By Lara Kathleen Kelley | MTV.com
House hitmaker riding high after awards nods, epic Lollapalooza set and working with Tiësto and Will.I.Am.
Is electro-house producer Wolfgang Gartner up next for a Deadmau5-like surge in popularity?
Well, consider this: Gartner's newest single with British house-music producer Mark Knight, "Conscindo," held the #1 spot on Beatport's dance-music charts for two weeks in July, and in the past two years, he's had eight other tracks make it to the top, including Beatport's best-selling track of 2009, "Wolfgang's 5th Symphony."
Then there's his awards nominations: He was nominated in the DJ Awards' Best Newcomer category and also made the top-100 list for America's Best DJ. Voting is under way for both.
Gartner has remixed everyone from Britney Spears to Timbaland and Black Eyed Peas and is currently working with Tiësto, Will.I.Am and Kaskade on separate forthcoming releases. His most recent accolade is his conquering of the dance stage at Lollapalooza last weekend, where he also rocked the Undocumented afterparty at Vision Nightclub in Chicago.
"In one word: amazing," Gartner told MTV News on Wednesday (August 11) of his Lollapalooza experience. "And, to be honest, the most fun I've ever had playing in Chicago. [The afterparty] with Felix Cartal and JFK from MSTRKRFT, who are both under the same management as me, was kinda like a family-type vibe. A lot of friends were there, and I also love hearing those guys play, so it was cool in so many ways."
When describing his newest #1 single, "Conscindo," Gartner said the collaboration was fun, but not easy. "It was a bit of a pain in the ass for Mark Knight, because he had to fly out to my studio in Austin [Texas] to work on it a multiple of times, so I felt bad for him!" he said. "Collaborations are a weird thing for me. I never really realize what we have until a couple weeks after it's over, the track has been sitting around for a while, and then it's like I suddenly have perspective on it and hear it for what it really is. When that moment came for 'Conscindo,' I knew exactly what we had on our hands. It sat at #1 on Beatport for about two weeks, so now we're kicking around the idea of turning it into a vocal track and going for round two with it."
At age 11, Gartner was inspired to begin making music after hearing a mixtape by Detroit techno producer Kevin Saunderson. Gartner said he would lock himself in his room and produce songs on drum machines and keyboards. A few years later, he got decks and a mixer and began spinning at underground parties and nightclubs.
Earlier this summer, Gartner told MTV News about his musical style and how he got started. "It's basically electro-house," he said about the type of dance music he produces. "But I kind of go through all different forms of house music, because that's what I was brought up on. Beyond that, I've got influences from rock and disco and all over the place put together in a dance format. I'm just trying to push boundaries and be forward-thinking.
"When I [first] got into it, I was more on the production end of things," he added. "I just wanted to make this music and listen to it. But then I started realizing this whole other side to it — the DJ side — and I wanted to be a part of that too and learn how to DJ. It kind of organically happened that way."
His newest release, "Undertaker," is a dark and sinister house anthem that sounds like an homage to Deamau5's hit "Ghosts n' Stuff," so it's only fitting that Gartner had some exciting news to share with us: "I just did a track with Deadmau5 that should be out in the next couple of months, which I'm really happy with. It was a really fun one. And there are a couple other collaborations that aren't done yet, so I shouldn't mention them just in case, ya know, they never get finished!"
Wolfgang Gartner is headlining Control at Avalon Nightclub in Hollywood on Friday and is scheduled to play the Electric Zoo festival in New York on Labor Day weekend.
L.E.D. presents WOLFGANG GARTNER at the Wavehouse in San Diego on Sunday, August 29th. More info here.