In 2010, Wolfgang Gartner received his first ever in the "Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical" category for his reworked version of house music producer Andy Caldwell’s “Funk Nasty” featuring Gram'ma Funk (Uno Recordings). He debuted at #70 on DJ Mag’s prominent annual “Top 100 DJs” list, the world’s leading DJ poll and a who’s who collection of today’s biggest names in the electronic/dance genre that attracts over 350,000 votes, with over 10,000,000 people viewing the results yearly. In addition, Gartner also debuted as a featured guest on BBC Radio 1’s influential Essential Mix series, hosted by tastemaker DJ/producer Pete Tong, and was one of only 10 artists to be nominated for Best Essential Mix of 2010.
Photo on front page courtesy of Adam Rindy
CGNY: Hello Wolfgang, firstly, it is a pleasure and a privilege to speak with you, how’s the tour going so far? What were some highlights?
WG: It's been amazing so far, definitely exceeding my expectations. Sold out shows, full houses, great crowds. I think the 2 highlights so far were Minneapolis at Epic and LA at Avalon.
CGNY: There are hundreds of musical genres as well as sub genres popping up everyday, can you tell us what best describes “Wolfhouse”:
WG: Future House.
CGNY: When you first started recording music, did you ever imagine playing those tracks someday for dancing crowds around the globe?
WG: That's all I ever imagined. I mean, that was the goal from the moment I started getting involved in the DJ and dance music culture. It was the only thing I ever wanted to do and the only thing I ever knew how to do, so it sorta had to work out or I'd be screwed!
CGNY: Many people dance, some like to simply bop their heads, as the crowds roar, does your adrenaline too?
WG: Absolutely. And the more the crowd gets into it, the more I do. That's what makes a good show -- a good crowd. The DJ can always read the crowd and try and cater to what they want, but sometimes there's only so much you can do, they just don't give back that much, and those are the weaker shows. But when it's good and the crowd is giving back as much or more than I'm giving to them, yeah, major adrenaline rush.
CGNY: There have been many gifted musicians throughout history, can you name 3 artists who motivated or inspired you to start producing/DJing?
WG: Kevin Saunderson, Erick Morillo, Derrick Carter.
CGNY: Thousands of people dancing are a ______ to watch?
WG: Well I can't watch. There's no time. I've got a job to do up there and "watching" is not involved in any part of it.
CGNY: What’s a typical day in the life of Wolfgang? on an average day when your not in the studio, or preparing for a gig..
WG: There is rarely such a day. When there is, it's probably Christmas and I'm visiting family. Or maybe one of my spa days, every few weeks I just go to a day spa and do loads of treatments and sweat it out in the sauna.
CGNY: What drives you to keep 'em smiling?
WG: Whenever I make one that strikes a chord with the fans / crowds. The knowledge and confidence that I'm capable of doing that again is what drives me I guess. Because I know I am, and I will, and when it happens it is the most satisfying feeling one could possibly imagine.
CGNY: What questions come to mind when you announce that you’re going on tour?
WG: What's life like on a tour bus for 6 weeks? How are 7 guys on a bus going to get along for 6 weeks? Am I going to come down with tour fatigue and have to be admitted to a hospital after playing these 33 shows? Things like that I guess.
CGNY: The track “Yin” is a straight up banger with a side of mash, how would you describe the creative process when collaborating with other artists?
WG: It's interesting collaborating with other dance producers, I always learned a lot and I think that was mutual in each case. But I basically just want to collaborate with vocalists now, sorta over the "2 guys and a mouse" thing. I generally work best alone in the studio.
CGNY: You have mentioned previously that you are always looking to advance your genre, stating that you “always want your sound to be completely new, music that has never been done before” What inspires you to stay original?
WG: This might sound sort of negative, but basically just listening to all the dated, generic garbage house music being released and staying as far away from that as possible. I mean, if you're trying to do something that's never been done before, then you can't really go into the dance charts for inspiration, because you're just gonna end up regurgitating something that's been done before. I don't know it's a weird thing. I listen to a lot of other genres and try and derive inspiration from there and apply it to what I'm doing, and learn from the mistakes of others within my genre.
CGNY: After the success of “Undertaker” and “Illmerica” what else do you have in store for your fans?
WG: Undertaker and Illmerica on steroids brought into the present from 2015 in a time machine.
CGNY: When you heard techno for the first time you mentioned that the chemistry in your brain had changed, does that original feeling continue to inspire you to this day?
WG: Whenever I hear a dance track that absolutely blows my mind, yeah. But that only happens every few months at best. As you get better at the craft of creating it, and become more discerning, it's harder for just any old music to touch that dopamine receptor like it used to.
CGNY: I have seen that you prefer the Pioneer CDJ’s and the DJM-800 mixer, have you used any additional gear while behind the decks?
WG: That 800 is a beast if you really know how to use all the functions, and the same goes for the new CDJ2000's. I'm sticking with that for now because I can do everything I need with it. I think if a lot of these guys who are using external boxes really spent a few weeks tweaking on an 800 they'd realize that's all they need.
On behalf of CGNY, I would like to thank you for your time.
WG: My pleasure.
Gartner plays Irving Plaza this Thursday April 28th at 9pm.
Thanks to DJ Keith Mitchell for the interview.