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Back in the house

2018 Aug 30     
2 Bit Thugs

After dabbling in bass pastures for several years, this Bristol native is returning to his first love - good old-fashioned house music

Known to his Mum and the taxman as Adam Gorsky, Bristolian born-and-bred producer GotSome first impinged on most people's consciousness with 2013's club smash Bassline on Defected. That was swiftly followed up with the Just A Feeling EP, but then things took a turn for the bassier.

The next two or three years saw him working with the likes of Wiley, Jack Beats and AC Slater on a stream of bottom-heavy bangers, as well as providing remixes for such bass music luminaries as Sub Focus, Wilkinson, Sinden and Craig David. But latterly, he's been moving back into house territory with releases on the likes of Nervous, Armada Deep and Toolroom - which should come as no surprise, given his long involvement in the scene.

For, as you'll read below, the last half-decade spent in the public eye is just the tip of the iceberg. Thanks to growing up with a Mum who was a music photographer, a young Adam was tagging along to raves and festivals as long ago as the early 90s, when he was a mere 10 years old, and while he may be a relative newcomer in terms of releases, talk to him for five minutes and you'll realise this is someone whose love of classic US-style house runs deep. He's no ingenue in the studio, either, but rather a veteran of several different brands/projects that never quite got there, not to mention previous three- and two-piece versions of GotSome.

Right now, he's in fine musical and personal fettle. His 2018 kicked off with an 80s House Trax Mini Mix that was aired on Annie Mac's Radio 1 show - a statement of intent that was followed most recently by the Nervous single Larry, a tribute of course to Paradise Garage legend Larry Levan. And there's plenty more where that came from.

Anyway, so we rang him up for a chat, and here's what happened...

Let's start right at the beginning - tell us a bit about how you got into electronic music in the first place...

"It was funny, I got into the music scene from a very young age, because my Mum was a music photographer. So when I was about 10 or something she was going to all the festivals and I'd go along with her. Then as soon as I could work I had a paper round, and I had a mate at the time who had a set of Technics, and he was really into gangster rap. So I'd go round his house and I got obsessed with it. That was it for years and years, just learning to scratch and do doubles.

"Then when I was 16, I worked at Waitrose for a summer and saved up to buy a pair of Technics myself. At that time, I used to hang out with a bunch of older kids... I went to a Steiner school in Bristol and a few other heads were there, people like DJ Die and [Way Out West's] Jody Wisternoff. There was a bunch of peeps doing their thing, out skating in the rave days, and I was like, I want to hang with them. And I was going to see my mates and their older brothers would be listening to rave music, so I was sneaking off into their rooms to listen to old Dreamscape, Universe and Fantazia tapes. Eventually a couple of them copied off some Universe tapes for me, and I was like, 'Wow'. So at this point it was like, saving up for some decks and learning how to DJ. That was the start for me, really.

"This was the mid 90s, and music in Bristol at that time was like, Roni Size and Full Cycle, and then on the other side there was Portishead and Massive Attack. It was pretty vibrant at the time, so I was pretty lucky just being here, really!"

So how did you end up in what was originally a production duo, I believe?

"Well, it's funny you say that, because originally it started as a six-piece band, which no one really knows about, called Sublime. It was kind of an electronic/trip-hop type band with a girl singer. Kind of like Magnetic Man mixed with Portishead. We got some good gigs in Bristol, we started going on tour a bit, we got a manager, and then it all kind of... there was a few too many people in it, it all got a bit confusing.

"So that kind of dispersed, and then me and two of the other guys from the band started a thing called Forget Me Not, which was a sort of post-dubstep, garage-y thing. We got signed to Hypercolour's sister label Losing Suki, the label that Maya Jane Cole and Huxley came through on, and also Alfresco Disco started their label and the first EP on there was by Forget Me Not, which was me, Alex and Jeff.

"Jeff ended up moving to London, and that left me and Alex in the GotSome realm. That was about five years ago. And then more recently it's just me working on GotSome as a solo project, although I still work with Alex as an engineer. I always have a really clear idea of where I want to go with a record, and how it should sound, then usually Alex will come in to help me mix it down properly and get the textures right. I'm good at the writing and creating part, but Alex has got those technical skills you need for mixing, so I enjoy being able to finish off records with him, it really works. "

Coming up to date, your last release was the Larry Levan tribute Larry, and much is made in your biog about you "pursuing a housier direction" these days. Was that a conscious decision, or just something that's emerged?

"A little bit of both, really. It's the fact that… the whole idea behind GotSome, originally, was taking that American jacking style, original house music... when you listen to Bassline, it's got a real warehouse-y vibe, it's obviously an Adonis bassline - it's a flip on the classic Adonis tune No Way Back. That's where GotSome started, but then the journey I've been on... being from Bristol you get kind of sucked into the whole bass music thing, and that's been such a thing for me over the past two to three years.

