A relatively new name to some he may very well be, but Italy’s Gai Barone has a much longer history in dance music than you might think.
Brought up on an eclectic musical diet, Barone initially immersed himself in classical and hip hop (and a fair few shades in between). He started playing musical instruments at an early age and quickly progressed to become an accomplished keyboard player. Getting into dance music in his home country, the young Sicilian was perfectly positioned in 1989 to witness the rise of Italo House. Rapidly caught up in his country’s embryonic electronic dance sound, he watched its influence spread quickly around the world. A year later he started to DJ, initially concentrating his energies inside the country and playing a mix of early progressive twinned with techno that was coming over from the States.
It wasn’t until five years later though (in 1995) that Gai himself started to experiment musically in the studio, initially working on more minimally minded tracks. With a love of travel and an inbuilt wanderlust he began to country hop, moving first to Germany in 1998 and then transferring to the UK. Continuing to learn the studio craft, he built up a huge range of tracks and ideas for tracks ranging right the way from chillout to hard house. It wasn’t until 2008 (at the age of 33) though that Barone really started to fix on a professional studio career. His focus finally landed at the door of progressive house and trance and his first EP, ‘Solegirasoli’ was signed to Ultimate House Records. Appearing on the radar of a number of the bigger DJ names for the first time, he consolidated this with the tribally progressive track ‘Moving’ for the Mesmerized imprint, which was flipped by the ‘Pemba’. This in turn brought him to the attention of Ask4 Records. Keen to record for the fast-rising label, he produced the rapaciously euphoric trancer ‘Appetite’ which was released in late 2008.
It was at this point that a catalyzing factor was needed in Gai’s career and those stars aligned with his signing to Plastic Angel’s Afterglow imprint and the subsequent release of ‘Lilith’. A trancer of remarkable depth and sophistication, it received the 5/5 ‘Money Shot’ accolade in DJ Magazine, who called it “audio-excellence” and said it delivered a “lump-in-the-throat climax”. Backed by a remix from Jerome Isma Ae, it was greeted with plaudits by DJs around the world, became a Beatport sensation and undisputedly went on to become Gai Barone’s world-stage calling card.
‘Organum’ (with its remix from fellow countryman Dino Lenny) quickly followed it, as requests for Gai Barone remixes from the likes of Markus Schulz (who named him as one of the top 5 newcomers of 2009), Store n Forward, Egostereo, Cid Inc. and many more.
Now carving out a dark, provocative, increasingly recognizable soundscape with each one of productions, Gai Barone stands on the threshold of an electronic dance music breakthrough.