On the frontline of the never homeostatic, ebb and flow that is the world of EDM, Gosteffects stands as an apparition of genres thought to be dying out – reborn again under his CDJs and mixer. With the inception of his own label, Afterlife, we decided to sit down with this mysterious specter before his set at Avalon Hollywood.
Let’s talk about who Gosteffects is. Where does that name come from?
It started from a photo set I was doing. It was just something someone said about one of the photos.
In what context?
Within the context of the photo. I think it is fitting as far as my personality and what I am doing with the music.
What is your musical background?
When I was growing up, my grandmother played organ in the church. She played music, and that was my introduction to music. She actually presses records in the 40s and my grandfather sold them out of his trunk.
You went to church a lot with your grandparents?
Yes. My mother taught education and my grandmother was studying to be a nun. That has re-surfaced in my life now as far as what I am doing stylistically.
Did you ever study music theory or do you compose purely from swagger?
No musical training. My grandmother taught me some stuff on piano. I played when I was younger on her piano when I was younger, but I never went to school for music theory.
Piano was your first instrument then?
And when did you first start DJing?
Quite awhile ago. I was into industrial music growing up. I was a big Nine Inch Nails fan. I played the guitar. When I was thirteen I worked at this Italian restaurant for three dollars an hour for a couple of years and bought a keyboard. That’s when I started to get into electronic music. That was in Oklahoma.
What part of Oklahoma did you grow up in?
Oklahoma City – Normandy, which is a suburb. My friend’s brother was throwing raves and I started to perform at those at a really young age. It was just a natural progress into DJing.
How did you enjoy these Oklahoma Raves?
In the heyday, it was pretty good. Pretty crazy.
For you, what is the stylistic difference between DJing and production.
I like to create a lot of different things when I am writing. As far as DJing goes, it’s more about playing to the room and creating that energy. Sometimes I write stuff that isn’t optimal energy music, but when I play I try to keep it at a high level.
What do you think sets you aside from other producers or DJs?
I don’t know. Everyone has their own unique thing. I wouldn’t necessarily say I do it better than anyone else, but I do it differently and I do it may way. That’s how everybody is. Everybody has their own thing and hopefully people can appreciate that.
You have absolutely cultivated your own style. So, Gosteffects, what new projects do you have coming up?
Computer Club is coming to hang out tonight. That is Gigantor from Evol Intent’s other electro project. We have a song called “Party Tonight” That is 90% done. I am going over to his place this weekend to wrap that up. Hopefully that will be out in a couple of months. I started this label called Afterlife; we just had our first release on Valentine’s Day.
That was your release, right?
Yes, there are a couple of things in the works as far as other artists.
When did you start Afterlife?
It started just in the last few months… February 14th was the first release, and then March 27th will be the EP. Then we will start doing other artists we have in mind.
We haven’t made any formal agreements yet.
So, in the EDM scene right now, who is turning you on?
Anything on Turbo records. That pallet of sounds is interesting. The sounds are just a little different.
What about as far as rock or industrial or anything else?
Something I’ve been excited about lately is the Witch-house stuff. One artists I really like but that I can’t play out is Holy Other. It’s really slow and droney. A lot of things I like recently don’t transfer well into the dance floor. Something I am looking to do this year is taking these elements of this new type of music and bring it to the dance floor.
Would you consider remixing some of these songs so that you are able to throw them into sets?
I recently hooked up with the DJ who opened for you at SMOG last month, SubCode.
Yeah! I loved his set.
ChillDub, he calls it. He is really doing his own thing there. Kinda loungey, but a great vibe.
That is an example of the things I am hearing that I like that are new, but you can’t really play those to a room full of 1000 people. I am looking to take those same textures and apply them to a dance floor.
Are there any collaborations you are excited about?
Besides Computer Club, I have this one done with Lucky Date that should be coming out in a couple of months. She does the full female vocals, it’s great. I’m working on something with Sisley Treasure who used to be in Shiny Toy Guns. She’s going to be here tonight as well.
When you do these collaborative tracks, are you guys in the studio together or is this more of an email exclusive thing?