"It was so natural, with all my friends and stuff, the parties that we used to do, it was very garage-y, very bass-driven. But then when I got a second to step back, I was like, where do I want to go? What am I really interested in? And I kept, like, going back to old house. Listening to Masters At Work, DJ Gregory, DJ Deep, Karizma, people like that. They all come from this pure American background and I really felt like I was lacking that soul, that groove.

"I didn't really want to fit in with what was going on now, especially with tech-house and the current bassline situation, and I just kept going back to this older music, classic house music. I love the fact it's so chunky, and it's still got bass elements in it - it's just not 'bassline'. And also, original house music was quite 'ghetto', and I felt like that's being lost now. It was quite edgy, and for me now I'm just trying to find that balance again. I don't know if I've got it yet, but I'm trying!"

Well, for me house is the mothership, so it seems natural to come back to that…

"Exactly! When I was a kid and my Mum was going out to clubs, I can remember her coming back with her mates, putting on old acid house tapes, and me being woken up, coming downstairs going, like,'What's going on? What's this music?" and she'd say 'It's house music'.

"When I listened back to those tapes in later years, a lot of it was hip-hop, really. But when they were talking about it, whether it was 2 Live Crew or Break 4 Love, it was all house music, and for me that's, fundamentally, why I want to make house. I don't know if that makes sense or not! But, y'know, some of the music that I write might have hip-hop influences, or tribal influences, but for me it's still house music in that way."

One of your tracks on Soundcloud, I noticed, samples the vocal from Watcha Gonna Do? by Joy For Life. That wasn't a particularly huge tune at the time (1997), so is that an old favourite?

"Yeah, 100 percent. For me, all of those tunes are a memory, because my Mum used to play them and I didn't know what they were! So when you hear those tunes and you've got that memory it's like, oh wow... of course you're going to draw from those influences. Same for things like Break 4 Love or Pump Up The Jam... I couldn't really remember them as such but I remember loving them, if you know what I mean, because I was a kid then. So that's why I'm going to put it in my tunes now, because most of the kids that I'm playing to now, they haven't got a clue about that."

Today's younger clubbers wouldn't even have been born when the Joy For Life track came out...

"Yeah exactly, most of them are 19 or something."

Okay, so that's where you've come from and where you're at... I guess now we need to talk about where you're going next. What's in the pipeline?

"Well, I recently started working with a new manager and that's going really, well, and since then I've had a whole bunch of tunes signed. There was Everybody Know Now which came out on Armada Deep, and then Larry which has just come out on Nervous Records which, for me, to have a tune come out on Nervous... I was super-happy about it, you know?

"In September I've got an EP called Lightning coming out on Sweat It Out, Yolanda Be Cool's label in Australia. I've done a kind of tribal tune which is a bit crazy, it's a bit like Nomad Chat and a bit like the Zulu tune I did, and then on the other side there's a disco edit - I used that sample "don't knock the rock," a big 80s disco hook.

"And then in November I'm doing my next single, Girls & Boys, which is coming out on Attantic/Big Beat. I made that at the start of the year and Annie Mac kind of jumped on it. It was a bunch of old Trax samples, so we had to spend most of the year trying to get them all cleared, and now we've got them revocaled and got everything cleared. So now that'll be out as single I'm pretty excited."

So are you happy sticking with singles and EPs for now, or is there an album in the works?

"You know what I really want to do? I wanna be confident in myself, and I don't want to go into an album and just chuck loads of shit at a wall. If I go and do an album, I want to have a concept of what I'm doing. I feel like, from the start of what I've done, I've gone on a bit of a journey. I've stayed true to the concept of what it's about, but I've gone on a journey, and for me, I need to get to a pinnacle bit before I do an album. But I'd love to do one at some point."

And what about the DJing side of things, what have you got coming up there?

"Well, the last few weeks have been pretty crazy, I've done a bunch of the big ones like Hideout in Croatia, and Boomtown in Winchester, and I also played in Dubai last weekend. Then next weekend I'm doing a festival in Budapest called Budafest, and the week after that I'm at Burning Man. It's about my fifth year there, I think."

Cool. Will you be playing while you're there at all?

"I have played there a few times, but you don't really go there to play. The idea is to go there and see the art installations, and then when you see loads of amazing DJs that's, like, a bonus. So yeah, I might end up playing, but for me Burning Man's all about the art, really."

Words: Russell Deeks Pics: Khali Ackford

GotSome's Lightning EP is out on Sweat It Out on 7 September. Order it here

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Tags: GotSome, Adonis, house, bass music, Alfresco Disco, Nervous, Bristol, Losing Suki, Armada Deep, Sweat It Out, Yolanda Be Cool, Annie Mac, DJ Die, Jody Wisternoff, Burning Man, Hideout, Boomtown, Budafest, Forget Me Not