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Take Ten: Destructo

The renowned DJ and event organizer picks 10 of his favourites

Gary Richards is a man of many talents. A figure in the electronic music community since the 1990s, he’s made himself dance music’s renaissance man, aiding in launching and producing some of the US industry’s longest-running events, including HARD Summer, Electric Daisy Carnival, Holy Ship!, his latest endeavor AMF DTLA, and the seafaring Friendship. But this side of Richards’ career is only one piece of the puzzle, completed by his Destructo alias. Accumulating a unique perspective as a creator and artist with a business mind, he’s played a pivotal role in the evolution of America’s EDM scene.

Heavily influenced by the artists of his youth, and surrounded by the stars whose reputations he’s helped to develop, much of Destructo’s inspiration is from before the industry was the business it is now. Here, he shares the tracks that have inspired him most.

Kraftwerk ‘Numbers’

“Number one OGs in the game. The sickest, funkiest beats you will hear. Made in 1981. Still holds up today.”

Zapp & Roger ‘So Ruff So Tuff’

“Vocoder mastermind Roger Troutman had so much funk in him. Too many great tunes to name just one. ‘More Bounce To The Ounce’ and ‘Dance Floor’ too...”

Planet Patrol ‘Play At Your Own Risk’

“My man Arthur Baker coming in strong on this electrofunk banger, with amazing vocals and melodies. You better watch yoself.”

Snap! ‘The Power’

“One of the first true records I found when I was finally able to get into a 21-plus club. This one started it all for me. I think I had some crazy leg dance moves to this one.”

808 State ‘Cubik’

“After hearing this in an underground warehouse in DTLA, I was hooked. I had to go and buy turntables, and this started me on my Destructo path. I love all the synth stab lines in here — very heavy and creative.”

The Prodigy ‘Poison’

“The whole ‘Music For The Jilted Generation’ album was amazing and changed the game. I played this over and over again in my car. The subs were hitting hard! Liam Howlett really found his sound on this record — the breakbeats, synths, and vocal stabs all really came together to perfection.” 

The Dust Brothers (Chemical Brothers) ‘Song To The Siren’

“When this came on the scene it was another game changer. I got this record on vinyl, and the breakbeats blew my mind. I knew Ed and Tom were going to be a major force in electronic music.”

Daft Punk ‘Around The World’ (and the rest of the ‘Homework’ album)

“When this came out, I was in heaven. In America, I would play so many cuts from this album in my sets. It was not super popular here yet, so it was like I had my own secret stash of Daft Punk jams to unleash on the clubs. That would not last for long.” 

Justice vs. Simian ‘We Are Your Friends’

“This really helped launch a whole new scene around the globe. The bassline and melodies are unmatched. Thank the lord for Gaspard and Xavier — true artists and amazing people. They were some of the first major artists I booked when I returned to promoting events in 2007.”

Kid Cudi ‘Day ‘N’ Nite (Crookers Remix)’

“Another revolutionary track — like, wow, we can mix electro and rap and it works in the clubs and on Power 106? Just like the Jungle Brothers did back in the day. It’s kind of like what I am trying to do with my music today.”