An Interview with Eldoko from the Gottwood family

We caught up with Tom Elkington, or eLDOKO, a very talented musician as well as the co-founder of the Gottwood Festival and Gottwax Label. Gottwood Festival is set to kick-off 11-14 June, 2015 in Wales.


Tell us about your association with Gottwood? How did you get involved with it in the first place?

Yes, so Gottwood is mine and two of my best mates’ little baby! We’ve been nurturing it now for over 5 years and it has completely taken over our working lives! We have got it in an amazing position now and we strive to keep it exactly how it is: small, personal, and on point with the underground.


You have a degree in Commercial Real Estate Management and have worked extensively in the field. Is Gottwood and Gottwax your full time thing or are you still working in real estate?

So back in the day I thought that I should probably take the desk job route however over time and now that Gottwood has established its self it has taken over and is now a full time job. I head up the creative side of the company and look after things such as design and our online presence as well as actually getting my hands dirty and building stages and managing the site infrastructure over the weekend with Digby, our site manger.


What can we expect from Gottwood this year?

Boringly, much of the same! We have focused our efforts on keeping the festival the same size as last year but tightening up on the production, improving the sounds systems (we are testing new Martin Audio equipment this year) and also booking a line up that in our eyes reflects exactly where our hearts lie. Booking Zip, a man with similar ethics to ourselves,  really made my year!



What can we expect from your set at Gottwood? 

It’s my favourite set of the year, I like to play across the board starting with funkier more fun records, something that I was previously tagged with, then moving onto a more peak time set incorporating some more minimal tracks but still retaining that ‘fun’ element to the set. My sets will always stay very groove based and upbeat!


Summer is coming and that means festivals! Are you playing any other festivals this year? 

I should think so but I haven’t got that far yet, I know I am doing Festival Number 6 but that is about as far as I have got, Gottwood is pretty overwhelming at the moment and obviously takes precedent.


What has been the most memorable gig of your career to date?

I would love to say a Gottwood gig however, it has to be playing to a packed Pagaoda at SGP. It was 4pm, it had been raining all day and as soon as I came on the sun came out and everyone was so so up for a party. It ended with “David August – True Romance” and everyone lost their shit.

Last year at Gottwood was also amazing, a friend of a friend decided that mid set that he would come up on stage with me, completely impromptu, and jam with a sax for the last 3 tracks. I honestly had no idea he was going to do it (I don’t think he did either) but it was incredible.


First, Cable closed, now Plastic People has been shut down, and ideas about potential new regulations at Fabric are floating around. How do you feel about the London club scene at the moment? What do you think is changing and why do you think it’s changing?

Dance music has unfortunately become too popular and has started to attract the wrong kind of crowds (you know exactly who you are!) – with this come people who are there for the wrong reasons, trouble and ultimately club closures and licensing issues.  It’s a real shame, but there will always be the nice corners of the underground that stay true to the scene, you just have to really look for them, something that the ‘wrong type of kids’ won’t do …. thank god.


What’s going on with Ambitur?

Ambitur was a project that started about 4 years ago however Ben who I was doing it with moved away to Dubai so it kind of fizzled out a little bit. We still make music but its just for ourselves really, I don’t see any releases coming out any time soon.

I am focusing on a new side project though. It is with Sam from Real Nice and has a darker melodic techno direction, it follows on nicely from Ambitur and helps me vent my love for the darker side of the genre. I am hoping it is going to be a live show and that some stuff will start to come out later in the year.


What does your ideal festival setup look like? 



What would be your dream line-up?

Well this years Gottwood line-up isn’t a million miles off. I would like to book Kalabrese and Stimming at some point and also we want Extrawelt back, they are possibly the greatest Techno live act out there – proper pioneers.


Electronic music festivals in the UK are getting massive with outstanding line-ups. What other festivals would you recommend for this year?

I don’t like big festivals with big line-ups its just not that fun and gets very samey, I’m really feeling the Field Maneuvers line-up but its not all about Electronic music, try End Of The Road for something a little different!


What are some of your favourite tracks you’ve created? 

My favorite is actually a remix I did for James Copeland’s What Is Jazz, I was working with some amazing STEMS which really makes a difference and it all came together very quickly. I also have a track called How To Kill Frown that I am sure will surface at somepoint that I really like.


Do you have any music recommendations for our readers?

So I am really feeling everything from the 22A label, an amazing crew of musicians from South London and I am loving everything on Scissor and Thread at the moment.

I listen to a huge variety of music – for those who are wanting something to kick back to try the self titled Cymande album or “The Shadow of Your Smile” by Jack McDuff. 

Something for about 4pm try Cavern by Liquid Liquid or Africa by Cedric IM Brooks.

And if you really want to get loose try You Got It All by The New Master Sounds or the Gator Tail by Lee Doresey, that is a huge slice of funk!

Dance music wise check into the new Frits Wentink album on WOLF Music and anything by Sebastian Albrecht, really nice stripped back minimal business.

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