In a past life you may have known him as "Pippy" on the paintball field. It wasn't until a few years ago that I found out his name was Nathan when he started making appearances at the field again. Back when Air Warriors was known as Paranoid, Nathan was one of those kids who lived there every weekend, playing for a couple of the most standout teams from the region; all the while having fun with it-- I remember him as the kid who would play in a white shirt with a huge target spray painted on it.
Hey hey! I'm Nathan, and I DJ under the moniker 'gestalt dj'. I have couple radio shows that I play music on in Europe and throw shows here in the states. I spend all my money on records, and DJ primarily vinyl records on turntables. I do all the flyer artwork for my shows, and am passionate about having a direct hand in my artistic ventures. I'd like to one day run a record label and travel to play in clubs, anything that lets me play dope tracks on big sound systems in cool club spaces. I'm going to get a BBC Radio1 Essential Mix one day, just watch... 🙂 find me on Instagram: @ricky_gelato. for bookings, email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Always taking bookings and artwork commissions too!
Name some of the teams you played on back in the day.
I played back in the 7-man days, running with the Team Rip squad out of Fresno, starting my paintball career with their Young Guns team in 2006. I then played with Half Baked Kidz (HBK) the following season in the XPSL series in the Rookie division, getting 2nd place at our first event.
Most memorable paintball moment.
Playing D3 at Huntington Beach 2007. Made it to Sunday, ended up getting 11th in the division for the tournament. At one point on Sunday we played the New Jersey Jesters, a team I followed on PbNation. One game I managed to get up to their end of the snake and shot 3 or so of their players in the back along the way. It was pretty quiet at points during the game when I was in the snake, and I heard someone on the sidelines at the fence say "wow that snake player is pretty good." Feels good, man haha
Last tournament you played.
I think a one-off NPPL event with a team from the east coast. We did okay, didn't make it to Sunday. My paintball career kind of tapered off and I never really got closure. I still have my gear, though...
What was your first big introduction into this music scene?
I went Warped Tour in 2006 with a friend and his older brother, and the older brother's friends. I was hooked. Lot of good bands that year. Ended up going to a lot of hardcore/metal shows in Fresno with some paintball friends the following year, and would go to a couple shows a month all throughout high school. I was very lucky. Got to see how a music scene works as a youngster, how to conduct yourself at a show/concert. Stuff you can't learn in school haha. By the time I was 18 or 19 years old (2010/2011), I was kind of tired of the aggressiveness and violence at hardcore shows, and I went to Beyond Wonderland in 2011 (Noisia, Datsik, DJ Fury on the lineup) and opened me up to a whole new world of music culture. Big sound systems, drum machines and synthesized sounds.... The rest is history.
You used to run a blog back in the Tumblr heydays that picked up a lot of traction. What events did it cover? What was the motivation behind it? Where is it now?
Ironically for Beyond Wonderland 2011 my buddy won tickets for the event through a blog called 'Global Dance Electronic', and when he met the owner at the festival to get the ticket, they struck up a friendship he ended up partying with us. My buddy was going to UCLA at the time and is a smart cookie, so when he approached the owner about working for him, he naturally was accepted. And from there I was introduced and started writing for them. We covered events mostly in Los Angeles and Southern California, and had working relationships with clubs like Avalon in Hollywood. We did press for lots of shows, which meant we got free entry and +1 guestlists. It was a pretty sweet deal. That being said, the direction the owner wanted to go with blog was more commercial, so in addition to the shows I wanted to go to, I had to cover shows that did not agree with my sensibilities. Over time, the amount of shows and writeups for the things I didn't like started to outweigh the one's I did like, and I felt like I was actually detracting from the music scene by promoting music I didn't like. At some point I had had enough and parted ways. It was amicable though, and my buddy still uses the blog to do some cool international festivals and such, and makes it work. The blog is currently at +200k followers, which is cool to know I was a part of getting them to such a big audience:) Live and let live.
How long have you been at it? Where was your first show? What's the story behind your first set of turntables?
I've been messing around with DJ'ing for about 10 years now. My friends and I got our first opportunity to curate bi-monthly event in Visalia at The Cellar Door in 2014 (ironically I discovered a flyer for our first show the other day in the window of the music shop in downtown Hanford. I even handwrote the date on that flyer myself, how cool!). We had +100 come through for that first show and we even got paid, such an awesome feeling.
I got into vinyl and turntable DJ'ing around the same time, maybe 2016. I was approached by a random guy at a Starbucks one morning in SoCal while I was doing homework, because he saw a sticker on my laptop that said 'Real DJing is not a crime' and told me he had a pair of turntables in his car that he's been trying to sell (I think the guy was there to meet with his AA sponsor, but no judgement haha). We went out to his car and he pulled out two flight cases with red Technic turntables in them. I asked him what he wanted for them, he said $600, and I told him I have $500 in my savings account that I will literally walk over to the bank when it opens and give it to him. We had a deal. We chatted and smoked cigarettes for about an hour while we waited for the bank to open, and weirdly he was also a Pitbull breeder so he had with him honestly the biggest Pitbull I've ever seen. She was super sweet, but definitely a strange situation. Over the next couple years I built up my record collection and I have about 1,000 legit club 12" records in my studio. I may have a problem... haha just kidding, I love it
What is Linear Systems?
Linear Systems is my radio show series that I started at the SFSU radio station in 2019. I basically used it as a branding exercise and since then, have taken it to multiple station across three countries. Its currently in operation via Lahmacun Radio in Budapest, Hungary and 1020radio in Bristol, England. Linear Systems is basically my point of reference for my musical dealings and has allowed me to meet and work with a lot of cool artists.
What is E James Productions and what is your role?
Ethan James Productions is the brainchild of my buddy Ethan (EJ Beats) out of Fresno/Clovis. We do host and curate our own events, but EJ Productions has grown to facilitate the media production of live sets for other DJs and artists, using multiple high-res cameras capture their performance, which we then editing and and do all the post-production ourselves. It comes together as a high-quality product they can use for their own promotions, etc. Ethan has taken the setup to Los Angeles at cool places like Pirate Studios in Echo Park. I do a lot of the graphic design and editing for our projects, and together we've gotten some cool results. We're trying to build a brand that extends passed the cookie-cutter video streams that have become commonplace. Him and I jive together on a lot of the same interests, so I'm really excited to see where it goes.