Britain’s Bad Boy GAWP Brings The Thick Basslines To Seismic Dance Event
The name GAWP is quickly becoming one of the most recognized names in the U.S. underground house and techno scene. And he’s not even from this side of the pond! Based in Leeds, U.K., Oliver Portamento’s hard work and heavy, bass driven tech sound continues to enthrall American dance floors from sea to shining sea. With one U.S. tour already in the books and a second wrapping up, where else would GAWP close out his tour but Seismic Dance Event?
No stranger to dance music, GAWP is Portamento’s newest project, compiling all the life and industry lessons he’s learned along the way in order to create a unique and compelling soundscape in his music that makes any production instantly recognizable. ‘Prime Society,’ GAWP’s first single released on Dirtybird, personifies the chunky basslines so integral to his sound. But don’t let that stop you from checking out his other tracks, especially the Who Is She EP, recently out on Psycho Disco!
With some downtime between U.S. tour dates you can bet that GAWP will be in the studio hard at work to bring some new, innovative creation to the Seismic speakers on Friday. And his newest EP Blocker is dropping the same day on option4’s HotBOi Records. Trust us when we say that GAWP is going to turn Carson Creek Ranch upside down with the wonky bass. We even managed to get a few questions in with the badass Brit himself!
RME: Your first North American Tour took you from one end of the U.S. to the other, meeting tons of fans and making new ones along the way. You’re back again but this time with a little more clout, playing Space Yacht and NV’D parties as well as making your U.S. festival debut at Soulstice earlier this summer. What’s the biggest difference for you on a personal or professional level on this second go around?
GAWP: There’s many differences on the second round.. such as my ‘Coolade‘ track wasn’t released on Dirtybird the first time, also the second tour gave fans much more time to prep to either come to the events or come and see me play again. Also the season really helped as there are more festivals this time of year too! Also this time I didn’t carry around a huge suitcase with a keyboard and subpac but travelled light.
RME: You are British but you seem to be having quite the time over in the States. Your last EP Who Is She and the upcoming Blocker EP are both signed to underground American record labels. While we obviously love Psycho Disco! and HotBoi, what made you decide to release under them instead of a U.K. based label? What is it about your sound that seems to fit so well in the U.S. underground house scene?
GAWP: Those specific tracks have been signed to those labels as while I’ve been in the US I had lots of time with other artists and option4 and Treasure Fingers are cool guys so I’m happy to release with talented underground labels and artists. I do have plans for some UK signings very soon it’s just those tracks were unsigned when I was touring and made sense to fuel my American fan base too.
RME: 2018 has been an incredibly busy year for you. Besides your North American shenanigans you’ve also been working on music, building a new studio and playing gigs across the U.K. and Europe. We can only assume you have big plans for 2019. Where is the next year going to lead for GAWP and do you have any teasers you’d like to share with us here or that we might hear at Seismic?
GAWP: Yeah I’ve got a few things up my sleeve on the release front, one being a collab with Gene Farris called ‘Aphrodisiac‘ which is causing a stir when I drop it in my sets, another ep with Hood Rich forthcoming on Strangelove, a single with Mindek on Enzo Siffredi‘s imprint and a few more I will be playing at Seismic.
Tour wise I’m taking my foot off the gas over winter to make some more tracks but let’s see as the bookings keep coming in and it’s hard to let fans down… also Dirtybird Campout is round the corner so expect me to be in deep with everyone!
Thanks for taking the time to ask me questions, but more importantly thanks to everyone who supports the scene!