Deep, dark and hypnotic. Gareth Cole’s distinctive sound has swept across dancefloors over the last twelve months sending clubs around the globe into a frenzy. The producer from the United Kingdom has risen rapidly from respected resident DJ, to a name on the lips of the finest underground DJs in the game. Taken under the wing of German minimal house icon Steve Bug and signed to his superb Sublease label, his robust brand of deep looping house has found its way into the boxes of everyone from Hot Since 82 to John Digweed.
Influenced in his early years by Sasha, Digweed, Hernan Cattaneo and Guy J, it would be the legendary Global Underground and Transitions mixes that initially hooked him on the progressive house sound. He began avidly collecting mixes, studying the art of building long sets and layering sounds. As he established himself as a regular on the Manchester circuit, he began to take on influences, imbuing his style with dubby stripped back house and muscular techno. Steve Bug, Nick Curly, Gorge, Mihai Popoviciu would all feature prominently in his sets.
By 2022 he was ready to showcase his art with the world. He had found his sonic signature, techy hypnotic house, that was laced with energy and highly functional on the dancefloor. His debut release on Suprematic rocketed to number 1 in the Beatport deep house releases. However, it would be signing to Steve Bug’s Sublease label for the Signal EP that would be a transitional point. Tracks like ‘Courage’ were evolving dancefloor weapons that lured clubbers into their hypnotic web before sweeping them off into a vortex of sound. Soon videos from DJs playing everywhere from South America to Europe were flooding social media, with heroes such as John Digweed, Dubfire, Danny Howells, Steve Bug and Hot Since 82 all road testing tracks to devastating effect. It became one of Beatport’s deep house bestsellers for 2022, John Digweed so enamoured with the EP he would invite Gareth on to his legendary Transitions show.
We could caught up with Gareth to find out more!
Hi Gareth, how are you and what have you been up to this week?
Hey, I’m great thank you! Just got back from ADE so feeling really inspired after 3 days of connecting and hearing some amazing music. Feeling pumped now to make some bangers in the studio!
How long have you been DJing?
I started DJing about 11 years ago.
When did you start to produce and what made you want to make your own music?
I’ve been producing for about 7 years, I’d say the last 3 years I’ve really ramped it up and put more time into it after going full time and packing in my corporate banking job. Initially I wanted to produce so I could DJ at better gigs and travel around the globe, but the further I’ve gone into the rabbit hole I feel now it’s more about me expressing myself and my feelings through my music whilst being authentic and having fun as well in the process!
To add, it was only early last year when I decided to start releasing my music. I was never in any rush to put stuff out, I wanted to make sure it truly represented me artistically and the quality levels were good enough before I made my push.
You have a few releases on Steve Bug's label Sublease Music right now. Tell us more about that and how did you get your first record signed?
Yes I’m absolutely chuffed to have 2 EPs on Steve’s label and a remix for a superb track made byDanny B. I’ve always been a huge fan of Steve and his Poker Flat sound and I reached out to him on Instagram and mentioned I’d sent some tunes to him via email. I think it was 3 days later he replied back and said he loved them and wanted to sign them! :-)
This release was a huge breakthrough and step forward for me as my track ‘Courage’ was a huge success and gained support from the likes of John Digweed, Hot Since 82, Dubfire, Steve Lawler, Danny Howells, Spencer Brown, Marsh to name a few. It had that cross over appeal and seemed to fit well in a lot of DJs playlists.
What else can you tell us about future releases, anything exciting in the pipeline?
I’ve just had a new release on Steve’s Sublease label (Focus EP). I’ve got lots of new tracks ready so watch this space! ;-)
I’m also working on some collabs with some really talented artists so I'm excited to share ideas and create something a little different.
Where was your first gig and how did it go?
This was some time ago but I recall it being at a Bar/Restaurant in Manchester called Gaucho. Yes, it went really well, I was so nervous before hand haha - but once I played a few tracks I was instantly hooked and thought this is so me, I want more of this!
You are currently based in Manchester. Do you get a chance to play out in the city and where are some of your favourite places to go?
Yes I play out pretty much every week in Manchester at late night bars, restaurants and some club events. I’ve supported the likes of Lee Burridge and Sasha, so that was a real education! In my opinion the clubbing scene isn’t the best at the moment, there are some high profile venues like the Warehouse Project that bring in the masses but not many successful regular smaller club events that help to promote the up and coming DJs.
I feel like unless you're a huge name in the scene especially in Manchester its a bit of a scrap to get anything at the moment.
Which other DJs or producers are you liking right now?
DJ’s - Patrice Bäumel, Guy J, Sasha, John Digweed & Steve Bug.
Producers - Mihai Popoviciu, Gorge, Pig & Dan, DAVI, Audiojack, Dilby, Nick Curly, Steve Kelley.
What are your go-to labels?
Pokerflat/Sublease, 8 Bit Records, Crosstown Rebels, Cocoon, Bondage Music, Knee Deep in Sound to name a few.
You have compiled our latest Berlin Mixtapes Series Episode 054 - Tell us more about your mix.
So the mix represents where I am at the moment with my DJ sets. It has a mixture of deep house and some melodic, proggy and techy sounds. Always the case for me I try to build the mix and bring up the energy levels whilst keeping the listeners locked into the groove. It also features 3 of my tracks from my new Sublease EP.
Thanks for spending some time with us, is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Thanks for having me on, hope you enjoy the mix! I’m on all socials, come and say hi :-)
Exciting stuff! It's been an absolute pleasure talking with you. Next up here's the Quickfire Round: Genre: Techno
Favourite colour: Black
What do you put on your chips? Curry sauce
Apple or Android?: Apple
First album ever bought: Eric Prydz - 1983 (Paolo Mojo Remix)
Can you juggle?: Nope
Do you collect anything?: I used to collect video games. Favourite place to hang out: My local tennis club Favourite club: Space from back in the day!
Favourite bar/pub: Local pub Favourite beer: Peroni
Favourite place to eat: Local curry house
Weirdest thing you've eaten: Crocodile
How do you like your eggs: Scrambled
Coffee or tea: Tea
Favourite footy team: Blackburn Rovers
Favourite track right now: Gareth Cole - Focus ;-)
Favourite word: Boom!
3 words to describe your mix: Groovy, techy, smooth
Neeco - Antechamber - The Soundgarden (Intro)
Rhadow - Indigo (Mihai Popoviciu Remix) - Bondage Records
Fioretti - San Pol - 8 Bit Records
Meera (NO) - Grevling - VOD
Tim Engelhardt, Maga - Lev - Scenarios
DAVI - Future Avenue - 8 Bit Records
Gareth Cole - Humidity - Sublease Music
Durante - Once Again - W & O Street Tracks
Nicolas Masseyeff, Parallelle - Renegade (Adam Ten & Mita Gami Remix)
DAVI - Always - Bedrock Records
Gareth Cole - Focus - Sublease Music
Argy - The Thrust - Cocoon Recordings
German Brigante - Love Will Save the Day - Warung Recordings
Gareth Cole - 4th Time Lucky - Sublease Music
Kevin Di Serna - Faro (Jonathan Kaspar Remix) - Sum Over Histories