We sat down with Layton Giordani to discuss his New York upbringing, moving to Europe and producing for Drumcode. Layton met up with us just before a gig at Egg London, with a cast just strapped onto his arm after a skateboard fall broke his elbow, he’s upbeat nonetheless.
Layton started making music long before he could legally get into nightclubs in the United States, although that wouldn’t stop him from sneaking in. He recalls his first real night out at the now-closed Pacha in New York seeing his hometown hero Danny Tenaglia who he’s just collaborated with on his latest Drumcode EP Live Again. “From then it spun out into an addiction of house and techno music,” he admits. Layton went on to eventually DJ for techno events at Output in Brooklyn, playing alongside Monika Kruse, Len Faki and Adam Beyer.
“Output is the party spot in New York.” Layton tells us when we ask him to fill us in on the nightclub. “First of the sound is just amazing, the venue itself is not huge but it's really vibey. You could listen to really loud music but still have a conversation with the person next to you.” Playing behind the decks at Output taught Layton the art of the warm-up DJ. “I think it's really crucial to give people a show and find your sound even if it's warm-up tracks. It’s good to see the party slowly climb.”
After releasing music under his full name since 2013 on Intec, Octopus Black and Transmit, Layton first ended up on Drumcode after handing a USB to Adam Beyer. Following his feature on the label’s A-Sides Vol.5 compilation last summer, from there he continued to send demos in, so many in fact an album seemed the best way to put them all together. “It was difficult considering it was the first album I've ever done in my life. It was also a lot of fun and in the end, it all worked and paid off,” Layton says while talking us through the process. Where It Begins consists of twelve original tracks and was well received by the diehard Drumcode fanbase. “They all know every track that's yours and if you play one they go nuts,” Layton says.
The title track off his latest outing on Drumcode Live Again, that we premiered a track off last month, features Danny Tenaglia. This collaboration sparked after Danny reached out to Layton on Facebook following his album release in February. Prior to that Layton had messaged him in the past, "being a total fanboy" as he puts it. Layton couldn't resist asking Danny to work with him on a track he was in search of a vocal for. "I decided to take a shot in the dark and hit up Danny to see if he could help," he recalls.
Clearly it’s Layton's ceaseless determination that has gotten him to where he is at only 24. With his fair share of experience under his belt already, his advice for aspiring producers is to get out on the scene instead of utilising the internet. “If you want to grow and get bigger and you want people to hear you, it’s important to meet people face to face, that's going to leave more of a stamp in their head.”
For the remainder of 2017, Layton will hit ADE in his new home base of Amsterdam and the move on to perform at a handful of Drumcode events in the UK including their annual Halloween party at Tobacco Dock. Layton moved to the Dutch capital earlier this year, primarily because the canals and water remind him of home on the East Coast. “On top of that, everyone speaks English there, that's a huge thing for me.” Although Layton's lucky enough to be able to produce and make edits on the road whether that's in an airport terminal or hotel room, it's DJing he's currently concentrating on. "I just put out a whole album so now I want to spread my wings."