Playlist of the Week: GusGus
Playlist of the Week: GusGusAugust 18, 2021
Having acquired an almost insatiable taste for hi-NRG and Italo disco in Reykjavik, Iceland, at the age of 15 in 1983, it was not enough to copy the cassettes from the middle school DJs. I needed to get to the source somehow.
There were no record shops in Iceland with anything like this, and no Internet to search or pre-listen to anything. So I started blindly ordering 12-inch records from a shop in London, randomly selecting tracks from the hi-NRG charts in Record Mirror. Those were different times and a lot of bad music. But some of the tracks I found there, I treat as my childhood gems of music, like Kano’s “Another Life (Instrumental)” and Mike Mareen’s “Dancing in the Dark (Galactica Re-Mix)”.
As time went on and my taste in music changed, this activity faded out. I was not a DJ, so my ’90s buying preferences were mostly album oriented. The club tracks (that mattered), I got from Maggi Lego, who was with me in the band T-World that later merged with GusGus in its birth. I don’t remember why I actually started DJing, but I know that Chicken Lips’s “He Not In” was one of the hits in my first set, which took place in 2002.
I bought vinyl and recorded on CDs; primitive, time-consuming and lacking quality. Then Beatport.com arrived in 2004 and my love affair with them began. It was like being a teenager again, but I could now preview and had instant delivery if buying — heaven. Around the corner, the Germans started redefining techno as if they were trying new drugs on me — I was in for a treat. In this list I go through some of my most memorable purchases on Beatport through the years, mixed with some GusGus stuff on the way.
Extrawelt – Soppertrack [Border Community] 2005
I remember loving this track so much. It was one of the first smells of that new German cooking. I loved all of those intelligent breaks back in 1992-1994, where those creative beats and haunting melodies entwined with my nervous system. Techno had been a bit boring to me. I was not a TR909 fanatic even though I owned one and used it a lot, but this track emitted a fusion of sexiness and intelligence. I was emotionally aroused.
Stephan Bodzin – Marathon Man [Systematic Recordings] 2005
President Bongo played this track for me outside a hotel in Porto. So this was it. This was the new future of techno, I thought. The groove is so freakin’ amazing and flying, as was the delay on that nasty bassline. It was genius, as Bodzin has proven on many occasions since.
Andre Kraml – Safari (James Holden Remix) [Crosstown Rebels] 2005
I loved that “Nothing” track he did in 2003, but this remix knocked me out. Wow, what beat work! This track is just haunting from start to finish. His albums The Inheritors in 2013 and The Animal Spirits in 2017 are among my favourite electronic albums from the last decade. Also, try to check out the track “Each Moment Like The First.” Amazing.
Gabriel Ananda – Bassmaschichen [Treibstoff] 2006
Back to Germany. There are lots of tracks I love from Gabriel Ananda, but this one is very special. Dark, tribal and sexy, but still, with that musical content, I need to stay interested.
Oliver Huntemann – 37 Grad [Confused Recordings] 2006
Another German legend that was part of the German makeover of techno in 2004-2006. This is one of my all-time favorite techno tracks. The way the bass comes in and then shapes up in staccato in the break, and the drop at 2:46. The best drop ever. And then it just goes on.
Sieg Uber Die Sonne – Sovjet Supreme [Cynosure Recordings] 2006
How they just take that wicked “Jean Michel Jarre” bassline and edit it with a simple beat just proves the power of clever basslines. You might say that the bassline in the GusGus track “Add This Song” is inspired by a bassline like this.
Jan Driver – L [Grandpetrol Records] 2006
This was one of those gems I found in my early days on Beatport. He later remixed one of our tracks.
Guido Schneider & Andre Galluzzi – Too Late To Land (feat. Florian Schirnacher [Cocoon Recordings] 2008
Well, one of those strange finds on Beatport that haunts me still today. I just love its sexy weirdness that grooves.
October – Invitation [Poker Flat Recordings] 2008
Sometimes you find something that is purely original. This is one of those, and it works on the floor. I must confess, there is a lot of strange stuff on my hard drive from late-night purchasing on Beatport.com
Remute – Sling It (GusGus Remix) [Remute] 2009
With all that new techno running through my veins, it was time to incorporate it into our production. We started working on our album 24/7 in the beginning of 2008, with techno on our mind. This was a remix I did in the aftermath of producing 24/7. It was techno time!
GusGus – Bremen Cowboy [Flower Power] 2009
We released 24/7 on Kompakt in 2009. It was a new beginning for the band. Earth, our lead singer on “Attention” and “Forever,” had departed, but Daniel was back from the ’90s, taking the lead on the mic. I had also changed the live set in a way that was more compact, but with new possibilities within the performance — a new effect chain using the Kaoss Pad and a very special assortment of Doepfer modules for that powerful Monosynth, that is still one of the most important performance units in the set.
Urban Astronauts – See The Sun (feat. Kate Louise Smith) (Aurosonic Remix) [Armada] 2009
I also found a lot of secret guilty pleasures along the way. I like to have something similar in a set to lift the spirit at some point. This is perhaps a bit over the top, but I love just that. The break onwards always brings tears to my eyes. Sorry, I’m too sentimental, I know.
