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Gil K, commander of the lower east side underground scene, swimmingly joins our Hometown Heroes roster this week. Fresh off a string of summer gigs in South America and NYC, Gil K sparks the techy heat with this mix. As label owner of NOSI Music, Gil’s exquisite taste of deep and diverse house music spawns from the legendary underground scene of NYC. With his finger on the pulse of the underground in NYC for nearly a decade, Gil is responsible for bringing up some of today’s most original and authentic artists. His No Requests party in NYC has a reputation for bringing out top talent and sexy people for a night of seemingly endless vibes. Be on the lookout for forthcoming releases on NOSI from Low Tide and Pete Bones. Keep an eye and definitely an ear out for Gil K.
Interview with Gil K:
Where are you from and what are your musical upbringings?
I’ve lived in New York City for almost 9 years now, so that pretty much qualifies me as a proper urbanite with all the neurotic accouterments. But I grew up around Southern New England. I dabbled in music here and there throughout school, played a few pieces for my high school band, but never really latched on to any one instrument or path. I was really into making mixtapes back in the day, and would meticulously study every image and bit of copy on my CDs. So in a way I think was prepping myself to become a DJ.
Can you tell us how you got mixed up in this crazy world of electronic music?
Around 1999 when I was studying at UConn I started mixing Top 40 and classics at local bars around campus. I was really into big beat electronica at the time–stuff like Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Moby, Daft Punk, and Fat Boy Slim. So naturally I slowly worked my sounds and began to crave out a little sound. I wasn’t really mixing back then until I met the DJ at my first ‘rave’ that played at Tunnel in NYC. He took me under his wing, taught me the ropes of the business, and would let me open up for him at his gigs in Providence, RI. He taught me the fundamental of club DJing, and of course I was hooked right away. I began perfecting my mixing skills, selection, and how to play vinyl (I started on CDs). After Providence, I moved to New York for a bit before taking a year off to travel and DJ around Central America in 2005. That’s when things really took off, and led me to the path I’m on today.
Can you tell us a little about the city you live in now and the scene there?
Well, living in NYC right now is a real treat for anyone who loves our music. It might not be the heyday of Paradise Garage, but the level and quality of events and music happening week (day) in and out is truly impressive for anyone. When I started here in 2008-ish, Sullivan Room was the place to play and maybe a few others. The Brooklyn warehouse scene was just starting to come back into itself, but the city dominated the club scene. Now the music scene has exploded, spread across the river to Brooklyn, and taken over every facet of nightlife.
You are the head of NOSI Music. Can you tell us a little about your label and what was the catalyst for you to start your own label?
I decided to start my own label while on my first tour to Central America in 2005. At that time, digital music (i.e. Beatport) had just launched, and it opened the doors wide open. I had previously interned at a label in the city, and had the bug firmly in me since I was in high school. I always liked the idea of working with artists, and bringing together the worlds of music/art and business. I was really attracted to the role of an A&R, and felt it suited me perfectly.
Since we launched NOSI Music in 2006, the label has gone through many changes. The beauty of this music is that we can grow with it. About two years ago I was really frustrated and was ready to pack it in. Right around that time, I landed an EP from Alexi Delano, and from there we pretty much turned the corner and everything really blossomed. At the end of this year, we’ll be releasing our first 2 vinyl releases on NOSI, so we’re all really excited about that.
NY seems to be at the forefront of the music scene in the US. Can you tell us why you think this is and how week in and week out this great city brings in the best talent internationally.
Yes, things in NY have really exploded the last few years since I’ve been here. There are so many factors to consider, but in the end it’s the hard work and dedication of guys like Resolute, Blk Market Membership, Verboten, Output and the myriad of other venues and promoters big, small, and in between that have kept the lifeblood of this industry pumping strong. The relationships formed here and around the world, have led to a steady pipeline of talent from all over … you could even say an overabundance of talent as more and more people relocate here, or pass through, hoping to get in on the action.
Who are some of your favorite producers/labels right now?
Wow, always a tough question. I’d say the most impressive label I’ve seen lately has been Creepy Finger from the UK. I’ve been turned on to so many new artists through them, and each release is always shit-hot. Secondly, I’d say Little Helpers. Each release is so tight and well rounded. I’ve also been turned onto to a couple vinyl labels too, specifically God Particle out of Chicago which is really killing it right now.
What advice would you give to someone sending you music?
The first bit of advice…don’t cc me on a list of other labels, or bcc me for that matter. Send exclusives, choose the labels you want to be on carefully, and send music appropriate to that history. NOSI is pretty wide open when it comes to sound, I’d say the biggest factor for me is the artist. We look for artists that are serous about their craft, and who will have a future in this business. So, professionalism is a huge plus. Oh, and most importantly, send complete tracks (no clips) and it’s always best to use a streaming link so I can check them out while on the road.
Drink of Choice?
Old Fashioned w/a big ice cube.
Can you tell us s little about this mix?
I think there’s a pretty nice range of sounds on here. I had a lot of fun with this mix and challenged myself to make something really enjoyable to listen to. Not just from a track-by-track basis, but the overall sound and vibe. Also there are 3 new tracks from NOSI Music embedded in here: Low Tide-Step Up (Original Mix), Pete Bones-Chompers (Danielle Nicole Remix), Matuss – Santori (Original Mix).