Home Arts and Entertainment ELITE GYMNASTICS

Travis DeSimone.


Last year around June, Minneapolis 2 piece Elite Gymnastics released a double sided ep RUIN 1 and 2. Although they had been around the scene for a while this EP brought them a lot of international attention, being praised on Pitchfork and Stereogum.

When I heard RUIN 1 I was instantly hooked. Washed out vocals riding lazily over break beats and precarious synths. This is what I have been wanting from modern music. James Brooks and Josh Clancy of EG just signed to Acéphale, the same label representing Salem and Memory Tapes.

As hooked as I was by the RUIN EP, EG kept putting out mixes that are embedded with Korean and Japanese pop music. I have always been a big fan of Asian culture, especially music. It has never really been cool to like Asian music in American counter culture. So I have to praise EG for bringing that influence forward.

I was lucky enough to get an interview with James of Elite Gymnastics, so here it is as follows:

  • Q: You guys integrate a lot of Korean and Japanese pop music into your mixes. How did you guys get into that sort of thing?
A:  We’re both on the internet all the time and K-pop and certain strains of J-pop like Perfume and Capsule have big followings online. We found out about them the same way we found out about, like, Lil’ B or Terrence McKenna. someone posted a youtube.
  • Q: I have caught a lot of video game references on your website. Particularly Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. What are a couple of your favorite games?

A:  The best FF is VII, the other great ones are VI, IX, XII, and Tactics. The more recent Dragon Quest games developed by Level-5 have been classics. Also big fans of Secret of Mana, Xenogears, Vagrant Story, the Team Ico games, the Persona series, lots of others.

  • Q: When did you guys realize that you wanted to be DJs?
A:  When we realized that DJ bookings pay more than live shows and are less work.
  • Q: I have noticed you guys have played a couple shows with GOBBLE GOBBLE. Seriously wish I could have been at one of those. Any chance on a collaboration?
A: GOBBLE GOBBLE/Born Gold are really close friends of ours and we love them and I am sure that we will be doing things together for a long time.
  • Q: Any chance we’ll get an LP soon? Pleeeease?
A: Yeah, I’m not sure when such a thing would come out but we’re working hard on it. Some new music should surface sooner than later.
I could rant and rave about how great these guys are all day, but I’ll just post some links and let the music speak for itself.