Gavin Russom is a wizard, and not just because his long red flowing mane is reminiscent of a medieval alchemist or because he was once a stage magician. The composer and former engineer for dance label DFA (where he earned the “Wizard” moniker) has been making and unmaking synths since a young age. Gavin thinks of the analog machines as works of art in their own right, blending the aural, visual, and the sculptural.
After living in Berlin, Gavin finally decided to come back stateside and get back to his roots. In this episode of Motherboard’s fantastical series Electric Independence, we sit down with Gavin and Black Dice’s Eric Copeland to talk about the state of dance music, 20th century composers and why the Wizard’s mystical, handcrafted electronic sound is a perfect substitute for controlled substances.