Emerging from Offenbach, Germany, electronic music duo Gora & Eloy, composed of Jan Mayerhofer and Manutchehr Ghassemlou, explores a fusion of diverse musical genres reflecting fluid modern identities. Their unique sound navigates socio-political themes while celebrating club culture. Drawing inspirations from various art forms and their personal journeys, including parenthood, the duo aims to foster inclusivity and provoke thoughtful discussions within the electronic music scene. Through meticulous sound crafting, Gora & Eloy continue to challenge genre conventions, pushing the electronic music narrative forward. Today we chat to them about their music and more.
For those that don’t know you and your music, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
We are Gora & Eloy, an electronic music duo from Offenbach, Germany, established by Jan Mayerhofer and Manutchehr Ghassemlou in 2016. Our music defies genre norms, melding Breaks, Bass, Experimental Club, and Jersey House. This hybrid sound embodies a mix of socio-political themes and cultural influences, while staying true to club and party culture’s spirit.
Manutchehr, of Iranian and Austrian descent, brings a nuanced perspective to our project. Operating under the pseudonym “Fym” since 2001, he has released music, co-run the Boogizm Label with S-Max, and showcased his work on reputable labels, in addition to performing at notable clubs and festivals across Europe.
Jan, is our technical cornerstone, has a deep understanding of music production which helps us turn abstract emotions and ideas into sound. Before Gora & Eloy, Jan was part of “102nd century,” honing his craft on various dancefloors and releasing music on global record labels.
As Gora & Eloy, we aim to forge a unique sound reflecting our diverse roots. Through our creations, we strive to foster an inclusive, welcoming, and tolerant club culture, resonating with both the hearts and minds of our audience 🙂
Can you discuss a specific concept or idea that has deeply influenced your work, and how you’ve translated that into your compositions?
The concept of “Hybridity,” a fusion of diverse musical genres, sounds, and electronic experimentation, resonates significantly with us. As identities grow more fluid, we believe music should mirror this fluidity, transcending genre restrictions.
Our project explores themes of identity, cultural intersections, and social discourses. Our tracks serve as a sonic reflection of a diverse, interconnected world, merging various elements and genres to craft a unique sound narrative.
As an artist, you’ve likely experimented with various hardware and software throughout your career. Are there any particular pieces of gear or tools that have been instrumental in defining your sound, and why do they resonate with you?
Exploring various gear has been a revelatory journey. Our sonic exploration took a notable turn with the dive into FM synthesis and digital equipment. Technology significantly broadened our sonic palette. It wasn’t merely about the diverse sounds we could now craft, but the profound understanding of synthesis it fostered, marking a pivotal point.
Moreover, the ability to create custom devices ventured our sound into new realms. The transition from analog to digital wasn’t about forsaking the old for the new, but about adopting tools that echoed our evolving sound. Through these tools, we discovered the precision and versatility we sought, fueling our creative expression in the electronic music landscape.
Have any non-musical sources inspired your music? Certain visual artists, films, or books? Can you elaborate on these influences and how they’ve shaped your artistic vision?
Gora & Eloy’s artistic vision is a blend of numerous influences extending beyond music into visual arts, films, and literature, all contributing to our unique sonic narrative.
In visual arts, we find a resonance with the abstract works of the early Russian avant-garde called suprematism, appreciating the radical approach of artists like Malevich, Tatlin, and El Lissitzky. Their practice that took geometric abstraction in bold and daring directions expressing emotion and thought through abstract forms mirrors our aim to communicate via sound.
In the cinematic world, the inventive universes and diverse narratives crafted by directors like Jodorowsky, Lena Dunham, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Rosa von Praunheim, Lynch and John Waters deeply impact us.
Literature, particularly works by Stanislav Lem, Liu Cixin, Philip K. Dick, and Huxley, exploring dystopian themes or alternate realities, stimulates our imagination and challenges our perception of reality.
