George FitzGerald is THE name to look out for in 2012. The London born and bred DJ and producer has made a real name for himself this year with his garage and tech-tinged releases on Hotflush, Aus and of course his own label, ManMakeMusic. Having run the label night of the same name in East London and with his music making all the right noises, George is set to make a serious impact in the following twelve months. He caught up with Helen S ahead of his New Year's Eve gig at secretsundaze and mixed the first podcast of 2012, so you can see just what all the fuss is about.
Pulse: Hello George, what are you up to right now? George FitzGerald: Nursing a stinging hangover. I hate Christmas parties.
ManMakeMusic has just finished its two year run at its London home. Who have you loved most performance-wise? Two people really stand out for me - San Soda from We Play House and Ben UFO. I think the thing that unites them in my mind is being two very unpretentious guys who know their records inside out. They really brought something broader than the genre they’re most typically associated with, but it still felt as if they stood for something with their sound. That is incredibly hard to pull off...
Where next for the night and the label? We’ve just started a quarterly residency in Berlin at a really nice intimate venue called Farbfernseher in Kreuzberg. We’re going to take a break for a few months in London and seek out a new venue to call home here. The Star of Bethnal Green was amazing for two years, but we just felt it was time to move on and do something different. In terms of the label, it’s going to be a busy few months. There’s not really much I can say that will give people a good idea of what’s coming up, mainly because everyone we’re releasing over the next few months is totally unknown. There are some clues in my mix though.
Did you expect 2011 to be quite such a big year for you? Why do you think it's been such a success? No not at all. I started it as a student and ended it as a full-time DJ arsehole. I can’t really attribute that transition to anything other than a lot of late nights and big slices of luck. I’ve also worked with some pretty amazing people this year who’ve really helped me out - Scuba, Will Saul, Secretsundaze, and many others...
What's been your personal highlight this year? Playing to a packed room at Berghain. Was so nervous I nearly threw up before.
And who else have you enjoyed listening to? BNJMN and Appointment. They’ve been on pretty solid loop throughout the year. I think their production is incredible.
Tell us a bit about your musical past- what did you grow up listening to and how did you end up at your current sound? Garage ----> Hip hop ----> Grime ---> Dubstep ---> Techno ---> House ---> Garage. A perfect circle.
What are your plans for 2012 Dj-wise? More of the same I suppose. I’ll be going a bit further afield for some gigs - America, Oz etc. Mainly though I just want to play at great parties put on by promoters who care about what they’re doing - I don’t care where it is.
If you were to make an album, who would you like to work with on it and on which label would it be released? To be honest, I’m not a big fan of collaborations on an album. If I make one, it will be the product of long periods spent alone in a basement somewhere! In terms of a label, any of the ones I’ve worked with so far would be amazing. I wouldn’t be as presumptuous as to assume that any of them would automatically want my work though...
Tell us where you're playing over the festive season. I’ll be at Social Club in Paris on 29th December and then kicking it with Giles and James, and the Man Make Music guys at the Secretsundaze NYE special. Quiet night in with friends.
1. U - ??? [forthcoming ManMakeMusic]
2. Copy Paste Soul - Want it [CDR]
3. Goldwill - When We [Mojuba]
4. Hugo Barrit - Lilly Hole (Ethyl Remix) [forthcoming Vitalik]
5. BNJMN - Keep The Power Out [Rush Hour]
6. Trikk - Jointly [forthcoming ManMakeMusic]
7. Wbeeza - Coast Spotting [Third Ear]
8. Jodeci - Freek ‘N You (MK Dub) [MCA]
9. Trikk - Wat U Do [forthcoming Container]