Techno-Trip 006: Greg Gow

Techno-Trip 006: Greg Gow

We caught up with Greg for an exclusive Interview and Mix for Trip Radio...

Greg Gow has released on some of the most iconic techno imprints in the industry, recently being awarded the accolade of best underground dance single of year for ‘I Knew Techno’ at the Juno awards. We sat down with Canada’s finest techno export to talk roots, record labels and rare synths.


Firstly, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. We’re really excited to have an exclusive guest mix from you coming up on Trip Radio. It seems like Canada is establishing itself as a destination for underground dance music. How has the electronic music scene changed and developed in Toronto since you have been there?

Greg Gow has released on some of the most iconic techno imprints in the industry, recently being awarded the accolade of best underground dance single of year for ‘I Knew Techno’ at the Juno awards. We sat down with Canada’s finest techno export to talk roots, record labels and rare synths.


Vertigo, Toronto

You have managed to export your sound not only to Europe but also on to some of the most legendary techno labels around. What do you think has been the secret to your success?

Just being myself and sticking to my sound. Plus, large cash deposits sent to the labels from my secret offshore bank account! LOL

You seem to have a deep passion for Detroit techno that echoes through your catalogue of work. Can you tell us about how this connection with Detroit came about and how you ended up releasing on labels like Planet E and KMS?

In the late 90s I had some good friends from Toronto who were attending Michigan State University. They were also throwing events under the name Detor. Some jams were in Detroit, some in Toronto. At any rate, I started going down to their events. This is where I was introduced to the Detroit sound and immediately fell in love with the soulful techno.

Moving forward to the early 2000’s, I was throwing a lot of events in Toronto and one of my partners at the time had worked as A&R for Transmat. Derrick Ortencio (who was also one of the founders of Detor). It was 2007 when we brought Derrick May into a club called Footwork (the current owners of Coda). I had been working on tracks with a heavy Detroit influence. To be honest, I was kind of intimidated to give Derrick the CD but I did. Several months later, he reached out to me on Facebook.

Shortly after that, I went down to Detroit and hung out with him for a couple of days. Then about a year or so later, I believe around late 2008, my first of two releases came out on Transmat entitled – The Pilgrimage EP. Not only was it a big moment for me, it also was the relaunch of Transmat which had been dormant for several years. I owe a lot to Mr Derrick May because he believed in me and my music.

He is the one who introduced me to Kevin, Carl and Juan, so I have nothing but mad respect for him. Several years later, I also had the honour of doing some releases on KMS. The most recent was 2017, my three-tracker for Planet E, which featured Lantana probably one of my best tracks of all time.

If you had to describe your DJ’ing style in just three words what would they be?

Deep Bangin’ Techno Soul with a mixture of Detroit & European influences.

You are throwing your dream event or party. What is the line-up, where in the world is it, and who is attending?

AC/DC, Garth Brooks and Nicki Minaj LOL! No seriously… this is a hard one but definitely… Derrick May, Len Faki, Laurent Garnier, Dennis Ferrer, and Slam. Radio Slave and Cinthie programming TBC. It would take place in Amsterdam during the summer.

What have been some of the highlights or funniest memories from the parties you played at around the world so far?

Playing Movement Festival in Detroit was a huge honour. I believe over the years I have done it 3 times. I also got to do Movement Torino In Italy, which was super special.

Also, around 2014 I played an amazing Event in Cali, Colombia for these guys called No Name who threw a really dope open-air event. I ended up playing for 6 hours. It was such an amazing experience the vibe and energy was off the hook!

As for funny stories – In the mid-2000s I did a small tour in Brazil and I played a big event (I can’t remember the name or venue). I just remember the promoter saying they want it hard. I played the hardest I could and afterwards, they just said that was great tech-house! Lmaoooo!

If you could only take one synth or drum machine from your studio to make music on. Which one is it and why?

Juno 106. I just always come back to it time and time again.

Roland Juno 106 top rear e1682633954293

Roland Juno-106

We were interested to hear that you also do work in fitness and sport. How do you think fitness links into your production? Do you have any particular habits or practices to help your studio sessions?

I teach Gym at a public school to kids 6- 11 years old. I incorporate electronic music of all kinds into my program… Drum and Bass seems to be the biggest hit for the little kids. It is really cool to see the kids vibing to the sounds of the underground.

The only complaint I usually get is “where are the words in the song”.

It is very inspirational and gives me a special energy which I try to put back into the music. The kids bring the spirit!

As for a work ethic… I try to work on music early in the day usually before I get distracted or pulled into other things the day brings.

Techno seems to be in a state of flux over recent years with controversy over the commodification of the genre. Where do you feel we are at with techno in 2023?

So, you had to go there eh! In my opinion, it should be about the music and talent. Not checking off boxes.

The electronic music scene was hit pretty hard by the pandemic. Have you any sound advice for new DJs and producers just starting out in this current post-Covid climate?

I think the pandemic has been good for electronic music. So many new artists have come out now and there is a new energy at events as well… lots of new faces. This keeps the scene fresh so it can turn over and evolve again.

My advice for new DJs is to learn to mix without a computer. Learn your music current and where it came from. Practice playing long sets none of that one-hour crap. Producing, try to work from spirit and inspiration not just for the sake of just making tracks.

Go to all sorts of events, experience music in your city and other parts of the world when you can and form your own take on the music on your sound.

As Danny T says Be Yourself 🙂

Can you tell us three producers or DJs you have your eye on for the coming year?

  1.  Confidential Recipe
  2. Markus Suckut
  3. Cinthie
  4. And Always Mr. Robert Hood / Floorplan

Sorry that is four, maybe five, if you count Floorplan.

Finally, what is on the horizon for Greg Gow in 2023?

I am going to to Tulum to open a barber shop, just joking. The year has started with a bang first was my track Vengeance on the Actualize Part 2 Comp for RSPX.

In the next week I am heading to Edmonton for The Canadian Juno Awards I have been nominated for my track entitled I knew Techno on Underground Dance Single of The Year.

Plus I have a bunch of tour dates coming across Canada & my monthly residency at Vertigo in Toronto. In the release department I have another Restructured release coming end of the month called Jack Me EP… …Plus working on an EP for RSPX more deetz on that to come soon.

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