‘Galestian Remixed: Selected Proton Works’ is fresh material for clubs and festival stages. The new release features sensational producers within the Progressive and Melodic House/Techno circles. Scroll down to read the full interview.
1 — What did you have in mind with your new ‘Galestian Remixed’ compilation? Is it a way to give fans another dimension of your music?
I’ve been releasing music for years now, and I’m super grateful to have worked with certain people and labels, especially over the last several years since splitting my time between LA and Berlin. I realized that there are some truly fantastic remixes of my work over these years, which all hold a common thread. The compilation is a way to celebrate the artists and remixers who have added a new dimension to some of my original bodies of work. It’s a way to tie the torchbearers of our scene together, and to showcase their work to fans. The compilation is a collaboration not just between myself and the remixers involved, but also some of the labels I’ve worked with – Desert Hearts Black, Click Records, and Perspectives Digital. Huge thanks to everyone involved for their contributions, it really means a lot.
2 — Remixers on this album are Fur Coat, Olivier Giacomotto, Matan Caspi, Stefano Richetta, Ian O’Donovan, and Fat Sushi. How did you choose the remixers and based on what?
How the remixers were chosen depends entirely on the track. For example, with “Hindsight”, I collaborated with vocalist Sebu from the band Capital Cities. We had a few remixers in mind and Olivier Giacomotto ended up being the perfect fit. He truly reworked the original into a harder melodic techno piece geared for clubs, which gained the support of artists like Nicole Moudaber and Joris Voorn. “Reset” was a collaboration I’d done with Darin Epsilon, and we bounced a list of potential remixers back and forth until deciding to pitch the idea to Fur Coat, who loved the record and turned it into a dark, late-night banger. I’ve been a fan of Matan Caspi’s work for a very long time, so when I worked with vocalist Denitia on “One”, we ran the track by Matan, who had some great ideas to give it a more retro spin. I had a release on his and Stan Kolev’s Outta Limits Recordings label many years ago, so it was only natural for us to reconnect. “Alles Klar” was one of the first records I had produced shortly after arriving in Berlin. We put it out on Perspectives Digital. I was a big fan of Fat Sushi’s work, they’re based in Switzerland, and I really wanted to connect more with the music scenes in Germany and Switzerland, so naturally they came to mind when we were discussing potential remixers. I was thrilled when they agreed to remix the record – they truly did some great work on that one. Ian O’Donovan did an excellent job too, love the synthwork in his remix. “Dreaming” is a special tune that’s filled with optimism, it’s one of the few records I’ve written in a major key. I collaborated with vocalist Brooke Higgins on that, we met through Berklee College of Music. Click Records’ label head Stefano Richetta had signed it to his label and offered to remix the record, as he was really inspired by it. The original was written right when I got back from Nevada’s Burning Man festival in 2019. Really happy with what Stefano did with it. So you see, there’s a bit of a story behind each one of these remixes and I’m deeply grateful for the artists and labels who have helped make this all possible.
3 — Your compilation covers dancefloor-focused genres like melodic house and techno, progressive house and organic house. Do you think all of these remixes are club-oriented?
I’d say most of these remixes are made with the dancefloors in mind, and sound best on big sound systems for that reason – like Fur Coat’s Remix of “Reset” and Olivier Giacomotto’s remix of “Hindsight”. You can really experience these tracks best when your entire body can feel the bass too. Others can also be great while driving, working, train rides, working out at the gym, or in a Spotify playlist that fits your own tastes. I don’t want to limit how these tracks are enjoyed though, so I’ll let fans decide how they want to listen. I fell in love with listening to electronic music years before I even knew about clubs, raves, or festivals, and before I was even old enough to go to any of those events, so there are no rules here!
4 — Seems like Beatport has been loving your remix compilation. They chose it as a Melodic House & Techno “Hype Pick” and a few other tracks made it into the “Best New Hype” charts in various categories. Which tracks are your personal favorites and why?
Yes, definitely grateful for Beatport’s love and attention. Stefano Richetta’s remix of “Dreaming” made it into the “Best New Hype” chart for Organic House/Downtempo at #2 and Fur Coat’s remix of “Reset” into the Melodic House & Techno chart at #23. Hard to say which ones are my own favorites, because I enjoy all of them in different ways. That’s why they all made it onto the compilation!
5 — Are there any of your original tracks that didn’t make it onto this remix EP?
There were so many others that didn’t make it into this one, not because they weren’t good enough, but simply because there was a certain theme tying all of the remixes together and not all of them fit that theme coherently. Also, not all of the tracks I had in mind blended so well into the DJ mix version for Spotify and Apple Music. That said, we may perhaps consider a “Galestian Remixed: Volume 2” compilation sometime down the line.
6 — As a music producer, what are you most grateful for?
