Galtier is Bristol-based producer who has been making waves with his recent 'Myth Codes' EP on Infinite Machine with debuts on names like Boiler Room, Insert and Hyponik. The richly dark and percussive tracks gained him support from the likes of Resident Advisor and Mixmag. He now co-runs label Nostro Hood System with fellow Bristol producer Noire and we're looking forward to see what's to come for him in 2017 so we sent our guy Neil Pruden in to find out more...
Interview by Neil Pruden | Photography by Beth Sheldrick
"The Nostro Hood System is an alternate realm of time and space where music exists and the freedom within that system is represented as an infinite number of planets occupied by organisms that produce their own style of music."
I'm here with Jiah aka Galtier in his Bristol residence with Machinedrum - Human Energy being the backdrop to our conversation.
Right, so you have lived in the UK for just over two years now. How have things been since making the move? and how does it compare to Australia? It's been a pretty substantial shift with regards to the music. The reason why I moved here is because of the music industry, being the main reason why I moved here at least. I guess to reflect on how important it is now, back in Australia the music scene was bustling in some aspects. It's mainly the Lo Fi Techno/House scene with names such as Daze, Rudolf C and Mall Grab leading the movement. As you can tell from my sound I don't make stuff like that as I'm not involved in that scene. So being here has just been a lot easier to showcase my music/play gigs and let people know what kind of stuff I'm making. I have a bigger audience over here made up of people who have a more diverse taste in music. That diverse culture of music happens to fit the realm that I'm a part of. Because of that I it's been a great deal better. The labels kicked off and my latest EP's been released, I played at Dimensions and Outlook festival very soon after I arrived; All these things just wouldn't have happened if I didn't come here, because I was just too far away from anything. Based on that, a lot better indeed and it's a massive incentive to stay here. It doesn't appear that I'm going back anytime soon.
I've noticed since making that transition your style of music has evolved. Why do you think that is?
I don't think that my sound is heavily influenced from the UK, and despite coming here I don't think that it's changed anything. I think that it's just been one of those natural progressions based on what I'm interested and what I want my sound to sound like. Basically when I produce a track these days, if I like it, I like it. If I don't, I don't, and it just evolves on its own accord because there's no sort of vision in mind for what I want to do that really holds my sound together. There are little aspects of things I draw on influentially to gain the sound that I do, but ultimately it changes as my interests change. Outside of music too I have lots of different interests and I'm open to things separate from music as well as within it. So those two things are changing at the same time. It's just my state of mind at the time and my understanding of the world. It's a natural progression that I've nurtured consistently ever since the start, so yeah, it's just progressive of what I think represents me and what I like.
"Working with Charlie with Infinite Machine was an amazing experience. He's a very inspired, pro-active guy who has a really great vision for the record label."
Your latest release 'Myth Codes' with Infinite Machine has been received really well with debuts on names like Boiler Room, Insert, Hyponik etc. But now you have had time to reflect on it how do you feel about the release as a whole?
That release in particular I feel is the release that defines the sound that I've matured to the most. Myth Codes in particular has stood out for me as the release I feel showcases what will remain as the sound I feel comfortable in producing the most. Working with Charlie with Infinite Machine was an amazing experience. He's a very inspired, pro-active guy who has a really great vision for the record label. He helped make me feel really confident with that release and he put a lot of work into
it. I think the outcome is the most well produced and most relevant release I have done to date and the response that it got was amazing. I think that is the best response I've had so far, with a lot of fantastic support from the likes of Resident Advisor and Mixmag and I'm really eager see what happens off the back of it. It was fantastic experience and I'm still feeling really good about it.
Were you anxious about it though? Because it has been a while since you've release any original material and that was when you were back in Australia. Quite anxious. The last release I did was the Apothecary Compositions release and that was ages ago. I've done some remix work after that EP and all the remixes were received really well. It definitely was a bit overdue and I was bit worried about returning to the scene after such a long time and how my new EP would appeal to people that had previously listened to my sound. I guess that comes with any release. It's a good thing if you feel anxious about it. Like anything creative that you put your mind to, I think that if you’re anxious to put that out there, it almost feels a bit more special to you as it feels like a part of you that you're giving to the world. After the response that it gained, it just feels amazing that I am more actively involved in the scene again, and it's made me feel positive for the future ahead.
So onto Nostro, you've recently started a new label 'Nostro Hood System' that you run alongside other Bristol resident Noire and have one release so far to date. Can you explain the concept behind the label? Where do you see it progressing?
