Tom Gatley is a UK-based music producer with releases on Whartone Records, Black Kat & Natura Viva to name a few. His music has been played and featured on Toolroom Radio, BBC Radio Wales, and DMC World Magazine. ‘Terminate’ is his first independent release, combining melodic and heavy electronic sounds for a 2020 progressive house sound.
We caught up with Tom Gatley to talk about ‘Terminate’ and other musical projects.
Electronic Groove: Hi, Tom, thanks for the time. You’ve had a busy year so far with many releases. What’s new for this summer season?
Tom Gatley: Thank you! This summer I’m excited to release my new single ‘Terminate’, my first self-release. I feel like it’s a unique sound, so I wanted to start a new independent journey. I’m excited to see how it goes.
Electronic Groove: What can you tell us about the production behind it this latest release? Any special tricks, equipment?
Tom Gatley: For the build-ups, I used the Arturia Mini V3, overlaying smooth sounds and finding them space in the mix for a warm result. I used the u-He Zebra for the heavy bass sound. I finished the track last month after working on it for over a year on and off, with feedback from artists I respect.
Electronic Groove: We want to dig a little into your creative process. Where do you find your inspiration? Do you listen to other music to get ideas? Do your surroundings play a role?
Tom Gatley: I start without a genre in mind. I spent a lot of time producing house and techno in my twenties, but the music always seemed to want to break free. These genres still find their way back, but more naturally now. I’m always listening to soundtracks for inspiration, but the music itself comes from somewhere higher. I cannot claim it as mine, whether it’s inspired by God or the universe, I’m just grateful to have found the passion and be along for the ride. I think we all have the ability to create things we love. We just have to figure out the right art form or genre for us. That’s the part that takes time!
Electronic Groove: Moving into the current times we’re living. How have you handled the lockdown and has it affected you in any positive or negative way?
Tom Gatley: I’ve handled it surprisingly well, keeping a routine and healthier lifestyle with enough time to create, but I know I am very lucky in this regard. Just before lockdown, I left the busy city of Cardiff to my parents’ house, which is empty at the moment. I needed a change, and it was meant to be temporary, but circumstances kept me here. I am at peace in isolation, which for me is the best place to create from, and to plan for times when ‘forced quarantine’ is no longer needed. I keep thinking I would live well on Mars, but I doubt they need DJ’s up there!
I mostly avoid social media or at least stay quiet about current events unless I’m talking to friends. There are a lot of reasons to be angry and post, retweet about it, but I feel the most we can do right now is stay focused and positive in isolation.
“A great set has surprises, music you would not expect”
Electronic Groove: Where would it be your favorite place to play at and what would you think would be your first track?
Tom Gatley: I would love to play on a beach at sunset, in Ibiza or Miami, of course! The opening track would be Hiroshi Yoshimura – Creek.
Electronic Groove: How do you go upon your sets? Do you plan them ahead? Play as you go? And what do you think makes a good set?
Tom Gatley: It’s a bit of both. I like to plan and have a story to tell, or at least find tracks that really belong together the night before. However, this always ends up changing on the night, especially if the crowd are moving a certain direction. A great set has surprises, music you would not expect, or haven’t heard. Some DJs can just play the right track at the right moment and it’s unforgettable. I think that’s a real skill that takes time, something Sasha and Carl Cox are masters at.
Electronic Groove: Music organization is one of the key elements when DJing. How do you organize yours and can you share some tips?
Tom Gatley: I keep my folders separated by genre in iTunes, and create playlists for Rekordbox, with everything backed up. I know where all the tracks are somehow, for now! Perhaps in five years, I will struggle, so maybe if anyone has tips for me, please let me know!
Electronic Groove: There are plenty of DJs that are suffering from the halt of live events and clubs shutting down? What do you think they should do to keep relevant and to keep inspired?
Tom Gatley: I think they should stay focused on producing music. It’s the reason a lot of us are here. I think live-streaming is positive, as well as collaboration. Just focus on the music, listening, and creating. I’ve seen a lot of releases at this time and it’s great, it shows that we cannot be stopped.
Electronic Groove: Following on the last question. Do you think live streams? Or are they bad for the artist?
Tom Gatley: Anything that allows someone to do what they love and express themselves is a good thing. I am more of a producer than DJ, but I know how much fun it is and if it helps someone get through these times they should keep doing it.
“I feel the most we can do right now is stay focused
and positive in isolation”
Electronic Groove: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Tom Gatley: For now, I am making the most of this time to be creative. I was planning a short film, which I also composed, since January and it’s a long, frustrating waiting game at the moment. Luckily, I can still make music to let go of that frustration. After ‘Terminate’, I plan to keep experimenting with my sound and see where it leads, how people respond. I’m excited!
Electronic Groove: Many thanks and stay safe!
Tom Gatley: Thank you for supporting my music and my new track. Stay safe as well!
Tom Gatley’s ‘Terminate’ is now available. Stream and buy here.