Louie Gomez mixes Volume #13 of The 312: the Chicago House Music Podcast from 5 Magazine. Each episode we feature an interview with and a mix from Chicago House Music DJs – the people in our neighborhood that keep the Chicago House scene on top.
Louie Gomez carries a lot of incredible history behind him. While many like to stand on the laurels of their past, here is a man who continuously moves forward, pushing his trajectory of musical talent upward and forward. His music is lush, soulful and steeped in intricate melodies.
The interview picks up below the mix:
What part of Chicago are you from and where do you derive your musical influences from?
I’m from the south side of Chicago, west Pullman and Calumet Park areas. My strongest musical influences are deeply rooted in disco and many of the prolific songwriters/producers from that era, such as Patrick Adams, Gino Soccio, Augustus Darnell, Giorgio Moroder and Vincent Montana.
The story behind you and Jamie Principle to this day many people still don’t know. Can you share it with us?
Well Jamie and I met just after high school. I was working at a local mall on the south side and one day here comes Jamie walking down the hallway looking like the coolest new wave guy you’ve ever seen: grey vintage jacket, purple knit gloves, skinny jeans, black Fiorucci sunglasses and two different colored Chuck Taylor gym shoes. I just knew I had to strike up a conversation with this interesting looking guy. We quickly became friends because of our shared interest in music, fashion and ideas, and he also happened to be from the south side, not far from where I lived. Jamie, coming from a somewhat conservative background, wasn’t the kind of guy that went out to the local parties or clubs, so I shared my stories with him about my going to the Chosen Few parties and going to the Warehouse. He and I had a big connection through music, me being a DJ and him creating music in his bedroom. One day he played me a song, a very rough version of “Your Love”, I loved it, and suggested a longer version, which led to him inviting me to Soto Sound Studio to work on a remix. Well I met Jamie at the studio, I remember smoking a joint before going in because I was so nervous, and so there I was pretty high as we started on this mix of “Your Love” which turned into this trippy vocal dub with an extended bassline, an arpeggio intro and a crazy drum break in the middle with pitched tom toms and lots and lots of delays. I guess it was the weed lol.
The following week I went to the record pool (I.R.S.) I belonged to and waited for Frankie Knuckles to come in to pick up his vinyl. It was there that I handed Frankie a copy of my remix of “Your Love” on reel to reel tape. and to my surprise that following weekend he played it at the Warehouse. The night he first played it, I remember the lights turning off on the dancefloor and hearing that distinct arpeggio playing through the speakers and then that analogue bassline from the Korg Mono/Poly, oh wow!!
Frankie asked me about the production and about the artist and that’s when I told him all about my friend Jamie Principle. A few weeks later I brought Jamie to the record pool with me for them to meet and I tell you, none of us had any idea the lasting impact all of this would have. Frankie played my vocal dub in his sets for almost an entire year before taking Jamie into the studio to re -record the track along with quite a few other Jamie Principle classics. So there you have it.
How long have you been making music for and tell us about your current project.
I’ve been making music on and off since I was about 19 or 20. I took time off, about 6 years to learn music production and music theory and worked at several recording studios around Chicago. My current project is an EP called Envelopes due to be released in November on Bassment Tapes Records. It’s a new direction for me, it’s a lot deeper and more organic that any previous music I’ve worked on and has a distinct underground vibe to it.
What do you have coming up for the future, where can people see you play?
Well the big news is that Jesse Rivera, Melo Blanco, Tony Smart and myself are launching a new label called Bassment Tapes Records. We’ve teamed up to form an alliance based on mutual respect, trust and work ethic. We hope to shine a spotlight on new talent as well as introduce everyone to our collaborations. We launch in November and Alex Mr. Latin House and Mark Matras have been kind enough to lend us their show Slammin’ Saturdays, broadcast on undergroundhouse.tv, to do a record release event. In December you can catch Jesse Rivera and I doing a set at 1912 Lounge.
What advice would you give newer producers trying to get in the game and stay inspired with everything that’s going on with digital sales and mass production?
A few words from me are, If you’re serious, learn some fucking music theory!!! After that, only get in the game because you love it because most likely you aren’t going to make any serious money. Surround yourself with smart, dedicated people and remember, to build something isn’t a one man show, so be sure to surround yourself with good people who are going to be honest with you and look out for your best interests. Lastly, know how to have fun with the creative process and try and learn something new every week.