Get your disco balls out and medicate your Saturday night fever, as Getintothis’ Ste Knight presents the sixth in our exclusive GITmix series from Kooky & Damoon.
We introduced Kooky & Damoon‘s latest EP, EP2, in our last Footsteps on the Decks, as our dance single of the month. And with good reason. It was a full on disco stormer – but there’s no need to just take our word for it, head over there now and have a listen for yourself, just try not to get all teary-eyed about the fact that you never went to Studio 54 to experience it all first hand.
This month’s GITmix is in very much the same vein. Kooky & Damoon, or Gary Cook to the postman, is a scouse producer and DJ, who currently focuses on the groovier side of sound, with his platforms firmly planted on the disco dancefloor. We’ve got an hour and a half of lovingly curated disco vibes for you here, so crank your speakers up and let’s get funky.
Before that, though, we shot the breeze with Kooky & Damoon to find out just what makes him tick…
Getintothis: So, Kooky (& Damoon) tell us where your inspirations lie originally – what music put you where you are now?
Kooky & Damoon: It started with pop music and disco as a very young boy. Then, in the 70’s I got into a lot of punk and all alternative independent music. Fast forward to the 80’s, and it was techno, dnb, breaks, and house, then through the 90’s and 00’s more house, beats, and bass – but always listening to guitar bands too. As much as I can of anything really and, of late, funk and soul.
Getintothis: So what are your aspirations as a producer and DJ, then?
Kooky & Damoon: To make myself happy making music, and hopefully others too – to still be able to produce and write music after all these years, and keep my hand in professionally.
Getintothis: Can you name some of your favourite artists? There must be plenty on the list given your inspirations.
Kooky & Damoon: I have quite diverse tastes, so older bands would include Underworld, Fat Boy Slim, Chemical Brothers, Sex Pistols, The Clash, Basement Jaxx, Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers. More recently I’ve enjoyed listening to Sleaford Mods, The Allergies, Lack of Afro, Dusky, Jungle, Roisin Murphy, Jamie T, Disclosure, Rudimental. Locally I’m a big advocate for Greg Wilson and Derek Kaye, The Tea Street Band, Sugarmen, Feral Love, and Pink Kink.
Getintothis: Quite the melting pot then! Tell us, what makes you do what you do, musically.
Kooky & Damoon: I still write music because I have to – I get cranky if I have not been creative for a while – well, so Toni, my wife says, ha ha. I’ve always been driven to write songs and play with technology. My light bulb moment was when I saw the Dead Kennedys in 1981 at the Royal Court aged 15 – I thought “that’s what I really want to do – music”.
After cutting my teeth in punk and alternative bands in the late 80’s via Planet X, I started another indie band called The Firecharmers whilst at music college (90-93). I got my first a single out in the early 90’s which got NME coverage, we got a manager, and toured. It was my first real experience of the industry and was compelled to do more.
Getting bored of conventional industry mechanisms I started ISM, an electronic band, and aspired to white labels, raves in a field, and free parties, rather than the tried-and-tested gigs and promo. After 2 years of teaching ourselves samplers, analogue keys and software we had catapulted ourselves onto the local scene and into John Peel’s ears, fusing together techno, breaks and dnb with guitars as a five piece.
After our first white label hit the decks and airwaves we quickly went on to tour supports, bigger studios, remixes, album, singles, videos, and breaking into Europe regularly as well as the UK between ’94 and ’03. House music came next as Kooky with the Silicon Hustler label, after which I took a professional hiatus from 2003-8 as I started a new job, teaching Music technology full time in the City of Liverpool College where I still work today.
I’ve been working with Austrian label Envloop since 2010 on many electronic remixes, and with local bands such as the Tea Street Band doing remix work. Of late, as Kooky & Damoon, I’ve released 2 EPs and compilation tracks for the Paper Recordings/Paper Disco label.
I still do what I do as music is my life, and has been for many years now. I still love to learn new software for myself or to teach it. I still have an appetite to search out new tunes, bands and DJs locally, and to tweak synths and plug-ins, because technology is always changing and is fascinating to work with.
Wise words indeed from the incredibly affable Kooky & Damoon, we’re sure you’ll agree. Now, though, it’s time to set the dancefloor on fire (wherever that may be – this writer often chooses the kitchen as a good space for shape throwing), as we present to your ears a brilliant disco mix from Kooky & Damoon. Getintothis now!