A little bit of both, actually. It’s good to do things online where both people can get into their own zone, but I think in the final stages it’s good to both be in the same room so you can both get to a place where you are happy rather than one person finishing it.
Good answer. How do you feel about the advent of single oriented music paradigm; as opposed to album oriented.
I supposed dance music has always been that way by nature. I think there is room for both, now.
Where do you think those are each headed?
I think an album is good because it is a complete thought while singles are fragments of thoughts. I think that if you want to present yourself as an artist with a cohesive idea, the album is the way to do it. The flip of that is that with singles you don’t really have parameters to work within. Maybe you have 10 songs that are great, you put them on the album and release the odd one as a single. You really need both.
What if you juts crank out 12 bangers and throw them together on a CD?
And of course, there is the concept album which strings together different ideas under a single theme or motif.
Yeah! And you can’t do that with singles. You would have to have the album. I think that is a more mature way… even if music becomes more single driven you will always see albums because it sets a tone for a whole idea behind it.
You right, the album will never die, as prevalent as single become. Buy the way, here can people find your tour dates.
I just finished my record release party in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica? How was that?
Yeah, that was awesome. Spent a few days on the beach just writing music. Coming up is Phoenix and then SXSW.
Are you playing SXSW or just attending?
I just found out that I am going to be available for part of the time we will be down there, so we are starting to line things up…
What would be your ideal technological set up for performances?
As far as the performance goes, I like DJing, but as far as the show, I would like to get something theatrical together. I have some ideas, but they are juts ideas right now. I would like to do something more organic. I like DJing but I would like to have performers on stage as well. We might get into that in 2013.
I think this generation is a little desensitized when it comes to live performances. Especially for those of us who see hundreds of shows a year. Going to see a rock band play their instruments on stage is not enough. You need another sensual stimuli.
Exactly. Ever since Daft Punk did the Pyramid thing, that kind of kicked it off. one thing I think about a lot is that 200 years ago there wasn’t live music. The only time you would see music is if someone was performing it. Now you are just bombarded with music every second of the day! Yes, people are desensitized from live music, so you have to do something to account for that. That is something I think about a lot – imagine how magical it must have been for people – purely magical – any time you might have seen a performance. Maybe you lived in a village somewhere and some troubadours came through town and that was the only music you heard for the whole month or two.
Do you fancy yourself as the village musician?
Maybe in a sense. It’s kind of hard to say that about tonight.
There will be a lot of musicians about, won’t there? It should be very interesting indeed. Gosteffects, where do you find musical inspiration? Is it in the beaches of Costa Rica, in your musician friends, or drugs?
Not drugs. I don’t do any drugs. I am not that cool. I find inspiration everywhere. I am inspired by design. Fashion and the way things look.
Alright. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you, Gosteffects, and we look forward to your more of your performances here in LA.
At Avalon Hollywood, kids come from all over town, occasionally much further, to blow off the steam of the working class and dance all night. Tonight they are treated by DJ sets from J Rabbit and Gosteffects. J Rabbit, a dubstep, DnB, electro, and all around dance DJ, performs with explosive tenacity, while Gosteffects set is a bit more difficult to articulate.
The style in which Gosteffects spins is subtly atypical of most DJs. True, his cache of songs is different than what you would find in other Hollywood clubs that evening, but he also rewards the careful listener with fundamental revolutions. The leads are longer. The stabs are deeper. The music casts a dark shadow over Friday night club goers as if eternally alludes to some imminent, terrible event, but all the dance floor hears is a toe-tapping breakdown. This is what The Juggernaut might refer to as “dark dubstep”, the next generation of mind-fucking, face-melting electronic dance music.
Seamless mixing rolls the set at Avalon into a 6 hour dance-a-thon. Those who aren’t closely watching the DJ booth are completely unaware that their music manifesting magician has changed. These people do not care; they do not know the names of the performers on the fliers nor do they read interviews about DJs. For those of us who appreciate all of the thought and skill that goes into controlling the vibe of the night, Gosteffects is one character you will want to keep your eye on.
To download Gosteffects most current remix, “Slave to the Sweat” [rule of eight rmx] click here.