Oh man, that’s a hard one to answer because I’m grateful for so much. It’s not an easy industry, and you have to be very comfortable with uncertainty. Namely, it’s the challenge of personal growth that comes with being a music producer, and an artist as an extension of that. I’m grateful for all of the challenges this path has put in my way, because at the end of the day, it has made me a more centered and confident person. The challenges have given me inspiration, creative fodder, and on a macro level – an understanding of the human condition, an understanding of the dynamics of the world, a humbling feeling that we will never know it all, see it all, or experience it all in our lifetimes, and that there’s a unifying force that connects us all, and is far greater than all of us will ever know. For me, the creative process is about tapping into all of that, tapping into that force that keeps us all together, that keeps all of life together. It’s about transcending our stories, our politics, our struggles, our biases, our fears, our hurts, our thoughts, any bitterness or sadness – and cutting straight into the core of who we are. Music, for me, is a sacred space that transcends these limitations. I’m grateful that I’m able to do something which I’m so deeply passionate about, and that I’m able to positively influence those who enjoy experiencing the music just as much as I enjoy creating it.
7 — What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given by another artist?
I’ve worked pretty closely with Paul Oakenfold for years since he signed my first record “Rituals” back in 2017. In a nutshell, his advice to me was to be consistent with releasing music. I’ve found this to be very valuable advice, so thanks to Paul for that. When I worked with Sebu (from Capital Cities) on “Hindsight”, we had come to a crossroads when it came to deciding how to release the track. A few labels were interested, and we couldn’t come to a consensus on what was best for the record. Either the release date would be too far out, or we couldn’t get the remixers we wanted, or communication was way too slow, or we weren’t happy with the overall direction a potential label wanted to take the record. So, at the end of the day, we decided to release the record ourselves, and after some hesitation, this essentially was the final push I needed to launch Global Entry Recordings, which is now an offshoot of my syndicated Global Entry Radio show. So, I’m very grateful for that catalyst towards a more self-directed route. “Hindsight” was the first release on the label in April of 2021.
Before going full-time with music, I had a short stint doing sales in music retail and even within the travel industry. I also worked in our family business (a music store), but eventually found my way into radio – first as an intern on college/public radio, then running my own show for years, eventually a board operator on a big commercial radio station, then as an assistant producer, and eventually a producer for radio stations in LA. Later, I worked in digital media in different producer roles, working my way up to senior management at iHeartMedia (who owns iHeartRadio). So, in the past, I actually had explored different career paths, all of which somehow led me to this point. In hindsight, every job I’d taken was done to somehow help me learn how to get to where I am today – with a fuller scope of understanding and in a way that’s coherent with my highest drive and inner values. So, to answer your question, I wouldn’t want to do anything else. Though who knows? Maybe in another life, I’d have loved to be an astronaut or skydiving instructor. As a kid, I wanted to be a movie director. I’d run around the house with a video camera and direct mock-up stages with my sister and cousins. Those days were fun.
9 — Before the pandemic, you wrote a digital book called “The Nomadic Music Producer’s Handbook” which was inspired by your many years of traveling to different countries before the pandemic hit the world. How do you see Galestian in the next 10 years?
Hard to see that far into the future, but I can definitely see more travel, especially through South America, which I’ve yet to visit. Would love to continue touring and seeing the world, creating and releasing more music, continually pushing myself, and being in a position to somehow make the world a better place for the next generation. Hope my life’s work inspires others to live lives that are authentic and meaningful, as I believe this creates a positive ripple effect throughout the rest of the world. I see my future self as happy and healthy and in a position to make a big difference, especially within our global music scene.
10 — How did you come up with the “Global Entry” name for your radio show and record label?
From about 2015-2018, I lived a semi-nomadic life, mostly traveling through Asia. My dream at the time was to travel around the world long-term, and if I really liked a certain place, to stay there for as long as I liked. That was one of my dreams. It was around that time that I found out about a program called “Global Entry” that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection was offering. It essentially allows you to travel with super quick clearance, sometimes completely skipping the long queues at certain airports. Music and travel are my biggest passions, so when it came time to come up with a name, I remember I was in the car with a friend as we were driving through Santa Monica in California, and this all came up in a conversation. We weren’t too far from the airport, you could even see planes flying in the sky. The name just sort of clicked and stuck after that moment. It was a perfect way to sum up my life at the time. If you look closely at the logo, it encapsulates my love for music and travel: there’s a vinyl record, which can also be the world or our planet; there’s an airplane that’s flying around that world, but it’s leaving a trail that looks like an audio cable. Or the plane and the audio cable are moving towards one another. Kind of like that old phrase “music makes the world go round”. Well, at least in my world it does.
11 — Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Thanks for taking the time to read this, really do appreciate it! I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to follow me on social media and say hello. I’m galestianmusic on all platforms. You can also subscribe to my Global Entry Radio show, which is available as a free podcast. It’s a one-hour show that goes out once a month, now in its fourth year. Hope you enjoy it!