Two party-minded producers from North London, Matt “RackNRuin” Robson-Scott and Kye “Foamo” Gibbon, might currently hold the crown for most exciting electronic act.
After teaming up a couple years ago to create classic a house and garage sound they formally labeled Gorgon City, the pairing earlier this month released an infectious, retro-sounding debut album, Sirens, dripping with frenetic basslines and filled with soulful vocal collaborations. In August, Gorgon City shook the walls of the Heineken House at Outside Lands and followed up with a raucous after party at Public Works.
Gorgon City, label-mates of fellow London collective Rudimental, returns to San Francisco October 24 at The Independent, concluding their headline tour with two sold out shows in California. We spoke with Robson-Scott about Gorgon City’s previous trip to San Francisco, bringing the dance music experience to nontraditional venues and their upcoming live show.
How did you meet Kye and get the idea to form Gorgon City?
We just met in a club since we were both DJ-ing. We were playing at the same gigs together and had the idea to do a collaboration. At first, it was just for fun. We eventually decided we wanted to make a new name for it because it sounded different than our solo stuff. We never really planned anything, it just all happened naturally.
Who are you biggest electronic influences?
We’re both really into underground UK electronic music, things like garage, jungle, drum and bass and obviously house. We both have a similar sort of upbringing buying records in the UK, in London and stuff, being part of the drum and bass world. That sort of bass heavy sound has had a big influence on the stuff we’re doing now. Record labels like RAM Records, Moving Shadow, Hardleaders, those are all labels that we are both really into.
What can you attribute to your rapid rise since your first material as a duo was released in 2012?
I think we were lucky with our work output. We wrote a lot of music in a short amount of time and just worked hard in the studio. It all happened naturally, as well. We got some good radio support with BBC from our track “Real” with Yasmin. When we wrote “Ready for Your Love,” we felt it was a special song that connected with the UK audience really well.
The sound of the UK, with people like Disclosure, is doing really well. People put us in that sort of world.
Did you enjoy your previous trip to San Francisco when you played in Heineken House at Outside Lands? Were you able to check out any other acts at the festival?
Even though it was a small venue compared to the rest of our tour, it was so good! The crowd and energy in that dome was just insane.
Obviously, we did the after party at Public Works. That was cool, as well. We are massive fans of Green Velvet so getting to play with him was great. The only problem was that Kye’s bag got stolen in the club with his passport in it. It was pretty bad, but anyways…
What visuals or stage setup do you have for your live shows on this tour?
We brought a lighting rig to all the shows for the U.S. shows, as well as our lighting engineer and designer. We bought our own DJ riser with our branding on it. We’re bringing the Gorgon City experience to venues that might not have had dance music shows. Almost kind of like transform rock venues it into clubby environments. It’s gone really well so far. We looking forward to bringing it to San Francisco. It’s kind of cool. We start making the room dark, bringing in all the lights, bringing in more of the dance music atmosphere.
Do you have a process for identifying potential collaborators or is it more about matching an idea you have with the right musician or voice?
We never really plan it. It’s always quite random. Our management will say you should check out this girl or this guy. We never plan anything in the studio. We always start from scratch and just see what happens. We always experiment. It’s how we wrote the whole album. We like it that way, it makes it more fun and exciting and organic.
How did you connect with Jennifer Hudson and what about her style do you most appreciate?
We wrote that song with Kiesza originally in our studio in London and we all felt that it would sound great with a classic sounding diva vocalist on it. One of our American publicists also works with Jennifer Hudson so they hooked us up with her, she sent us the vocal and it transformed into such a classic sounding dance track.
We had to roll with it and get it on the album. It was already a last-minute addition to the album. We’re really excited about that track, especially over here in America.
What are you plans for next year once the current album tour is over?
We’re probably just going to start working on our second album. After the tour, we’re really looking forward to getting back into the studio. There were lots of ideas that we wrote for the first album that didn’t get finished. We’d like to look back at those and create more music again.