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Garuda @ Sankeys in Manchester

Ahead of Fridays festivities we have caught up with Garuda head honcho Mr Gareth Emery...

Hi Gareth how’s things?

Pretty good. Sitting in a friend's house in the Cayman Islands for a
quick day's break after a week of mayhem in Miami.

How has the beginning of 2009 been for you?

Pretty good I think. Played some fantastic parties, made some music,
got a lot of good stuff coming up... no complaints.

Your first event in January was a huge success and you are about to
embark on to the 2nd ‘Garuda’ event. What are your ideas behind the

Getting into events has been an unexpected benefit of being up North.
Basically, Garuda is my (brand) new label which we're just kicking off
right now. When I relocated to Manchester, we moved into an office for
my studio and Garuda, and found we were in the same building as the
guys who own and run Sankeys. We found got on pretty well and had a
lot of similar thoughts on the dance scene despite coming from
completely different genres.... and after managing to persuade them
that trance wasn't all bad, we decided to do a few shows at the club.
Manchester's a bit of a tough city for trance and I definitely have
respect for anyone that can maintain a monthly night there, it's hard
work. For us though, we couldn't have a better club or a more
supportive team of people than Sankeys, and putting on special one-off
events when the timing works and we can get good DJs in is a lot of fun.

What can the crowd expect from Gareth Emery on this particular night?

Playing for three hours means I can get a lot of different stuff in,
so probably more experimental stuff you'd get from me in a short set.
I guess I'll be pretty deep at the start as I'm kicking the night off,
spacey proggy grooves, taking things gradually trancier, smashing it
for an hour or so, before leveling it off at the end, as it's rather
bad form to really smash it before the next DJ.

Any new productions that we should be keeping an ear out for?

Most of all probably my new single Exposure which has been smashing it
- we've only sent it to about five of the usual suspects, all who have
been playing it. So I'm happy with that. The b-side, Metropolis, is
just about done, and honestly I think it's the stronger track of the
two... it's not got a big-room riff like Exposure, but is just a
really cool, grooving prog/trance crossover record. More my usual
sound. I also recently did a remix for Oceanlab which I'm really happy
with, that's been going down well on the dancefloors.

Are there any new producers we should be looking out for in 2009?

Ben Preston is really cool on a crossover house/trance tip. Jerome
Isma-Ae, not really new but only just blowing up right now, his last
single Smile When You Kill Me was stunning. There are other people who
have been around a while but are just really finding their sound and
killing it, Myon & Shane54 are making very tight records, and Adrian
Ivan is another. Lot of quality out there.

How are you finding the UK scene these days?

I'm loving being back in the UK on a regular basis. When I first
started DJing in 2003 I was in the UK all the time, and then over the
years found my UK gigs dwindling a bit, which I think was partly down
to having management that were much more focussed on international
dates than they were with the UK. Looking at this year's schedule
right now with the likes of Passion, Crasher, Gods, Ministry, Digital
Society, it's wicked to be back on the UK map and it's also nice to
have a few weekends with no flying to do. The UK crowd are also - in
my opinion - the most clued up musically knowledgeable crowd in the
world: they don't just want to hear a lot of your own hits.... so
playing regularly in the UK definitely keeps you on your toes musically.

What are your hopes and ambitions for ‘Garuda’ in 2009?

Pretty simple really, release some good music and get the word out
there. I'm not arsed if we only do a handful of releases a year but I
am going to make sure I am properly into every single record we put
out whether it's by me or someone else. I just feel it's better to
have six or seven great releases a year than an average one every
week. In the later days of Five AM, I think the label was forced to
compromise on quality a little because there were release schedules to
meet and bills to pay. With Garuda that is not the case, and it almost
feels liberating not to need to release music if we don't want to. Oh,
and it'd be nice to do a couple of good events too.

Outside of work, what do you do with your spare time?

I get painfully little non-work time, this job is a lifestyle. I'm
pretty boring really: try and hit the pool to work off the constant
plane food, watch some TV (The Wire has had me gripped for months),
eat out, chill at home with the girlfriend, nothing tremendously
exciting I'm afraid.