Gray Gideon was a prolific Dallas musician who specialized in electronic music. His death on December 9 was confirmed by phone this morning with the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office. No further details are available at this time. He was 30 years old.
Gideon was an original member of one of the most significant breakout local acts of the past 10 years: Ghosthustler, along with Alan Palomo, Shane English, and eventually Noah Jackson. In 2007, the group gained an enormous amount of national acclaim seemingly overnight, and helped put the Denton music scene on the map for something far different than the folk music and space rock it had been known for in decades past.
Gideon also played in and produced several other acts, including Fur, otherwise known as musician Bryce Isbell, that has also garnered attention outside of the region. Gideon worked under the name Beige for his solo material, and his most recent piece of posted music was an instrumental track that can be heard here. The multilayered song is evidence of Gideon’s continued abilities as a meticulous artist, several years after the blinding spotlight that was cast on the music coming out of Denton at the time. His abilities as a technically-gifted producer and solo artist have been underreported.
In looking over notes and research from We Shot Jr circa 2007, I found an unreleased interview conducted by my former colleague with Alan Palomo. It concerned the process involved in Ghosthustler’s music. The group had been trying to figure out a way to incorporate live bass-lines into their material:
Palomo: When we originally recorded the riff we were trying to figure where to put it to no avail, so Gray brought up the idea of sampling.
That’s a significant contribution to a scene that had not always embraced electronic music the way even Dallas had in the past. The music that Gideon made with his collaborators proved influential at both the local and national level and its impact on popular culture can still be stylistically detected today.
Gideon was always one of the most polite artists I’ve had the pleasure of running into while out and about, in a community that is not always that friendly. His talents and presence will be missed.