Whiskey Pickle and Sound Control label boss, Terminal resident DJ, and blog contributor for Discobelle, Davey, aka RiCHARD.GEAR, is a busy dude out in Austin, Texas!

Davey rolls deep with a crew of fantastic peeps in the Lone Star capital. We first met him during our visit to South By Southwest in 2013, along with his Machine: comrades, Adam Warped and Jfrancis. That was one wild week!

Nowadays, Davey manages two record labels: Whiskey Pickle Records with founder Adam Warped and Sound Control Records, which he co-founded with friend, Lambda, in 2014. The combined catalogues include a number of great artists: Sleezy McQueen, Vanilla Ace, The Funk District, James Curd, and Night Drive to name a handful.

RiCHARD.GEAR–besides DJing, producing music, managing record labels, and throwing parties–also contributes his expertise and passion to the prestigious music blog, Discobelle. Having this kind of outlet to connect the dots and share his thoughts is a highly valuable resource for networking and relationship building, which undoubtedly greatly progresses Davey’s career.

We’re proud to feature this Texan Hero on MI4L. Enjoy the mix and read more about Davey in the interview below!

Hometown Heroes: RiCHARD.GEAR from Austin

* CLICK HERE if you do not see the SoundCloud player.

1. Jorgito – Just For Today (Tropical Mix) – bodytalk
2. Jon Delerious – Sticky – Nordic Trax
3. Detroit Swindle – In Reverse – Heist Recordings
4. DJ Mes – Boom Chika Boom – Guesthouse
5. Klaves – Say It – Let’s Play House
6. Shaka – 4056 – Traxx Underground
7. Hawkes & Blake – Love Precipitation – Aus Music
8. Austin Welsh – Hot 110 – Club Sweat
9. Mafia Kiss – Do It – Punks Music
10. Bakongo – Tee Oh Ell – Quadrants
11. DJ Deeon – Freak Like Me (Mr. Rich & Thomas Graham Edit) – Bootleg
12. Eyes Everywhere – No One Else – Club Sweat
13. MSCLS & Moondoctor – Defenders Of House – Club Sweat


Interview with RiCHARD.GEAR

How did you get into dance music and DJing? Do you remember a specific moment of inspiration or was it an evolution?
I got into dance music through my family. Growing up, my parents where in the nightclub and entertainment industry, so, from a very young age, they taught my brother and I how to entertain and throw parties. My folks opened their first discotheque in 1978 here in Austin, TX and when I was 12, their business partner and former resident DJ gave me a pair of Technics 1200 (mark I’s with a rotary pitch control) as a Christmas gift. I already had a deep love for music and had been playing guitar and messing around with little rhythm sequencers and synths when my older brother took me to my first rave in 1998. I’d have say that that was the pivotal moment when everything really clicked for me… that event has shaped the course of my life ever since.

How did Whiskey Pickle come about? Tell us the story. How does running a record label help your DJ career progress?
Whiskey Pickle was founded in 2009 by my buddy and business partner, Adam Warped. I came on as partner and general manager in 2012 and I think our synergy really gave the label the push it needed to start making some serious ground. Whiskey Pickle has always been a family oriented project–meaning that we strive to give shine to our homies and local talent that are creating music we think should be heard.

In the next few weeks we’ll be dropping our first compilation which will also be our 30th release. We’ve also just signed a deal with Juno Records to start pressing our own vinyl releases, which is super exciting for us. The first EP should be out later this year–a wicked four-tracker from Icelandic Disco producer, BG Baarregaard.

Running a label definitely helps to contribute to the global community. It’s certainly more effective for me as a DJ opposed to say, throwing a party. In these times of over saturation and shortened attention spans, I’d say it’s easier for me to spread music globally than try to convince folks to attend my parties. I didn’t become a DJ so I could be an event promoter, I prefer to stay in my desired lane, so to speak.

What’s your role within Discobelle? How did you get tangled up with those guys?
I currently run another label, Sound Control Records, which is operated by myself and my good friends, Chuck Costello and Benjamin Vera. Chuck is also the manager for the dance/rock combo, Night Drive, and he connected me to former Discobelle contributor and Night Drive PR guru, Nancy Lu. DB was looking for new contributors, Chuck tapped me as a candidate and I’ve been on board for the last three years or so.

What’s the scene like in Austin? How is it unique compared to the rest of the world?
It’s a tough beast, but that can be said for just about every city. It’s all based on perspective. I’d have to say that Techno really has the strongest foothold in the city thanks to Christian Barbuto (of Electric Avenue and Octopus Recordings), but there are definitely folks making noise for more traditional and modern forms of House, as well as experimental and Bass-oriented music. I’d say the local scene suffered a pretty deep blow with the loss of Lanai a few years back, but now that space has reopened (now called Ethics Music Lounge) and it’s better than ever! The folks there have really brought together a winning combination to make a successful go at it from their DJs to management and booking.

I’d say the most unique thing about Austin is how mis-conceived it is. I was born here. I’ve seen it grow and develop over the years and though the population in the greater area is approaching 2 million, it’s still holds a small town feel–(though that is fading with each year, sadly). Events like SXSW, ACL and Formula 1 give the world a completely different perspective and those that visit these events see Austin in a rare form with vibrant crowds, huge parties and global talent. Keep in mind, most of these things only happen at those certain times where as the night-by-night really doesn’t resemble that all so much.

Name a couple core values you hold as a DJ?
The undying love of music and the irreverence of it’s format. By format, I mean both the genre it comes in and the medium in which it’s consumed. I love vinyl. I buy it weekly and I listen to thousands of digital tracks. I use a controller in some situations, CDJs and turntables in others. I think the format war is useless… if you’re rocking the party, who cares how you’re doing it?

Where does your heart lay — 115 or 125? What’s one of your favorite jams you’re playing out at the moment?
If I have to choose one, I’d say 115… it’s typically what I go for when I’m on the dance floor. I used to do a party called MACHINE a few years back and we had a strict rule not to go above 120bpm during the night…we’d usually start around 95bpm and things were super cooking once we reached 117bpm…had a lot of fun at those parties.

I just got a fresh promo from Sweat It Out sub label, Club Sweat, which is an EP from my homie MSCLS and Moondoctor. Their tune, “Defenders Of House” is my jam right now. Haven’t had a chance to play it out, but looking forward to it and it’s also included in this mix.

What gig do you dream about?

What cool things do you have planned for 2016 and beyond?
Whiskey Pickle vinyl is huge for me right now, so stoked that this is soon to be a reality and it’s a big accomplishment for me at the moment. I can’t wait to hold that black gold!

I’m lucky enough to be involved with some great friends and our party/crew, Terminal. We host nights monthly at Plush and Empire Control Room and weekly at Ethics for Hypersonic Sundays… 2016 should be our best year yet!

Tell us about your mix…
I like to keep things pretty fun and a bit diverse. There is definitely some deep, disco and classic house influences, but I’ve really been digging the Club Sweat output lately and there are three tunes forthcoming from that label featured here. They’ve really been hitting the mark for me with their perfect blend of funk, soul, energy and bass friendly tracks. I also have a secret love for break music and there are a couple tasty joints in there that feed that need for me.

Drink of choice…
Thirsty Planet’s Buckethead IPA, brewed right here in Austin, TX


Connect with RiCHARD.GEAR
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Photo credits: Alex Hopes Photography and Lauren Bruno


Jimbo James
Managing Editor