We are proud to announce the following featured festival artists for GATF 2012! For full lineup details of when and where to catch each artist, please see the program guide
Kevin Saunderson (The Elevator) (Detroit, MI)
Kevin was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1964, but moved at the age of nine to the place known as the ‘Motor City’, Detroit. He attended Belleville High School (West of Detroit), where his youthful urge to make music had been fuelled. There he befriended two other like-minded students (Atkins and May). After leaving school he attended Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, where he played Football. After 2 years, Kevin quit playing football in order to focus on music, so he joined his high school pals Derrick May and Juan Atkins, which unknown at the time would be the move that would help Kevin’s career escalate.
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Starting out as a DJ, Kevin soon developed new skills that led him into producing records, which he released on his own label, KMS Records. The demand for Kevin as a Producer and DJ was overwhelming overseas, as well as in the States. He introduced acts like ‘Kreem’, ‘Reese’, ‘Inter-City’ (later to become Inner City) and ‘Reese & Santonio’.
Kevin’s biggest achievement (to date) and his most commercially recognized project has been INNER CITY, who have come full circle after TEN years, as one of the World’s most influential Dance acts. As one of the most important prime time movers in the house and techno revolution of 1988, Kevin Saunderson and Paris Grey have been to the top, struggled and bounced back to the top of the pile.
John Tejada (Los Angeles, CA)
Normally associated with his peers in techno from Detroit, Europe and elsewhere in the US and the world, John Tejada has embraced electronic music as a personal frontier, expanding on his formidable resume as a techno recording artist as producer and remixer, DJ, and label owner. With dozens of singles, remixes, some film and TV work, and contributions to sample CDs to his credit, this recent expansion has born a slew of tracks deeply informed by his uncompromised aesthetic honed over years of diligent production which finds its roots in Detroit techno but references a far broader range of music, both in and outside of electronic music.
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His musically formative years were steeped in classical music, growing up in family of performing artists — his mother a soprano singer and his father a conductor — which then widened to include hip hop, DJing and finally, electronic music. Known for crafting a brand of subtle, musical techno, his recorded output ranges across tempo and genre lines, from chilled out affairs with spacious arrangements to pulsating, densely layered, deeply energetic tracks that work magnificently in the hands of DJs as well as on the home stereo.
Earlier on, his music found release on labels such as A13, Multiplex and Generation R&S. Following on those successes, he established his own imprint, Palette Recordings, in Los Angeles in 1996, and has enjoyed many years of steady growth and recognition. The label has served as an exclusive outlet for his own prodigious output but has recently begun to expand its roster.
He has also continued to record for other labels such as Plug Research, Seventh City, Poker Flat, and others, often in collaboration with 15-year long collaborator Arian Leviste. Alongside these numerous singles, he has also produced thirteen albums (including three from his indie band, I’m Not A Gun) and four mixed CDs.
Links: Resident Advisor
Mike Parker (Buffalo, NY)
Over the years, Mike Parker’s education in the visual arts has had a profound impact on the music he produces. His production style is as uncompromising as his dj sets are powerful: a track is rehearsed many times, then recorded live on mostly analogue gear with no edits or overdubbing later. His dj sets have the same spontaneous bite. His main output has been on his own GEOPHONE label, on which he has released to date fourteen unrelenting, throbbing techno cuts, remixed (very rarely) by the likes of Donato Dozzy & Woody McBride.
Read more & Listen…
Mike’s other releases include recordings for Orange Groove, Labrynth & Dozzy records. Recent releases include a remix of classic Aubrey for MOWAR and a track on SPECTRAL SOUND, also included on Ryan Elliot’s recent “Document’ compilation. Strong mixes for mnml ssg have further increased the devoted following to his tight & powerful DJ sets. Mike has previously toured Europe & Japan including the Labyrinth festival.
Rrose (Washington, D.C.)
