In recent years indie labels have taken on renewed tastemaking significance. This is particularly true when it comes to contemporary electronic music. The mainstream EDM invasion has directed curiosity towards the underground electro scene, but it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the vast quantity of music available. However, a noted label’s catalogue of releases can provide a reliable point of reference. UK/Sydney artist Garry Todd has announced a brand new EP, Time To Get Onit – his first through the highly regarded Berlin techno label BPitch Control.
“A mutual friend who was also on BPitch, she was saying that Ellen [Allien, label founder] had been playing my stuff,” Todd explains. “I had these four tracks that I’d been working on and I sent her one just to play out, because I thought another label was going to take it, but then she really wanted it.”
Todd’s past releases have been handled by a range of labels, including the UK’s 20:20 Vision and Illusion as well as his own Contemporary Scarecrow imprint. Teaming up with BPitch Control is likely to recommend the eccentric techno and house producer to plenty of new ears. With this in mind, Todd’s assembled together some of his strongest traits.
“I made one main-room techno track and then a more house music-style track, so I made something for the Berghain and something for the [house-oriented] Panorama Bar. Then the third one’s kind of an acid drum track and the fourth one’s more of a dub techno. So I touched on four different styles of music within one EP. I wanted it to show people that I can play different sounds of music, rather than just being one-sound-minded.”
Although Todd endeavoured to exhibit stylistic diversity with this release, the EP’s development wasn’t delicately mapped out.
“It’s just whatever mood I get in,” he says. “I don’t really go into the studio with any preconceived [idea of], ‘I’m going to do a techno track.’ I have an idea of what I’m going to do or I’ve heard something that gives me inspiration and I just take it from there. I think I’ve got, in my subconscious, my own style of how I produce. So whatever comes out, if it’s a house track or a techno track, I know it’s got my kind of style to it.”
Originally from Sunderland in northern England, Todd has called Sydney home for the best part of the last decade. Ever since his arrival Down Under he’s been hell-bent on injecting a vital edge into Sydney’s underground scene. Accordingly, his motivations have never been purely mercenary.
“I never, ever look at the flavour-of-the-month style of music, because it’s got a three-month shelf life. It’s fair play to whatever’s popular, [but] I’m just concentrating on what I’m making. I’m not really looking outside to see what other people are doing.”
So, where does Todd seek out inspiration? Well, rather than being influenced by what’s occupying the spotlight, he prefers an old-fashioned search-and-discover approach.
“I find the quality of what you see in the record store is superior to probably what you get on Beatport. You go to the record store, a good one anyway, you get the best of the best. They might have an EP which is like a broken house kind of bass track or something. You probably would have never come across [something like that] online. I’ve been collecting records since I was 16 – I’m 32 now. I’ve got quite a good collection.”
Gary Todd will be playing The Fibonaci Festival from Friday April 18 to Sunday April 20 in Broken Bay, as well as headlining the BPitch Control Release Party at the Spice Cellar Saturday April 26, guest list available through their Facebook page.