The Fear Ratio – Mas [Blueprint Records] 2011
Ufff, that bassline. The trick in it, that I also use in some of my work, has the quality that the brain cannot “figure out.” It has that randomness to it that just keeps the mind in constant awe of “what the fuck,” while the beat just nails you to the floor.
Wareika – Burnin (GusGus Remix) [FormResonance] 2012
While touring our album 24/7, we did a couple of gigs with Wareika. We did this remix for them for that super nice track “Burnin’.” We were experimenting more with the possibilities of the live Doepfer setup and just how wicked it can get.
Pole Folder – U.S.E. (GusGus vs T-world remix) [Electronical Reeds] 2014
I’ve always loved this remix. It marks, among others, the move to emphasise longer chord progressions. You can find a lot of those on our last album, Mobile Home, but here, it is packed with a more flying beat structure.
Stefano Noferini – Extraluv [Deeperfect Records] 2014
Some of those simple energetic ideas are sometimes just what is needed to get a floor going.
GusGus – Airwaves (T-world dub mix) [Kompakt] 2014
Well, this still works well while the sun is rising in the morning. We had the new album out called Mexico, and I wanted some of our own remixes that I could play in my sets. I mostly played the original, but this one is a very nice alternative if it is very late.
GusGus – Crossfade (Maceo Plex Remix) [Kompakt] 2014
Mayer at Kompakt suggested getting Maceo Plex to do a remix for this single. I was like “Well, I liked his album Live Index but has he done anything lately?.” He said his “Ibiza sets are amazing, I have a good feeling on it.” You know the rest of this story.
Jeremy Olander – Hanover [Suara] 2015
I guess this is my all-time favourite track to DJ. It’s just perfect for coming from the deep and to get flying.
DJ Tennis – Chirality (Plaid Remix) [Life And Death] 2016
Not something that defines my set, but Plaid is probably the band that has most infected me with pleasures (apart from Depeche Mode). Once I was DJing on a boat and as there was no escape for the crowd, I could not resist and ended my set with this. Some were like “Wow” others were like “What?”. But the track is amazing, just like many things Plaid has put into electronic music.
Christian Smith & Harry Romero – Jungle Life [Tronic] 2017
I used to put this one on close to the finish of my DJ sets. It contains the coolest drop, and the ’90s flare it brings makes it extra nice for old dogs like me.
GusGus & Metodi Hristov – Magenta (Biggi Veira Tech Mix) [Set About] 2018
I had many tracks from Metodi Hristov in my set, like “Assuming Control” and the remix of “Reevolution,” so I contacted him in connection with a gig. We did this track together in a couple of versions and remixes. It was good fun.
GusGus – By Pump 5 [oroom] 2018
We had the new album out called Lies Are More Flexible. I decided to decorate the releases on this album with interesting B-Sides like back in the ’80s. I also needed something strange from my own studio for my DJ sets.
Raxon – Destiny [Diynamic] 2018
Raxon — yet another modern legend that I discovered through Beatport, and we managed to get him to remix our own tracks. This track was just the perfect dark matter I sometimes put in the set before going into the second hour.
Giorgia Angiuli – Copenhagen (GusGus Remix) [Stil Vor Talent] 2019
So happy she asked me to do a remix. Her track “I Shall Never Ever Forget You” was in my set, and it always worked like a charm. And I also really liked this track from her album.
GusGus – Unfolder [oroom] 2020
At the end of the Lies Are More Flexible album, I started experimenting with creating huge stereo sounds on my Doepfer modular stuff. The sound that hits at 0:15 is just one sound played by pressing one note, then I worked on modulating it into a solo at 3:43 and then to the max at 4:10. I need to go back to those experiments again 🙂
GusGus – Higher (Nasty Dub) [Oroom ehf] 2020
The first single from our new album Mobile Home featured a new and exciting member to the GusGus family, Margrét Rán. The original is rather nasty in itself, but I thought it needed to be a bit more of nasty for the DJ sets. More hammering, yes…
GusGus – Stay The Ride (Natty Dub) [Oroom ehf] 2021
It was getting closer to summer, so I needed something nice to get the summer started. I think all of the percussion are Doepfer samples from various sessions since I fell in love with modular synths at the end of the ’90s.
R. Missing – Crimeless (GusGus Unclean Mix) [Sugarcane Records] 2021
I got this remix request, and I loved the emo indie feel. I really thought I could do something new and interesting in the chord structure for this. I have always had a soft spot for anything with a “new wave” flare to it. And this hit that soft spot.
GusGus – Simple Tuesday [Oroom ehf] 2021
This is our latest single from our new album Mobile Home. It is a slammer for the live sets. Those twirling synths get me and our fans flying. The bass line in the verses is actually from a 140 BPM demo I did in 2005. Sometimes ideas just need to marinate for a while before they reach the surface.
Affkt – Swipe [Sincopat] 2021
My latest favorite to follow, this track is just perfect for my sets. I managed to have him do a remix for “Simple Tuesday” on our album. You can look forward to it on the 20th of August, exclusively here on Beatport.