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Interview: Barry Gilbey by Royce Haven: 11-23-2004
When house music was born in the late 80s DJs didn’t play just one sound. The concept of a techno DJ, a progressive DJ or a funky house DJ didn’t exist. DJs played a broad spectrum of ass-shaking sounds that rocked dancefloors. It’s playing that broad spectrum that makes Barry Gilbey an amazing DJ. With a sound that includes everything from deeper house grooves to techno and breaks, most weekends you’ll find him playing underground music to packed dancefloors from Moscow to Kuala Lumpur and Delhi to Krakow.
“I travel all over the world every weekend, playing my own and others’ amazing music to thousands of happy faces. It’s a privilege to be able to travel to places hungry to hear new music and see the diverse range of people who come out to hear me play. Whether I’m in Siberia or Singapore the people are surprisingly similar – they just want to have a good time and I try my hardest to give it to them.”
Music fans will know him for his storming hybrid tech-house-breaks productions on his revered Sheffield-based label, Choo Choo, and from releases under a range of pseudonyms, including:
Mara with Sara Whittaker-Gilbey. Finger Fest Inc with tribal-house producer D Ramirez. The Phony MCs with James Mowbray. Pappa & Gilbey with Anthony Pappa
Barry’s productions are played the world over by everyone from Erick Morillo to Deep Dish and Meat Katie to Sasha. With regular mixes appearing on London’s Kiss FM, Ireland’s 2FM and Manchester’s Key 103 and a full DJ schedule in coming months, covering all seven continents, make sure you catch one of his electric sets . Barry has been kind enough to take some time from his busy schedule to answer a few questions for groovanauts.com.
1. What is the future for vinyl?
Personally i think very limited. I think as a format its had its day. It was invented before the first world war and even though certain companies have tried to update it i really feel its time has past. I don't play any vinyl and haven't for months. I can just do so much more with CD.
2. Here in the States the EDM(Electronic Dance Music) scene has slowed down a bit. How has it been in Europe?
Yeah its slowed a little in Western Europe, but in eastern europe and Russia is booming. Asia as well is crazy about house music.
3. Where was the worst place that you have ever played?
I've had some wicked gigs in Turkey.....but i remember playing this one night in a club in Istanbul that wasn't totally completed...and every time you moved in the booth the cd players jumped and the sound system was shot. It was just perfect. I played 20 mins before walking off
4. Every DJ has those nights where everything is going right and the vibe is just unbelievable. Share with us one of you magical nights.
wow, its hard to pick one. I've had lots of nights that stick in my mind. Really top nights like La Mania in Romania, Exit in Lithuania, Centro in Singapore but probably my favourite club at the moment is Apriori in Moscow. I've just started a Bi-monthly residency there and the club is just amazing. Every single person who goes to the club goes to have a good time its just fantastic!!!
5. Who do you idolize?
I don't really idolize anyone, i respect lots of people and i've had people in my life that i've really looked up to. Mainly my father i guess. But i don't really have idols.
6. Besides music what other hobbies do you have?
Football...i guess you guys called it Soccer in the US. I'm obsessed with my team "Sheffield Wednesday" they are pretty crap at the moment but i've supported them since i was a kid and i am just mental about them. The route from my house to my studio takes me past the stadium every day so i just sit in my car and grin as i go past. I'm very sad i guess
7. What do you think about the so called " superstar dj"? Should a guy that just plays records be treated like royalty?
I think its a bit of a joke to be honest. Lots of the "superstars" really start to enjoy the limelight a little too much as well and it just spirals out of control. Very sad. I think there is a huge difference between showing someone respect and sticking your nose up their arse
8. Tell us one crazy thing that has happened to you while traveling?
Ok how about having russian anti terrorist police trying to arrest you in a moscow club!!! Or a 6 hour taxi journey from Gdansk to Warsaw in Poland. But with 5 people in a Fiat Panda (which if you don't know is the smallest car ever made, its like a skateboard on wheels). Random shit does seem to happen to me a lot. It just makes me smile. What else can you do?
9. Are you in this business for Love or Money?
When i first read the question i thought it said "love or monkey" I must get my eyes tested
Got to be love. The first 10 releases on Choo Choo lost money. We lost a fortune when our distributor when bankrupt last year. But I realise i'm very lucky to be doing what i'm doing. I get to see the world, meet cool people and make my money from making and djing tunes. Perfect!
10. Where do you feel the EMD scene is going to be in 10 years?
Well i still think it'll be here thats a fact. But the scene is changing so rapidly that its hard to predict where it'll go. I think technology will play an ever bigger role in djing with people just playing live from laptops more and more. The problem is guessing what will happen over 10 years is almost impossible because one single invention could blow all this technology out of the water and put everything on a different slant. Its going to be an interesting time though!
nt slant. Its going to be an interesting time though!
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