These non-musical influences significantly broaden our artistic horizon and enrich our musical vocabulary, inspiring us to craft a distinctive sonic identity.
Electronic music can serve as an outlet for personal expression and self-discovery. Has there been a particular moment or phase in your life that has profoundly affected your creative process or the direction of your music?
Undoubtedly, transitioning to parenthood, having two kids each, marked a significant phase for us. Becoming fathers introduced a new emotional depth and a fresh perspective to our music. This period fostered self-reflection and rediscovery, leading to a more mature, introspective sound, while also embracing silliness and eccentricity. The responsibilities of parenthood instilled a greater discipline and focus in our creative process. This transformative phase enriched our musical narrative, adding layers of depth and meaning to our work, and continues to significantly influence our ongoing musical journey.
The process of creating a record can be a transformative experience for an artist. Can you discuss the journey behind one of your new »Daddies on the Double«, and how it reflects your growth and evolution as a musician?
Creating “Daddies on the Double” was a dive into deeper sonic exploration for us. This record reflects a matured approach, blending our signature style with newfound musical territories and structure. Each session in our studio was meticulous, dissecting and refining sounds to resonate with the record’s conceptual essence. The process, although exhaustive, enriched our understanding. This record not only represents a refined narrative but also showcases our technical growth in music production.
Many electronic artists have a strong sense of social responsibility and use their platform to raise awareness about various issues. Are there any causes or movements that you feel particularly passionate about, and how do you integrate them into your work?
Our music blends different cultural stories, showing our commitment to equality and social awareness in the electronic music scene.
More than just making music, we aim to spark discussions on important issues like homophobia, identity, and racism through our work. We seek to challenge prejudices and foster a more inclusive dialogue within the electronic music community.
We use our platform to push for a more welcoming and thoughtful community, with our music acting as a channel for social insight and interaction.
Our aim to push artistic limits mirrors our cultural outlook, using our music to promote diversity and cross-cultural conversation. Through our projects, we hope to amplify values of inclusivity and social responsibility, contributing to a more understanding electronic music community.
Music often challenges conventional genre boundaries and expectations – walking the line between sounds. Do you think its important to sound a little different to the crowd?
As Gora & Eloy, we like challenging genre conventions. Our work is a testament to the importance of sounding distinct amidst a sea of similarity, creating a unique sonic narrative.
This distinctiveness not only carves out our niche but also propels the electronic music scene forward, underlining the importance of innovation and booty shake.
The role of improvisation in electronic music can vary greatly between artists. Can you discuss your perspective on the importance of spontaneity in your creative process, both in the studio and during live performances?
We operate much like lab scientists. Every beat, synth, and bassline is carefully crafted in our studio, which feels more like a sonic lab. Our methodical creative process ensures a polished and precise final product.
In the studio, a structured approach guides our experimentation, tuning each sound to fit our desired aesthetic and auditory story. We dive deep into the sound anatomy, understanding each sound wave before it earns a spot in our composition.
Our live performances extend this lab vibe, reflecting the countless prep hours. Every transition is thought-out, every beat is placed with intent, showing the careful prep that goes on behind the scenes.
This structured method is our way of respecting the complex nature of our music. By being methodical, we explore and showcase the many facets of electronic sound, making sure each track and live set is a polished piece of sonic exploration.
Throughout your career, you’ve likely encountered various mentors or collaborators who have influenced your growth as an artist. Can you share a particularly impactful experience or lesson you’ve learned from someone in the music industry?
One invaluable lesson we’ve learned is the importance of authenticity. Staying true to our sound, even when trends shift, is crucial. This has been a guiding principle, helping us navigate while preserving our musical identity, ensuring that our work remains genuine.
What’s next for you?
The road ahead is full of exciting projects. We’re diving into fresh sounds and teaming up with other artists to push musical boundaries. Our goal is to grow, learn, and keep sharing our music.
We aim to dedicate more time to our project despite life’s demands. With new releases on the way, we’re eager to share our evolving sound.
Find our more about their releases HERE!