Enigmatic producer Rrose came to the attention of the worldwide techno scene in 2011 after the release of 3 EPs and an album on Sandwell District, one of contemporary techno’s greatest labels. Densely textured and experimental yet wholly at home on the dancefloor, Rrose’s records quickly established themselves as must-have releases for discerning techno fans the world over. 2012 brings the the launch of his new label, Eaux, with the first release featuring a 1977 studio improvisation from US sound artist Bob Ostertag along with two revisions by Rrose himself. His performance at Great American Techno Festival will be a special Live PA on the main floor at NORAD on Turbosound.
Drumcell (Los Angeles, CA)
Drumcell is the founder of Droid Recordings and co-founder of Droid Behavior along with the Vangelis and Vidal Vargas of Raíz. Since the mid Nineties Drumcell has been a firm believer in the power of techno and over the past decade become one of Southern California’s greatest champions.
As a graduate of the Musician’s Institute, a veteran performer at parties, and longtime recording engineer Drumcell harnesses a strong musical background with a gifted sense of technological intuition. The delicate balance keeps him pushing the limits of his gear continually as a way to develop his artistic express.
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Forming the Droid Behavior collective with the Vargas brothers in the early 2000′s was another other major step in this ongoing development. In turn, the collective has helped expose other local artists as well as established DJs to the growing legion of techno fans in the Los Angeles basin. In the past five years, he’s played alongside nearly every major DJ in the genre via the trio’s signature Interface parties. This year he also did a mini-tour of the US which culminated in him playing the main stage at the prestigious Movement festival in Detroit.
Raíz (Los Angeles, CA)
Los Angeles born and bred, Vangelis and Vidal Vargas were raised in the ’80s on a steady diet of Latin freestyle, electro, and new wave that pervaded their urban environment. Their father also exposed them to cutting edge progressive acts Vangelis, Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk, planting early seeds for aural exploration. By the mid ’90s they were sampling LA’s underground club scene and heavily researching electronic music’s roots. After years of influence they began to express their musical vision through their own recordings and performances.
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Vidal and Vangelis eventually found common ground with producer / performer Drumcell, and in 2002 they formed the Droid Behavior event production group and record label out of frustration with the city’s lack of knowledge, acceptance, and understanding for Midwest-bred techno and house music and their European counterparts.
Deepak Sharma (New York, NY)
For the past decade, New York City artist Deepak Sharma has been quietly building a sterling reputation for quality American as a DJ, producer, promoter, and owner of Hidden Records – one of the premier techno labels in the US. A deep passion for music, connecting with people, and a love for life continue to motivate Sharma as his momentum grows.
Sharma began as a promoter in 2001 and looking back he recalls the one particular night opened the door for him as an artist, “I was booking Fabric resident’s Craig Richards and Lee Burridge as Tyrant at his Wednesday night soiree at a lounge in Brooklyn called Boogaloo, the night was a resounding success, and lead to my being asked to release a mix compilation reflective of my music and vibe of the venue.”
Donor (Brooklyn, NY)
Greg Schappert aka Donor was born in New York in 1979. Having lived in cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Tokyo and Brooklyn, where he currently resides, Greg has acquired quite a few musical influences. However, it was the mid to late 90’s sounds of cities such as Birmingham, Berlin, Detroit and New York that laid the foundation for what originally sparked Greg’s interest in electronic music and for what would later influence his production. Listen…
Jason Short (Jacksonville, FL)
Jason Short is a burgeoning electronic musician and the label manager for Auralism Records. For over 14 years he has been producing original material under his own name, along with the collaborative efforts Eutactic, Kyaro, and most notably Coalition of the Killing, who was named one of Beatport’s “Minimal Artists to Watch” in 2009. During his career he’s called a few music scenes his home, including Chicago and Miami, but Short’s greatest contributions musically have been in San Francisco. It was there that he refined his diverse and restless tastes, allowing him to share stages with both fringe artists and dance floor populists. Read more & listen…
The reason his music can stand so comfortably at both ends of electronic music’s poles is due to his unique vision as a producer. A vision that was forged at the age of four, spending time each day with his stepfather in the recording studio pushing buttons and turning knobs on analog synths and Atari sequencers. Over the years, Short has also showed his daring presence as a DJ and live act at numerous events including the Cecille & Oslo showcase at the WMC (Winter Music Conference) 2009, the DEMF (Detroit Electronic Music Festival) after parties in 2008 & 2009, Lovefest (San Francisco) 2006, 2008 & 2009, the SAMC (South American Music Conference) in Ecuador 2008, Soundwave Festival (Vancouver) in 2010 as well as other events in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Laussane, Barcelona, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, Denver, and Los Angeles.
