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Bryan Gee - I've never seen it like this before in my life

Author: Katie Elles
Thursday, April 10, 2003
UK DJ Bryan Gee is one of the forbearers of the drum & bass scene, having pushed the sound since its infancy in the early 90's. At the age of 13 Bryan started DJing at reggae sound systems in Gloucester and later moved to London in the 80's where he met Jumping Jack Frost and set up the highly respected pirate radio station, Passion.

While working as an A&R man for Rhythm King's Outta Rhythm offshoot, Bryan came across a demo tape and fell in love with its new sound combining soulful, reggae vibes with sharp break beats. The artists behind the tape were the duo we now know as drum & bass icons Roni Size and DJ Krust. After pitching the recording to other A&R people who failed to see the potential of this explosive new sound, Bryan set up V Recordings with Frost in 1993 and released the first of what would be numerous drum & bass tracks on their award winning label.

Since then, Bryan has been at the forefront of the scene, Djing around the world, running the label and promoting the Sound of Movement club nights. He says drum & bass is currently at an all time high both in the UK and internationally.

"I've never seen it like this before in my life," he says.

"It's awesome and the production level and quality has really stepped up because it's coming from everywhere not just the UK. It's coming from all over the globe and everyone is adding their own flavours and different cultures."

According to Bryan, the style and sound of drum & bass is also changing as it gains more recognition as an independent genre.

"The vocal input is steadily getting there, people aren't afraid to use vocals now and what I find is the MC's and the people within our scene are getting used as well. It's not like before where people are sampling other people's music. Now we're starting to use our own artists and starting to create artists within our own scene."

For example, drum & bass artists who would sample a Brandy or a Mary J Blije track for flavour in their tune, can now go to someone like Tali or Stamina or MC Fats for their vocals.

"We're creating our own artists now, our own stars which has got to be good for the music because it gives it more of an identity. It makes it look like we're doing something more serious here so people from outside can see it's not just a copy of a hip hop tune," says Bryan.

There are so many exceptional drum & bass tracks currently being released, Bryan can hardly contain his enthusiasm.

"I want to play longer than an hour or two hours now because there's so much good music and it's just excellent from everyone. My box is so jammed I've had to pay a lot of excess baggage just for my dub plates cause there's so much good music I wanted to bring out on this tour," says Bryan in reference to the current tour that sees him at Seven nightclub this Friday, promoting his latest mix album, The Sound of Movement.

When asked if this means we can expect to hear mostly new stuff at the upcoming gig Bryan laughs and says,

"Yeah, no time for old stuff, sorry. Maybe I can fit in one classic but you know, there's so much new stuff to play and that's what I've always been about, pushing the new stuff. It just gives me joy when there's so much good stuff around cause it just makes my job easier."

Bryan says he enjoys coming out to Australia because "the people are always up for it."

"I was in Adelaide last night and it rocked. I was there with Suv and I didn't he and Stamina were going to be there as well. At the moment, we're doing an album with Suv called Drum & Bass Fiesta, so it was a double whammy last night, promoting both albums."

Bryan notes that every time he comes out to Australia the scene "just gets better and better out here."

"Now people like Greg Packer (Perth) are producing and Australia is starting to make noise so I look at is as a challenge coming out here, coz I want to give people something they can remember and learn from, something extra -so they leave with a sp