Clamming Up With Gino

A lesson in how to be Shellfish


Clams have no head. They have no biting mouth parts. No arms. No legs. No ears, eyes or noses. The heaviest clam on record was 250kg. The oldest was over 500 years old. There are over 15,000 species of them in existence and their sole purposes on this godforsaken rock is to eat and reproduce.

Oh and Gino has just launched a label named after them.

It turns out clams are pretty interesting creatures. So is Gino. Renowned for his ability to whip up absolute bassline grot that sits right on razor edge of the jump-up frontier and sculpt heavyweight rollers that fit universally across the subgenres, the UK Italian artist’s beats have been championed by powerhouse labels like Crucast, AudioPorn and Upgrade’s First Request Records. Now he’s levelling up once more with Clam Records.

Complete with its own website, Gino’s not being shellfish with his creativity right now. Careful not to pull a mussel, 1 More Thing picked up the phone to give him a call…

Clam Records… Why now?

I feel like the time’s right. I’ve got some good labels around me like Crucast and AudioPorn, but I was inspired by Upgrade and how much he enjoyed developing his own brand and I feel like I wanted my own thing. It’s not an idea I’d been pondering on for years and years, it was a just thing that popped into my head a few months ago and never left. So I’m putting it into action.

Love that! It resonates with me and the motives behind this site a lot.

I had a strong urge to do it, you know? I had a vision of a character and a little bit of a concept and it all came together. Obviously it’s great to have something that I have creative control over, too. I love working with the labels I work with, but it’s great to have something for myself as well.

Totally. I reckon labels like Crucast and AudioPorn would be fully supportive of such a venture, too?

Absolutely. Joe from Crucast really liked Sanctioned but I said, ‘Do you mind if I release it on my own label?’ He didn’t mind at all and we sorted out a different release for Crucast instead. I really wanted to start Clam with those two tunes – Sanctioned and Responsible – so yeah, they’ve been super supportive.

So why clams, then?

I was going through some ideas and it just came into my head. I don’t have a deep interest in clams. I like nature programs and I appreciate nature and animals of course, but I just thought it sounded cool and it’s got an imagery to it. Clams have a strong vibe for me.

You’re right man. I looked up a few clam facts ahead of the call and the whole caper makes even more sense. So there’s the geoduck burrowing clam. They bury themselves over a metre underground and usually live up to 140. So there’s your underground vibes and your longevity right there. Parallels!

Oh my god! I wish I knew this before! That’s sick.

Innit. So how about this… The oldest clam was recorded to be 507 years old!

What the hell?

Yeah! Mad! What do you think people will make of your music in the year 2529?

Hahah, wow. I think we’ll go through another cognitive revolution by then, so who knows? Something will have switched in our brains. It’s not that far away considering the earth’s life but I think we’ll have another development as beings. Maybe clams will be living for even longer by then. Or maybe the clams will go through a cognitive revolution?

You’ve just blown my mind now! I love the motto on your website… “Hard times make hard clams, soft times make soft clams.” I think we’re in for a hell of a lot of hard clams right now, eh?

Yeah man they really are hard times. The rising cost of fuel and cost of living. We’re in for a lot of hard clams and that makes me appreciate anyone who buys and support the music or visits my website or shows any type of support. I want to help us all become harder clams and get through these times.

Yes! You know I knew absolute zero about clams before I started preparing for this interview. I didn’t know you could have hard or soft clams!

It’s pretty mind blowing isn’t it. My clam journey is only just beginning too. I didn’t know how interesting they were to be honest. I’m looking forward to learning more.

Clams are your life now. You’re committed to clam culture. So this release… It’s the two sides of Gino right here. Groovier, rolling vibes and proper grot.

Yeah those two tunes felt like a ‘start as you mean to go on’ vibe and energy. I never like to make one thing and I love combining those styles. A lot of my peers do too. So I thought these really reflected where I’m at and the reaction I’ve had from the dancefloors on both of them has had a great energy about it. The response has been great so far, too.

Yeah, you hit the download store top 10s straight away…

Yeah right now as we’re chatting it’s got to number nine on Beatport and it’s got to number five on the Juno Download chart. It’s mindblowing and I’m really, really pleased with that. Thanks to everyone who’s supported!

Did you have a big persy stash of dubs to pick these first releases from?

I did. Responsible was a last-minute addition and Sanctioned had already had interest from Crucast as I mentioned. It could have been a number of things, though; I posted a few teasers on my stories and my fanbase is good at letting me know what they’re feeling. These two were stand out for people and the titles were nicely related before they were even paired.

How frequent do you think the releases will be?

Well now I’ve got really sick branding from seriously wicked designer Max Turner, who’s a good mate and absolutely smashed it, I reckon I’ll be going monthly. It’s nice to have something more frequent in the books and not waiting on releases.

Yeah it’s nice to have that option to be immediate and get things out if they’re getting the heat and attention…  

Yeah actually. It’s a good idea to do that sometimes. Tunes do have more leverage at different times. That will be the advantage. If something is in demand, then I can get it out there.

And you can release music from others, too? You haven’t gone down the Gino Music route so I reckon there’s a bigger picture here…

You’re right, you know… And I’ve already had interest from new producers who I really rate asking where they can send music to. That’s been cool. I didn’t think that would happen so quick and it would just be my music being released as the label develops and gets established. But who knows? I’d love to release music from my peers and champion new artists. It’s definitely part of the plan and to have more of a brand. I enjoy making websites as well, so that’s all part of it too and it’s a lot more fun to build something brand new than just go down, as you say, the Gino Music route…

Wicked. It all adds to the DIY vibe and the creative fulfilment. That’s great the building the website is part of that experience and process for you, too…

I do really enjoy that aspect of it all. Building a website reminds me of making music in the way that’s it’s like problem solving and making something unique. That keeps things exciting for me. And to have something of my own that I can build is really inspiring and motivating. As I’m sure you know, with this new website of yours!

Oh yes! So, rounding up with another clam fact… Apparently there are over 15,000 species of clam in the world. Reckon you’ll get up to 15,000 releases?

Oh what? Haha. Maybe, I wouldn’t put it past us… Well it’s just me at the moment but I’d like to build up a team. Yeah, go on then, 15,000 releases it is.

Brilliant. Okay so final question… Clam juice or clam chowder?

I’ve never tried clam juice so it’s got to be clam chowder. But I’ll give clam juice a try. I feel I’ve got to really, haven’t I? It would be rude not to. I’ll let you know about it…

Please do. What’s up next? Are or you keeping this information tight like a clam?

Ha. I haven’t got it fully locked-in yet, but there’s a release in July for sure. Keep your eyes out.

Gino – Sanctioned / Responsible is out now on Clam Records

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