George Fitzgerald: I love having stuff that other people don’t have
London beatsmith, George Fitzgerald, concocts a shadowy brew of garage, house and techno that has the tickled the fancy of both Aus and Hotflush in recent times whilst he also tends to his own label, ManMakeMusic. We caught up to talk five-a-side football, future releases and the undeniable joy of having tracks that only you have access to.
Apart from music what do you find yourself doing in your spare time?
I don’t seem to get up to too much these days apart from producing, doing stuff for my label and then playing out on the weekends but I’m pretty happy doing that. I do play the odd bit of five-a-side football. My week basically consists of football, producing and then I work in a record shop in Soho called Black Market on a Friday. It’s cool and its always good from my point of view to see what’s coming out and there’s loads of different DJs from different scenes that come into the shop to buy records. So it’s a good way to be exposed to all kinds of music.
‘Shackled’ was one of my favourite releases towards the latter part of last year, but what were you listening to at the time that you were making the EP?
I was listening to stuff like Tyree’s ‘Nuthin Wrong’. The one that Ben Klock dropped on the Bergain mix. I remember listening to it and thinking how good it was. Just how the claps are arranged, real simple and raw. It started off as that and then ended up with something totally different with all the pitched down vocals and kick bass. I think it was mainly techno stuff that was influencing me because it’s quite hard with the techno drums.
When you were growing up, what would you have had on your iPod?
There was a bit of grime, but where I started off was garage when I was about 14 and just playing around on my brother’s decks. Then I listened to hip-hop for quite a while and then it was just grime. Grime was only for a very short period but it became dubstep for me. I was into the two, because you know how the two scenes were linked and you’d go down to FWD and there’d be grime MCs like D Double E playing, so I was definitely into both. Then I came back from that and into garage again as well as house and techno so it’s almost come full circle.
Which ‘new kids on the block’ are you currently feeling?
There’s a few amazing ones that need a bit more love. One’s Jack Dixon, who’s an absolute badman. Another guy is a dude called Trikk who I’ve just signed. He’s from Portugal and he’s just moved out to London, making that kind of garage, bass-influenced stuff. I’m also putting out another release from him in a couple of months and he’s just one of those guys that sent me a couple of tracks and I asked for more. He’s just got loads! So every set I play, I always play a few of his tracks and I always get asked what they are because no one knows his stuff just yet. I love having stuff that other people don’t have. Obviously I’d love for him to have more recognition but there’s also always that bit where you’re like ‘I knew about this guy before you did’.
What have you got coming from yourself and the label throughout the year?
I’ve been writing for a long time because that ‘Shackled’ release was finished by September last year. Minus a bit of time off after that and Christmas, I’ve been writing pretty solidly and I’ve got three or four releases coming out this year. Got a 4-track EP on AUS coming out in June, then a thing with Hypercolour a couple of months later. Another thing with Hotflush after the summer and then I’ve just started writing the beginnings of the next project on my own label. That will be the year basically, but before the year’s out I will be writing an album as well. That’s the plan, and hopefully that will be out on Hotflush as well.George Fitzgerald, ManMakeMusic, music
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