Galapagos: Last Of The Phoenecians
This is the story about a young Austin-based producer hailing from the Southwestern suburban
kingdom of Phoenix, AZ who through his sheer will and determination has established himself as a
rising star within the electronic music scene, all at the tender age of 19. I am talking about a Mr. Jacob
McNaughton, known to us as Galapagos.
McNaughton is what some may call a ‘prolific’ producer. He has been producing music for less
than a year and has already released four EPs and has received rave reviews from reputable blogs
like XLR8R and Altered Zones (RIP). From the depths of America’s suburban desert wasteland
Galapagos brings to the table a unique synthesis of electronic music, a genre that has experienced
a massive influx of participants and words used to describe them. Some may label him as IDM and
others might call him post indie-wave-chill-step or ATX Garage, but to the me Galapagos makes
straight up JAMZ that any discerning listener can enjoy.
With all these things in mind I sat down with the lad for a fireside chat to examine who the man behind
the tiger mask actually is.
So, how did this all start?
I was raised in the hardcore suburbs in this town called Mesa. For what its worth Phoenix, AZ is
a giant conglomeration of upper middle-class angry white folk… very angry.
My dad got me my first guitar when I was 10 which I was really into for a while. Funny enough
he actually was an electronic musician. He sampled stuff like Prince and sang over it. He never
made it big but he was into bedroom production using a four-track tape deck and a program
called Cool Edit Pro (later becoming Adobe Audtion). This was the first digital production
program I got into as a teenager. I was first interested in folk music but the more I recorded
myself, the more I got interested in electronic music.
In 8th grade I was into Postal Service like everybody else alive and was really turned on to
electronic music after listening to a collaboration between Ben Gibbard and Styrofoam, a
producer signed to Berlin-based Morr Music. From there I got into artists like Isan and Lali
Puna and the rest is history.
Has music been your only avenue of expression?
When I was in high school I made flash cartoons and got really close to attending the Ringling
School of Art and Design but couldn’t afford it.
When and how did you become Galapagos?
Halfway through my senior year I got Abelton live. It wasn’t until the summer (2010) that
I mastered it. This past December I dropped “The Gleaming“. I sent it to a blog called Life
Aquatic that I liked and you know how blogs work…it trickled down, word spread and people
What would you say is your modus operandi to music production and preforming live?
I make music that I think I would like to listen to because I really enjoy listening to my own
music. When you hear a song you enjoy and you understand where its coming from and how it
was made, it gives you a better appreciation for the final product. I preform live every once in a
while when I can but I want to become mastered at music production before I really go hard in
the paint about playing shows.
I can say from experience after seeing him over a half dozen times live that Galapagos is, in fact,
AMAZING. I was blessed with seeing both Galapagos and his Chill Mega Chill Records label mate
Corduroi once more when they played at my going away party in Austin, TX this past weekend. As
usual their sets were simply ruthless. I am certain given time, dedication and energy both of these
talented Austin transplants will be playing at a venue near you in the not too distant future.
Because this is my last post as a foreign correspondent for Night Drive Miami in Austin, TX, I would
like to give a shout out to Sebi De la Mata, Sarah Megan Ross, The Skanky Possum Family,
East Side Isle and the Applied Pressure crew for blessing me with their friendship and guidance
throughout my time in Austin while showing me the best music that the ethereal city of Austin has
to offer. Though I am moving to Europe soon be certain I will be keeping the world informed about
ATX…. Pucho out.
Guest Post by: Laurence Pucho Henriquez