confidently people were dancing! That night we also caught the Chemical Brothers who I had been listening to from a young age.

Tortur the Artist: You founded the event series SHAPES in Bristol, where you also performed as a resident DJ and shared decks with artists like Move D!, Deetron, Omar S or Carl Craig. What’s been your most impressive club night so far, and why?

Gallegos: At SHAPES we used to try and find unusual spaces to throw parties in. One of those spaces was a huge old church. Having the opportunity to play in what is considered a sacred space for some was certainly memorable. Acoustics were a bit tricky though!

Torture the Artist: What was a track that always got the party started?

Gallegos: Alex Santos & Chris Woodward – Village Vanguard. Every time. Played it last week for the first time in a long time and it still goes down.

Torture the Artist: What’s an artist you’d like to share the decks with and what kind of warm-up would you play to maybe lure them out of a comfortzone?

Gallegos: It would be great to share the decks with GOLDIE, although I don’t think anything I could play would be out of his comfort zone! Breakbeats / Techno or Jungle Drum and BASS he’d have most electronic music covered.

Torture the Artist: Do you prefer DJing over producing or the other way around?

Gallegos: They both have their merits. I would say I prefer producing. DJing pays the bills though.

Gallegos thumb 2

Torture the Artist: What’s your go-to DJing outfit or a piece of clothes/ accessory to wear at a gig?

Gallegos: Joggers. Light comfortable clothing which is even more important with the belly I’ve grown over lockdown.

Torture the Artist: What are you three favorite (track) findings over the past months?

Gallegos: There you go…

Torture the Artist: If you could set up an event with the line-up of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists, and why?

Gallegos: I would have fewer DJs to allow for longer sets. And it would be one room with multiple genres as followed.

  • 12-6pm DJ HARVEY – Daytime sunshine Boogie and Disco
  • 6-10pm Carl Cox b2b Danny Tenaglia (Sound Factory set)
  • 10-12pm Chemical Brothers – LIVE –
  • 12-4am Jeff Mills b2b Nina Kraviz
  • 4-6am Goldie b2b DJ Storm (Metalheadz classic set) 6-8am Orbital LIVE (sunrise set)

Torture the Artist: What’s a place/ club/ event someone should defintitely visit in Bristol, and why would you recommend it?

Gallegos: Lakota. It’s one of the longest standing clubs in the UK and is steeped in history. You would be hard pushed to find a legendary DJ that has not played there. From Techno / Rave / Jungle / DnB and Dubstep it has mastered them all. It’s not fancy, it feels underground still.

Torture the Artist: As mentioned before your music is released on Banoffee Pies and Holding Hands. This year you founded your own label called Room Service Recordings, a label for you to release remixes and dubplates, which you have held back. Is the label only going to be a platform for you and your music or do you think of opening it up for other artists from your circle like Baby Rollen to put out music?

Gallegos: Primarily it will be for my own music but I do have projects planned with other artists to release on the label for 2022.

Torture the Artist: Speaking of the latter, you released two tracks with Baby Rollen on Holding Hands last year. How did this fruitful relationship come into being as you guys seem to hit the zeitgeist with your music and become more and more recognized?

Gallegos: Years ago for SHAPES we hosted a pool party at Horizons festival in Bulgaria and Leo played for us when he was a member of the due VOYEUR. He also went to University in Leeds where we had some mutual friends.

Torture the Artist: Besides Baby Rollén who would you like to share a studio with, and why?

Gallegos: Right now I think BREAKA would be interesting in the studio. He has amazing drum tracks and does not confine himself to certain tempos.

Torture the Artist: Label-head, producer, DJ. Aside from music, how do you give yourself a treat?

Gallegos: Movies. The original obsession. <smiles>

When recording mixes at home sometimes I find it harder to play the heavy, faster stuff.

Torture the Artist: You are responsible for the latest art:cast on Torture the Artist, what was your approach to the mix and where could you imagine this mix best being played at?

Gallegos: When recording mixes at home sometimes I find it harder to play the heavy, faster stuff. And I still mostly play older music so I guess just groovy Garage House, always lots of vocals and few tougher ones towards the end.

Torture the Artist: What was the last thing that deeply touched you?

Gallegos: An old documentary called ‘The Wethouse‘

Words by Holger Breuer