Tiari (Detroit, MI)
Tiari (A.K.A Trevor Caruso) tells a vicious story with his moody selections and dance tracks that give you no choice but to move your body to the rhythm. Born in metro Detroit he was heavily influenced by electronic music his entire life. At the age of 6 he learned breakdancing from the combined influence of his mother and older brother who was a big fan of hip-hop music. He has always been a fan of underground and punk culture which has led him to develop a deep dark minimal sound that has played out across the backdrop of a city that tells a similar story. Read more & listen…
A part of the local electronic music/dance scene since 1995, he began to mix 2 years later. With minimal tunes and deep tracks that will give the squarest of lads no choice but to lace up their dancing kicks and get down. Berlin has welcomed him in 2008 for his talents as a second trip to europe to perform (A previous 3 month tour has put him on the map and in the brainwaves of club-goers across Europe) and currently is booked for a South American tour this summer, New York, Denver, Jacksonville FL, and California.
Oonaslim (San Francisco, CA)
From all walks of life, someone unique emerges. Someone with a light inside that sparks brighter. A remarkable dedication comes from Oona Dahlman’s passion of DJing. An almost mystical form into which she transforms when she plays. Like a medium, she knows how to connect on a spiritual level when playing her music to the crowd. Not only is it Oona’s first priority to make people dance, but to bring them into another state of consciousness…
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Only in her mid 20′s, it would be all too easy to assume Oona is new to the scene. But this is not her first excursion, rather something that she has been doing all of her life. With a pagan approach, she will test the limits with long mixes, bringing certain frequencies to the floor that spark different emotions in the brain. Mixing isochronic tones into her sets has really set Oona apart from any other DJ. Her original production spans broad dance floor territory, from eerie Techno to savory Deep House. A live side project is in the works that incorporates Chillwave and Witch House with musical partner Darren Mcfarland (of Buckethead, STS9). With such hard work she’s earned her a spot on Hallucination Recordings and Hallucination Limited with Three, Monk, Reverse Commuter, Terry Francis and Rabbit in The Moon. A graduate at The International Academy of Design and Technology for Recording Arts and Digital Production, Oona’s computer visual art will take you on a journey in itself, but combined with her music, the possibilities are endless.
Dela (Milwaukee, WI)
Having been intrinsic in EDM culture since the early-nineties Dela’s deep-rooted passion for music has always been in constant forward-motion. Early appreciations for the sounds and influences of Detroit, Chicago, and Berlin have paved a way for a continual focus on innovation and musical progression. This developing artistic sense has only been matched by his personal determination to grow hand-in-hand with the music itself.
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Today, as Paco Osuna’s label partner for Mindshake Records (based in Barcelona, Spain), Dela finds his passions immersed in the cutting-edge of the world’s top techno and house arenas. However it is his love affair with the studio and DJ booth where Dela is able to express these passions artistically. As a producer, his signature concoctions of percussive and groove-based tech house have impressed aficionadi as found on labels like Colombia’s ‘The Room’ and Argentina’s ‘Pild Records’. As a DJ, his sets have graced dancefloors at noteworthy venues home and abroad… most notably appearing on headlining and featured bills at major institutions falling on DJ Mag’s Top 100 like Space – Miami (#89), Beta – Denver (#24), RISE – Boston (#42) et al… and several other events, undergrounders, and label showcases throughout the globe.