Gavin Holland has been dubbed one of “one of D.C.’s titan DJs” by The Washington Post, and that may just be true. A severe case of musical ADHD also makes him tough to pin down. For example, Holland’s “Nouveau Riche” party with Nacey and Steve Starks has been a sweat-drenched, line-around-the-block affair for years, blasting D.C. kids’ ears with the sound of the future and even leading the Washington City Paper to declare it the “Best Dance Night” in D.C. It is now a monthly Saturday night residency at U Street Music Hall. This is perhaps not the guy whom you would expect to start an eclectic, vinyl-only record label with fellow DJ Chris Burns. But in Holland’s mind, somehow, it all makes sense.
His aptly named Mysteries Of The Mind label launched in February 2012 with an ultra-limited 12″ release of the Party Bros. EP, his production project with Burns. Funded primarily by art gallery events, the release finds Holland and Burns stepping into the vocal booth to describe the seedy, paranoid world of Washington, D.C.’s Malcolm X Park in an era before they were even born. The molasses-paced b-sides of the release evoke the marimbas of Reading Rainbow, as well as synthesizers and saxophones placed into a zero-gravity environment.
Yet somehow, Gavin Holland is able to snap out of it and bang out remixes and originals with a hefty thump, never finding himself too far from the familiar sounds of an 808 drum kit or a disco tambourine. His tracks have been released on T&A Records, Plant Music, and Finland’s Top Billin’ label. Recently, Holland remixed D.C. legend Travis Morrison (of The Dismemberment Plan fame), and the result was a pounding disco burner, reminiscent of his current Friday night residency at Lost Society. With a new record label to his credit, new musical collaborations on his plate, and no signs of Nouveau Riche letting up anytime soon, 2012 is a year to keep an eye on Gavin Holland.