by Mike Perry
With the current (and in my opinion, outdated) scene, younger DJs and producers tend to forget where this crazy little genre called house started. Our hometown sound, although great, is slowly fading away as the years grow in numbers. In the zero hour, our city has been saved by a 4/4 superhuman, Garrett Shrigley, that goes simply by Adulture. This young producer has been pumping life and thus, preventing the genre from flatlining all together. We talked recently about his Solid Bump debut single "Paper Cat" (featuring former Chicago resident OCD Automatic) and the state of house music.
Mike Perry for UR Chicago: What was your first exposure to dance music? How would you say growing up in the Midwest has shaped that?
Garrett Shrigley: Growing up in Columbus I was surrounded by a community of people who not only loved the music but were directly involved with it. I developed an attraction to house and dance music at a young age because of events and parties that were held around my hometown. In the late 90s a group of DJs from Columbus— Titonton, Todd Sines, Ed Luna, etc.—set the tone for Columbus to be a community of people who all appreciate the sounds of Detroit and Chicago. I began to produce at a young age there and when I was old enough to move, I went towards Chicago because I felt it would be an inspirational place to create and work in the birthplace of house.
My first experience with house music was when I was very young and hearing old DJ Sasha cds in my sister's car and always loved to dance around with her—this may have been brainwashing.
UR: How has your style changed since you first started DJing to now?
GS: When I first started DJing I was really into more instrumental hip hop and left field artists like Prefuse 73 and Aphex Twin but developed an attraction to house music shortly after that. I've always had an infatuation with funk and disco but never really thought of those elements being in a club atmosphere—and when I found sounds similar to funk but with a driving arrangement it was a big realization.
UR: You just had a big release for Solid Bump records. The track "Paper Cat" (co-written by OCD Automatic) has been killing the Beatport and Turntable Lab Charts. Explain the track, give a little bit of background and talk about the remixes.
GS: I had left Gramaphone with a couple new records and went straight home to sample some of them. I found one that I had really liked and started to manipulate it and add drum patterns to it. OCD Automatic (Erin Keefe) was my roommate at the time and had overheard my progress with the particular track and came in my room to see what I had been working on. He enjoyed what I had already so much to where he offered to work on it together. We had never done that before so I was definitely open to the idea of it. At the very beginning the song started to resonate with us so well that everything just began to click. After two days locked in our apartment, the song had been finished. We named it "Paper Cat" because our only real interaction with anything in those two days besides the song was a gift sent to Erin of a foldable, 3D, paper cat.
I had maintained a relationship with the label owners at Solid Bump due to my involvement with their roster under my previous moniker, Le Principle. I sent them the demo and right away they loved it and asked to do a release.
Adulture & OCD Automatic - "Paper Cat" (Sammy Bananas remix)
As for remixers, we wanted three remixes that could support the brand of Solid Bump but at the same time all have a much different take on the original, and cover more bases in the different subgenres of house. With Phantom's Revenge, Bit Funk, and Sammy Bananas all being friends of both Erin and I, it wasn't hard to look for the talent to get the job done. I am so pleased with all the remixes and promotions. I don't think it could have gotten any better.
UR: Tell me about your recent signing to Dust Traxx and what your first release will be for them.
GS: I recently started to work for Dust Traxx as an A&R rep as well as helping distribute other labels' catalogs. Being a producer myself means that it was a great opportunity to have releases on not only a label that I work for, but one that has been so inspirational to me.
My first release with Dust Traxx is a two track EP titled "No Use In Crying." Both tracks are my idea of taking the late 90s sound of Chicago house and taking it one step further into a new generation of house enthusiasts. As for other releases, expect some drastic improvements to the amount of releases. Our concentration is no longer what house music sounded like in the 90s—it's what house music sounds like in 2010.
UR: What are your thoughts on the Chicago scene—some positives and negatives?
GS: I love that in Chicago you can learn so much from people that have lived here all their lives, hearing all the stories about The Music Box and legendary rivalries between labels is very fascinating to me. But one of the things that really disappoints me is that now I feel as if people don't respect or highlight the originators of house like they deserve. In my observations of a younger crowd, House music is a dinosaur but its so skewed because house is a timeless feeling!
UR: Where do you hope house music goes within the coming years?
GS: I hope that younger producers take the time and initiative to do their homework and take the next step.