SXSW Music Review: David Gtronic

Nocturnal subaquatic microclimate productions

Try trainspotting David Gtronic’s set when the music gets heady, lush, minimal, but trust me, Shazam will prove worthless. “This guy plays only unreleased tracks,” laughed one onlooker at Kingdom on Tuesday night.

Photo by Gary Miller

That ended up as an accurate description for the first half of Colombian-born, Miami-raised DJ/producer David Giraldo’s 10pm SXSW set. Add in functional, but not soulful. Mixed quickly, almost coldly.

Yet like his productions, the sound evolved.

Giraldo moved into a sound space echoing Chilean-born minimal tech legend Ricardo Villalobos – round, full bass and deep groove. As Gtronic, he’s known for long builds and steely, percussive techno, but the current head of three sub-labels from the Berlin-based Vatos Locos collective also produces music that demonstrates the influence of his Latin roots a la Tejano-techno crew the Nortec Collective.

Sounding like a nocturnal subaquatic microclimate, Gtronic remains a sound engineer by training. His penchant for dramatic builds and signature dubfire-esque washes that create an auditory facsimile of any self-serious nightclub’s CO2 blaster systems were also present in early work. Now, his tech roots with minimalist tendencies have become deep house with fuller, smoother, more gradual builds.

Mas satisfying.

By the end of the set, to a packed floor, young dancers did the shuffle in one corner and older heads talked about their love of Joy Division in another. Meanwhile, the tune caller conducted it all, elevated in the dark DJ booth overseeing Kingdom’s cavernous dance floor.

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David Gtronic, SXSW Music 2018, David Giraldo, Ricardo Villalobos, Vatos Locos, Nortec Collective

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