Recently released at Hotflush, George FitzGerald’s Shackled EP is an atmospheric eclectica of British sounds, that takes the London-based producer to an exceptional position amongst other genre-crossing talents. He names his style simply as techno in the wider sense, the right term to describe his own studio works. If you listen to his DJ sets though, it’s obvious, that his taste is more complex and soulful with ear-catching melodies and beat driven jams rather than the raw rhythmical monotony of pure techno in the narrow sense. Find out his thoughts on the evolution of his music at Scuba’s label and his own label Man Make Music.
Shackled EP was just released recently, but everybody knows the title track from Scuba’s Dj Kicks. Can you imagine a better promotion?
Is it really the strongest track on the EP, what do you think?
I can’t answer that – I love all my babies! No seriously, I think ‘Shackled’ is my favorite piece of work to date, but it’s a very close one between that and ‘Feel Like’ on the flip.
How would you describe the overall mood of it?
Well, I tried to go about making something, that was a lot more stripped-back and less grandiose than some of my previous releases. That’s just what I’m feeling at the moment. So each of the tracks on the new EP only relies on around on about 4 or 5 elements, that run throughout most of the track – kind of like a 4-piece band, I suppose.
How can we compare this new release with “Don’t You”?
I hope it’s possible to see a progression in my sound, since I made ‘Don’t You’. I think, the drums are more sparse and the general tone quite a lot darker and harder in places. That said, much of the same influences are in the foreground in tracks like ‘Shackled’ – I’m still the same techno-loving garage-boy I was, when I started out.
Why do you enjoy producing for Hotflush?
The other people on the label and the way it’s run – simple as that, really. Everyone gets along really well (they actually do, I’m not just saying that!) and are mutually supportive. Basically I feel very humbled to be counted amongst such amazing producers as Sigha, Sepalcure, Joy Orb and Mount Kimbie, not to mention Scuba himself. There’s a pressure to step up and deliver, when you look at the releases going before and after you and I like that.
HFT019B – Feel Like by George FitzGerald
From the insider point of view is Hotflush as exciting and forward thinking as it seems to be from the outside? If so why?
Yes and no. I wouldn’t say, there’s a relentless obsession with being new and groundbreaking for its own sake – which is what I think some people might imagine the atmosphere to be like. On the other hand, pretty much none of the artists on the label fit neatly into people/journalists’ standard conceptions of where dance music genre boundaries lie. Maybe the perception of being ‘forward-thinking’ just arises from the fact that we’re all a bunch of (lovable) misfits!
What are your plans with Man Make Music? Is there a special focus?
I really want to focus on putting out music by unknown producers, I’ve developed a relationship with or from within my crew of friends. I read an interview with Bok Bok or L-Vis a while back, where they said there came a point before they founded Nightslugs, where so many people within their general orbit were making great music, that didn’t have an obvious platform. It might sound very ambitious but I feel that’s the case with Man Make Music now. It might be easier for me to ask established producers I’ve met along the way to make tracks for me as a favour, but I think, that would be a waste of time and wouldn’t add anything new to the scene. All of our releases in the first half of next year are from total unknowns – Trikk, U, Love and Mercy, the list goes on – and that really excites me…
Do you prefer, DJ sets or live?
I haven’t had a chance to play live yet, so I can’t really comment on that. I would love to put together a live set eventually, but DJ’ing is really my first love and what I am best at.
Do you have a dream mix/compilation request?
Fabric has to be top of my list. If Ostgut ever want to do another Sub:stance mix, they should give me a ring, too! One can only dream…
Do you care about sub-genres within dubstep? You know, drumstep, brostep, post-whatever… what should people use, house or techno, if they talk about your music?
I think, we’re just in a phase now, where it’s silly to call what people like me are doing anything other than techno. Not in the narrow sense that the word ‘techno’ has come to mean, but what, I think, it originally meant – a definition, that wasn’t tied so much to being 4/4. It’s ALL techno at the end of the day…