Q&A with Gadi Mizrahi (Wolf + Lamb) Playing Electric Pickle on Friday
Since alighting on Brooklyn's underground dance music scene with partner Zev Eisenberg in 2001, DJ/producer Gadi Mizrahi has emerged as one of the most influential tastemakers in the wider international network of EDM labels and collectives. As a DJ and co-owner of the Wolf + Lamb imprint, he has garnered praise from Brooklyn, the homebase for Wolf + Lamb's "Marcy Hotel" underground parties, to Europe, where he's commanded dancefloors at hotspots like Fabric in London and Watergate in Berlin.
As a producer, Gadi is responsible for an infectious new brand of sophisticated yet playful deep tech-house that has permeated the collective W+L sound, the artist roster which includes like-minded output by Seth Troxler, Lee Curtiss, Jamie Jones, and Le Loup, among others. Taking on the simultaneous roles of label head, producer, and mentor, coaching the fledgling efforts of emerging new talents like Nicolas Jaar and No Regular Play to help foster their first releases, Gadi has had a wide impact on the new EDM generation.
Crossfade caught up with the man on the cusp of his performance at The Wolf + Lamb Experience party at Electric Pickle on Friday to find out what W+L is all about.
Read the full Q&A after the jump.
New Times: For those of our readers who live under a rock, who and what is Wolf + Lamb?
Gadi Mizrahi: It's hard to say because it continually evolves. It started as a name for Zev (which means "wolf" in Hebrew) and myself, Gadi (which means "lamb" in Hebrew) as DJs, then as producers. We also have a venue in Brooklyn that we call Wolf + Lamb's Marcy Hotel that's been putting on events about once a month for a few years now.
How did your partnership come about? What roles do each of you play as individuals in this collaboration?
Over time we've both settled into our own when it comes to running the label and in the studio. Zev has been involved in web and design since he was a teenager. I do the programming and A&R. In the studio Zev does more sequencing and EQing while I do synth work and musical direction.
What are your ongoing musical influences and inspirations?
I'm really excited to hear Sade's new album. I'm listening to a lot of J Dilla and funk/soul right now. There's an album by these guys from New Zealand that call themselves Electric Wire Hustle, that I play all the time for inspiration.
Your focus used to be on minimal techno a couple years back, but you've come to incorporate warmer and deeper house/disco elements in your music. How did this transition occur? Do you think it reflects an overall trend in the contemporary dance music scene?
It's important to continually evolve.
The Wolf + Lamb artist roster is a self-described "family". How did this collective relationship form? What ties you all together beyond your shared musical sensibilities?
We all live in and around New York. I think our strength is that we see each other all the time and we share ideas about music when we collaborate. Hopefully we could spend more time doing showcases around the globe so that different cities get to hear a whole night of W+L, so that the experience goes deeper.
There seems to be a cohesive sound permeating all the label's releases, from your own productions, to those by Nicolas Jaar, Le Loup and Hot Natured. How do you achieve this sonic synergy? Do you share production M.O.s or spend time in the studio together?
Yeah, we love music so much. I spend time talking to the artists as much as possible. Sharing music I'm currently into and the same from them.
What can you tell us about the infamous Marcy Hotel and its parties?
The idea behind these parties first and foremost is intimacy. The music that's played there is usually deeper than you'll hear in a club. It's my home so off the bat there's a level of personal touch that you rarely find in public legal venues.
You've performed in NYC, Miami, Berlin, London, and even Burning Man Festival in Nevada. What have been the highlights? Are some crowds more receptive than others?
Yes. For me, my London gigs are the ones I could be myself the most in so far. (Murmur, Lo Key, and even Fabric) The gig at the Electric Pickle a few months back was definitely a highlight as well. Sunrise every morning at Burning Man!
How do you feel about the Brooklyn scene personally, and how does it shape what you do as artists?
The scene doesn't do it for me unfortunately. I rarely go out to parties here. Hopefully, there will be more illegal parties in Brooklyn that aren't RAVES in 2010. I was born in Brooklyn, and have always planned to spend my life here. It's become quite a wonderful place to live.
What does 2010 have in store for Wolf + Lamb?
Actually, Wolf + Lamb is planning to take a break in 2010. I've got a few solo releases coming out on labels like Spectral Sound, Simple Records, Hallucination Limited, and Supplement Facts. I'm also starting my own label called Double Standard Records. First vinyl release is Soul Clap and myself, called "Joint Custody", Should be in stores by May this year.