Gap Dream is the solo project of Gabe Fulvimar and sounds like ’70s Italian disco crossed with German electro crossed with the future… or something like that.
On Gap Dream’s new album, Shine Your Light, Fulvimar merges electronic music backing and garage rock rawness to explore the range of human emotions — all while sounding like a robot. The tunes are as trippy as hell and could just as easily issue from the speakers of Studio 54 — or filter across the surface of Venus.
Because Gap Dream’s music references the glorious past of experimental electronic music, Hive had Fulvimar make a mix of some of the tracks that influenced the new record. Naturally, we also chatted with him about said tunes.
Why did you pick Kool & The Gang’s “Summer Madness?”
One of the best scenes in “Rocky” is when he’s coming home and he asks Adrian out. It’s one of his first rough nights. He comes home and his apartment is all shitty and there are beer bottles all over the place. He’s smoking cigarettes that are already put out. He finds his record player and that’s the song that he plays.
It’s legendary — it’s such a good song. I wanted this to be an Autumn mix. This song totally reminds me of rainswept gutters — an October night. A rainy night with the leaves falling off the trees. It’s funny because it’s called “Summer Madness.” I get that. There’s heat in the song, but it feels like a fall song to me. It’s so melancholic… Also, it was sampled by Fresh Prince for the song “Summertime.” When I was in 4th grade, I had that cassette single and loved it.
That song is off Light of Worlds. Each song on that album is supposed to represent a planet. Are you into astrology?
I’m into the notion of it, but I don’t know a lot about it. If I find a little tidbit of information and it has something to do with a number, I’m into it. Our numeration for this record is specific, because I had control over what number I could have — the catalogue is 5-5-5 and it’s released 11-12-13. I feel like numbers are another language. It’s another alphabet and it’s another way to communicate. Maybe we operate on a level where we don’t realize that we’re communicating numerically.
How abut Air’s “Ca Matin La?”
It’s been about 10 years since this record came out. I listened to it a lot when it came out. I listened to this record so much that I burnt myself out on it. It took me 10 years to get back into it. I was recording and using more synthesizers and it came to me. I’m always back and forth between synth and guitar. I listen to a lot of electronic music.
You also put “A Number of Names” in the mix. That’s a really obscure song.
There’s a lot of trivia about this song that I learned about 10 years ago. So, I’ll preface it with if I’m not mistaken, they’re a duo and not much is really known about them. They were two guys that wrote the song for a contest. There was a motive for them to make this song.
They were obviously into a lot of Kraftwerk and Moroder. It’s very minimal and it’s one of the first Detroit electro house tracks. Over the past few years, the term electro has become difficult to use. Real electro is not party music. Real electro is cold and sinister. It has an element of hip-hop to it. It’s not happy — it can be punishing.
“Sharevari” has this euro trash accent about a guy driving around in a Porsche with a supermodel. It’s a crazy perfect 1982 scene: Driving around the hills wherever in a Porsche trying to buy more drugs or beer.
I find it so surprising that the early hip-hop scene somehow gelled with German, experimentalist music. They are so removed from each other and have such different backgrounds.
The funny thing is, if you think about Krautrock — I hate that term — but German psychedelic music, all that stuff that was going on Germany. These were people that were using synthesizers, treated guitars — they were improvising. They didn’t really know how to make music, or maybe they wanted to break boundaries. A lot of it isn’t driven melodically. A lot of it is driven rhythmically. It’s sick drumbeats.
If you listen to hip-hop and electronic music, it identifies with drum machines and rhythm. The tighter you are with rhythmically, the sloppier you can be with melody.
The new album has garnered a lot of comparisons to Moroder and German music. Does it bother you that people compare you to other artists?
Normally, yes. In the past I’ve been bummed. But, this time, though, I’ve been compared to a lot of stuff that I like. Old stuff. If you make a record in a modern setting and people say it sounds like Animal Collective, that’s a dis. I’m not trying to get on Animal Collective, but it’s a dis because as an artist or as a creator, if you are making anything, you want a little bit of it to be the future and a little bit to be the past. You don’t want it to be the present. If I make something of the present, I feel like I’ve failed in my mission. My favorite music could have been recorded in the ’70s or thirty years from now.
The new album references the concept of light on a lot of tracks, and even on the cover.
It’s the concept of light on the emotional spectrum. It’s light and dark. Like hatred and love. Fear and confidence. The messages in the songs — it might be a trite subject matter, but sometimes life gets fucking horrible but it can be great sometimes, too. Don’t do anything stupid, you know what I mean?
Where were you when recording the album?
I was in the middle. I’m always in the middle and it fucking sucks. I can’t survive being one or the other.
Sometimes it helps to be measured.
It helps, because every day I move further toward being good. Being balanced is very important to me. I’m emotional — not that I’m sad. I’m all of the emotions. I get very excited when I’m feeling an emotion.
Along the lines of being open with emotions, I appreciate that you are open that you like to party on tour. A lot of artists try to hide, but having a good time is a big part of music.
Tour is a trip to me. It’s crazy. I don’t know how people do it. What people don’t realize is that I’m more on the studio end. I love recording. I love writing, recording records. Tour is destruction. It’s the complete opposite end of the spectrum. I don’t want to loose it out there too much. I… try… to be good…