Introduce yourself? Pronouns? Where do you currently reside?
Hi I’m gianpaolo, nonbinary human. At the moment I am using they/them pronouns. Since 2008 I’ve produced and dj’d under the name “savile”, and as of this mix I’m transitioning to a new artist name, “gbd”. I live in beautiful brooklyn, new york city.
What track would you listen to…
If it was the only thing you could listen to 24/7? Alice Coltrane – Turiya and Ramakrishna. It could be any one of a handful from the Coltrane family. Their works have served as a place of solace and safety that’s hard to understate.
Describe in detail your favorite place to take in music?
I think of it less *place* as location and more *place* as in mental space: and that’s traveling. A walk through a rainy park, looking out the frosted window of a MTA bus, biking to get coffee in the Brooklyn heat, waiting in line to board an airplane. There is something about being in motion, traveling, movement, that primes me for deeper listening.
Favorite DJ mixing trick?
This is a mental trick, and it definitely changed my playing: in my first years of DJ’ing i found myself often reaching for tracks based on similar qualities, like genre, bpm or production style. Instead, I started to prompt myself to select the next track that blended and provided contrast due to how different it was from what played before. I imagined this like building a log cabin upwards, rather than constructing a path of steps in front of me, one after another. This “trick” of challenging myself to choose the next track based on a nonlinear quality, gave me permission to be more personal in how I played, rather than choosing more common likenesses that I felt were more conventional or common. I know this may seem simple but it really opened up my brain 🙂
Talk about 18:18 in your mix– what’s the feeling there?
This amazing track by Zuli, “Commproto.” This is one of the tracks in the mix that I thought of as a transitional wash-out of sounds or percussion. Intensity as a palate cleanser. Being pulled through the tube by drums.
What color would you pick to represent the way you DJ?
Forest green. Deep and mossy, overgrown and evolving.
How do you avoid burnout?
I learned the hard way that the work to avoid burnout has to be a consistent practice and not something I can elect to do piecemeal. Burnout has a tendency to swoop in quickly, and the recipe to contest it changes and evolve as life demands. At this moment I have to be diligent with social media, as it can turn my brain into a sad factory very quickly. It is really easy to internalize other people’s lived experiences to my own detriment. Then, for almost ten years I’ve been an irregular meditator, which has saved me. Also journaling, a huge and special practice to me. Leaning on the presence and insight of friends. Cultivating the kind of community in which you can share experiences in the scene, to be able to genuinely ask for help, is vital. And at the end, I remind myself that much of the world is noise and hype, and to trust my gut.
Best gig of your life so far?
Never a “best” but here are three that impacted me heavily in my early years:
June 25 2011 @ Smartbar Chicago – Classic Residency with Derrick Carter
The first time I played to a full dancefloor and the moment things really clicked for me in Chicago (Love you Derrick!).
November 12th, 2016 @ Hot Mass, Pittsburgh
Every show at Hot Mass could really vie for this title but this night looms large in my mind. The first Saturday after Tr*mp’s election. Stefan Ringer and I played all night. Everyone in the room left everything they had on the floor.
There is a recording online if you’re curious 😉
August 27th 2016 @ Panorama Bar, Berlin
My first show in Europe, and my first EU tour with Steve Mizek. The day after my birthday. Got crowd surfed out of the booth at the end of our set as friends sung happy birthday. Lightning struck the building. Absurd all around.
What is the theme song of your mind on a bottle of dank wine?
First one that came to mind, blissed out; St. Germain – Rose Rouge
Let’s play a pipipi game… I give you a situation & you give me a track
Lazy river in a waterpark in Florida
Hour 72 no cell phone service lost in the woods
Lavender scented Sauna post massage
What is your favorite party/collective where you reside and why?
I do my best to avoid ranking things that I love. I aspire to avoid hierarchy everywhere. But, if I had to pick one, it would be Dweller. There is such important work happening at the festival and throughout their initiatives. I especially implore white people in this scene who’ve not heard of Dweller to double-back and learn closely from the work they are doing. It’s our responsibility as guests to engage and create in a tradition that is not ours, to learn the roots of the music, and to defer to black and brown people in their efforts to reclaim it and build anew.
If you could transfer all your knowledge from what you do now into something completely different, what would it be and why?
My mind immediately ran to different “practical” applications that I could apply this to, but in the end I am deeply grateful for the life I’m living and I have a hard time imagining another skillset or practice I would apply the same rigor to. I would however love to master other crafts !
What is your most recent favorite DJ mix and why?
This is like 10 months old but still sticking to me. Sometimes one hears a mix from a DJ that makes you realize how deep their ‘crates’ are – this was that mix ! Yumi’s “Haunted Dancehall”
Track that makes you think about being submerged under water..
Levon is one of the underwater masters I think
Any advice to upcoming DJs/producers?
Ignore most of what you’re told. Stick to your instincts when it comes to the kind of music and art you want to play or create. Make a plan for social media and limit your time there as much as possible. Collaborate with everyone you can. Stay in the mix, in the rooms you want to be, and with the people who’re making work that moves you.
Favorite liquid and why?
Cup of Sencha from Kettl Tea here in NYC.
Clear energy, taste, something to slow down your day for
What would you like to see in the future for the dance community?
Boyyyyy this could go a million ways… I find this to be a deeply political question in 2023. There is no doubt we are experiencing an unraveling of systems and structures around us, and I believe the way forward amongst these ruins must be together. In that way, I hope to see a quieting of this drive for fame and popularity, a broadening sense of empathy for one another, and much, much more cross-collaboration between disparate groups and people across social and class stratifications. At the same time, i hope for an abundance of spaces created by and for black and brown people, trans and queer people, and much less white hegemonic ownership structures.