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In a time when the dance music market has become a bit oversaturated with aspiring producers and DJs, Todd Gardner is clearly a cut above the rest. Throughout his life, Gardner has been exposed to a diverse range of music from every genre, from classic 70s soul to funk to R&B. These influences reflect his taste in music today – a fusion of sounds from his New Jersey upbringing. Gardner began to DJ in the 1980s, experimenting with mixing and blending and creating a sound that is unlike anything else being heard by others. While other DJs created simple blends in their mixes, Gardner thought outside of the box and created a unique pairing of musical concepts and ideas using his turntables.
During this time, Todd Gardner also began frequenting such night clubs as Club Zanzibar (with resident DJ Tony Humphries), Red Zone (with resident DJ David Morales), and Sound Factory (with resident DJ Junior Vasquez). Gardner’s love for house music began at these legendary clubs. Humphries is known for developing ‘the Jersey sound’ from his tenure at Zanzibar with his vast collection of music, ranging from gospel to soul . At Sound Factory, Junior Vasquez represented the other end of the spectrum, with his signature tribal and high energy rhythms. Lastly, David Morales is another influential figure and musical pioneer that combined deeper and rawer sounding music at New York City’s Red Zone with a certain commercial sensibility.
Since the beginning of his production career, he’s been influenced by these and other legendary DJs and producers. Gardner released his first single, ‘The Genesis EP’, in 1997 on Mission, his own record label, and soon after, production and remix work increased. He soon embarked on a collaborative project with Harry ‘Choo-Choo’ Romero, where he not only co-produced, but provided a critically-noted trumpet solo on ‘Mongobonix’. Other releases include the prolific ‘Do You Know House’ on Dance Tracks, ‘Funky Tonite’ on Mission, a remix of ATFC’s ‘Bad Habit’ on Subliminal, ’It’s Alright, It’’s Alright? on Yellorange and a host of other productions, remixes and edits.
Gardner continues to maintain a balance with respect to his productions. ‘Bad Habit’ garnered a tremendous amount of peer-to-peer recognition, an amazing fan base, and much commercial success while ‘Do You Know House’, for example, received more underground acclaim, but is considered a successful release as well. For Gardner, it’s simple: “I refuse to limit myself to any one world.”
Although Todd Gardner continues to produce, DJing remains his first love. Since 1986, he’s played at numerous clubs in the New York area and throughout Europe, including numerous radio appearances. It’s no surprise that Gardner has also held guest spots at some of the most prolific and influential clubs around the globe, including Pacha, Crobar, Mars and Discotheque in New York and his old stomping grounds at Club Zanzibar in Newark, New Jersey. Internationally, Gardner has rocked such legendary clubs as: Ministry of Sound (London), Le Wax (Paris), Cocorico (Italy), Groove Lift (Switzerland), Pacha (NY), and Pacha (Egypt) and many more. Best of all, he continues to push the creative envelope in fusing different styles of dance music in search of a new sound that is all his own. He explains: “I’m going to do what I do, regardless. That’s the way I’ve always been – always been a little bit against the grain.”