Arguably the biggest DJ ever to come out of Denver, Eric Galaviz aka Hipp-E made his bones promoting and deejaying at some of the earliest raves in Colorado. After leaving his indelible mark on our city, he moved to San Diego in the '90s, where he became an influential part of the West Coast house scene, and went on to achieve worldwide fame as H-Foundation with deejaying and production partner Brian "Halo" Varga. Hipp-E performs Saturday night at Beauty Bar with another local hero, Greg Eversoul, whose cup also runneth over with old-school credibility. We caught up with them both via phone for this interview.
Westword: You have strong ties to Denver even though you're often associated with the West Coat house scene. Can you shed some light on that for us?
Hipp-E: I lived in San Diego for about thirteen years, and prior to that, obviously, I'm from here in Denver. But, I think because I play out in San Francisco so much, and because of the big impact that San Francisco had on all of the scene in general, everybody in the world was really quick to tie me to San Francisco [laughs]. I don't know why, but, it kind of became more natural and people obviously coined me as a West Coast house DJ. I think it also falls under the fact that, I mean, really, we were building a sound and pushing a sound that was very West Coast at that time.
And Greg, you spent time in San Francisco, but you're originally from Denver as well.
Greg Eversoul: Yeah. I started deejaying in clubs in Denver and in the rave scene around 1993... myself, Hipp-E, John Chamie... these kind of guys were doing kind of the original rave series that led to the electronic music scene in clubs. After doing that for about eight years, I decided I needed to move to San Francisco, so I moved there in 2000 and lived there for almost ten years, and that was just an incredible experience. It just definitely takes it up a notch, how much people are into the music and the whole culture. It's just kind of a way of life there, and I quickly found myself very much at home. I had a residency at 1015 Folsom, which is a legendary club there, as well as the Endup and Ruby Skye, and got to play with all of my favorite DJs: Jeno, Doc Martin, the Wicked Crew...
You've both deejayed all over the world. Any favorite places? Favorite stories?
Hipp-E: I always reflect on Fabric. Fabric was a real treat to be able to be a part of; having a residency there for eight years - every six weeks for eight years - having the experiences there was unbelievable. Obviously, one of the other great places would be Ibiza, and getting to play Space and Pacha in Ibiza were up there, as far as, "Oh, wow, I got to play these clubs." Those were amazing times. We recorded our album in 2003 in Australia, and Australia is still one of my favorite places to visit.
GE: I'd say San Francisco. Partying in Golden Gate Park is the most fun. I've played in London, Paris, New York, Seoul, Latvia, all over the States, Canada and Mexico, but I'd say San Francisco is my favorite. Also, there's this festival in Saskatchewan called Connect that's really fun every year. It's in the prairies in Midwest Canada.
Brian Varga [aka Halo, Hipp-E's partner in H-Foundation] was in town last Saturday night playing with Ryan Crosson and Lee Curtiss at the Roots/AAMP party. What's your current relationship with him?
Hipp-E: We're actually in the studio. He came in and he stayed here all of that weekend. Brian and I have time scheduled in February to do several remixes that we solicited, we're looking into doing a remix for Loco Dice, and we're doing an EP. Halo and I have kind of mended our old wounds, and we've always remained very great friends over the years. He's like a brother to me, but at one point, he was like the little brother that I wanted to punch [laughs]. Our relationship now has really blossomed into a really great, more mature relationship. We're really looking forward to working on a lot more music together.
Roots is actually myself and my brother, who were originally A&E productions when we started doing raves in the early '90s. I was always a DJ on the forefront, but also still the promoter. But, yeah, we had Ryan Crosson and Lee Curtiss. We teamed up with the AAMP guys, and we're going to be doing a lot more of that this year. The Roots events that we do are my main focus at the moment, and we've got a lot of things scheduled that are coming up that are going to be really great events.
Anything you can tell us about?
Hipp-E: We have a Roots event coming up on March 30th with Jesse Rose and Oliver $. We're doing that in conjunction with the PM/AM events, so we're doing the pre-party at Beta in the Beatport Lounge, and then we'll be doing the afterhours as a Roots event. Other than that, we have events scheduled for pretty much every other month, and then in the summer, every month. We've got on the table right now Magda and Marc Houle that we're discussing, and a lot of other really exciting events. We've been doing shows for over three years now, and the response has just been overwhelming and really great. We're really happy about the crowds that are coming out and supporting us. It's definitely an older crowd, which we're really enjoying, and we're really looking forward to a lot of great events this year.
Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about, Greg?
GE: I actually have an EP out this week on Evasive Records called the Western Road, and I just signed another EP to Release Music. I'm really excited about that. They're some tracks I did a while back that finally found a good home. There's gonna be a remix from Android Cartel, which is pretty hot right now, so I'm looking forward to hearing their mixes, and finally having that be released.
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What can we expect this Saturday night at Beauty Bar?
Hipp-E: Expect a lot of really great music. Greg and I have a really good chemistry together when we play. We're old and dear friends, so when we tag-team, it comes out in our sound and in what we do. So expect a great time, and great music. And I'm expecting to see a lot of great friends as well.
GE: The best of house and techno. The best upfront sounds. We'll probably sprinkle in some of our own productions in there as well.