Animaux | UK

Chats with Gareth Whitehead, founder of Bullet:dodge Records

Nov
04

As Animaux and Bullet:dodge present: Inxec draws closer, we are very excited to chat with Bullet:dodge Records founder Gareth Whitehead, about the label, music selection and his newest venture – The Brood which him and Michael Greig will perform LIVE (drum machines and all!) in front of our trusty crowd.

Mantas: Hi Gareth! Let us find out a bit more about you. Could you tell our readers on how you started off DJing and what attracted you to electronic music as well as what spurred you to start your own label – “Bullet:dodge Records”?

Gareth: Hi there, my focus was never to be a DJ, quite the opposite in fact. For me, I started producing and writing electronic music which then transpired into me performing live and then DJ-ing.

As a teenager I was very much an avid rock fan, preferring guitar based music, however, as my late teens dawned I was attracted to the sounds of the Prodigy, Faithless, Chemical Brothers, Orbital and Massive Attack. These acts transformed my musical outlook and soon lead me to discover house and techno.

I was part of Edit Select records initially but then about mid 2007 I decided to establish my own label to showcase a different sound and provide a platform for my own output.

Mantas: “Bullet:dodge Records”, “The Brood” – you are killing it at the naming game, what inspired you – any specific theme / story behind the names?

Gareth: Forging a pathway for up and coming artists has always been synonymous with the labels ethos, this coupled with releasing tracks from more renowned and experienced producers has given us our identity. I’ve always wanted to work with a variety of artists across the house and techno spectrum so Bulletdodge has always flaunted an assortment of styles.

The Brood album I guess was a continuation of this theme, but instead of just releasing a house and techno album I wanted to create something a bit different. It’s a collaborative album that features a bona fide who’s who of house and techno. From pioneers who helped shape the sound of early Detroit, Chicago, New York and UK scenes in the late 80s and early 90s to the new up and coming talent that the label has to offer. I tried to convey house and techno’s evolution musically by working with some of the people who shaped the scene to the ones who are doing so.

Mantas: Could you tell us more about your inspirations? Who do you follow and what makes “the cut”?

Gareth: It was my dad that really inspired me to learn to play the guitar in my early teens, even before that he always encouraged me musically. He told me to follow the path in life that would make me happiest, which is what I’ve always tried to do.

I like an assortment of different styles of music, at the moment really enjoying the sounds of Seckou Keita, the alluring Kora player from Senegal.

With regards Bulletdodge we’ve always released predominantly the deeper and darker sounds of house and techno. We try not to succumb to current trends, or certainly allow them to dictate our direction. That’s not to say we won’t release a trending track at times but we’ll release it because we feel it has longevity and portrays something Bulletdodge.

Music shouldnt have a sell-by date!

If the music is good it will make the cut! There’s two types of music, good and bad – and all subjective of course! ha ha

Mantas: We are all eagerly awaiting your arrival in York to play at Animaux – any hints on what people should expect?

Gareth: Yes, we’re all looking forward to playing on Friday. This is the first time I’ve played York so very excited.
As it’s The Brood party, the idea is to showcase the talents of Bulletdodge and deliver the Brood live set, whereby Michael and myself will rework and perform the Brood album live using a combination of hardware and software. The night will fuse house, techno and everything in between.

Mantas: And finally – what is the funniest / most absurd thing you have seen in a gig you either attended or played at (or both!)?

Gareth: I heard recently at a gig what the promoters had previously paid for a DJ! They were commanding a fee to play music for two hours that the average person struggles to earn in a few months! That was completely absurd!

Animaux and Bullet:dodge present: Inxec is on Friday, 6th of November at Mansion.

You can still get tickets online via Resident Advisor or from Earworm Records / The Nook as well as our promoters all across York (check the event page). See you there!