Exclusive Interview: Gorgon City
Garage collective Gorgon City have fast become a tour de force on the dance music scene following the triumph of their smash hit collaboration Ready For Your Love with MNEK, which hit the number 4 spot in the UK singles chart. Kye “Foamo” Gibbon and Matt “RackNRuin” Robson Scott having previously sampled solo successes joined forces in 2012, causing a stir in nightclubs across the country with their deep house infused stomper Real. I am backstage with the duo, at The Ritz, Manchester. It is the first sold out night of their tour. I can sense their excitement.
“It’s good to be back. It’s kind of one of our favourite places to play. We’ve done Warehouse Project quite a few times and that’s one of the best club nights in the country. It’s our first time really doing our own thing, and it’s sold out, which is always a good sign. It’s the first date of the tour to actually sell out so it’s a good feeling to be here.” Kye Gibbon
Collectively they have worked with an astonishing level of talented artists, including the likes of Emeli Sandé, Jennifer Hudson and Clean Bandit. Throughout the diversity of individuals they have teamed with, however, I wondered if there was anyone in particular they had favoured working with. Or would that be as difficult a decision as asking a parent to pick between children?
“Erm…there are so many people. Working with MNEK was an amazing experience. We’ve made a relationship with him where we’re working with him still. We wrote a track with him the other day and he was a big part of the album. He was really important in building Gorgon City with us. He’s great. We’ve already written a new one with MNEK but we’re really into finding new vocalists that are unheard of, and we like bringing people through with us. Josh Barry, one of our singers who is doing the male parts tonight…hopefully we’ll be doing a track with him too.” Matt Robson-Scott
Gorgon City did not stumble blindly upon their newfound credentials. Before the birth of the group that would catalyse the dance movement made vibrant again by acts such as Disclosure and Rudimental, there was a time when Foamo and RackNRuin were individually making waves. Foamo had amassed support from superstar DJ’s Diplo and Armand Van Helden, and RackNRuin was boasting remix credits with chart sensations Paloma Faith and Taio Cruz.
Gorgon City showcased their hits with a veritable pop-garage performance at the MOBO Awards 2014 reminiscent of early Artful Dodger. Now at the height of their career, about to deliver their most successful gig to date, I wanted to know how they come to choose an artist to work with when they could seemingly, based on their track record, work with anyone.
“A lot of the time it can be people we know. With MNEK, Katy B and a lot of the people on the album it’s been people that we knew first. I think it’s important to work with people that you are friends with already. Sometimes we work with people that our management know or people we find. We love to go for vocalists that don’t normally do dance music. With a lot of the people on our album, it’s their first time doing dance music and I feel like you get the most interesting results that way.” Kye Gibbon
Gorgon City might be enjoying life on the road, but very few acts in this field reach this stage in their career. I spoke to them about touring and developing a live spectacle from a dance record.
“With dance music and technology you can really bring the live element in a way that you couldn’t so much before. You can literally do anything now because of technology so it’s actually really fun transforming your tracks that you’ve made in the studio into the live environment. We’re really lucky to be able to do this. It takes a lot of time, and it takes a lot of money to fund doing a live show, so we’re really lucky to be in this place.” Matt Robson-Scott
“ We’ve actually got our own studio on our tour bus now so we’ve been trying to get some music done on the road. We’ve got vocalists with us, so we might as well put them to some use.” Kye Gibbon
The name Gorgon is a mythical creature, born from the yesteryears of Greek mythology. I was more than intrigued as to how they came to christen their sound after a monster of the underworld. Surely they were aware, and there was an alternative narrative.
“We just thought it sounded cool.” Kye Gibbon
“It’s nice because we’ve got this kind of reference point when it comes to creating new content, for our website or our live shows, our visuals or artwork. It’s nice to have that reference point that you can go back to and get inspiration from when creating more ideas. In electronic music it’s quite rare to have that. It helps now, but at the time when we made it up it was just random.” Matt Robson-Scott
I wasn’t fooled by the smokescreen, but it was apparent this was a subject matter in which they were not ready to divulge deeper upon on this occasion. Their performance was a spectacle. I was reminded how beautiful garage and house music, when executed with the finesse it deserves, can be. The audience were ravenous and revellers climbed onto the shoulders of their peers to rave and sweat and embrace. Musical electricity; everyone was connected. What was next? Where could they go from here, and what were they most looking forward to?
“A lot of touring. Live touring; that’s what it’s all about for us. This year we’re doing a lot of American festivals and working on new music. We’re already working on our second album now. We can’t wait to get back in the studio.” Kye Gibbon