Well, Nostro started in 2015 and we have since released the 'Nostro Hood Athem EP' which has some tasty remixes on it from Strict Face, She’s Drunk & Sylvere. The concept is reminiscent of a system much like our Solar System. The Nostro Hood System is an alternate realm of time and space where music exists and the freedom within that system is represented as an infinite number of planets occupied by organisms that produce their own style of music. This opens up the doors for many artists to produce conceptual EPs on the label that represent a particular planet and the beings who occupy it. The idea is that there is a culture that resides there, and the Nostro Hood Anthem is almost like the church hymn for that culture. The artwork for itself is much like a volcanic/organic chapel that is floating in space where all the people that run the entire system's music culture exist. It's just a conceptual record label that I wanted to stand out amongst many others. My interests influence it heavily. I'm a massive fan of 80's Sci-fi, and those parts of my life are prominent and cross over to other interest like music. But yeah, any forthcoming material that comes out, the artists will attempt to create some type of lore that they can add into to the systems music culture.
It is different in that sense because it's a label that has a good form of story and vision behind it, like how people would usually build a story or film rather than a label. I've noticed the 10 Twenty shows portray this very well through the range of music you play as well as the guests involved. Is that the idea you were going for with the residency on 10 Twenty? Yeah, I guess with the 10 Twenty show it's all the same idea, showcasing something that does break the norm from what people are comfortable with. I like to be surprised by things in culture such as music and art, so when it comes to what I want to show other people, I do want to surprise and intrigue them in some way.
You and Jack (Noire) organised two nights so far with Nostro in Bristol, the first at Take5 and the second in Cosies. Firstly how do you think they went and how do you find Bristol as a city to put on those kind of nights? I think Noire is very much in tune with Nostro as a club night and does a really good job with helping curating this project. Our nights are quite heavily focused on UK Funky, Funky House and elements of contemporary club music which can be a bit different from what the record label is about, hence the title being 'Nostro' as it is only a small part of the Nostro Hood System vision. It's a part of it but quite detached at the same time. Nostro is just the club aspect of it. I think the first two nights had a fantastic reception.
We had Akito, Luke West and Sylvere; Akito down for our first evening session and I think the reception was great. Club music, thanks to the consistent efforts of Night Slugs, Her Records, Sans Absense, Trax Couture to name a few have helped that scene grow and made it more worthwhile doing shows in Bristol. The culture doesn't always have huge amounts to offer with regards to what we do but at the same time, looking at it as a bigger picture, it is a very open and diverse place to host a gig as it is always expanding and developing. To compare it to Australia, it is a fucking dream.
"It’s about pushing the same thing together rather than doing it alone or trying out do one another. This goes hand in hand with the community that exists within Bristol, which competing with London is really strong I think. It's a very rich and diverse culture that exists here and I'm still learning more day-by-day"
Bristol is a very welcoming place, especially with it's bigger genres like Drum and Bass, Dubstep amongst other facets of club music that are always expanding. How has it been networking with people that you've ended up worked with since being here?
Ever since moving to Bristol it's been a flurry of meeting like-minded people. Initially I linked with 4 Seasons when that crew was still about and through them I met Noire who I still work closely with. Also worth noting, the Super Kitchen boys and Sprung who are all pushing things in a big way. I recently became a part of WRLC (Western Romance Language Continuum) which has been a really great step forward for the club music scene Bristol as it's bringing all the relevant crews together, creating a stronger community vibe. It’s about pushing the same thing together rather than doing it alone or trying out do one another. This goes hand in hand with the community that exists within Bristol, which competing with London is really strong I think. It's a very rich and diverse culture that exists here and I'm still learning more day-by-day. I'm very far from out-living somewhere like this because it really is such a wonderful place!
Speaking of WRLC, you recently played a night with everyone involved. How did it go? It was a fantastic turnout. Was good to see people affiliated with each family coming together for a massive session. Most of the evening we played B2B and it flowed perfectly. It's nice to see how well our respective sounds mold together so effortlessly, and alternatively the different musical elements that we bring to the table. That was pretty much the first WRLC showcase we have done, so hopefully things will pop off in the future for all of us as a group and within each of the crews that we have going alongside WRLC.
Lastly, what is the next for you as Galtier?
I have a forthcoming release on Files Rec, returning for a follow up release with the Swiss label. It will be a three track release which also features a remix from up-comer AN System. I've recently finished a remix for Ashida Park, being a Vienna-based outfit. I've got an Edit coming out on the Pineal sounds bootleg compilation which I'm really excited to show everybody, and I’m putting on our third night for Nostro soon. More details to follow on that one, but I'm really excited to bring that back in 2017. There is also our Sans Absence/Nostro takeover night at Dalston Social on January 28th which will be hype. So yeah, lots of things I'm really excited about in the future!
You can listen to Galtier's latest EP below
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Interview by Neil Pruden
Photos by Beth Sheldrick