Bryan Gee interview

Time to again catch up with V Recordings boss Bryan Gee on the phone and talk about music, the midweeks, Brazil and the music. He’s down Swerve this week for what promises to be a Big Night.

Damian Bennett: You have music coming at you from all angles, you got new stuff from people like Chap and Level 2… when do you get a chance to listen and to test it all out?

Bryan Gee: There’s a tune coming in right now, ha ha. Music just so much vaster, you got music coming at you from all over the world all the time, and it’s easier to make now, it’s wide open.

For about 3 or 4 years, these people you mention, the Critycal Dub, the Chaps, it’s been great working with them, they’re so enthusiastic. They remind me of Roni, Krust, Die all of them when I first met them, they all bounce off each other, sort of friendly-competitive too: one would make a tune, cause the other to step their game up. 20 years later, it’s the same sort of thing I’m seeing, I’m enjoying it.

: You mention Bristol: it’s on the surge too, with all the recent stuff from Break and Die and so forth…

BG: It never stopped, from the Full Cycle people to Clipz, Break, & there’s a guy I’m talking to now, Dr Meaker. I’m still in touch with Roni, he’s doing his album, been talking to Krust who may be doing a 12 for V. For a lot of the new people, this is their inspiration: the early V…

We release different styles, but it still feels ‘V’.

DB: Yeah it always does and will touch on different styles soon. Look I got to talk about the live thing: I was at Bar Rhumba & I know the Movement vibe but now that Bar Rhumba’s gone… The End’s not there, Herbal’s not there: the music is all around these days where do you go to test it out as a DJ?

BG: Yeah things have changed. I find it hard; before, you had Herbal, go down there on a Sunday night for Grooverider’s thing. Groove would have people down and people would always put on a good set. You had all the heads there, it was a Sunday night, you also had Swerve in the West End around the same time, industry people would come to these, and it was the same with Bar Rhumba. London lacks good quality mid-week nights.

With the internet too… before, you had to come out a bit more to find out what was going on. To connect, to pass your tunes on. Now, if you have AIM and the rest, you can reach everybody just by turning your computer on. It’s kinda taken away the social part. Even with places like Music House or going to Swerve, I remember picking up so many CDs, test pressings ‘cos people knew you had to get their to link the DJs or vice versa… I’d say to someone ‘you going to Swerve tonight? Make sure you see Fabio, DJ Storm or someone’. Now it’s ‘give me your email’.

DB: I’m happy to have seen it first hand in clubs, the social thing, people with 12s and CDs, the interaction.

BG: People have gotten lazy now. You had to come out to connect with people.

It’s needed to keep music alive. It’s really needed. London’s the capital and why people would come. I mean people used to be ‘I want to go to Swerve on Wednesday, go to Metalheadz, go to Movement on a Thursday’, it was a dream fulfilled… ‘I saw Goldie, I saw Fabio, Roni Size, Bryan G… !’ They’d talk about it forever!

: Every single person that went or goes to the spots will talk about it and have stories I find. So what keeps you on fire about the music? New countries opening up with sources of music, new artists?

BG: I’m excited about music generally, fresh new music, new sounds. No particular country… People may feel like I favour a lot of the Brazillian artists but maybe it’s my background, as I come from a soulful, R&B, reggae sort of background… the Brazilian scene I can relate to, I took a shine to it when I first encountered Patife, Marky and XRS and it hasn’t stopped since.

: And you mentioned Meaker, any more exciting stuff you want to work with, that’s appeared on the radar for the 2012?

BG: The stuff like Level 2, Chap, they’re making music which is sounding incredible. I’m doing an album with an artist called David Boomah who’s been about for a long time…

… working with Shy FX in the past, Potential Badboy, and he came to me with an album, I listened to it. We started from scratch with this, he’s got this wicked vocal vibe to his stuff.

We just got the last track tonight for the album, it’s gonna drop in the summer, and that’s really exciting me right now… with this, we’re we’re doing proper reggae tracks with Serum & Aries, proper dubstep, drum & bass, we’re doing some 140 kind of bashment, dancehall, some Toddla T-style stuff, liquid… there’s no album that’s doing that right now, covering it all.

It’s a new era for me, I’ve never done anything like this for V. It’s got this urban stance, that’s the era we’re in. Ten years ago everything was more reggae or hip hop, whatever but people are into everything now, you know?

DB: I do man, thanks.

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