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Phangan Express - DJ Rob Gritton

23 Aug 2012

 

After learning to mix at the tender age of 15 in a mate's kitchen back in 1995 " target="_blank">Rob Gritton has kept a low profile for years only playing at house partys or small events in Essex and London U.K, he Moved to South East Asia's party capital Koh Phangan in 2005...

DJ Rob Gritton

Party mad Rob, opened the legendary Beach Lounge Bar on the famous Full Moon Party beach in 2008 and started playing tunes... Quickly turning heads as a DJ and party organiser, Rob or ''DJ Rob'' as he is known on the island, quickly became involved in many of the island's parties and eventually started playing out in many of the major clubs, events and locations around Asia spreading a mix of House and Techno everywhere he goes!! Now holding a residency at Jungle Experience and a regular face behind the decks at many other venues in the region...

Rob Gritton has always been dabbling with dance music production from a very young age making many unreleased tunes dating as far back as 1995 when he was just a teenager... Although most of these tracks have been lost in time the skills he picked up along the way have lead him to produce a track that has been signed by Soundwaves Records with a release date of July 4th 2012...

Wok Tum Express by Rob Gritton part of the Sounds of Koh Phangan E.P moved up the tech house charts to 10th @ mypromopool.com and Rob has many more planned for furure release, including a colaboration with another producer more details on that to follow...

Hi Rob, thank you for making this interview.
How and when have you decided to become a DJ?

Learned to mix ages ago in 1995 and enjoyed as a hobby playing a lot of house parties and a few small events in London, until I realized I had a talent for mixing while living in Koh Phangan in 2008/2009 now it is a major part of my life and income!!

DJ Rob Gritton resident in Jungle Experience Koh Phangan

Why you don’t have special a stage name?
Everyone on the island knew me as Rob, when I started to DJ in the parties here everyone started to call me DJ Rob and that kind of stuck, but then there was another guy called DJ Rob so now I just put Rob Gritton to save any confusion!

What is your style of music and who are you influenced by?
I mostly play underground tech house, techno, minimal and deep house.
Growing up in London I used to go to a lot of the clubs there such as The End, Fabric Camden Palace Turnmills and much more with all the big names from house to trance to D n B to old skool hardcore... For me I can like any genre as long as the tune is a good one, I suppose I was influenced in dance music by the scene in the clubs rather than any one DJ or producer...

Why and when did you first arrive to Koh Phangan and how was it?
First time I came here would have been in early 2001 for a holiday and to meet with friends who had been traveling... Quite liked it so decided to come back... After coming here several times over the next couple of years I fell in love with the island and had an idea to save up, buy land and try to build a house here with a possibility of having some kind of production studio here or if not make a business here of some description...

DJ Rob Gritton at Loi Lay party Koh Phangan

I started to save money back home I managed to get enough together then in 2005 I moved here and since 2006 have never gone back... I spent the first couple of years sorting out the beginnings of making my house then opened the beach lounge bar in Haad Rin in 2008 and started to dj. After a while, I soon realized I could make a living and have a lot less hassle if I close the bar and just DJ around the island which I have been doing for the past 3-4 years I suppose now... I have also slowly been trying to get my production levels up and have finally got a tune released on Soundwaves records which is available on beatport.com it is called the Wok Tum Express... Because my house where I made the tune is in Wok Tum!!

What do you think about Koh Phangan music scene in compare to other places you visit and played and partied at?
I think the scene on the island has changed for the better over the past 11 years that I have been a party goer on the island. Before it was predominantly Psy-Trance actually if you know the island and think back about only 1-2 years every big party was Psy-Trance... Not saying I hate Psy trance actually the opposite I like it, but if every party is the same then it is a bit limited in selection...

DJ Rob Gritton at Loi Lay party Koh Phangan

Compared to other places in Thailand and Asia I have played at, I got to say that these days Koh Phangan is the best place for someone who likes to play underground music, for example Samui I have played many times and had a lot of really good times but it seems the bigger clubs there are much more commercial so I have little chance of playing anywhere decent in Samui...

Bit worried for the future as there are more commercial DJs coming to the island hopefully we can keep it underground!!

What parties in Koh Phangan you played?
Have played in nearly every party on the island...

I hold a residency at Jungle Experience which has gone from strength to strength and I always love to play there really is one of the best parties to play and go to in the country I think...

I hold a residency at R & S which is nice as they always get bigger DJs to the island so I get a chance to meet and play alongside some more famous DJs...

Becoming a bit of a regular at Pirates Bar which is a great location for a party with a private beach...

I used to hold a residency at Holiday Beach every Thursday and I am happy to say that starting on Thursday 30th of August 2012 we will be reviving/starting a new night Revival @ Holiday beach in the Electronic Lounge, with me as resident along side Jourdan Bordes, and we have Boyonic from Half Moon / Backyard joining us for the first one...

DJ rob at morning star resort Koh PhanganNext gigs on Phangan \ next gigs in general?
Revival @ Electronic Lounge, Holiday Beach Resort, Every Thursday starting 30th August 2012...
31st August 2012 Jungle Experience + most Jungle Experience parties...
Saturday 15th September Club Quinte Kuala Lumpur Malaysia...
Sunday 16th September Sunday Loco Roof Top Party Kuala Lumpur Malaysia...
Rhythm & Sands 5 th party end of October 2012, exact date to be confirmed for that one...
Plus many more that just seem to pop up unannounced!!

Message to the people
wareness of the scene on the island, underground House and Techno parties are up and coming on the island and seem to be going from strength to strength. A lot of people I speak to, especially those living in Thailand, are often surprised, when they come to Koh Phangan and see the standard of DJs and music on the island...

But there is much more to offer than just the party scene... Take a look around the island as it is a beautiful place, that's the main reason I moved here... Coz it's lovely!!
 

for Phanganist readers.