Exclusive Interview With George FitzGerald
“I just moved forward in a more spontaneous way and than edited together the takes that I’ve done. So a lot of the really nice little details on the album for me are almost always things that happened by mistake.”
George FitzGerald has build up a loyal following since 2010 through a steady string of releases for labels such as Hotflush, Aus and Hypercolour. His standout moment was 2012’s ‘Child’, which defined the house sound of that year. The Watford born, and now Berlin resident’s early musical schooling took place behind the counter at London’s Black Market Records. It was here that he worked in the deep house section piecing together the sounds’ US origins and its link with the later 4/4 garage of Tuff Jam records, which are arguably George’s most obvious influences.
Entering into 2013 as a defining figure of the prevalent dance sound, George was invited to provide a mix for Radio 1’s world-renowned Essential Mix series. It was quite an accomplishment as it not only guaranteed worldwide exposure but also enabled George to show off a deep musical knowledge, with leftfield curveballs from labels like Perlon and Workshop that point to his exposure to Berlin club life, most notably as a frequent Berghain DJ. On April 27th he will release his first LP on Double Six Records, the offshoot of indie giant Domino. We talked with him over the concept behind the album, living and clubbing in Berlin and him playing live.
Hey George. Let’s start with the big news. Your first LP ‘Fading Love’ will be released at the end of the month. Can you tell us something about the concept behind the album?
The main motivation before there was a concept was to write something that was coherent. I think a lot of Dance albums are just a collection of 10 or 12 tracks that could have been released as four EP’s. I wanted to write something that really fitted together, that wasn’t just an intro, an outro, a couple of singles and some instrumental tracks. I find that a bit cynical. I set myself some rules in terms of how it was produced. The whole thing was made in a different way compared to the way I produced before. Everything was made on hardware and recorded in a different way and there where no sampled vocals. All of the vocal lines are rigged in and sung. So it was just meant to sound a lot more personal. It also ended up being quite a personal album about stuff that was going on in my life at the time. That was the concept behind it. I mean it wasn’t a concept album in the sense of like Space Dimension Controllers album about going to outer space but it had fixed ideas behind it.
The press release states that the LP is “the disintegration of a romantic relationship”. Sounds like it is a very personal LP. Is it something that happened to you?
Yes. Writing it went parallel to a personal relationship drifting or fading away and to me almost all of the songs are written at different times in that relationship and are about where I was at that time. So yes, it does document that for me. It might not be immediately obvious to people. I mean it sounds very sad and quite melancholy but that wasn’t necessarily a deliberate thing to make a melancholy album. It just came out like this in the end.
You already mentioned the feeling of the LP. It seems that after ‘Magnetic’/’Bad Aura’ was quite dark, the LP will also have more of a dark, dreamy and like you said melancholic sound. Is it something that comes with living in Berlin?
No, if anything I’d say the opposite. I know there’s the whole kind of dark Berghain thing, the kind of industrial techno thing but I don’t think Berlin is a dark depressing place. If anything I view it as somewhere bohemian and happy and I felt like being in Berlin has made my music more relaxed. I mean you can’t really hear that on Magnetic and Bad Aura, but I think you can hear it on the album. It doesn’t have to be on the dance floor and some of it is a bit more dreamy than the music I’ve written in the past. And I think a lot of that has to do with Berlin. The darkness and the melancholy comes just from what was going on in my life. My relationship with Berlin isn’t a melancholy one, it’s a happy one.