Building: Galdoors

Hyponik met Ian from the Galdoors label to discuss their latest release, an Elgato 12″ entitled ‘Links’/’Sun’, plans moving forward, and the story so far.

The origin of the Galdoors name goes back to the late 70s, to a garage-door fitting company in Gateshead. In 2010, brothers Ian and Neil, the grandsons of the original Galdoors owners, were left a sum of the company money after the passing of their grandparents, and Galdoors Records was born to carry on the family business in their own way. After three subsequent years of planning, the first record was released last April, Audio Werner‘s ‘Balances’ EP.

Ian explains that maintaining a family aesthetic – or, at least, family and friends – is central to their plans. The label logo is the top of an electricity pylon that they could see in a neighbouring field when playing in their grandparents’ back garden, and all the record centres are obscure, zoomed parts of photos they have of themselves at the house – “I don’t know if you’ve ever had to try and think of a name for something, but it’s difficult not to sound forced. We had a meaningful identity for the label in place first: right, let’s do this, it’s Galdoors, it’s the same business.”

Galdoors 001

They had been involved in the music scene in Leeds for a while prior to its conception, as resident DJs at a night called Twaddle. But, it was the legendary Leeds clubnight Back to Basics that got them locked onto house music specifically. Ian emphasises the influence the Back to Basics residents had on him – Buckley, Ralph Lawson, Paul Woolford and Tristan Da Cunha. Now, Ian is based in North London, and Neil in Berlin.

The artists that have been involved so far, and will be for the forseeable future, are friends. They had met Audio Werner through booking him at one of the early Twaddle parties. Ian and Elgato went to school together in Newcastle. Leif, who remixed the title track of Junes’ record, was also met through a booking at Twaddle, and is now a close friend. Junes is Neil. They don’t rule out the possibility of signing new people, but with their own productions and the kind of friends they have making music, it doesn’t seem necessary. Plus, “we mainly receive Tech-House demos from 20-year-old Italians, telling us their life-story about how they grew up in Turin and their granddad played the trumpet. It’s all mind-blowingly generic. If someone sends something and we’re blown away, then potentially yeah.”

The two releases so far have been a success, perhaps even more so considering the label’s indifference to fanfare. The sleek sounds of Audio Werner on Galdoors001 sold out straight-away, and was repressed. Galdoors002, the ‘Colours’ EP, had comparable success considering it was a debut record, in which, Neil, or Junes, explored broken house with originality and catchy shuffle (see ‘Colours’ and ‘Shamun Dance’). The next record is by Elgato, two deceptively subtle, minimal house tracks. It follows records on Hessle Audio, and the self-released ‘Dunkel Jam’, that have caused quite a stir in underground circles. Compared to your average producer these days, very little is known about Elgato, or, as he is casually known, Elgats. I’m told “he’s got other things going that are just as important as music. He is selective and considered in everything he does, and it’s amazing how much attention he’s received from so little released music. He doesn’t court publicity and only puts out exceptional tunes, so that obviously gets people hyped about him!”

‘Links’ and ‘Sun’ are more understated than his previous output – without the sustained sampling of ‘Blue’, ‘Luv Zombie’ and ‘Dunkel Jam’ – and seem to fit the Galdoors sound to a tee. This sound is remarkably distinctive given it’s only four records deep (only three of which are public). Ian explains “there’s a thread that weaves everything we’ve put out so far, and are planning to put out. It’s ‘trackiness’, hypnotism, restraint in the arrangement, and just doing enough.” Galdoors is angling towards those tracks that might not stick in the crowds’ heads on the way home, but are thereby appreciated by the DJs, and crucial in building a set. Elgato’s 12″ is the prime example.

Both brothers have been producing themselves for five or six years, but haven’t rushed to put music out or even give it to DJs. Ian tells me “it’s taken some patience but I’m so glad we’ve waited. I’ve been sending stuff to DJs we know – like Leif, Joe Ellis (Until My Heart Stops label bosses) and Ben UFO – for a while, but from their reactions to the recent tracks I’m confident about where I’m at now.” These tracks will make Galdoors004 in April or May.

They hope to cement a consistent release schedule in 2014, after hitting the ground running with this Elgato record. Another friend, who is slightly undiscovered but involved in various known parts of the scene, will provide Galdoors005. From there… ‘we don’t have a masterplan of becoming a huge label. We just want to put out tunes we like, that fit together, and from people we know… and keep the family thing going. Mum is very proud!”

Elgato’s ‘Links’/’Sun’ is out now.

Words: Richard Akingbehin