Before his Tahoe debut, Wolfgang Gartner clears up a misconception |

Before his Tahoe debut, Wolfgang Gartner clears up a misconception

Tim Parsons

If heads bobbing in unison at an electronica dance concert occurs before the music even starts, that might be because people are going back and forth, debating where the music began.

A well-know artist from the United Kingdom who recently performed in the MontBleu Theatre said the music started in Europe. California’s Wolfgang Gartner, who plays Sunday, Sept. 18, in the same venue, disagrees.

“There’s always misconceptions that the music started in Europe and we catch on later, but, really, the music started here,” he said. “Festivals were here probably about the same time they were in Europe. It’s been going on here just as long if not longer than in Europe. It just hit a big lull in 2000-2002 here. Maybe that’s why people who haven’t been paying attention before that time (would make that assumption).”

Then why would the artist who was born Joey Youngman choose to call himself Wolfgang Gartner?

“It’s total randomness, to be honest,” he said. “I’ve used a lot of production aliases over the years in my life. And some of them have been random things and some of them have been nationalities and I just figured why not make up a German name for this one. It really doesn’t have any deep-seeded meaning.”

What cannot be disputed is that electro-house music, along with hip-hop, is ascending worldwide faster than any other genre.

And Wolfgang Gartner’s career has mushroomed in the last year. He spent half the summer festival season in Europe and will perform about 100 shows this year.

“I don’t notice it as some meteoric rise to success,” he said. “But then everybody else on the outside or at least people who interview me and are around me and my friends see it as happening very quickly. Maybe that’s my way of keeping it in check.”

Gartner said he has played every region in the United States and usually knows what the crowds want to hear. He said he has to improvise much more across the pond.

He has collaborated with many well-known artists, including, Britney Spears and Timbaland. He said the working relationships vary. Sometimes they are together in the studio and recently he sent music to, who added lyrics.

Gartner also worked in the studio with’s band the Black Eyed Peas. Some of the material wasn’t used but it wasn’t wasted.

“I’ll take things I’ve written for other purposes and just modify them and put them on my album as long as nobody had any creative input on it and I’m sure he’ll probably take those lyrics that he wrote and use them on something,” he said.

“Everything that gets scrapped is a candidate for being used later in some form or another.”

Sunday marks the Tahoe debut for Wolfgang Gartner. Because these dance events sometimes last well into the morning, there is a MontBleu hotel room discount for concertgoers. The rooms will go for $59.

DJ Syd Gris opens for Wolfgang Gartner. According to press materials, he has been organizing events since 2001 when he started throwing both underground parties and benefit events for different charities with Spundae. The following year he started his own production company Opel Productions, intended to be parties with purpose showcasing a range of forward thinking underground dance music with a dash of social activism thrown in the party message. In 2003, he finished his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, founded Opulent Temple with Rich Martin, and joined the Board for San Francisco’s Love event, where he heads up the Promotions and Marketing Team, and Floats & Entertainment Team.In his current ‘day job’, he works out of a community clinic with foster kids in the Bayview Hunter Point area in San Francisco.On the DJ tip, Syd is one of the West Coast’s top talents, consistently being voted in the Top 10 San Francisco Dream Team poll, and playing the biggest events in California party land. Playing a versatile range of electro house and breaks, to progressive and tech-trance, he’s been personally tapped to open and close for the varied likes of Tiesto, Moby, Stanton Warriors, Paul Oakenfold (who we alluded to earlier), Underworld, Armin Van Burren, Adam Freeland, Meat Katie, Markus Schultz, Ferry Corsten, and the list goes on. Syd knows what to do in any situation to bring the universal vibe of dance music. His sets are known for walking the fine line between the gritty and the pretty, and he has a range seldom scene in the West Coast scene.

Opening up the evening is Renos Erik Lobe from Reno. His sets vary from tech-house to progressive and trance.

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