One of unmistakable drum & bass icons Bryan Gee has finally joined the line of Drum & Bass Arena Awards inductees in one extraordinary category: Hall of Fame. Who follows these prestigious awards knows well that in the Hall of Fame we can find musical giants like Marcus Intalex, Grooverider, Hype, Goldie or Andy C. Bryan certainly deserves to be included among them. Do you ask why?
It seems that Bryan Gee was predestined to speed along in the musical universe like an unmistakable supernova. He grew up in a spa town in Gloucestershire County as a member of Jamaican community. What did you do when you were 14? Bryan raged in the ragga sound system, where he already showed his sense for choice of the best music.
With the passage of time London looked like a dialectical necessity. Bryan’s new home became Brixton, like for David Bowie, Skin of Skunk Anansie or Basement Jaxx. This inner London suburb is considered to be the unofficial capital of the Caribbean community in the UK, thanks to immigrants. It means a lot of music, a bohemian way of life, but in the early 80’s also high crime rates and violent riots against the metropolitan police.
Bryan was also involved. But every cloud has a silver lining. Young man met other DJs in prison and it was decided: after his release he started to play music fully. And played it wherever he could, pirate radios, local parties. Just then Bryan befriended Jumping Jack Frost. This was maybe the key moment when he was just a step away from devoting himself entirely to music. Duo heard some of Roni Size and Krust’s early stuff, made the trip to Bristol and set up the label shortly after in order to release some of their material.
It was year 1993 and V Recordings legend was born. Label rolled out cool tracks one month after another for such a long period of time and we can always rely on top quality. Listening to V Recordings Catalogue these days means to buy ticket for colourful roller coaster. You can play hundreds of superior tracks and it is really worthy to check it up till the very deep bottom – you will realize how voluminous our beloved genre is. And that is not all. Waters of ‘Planet V’ in more streams: you may cruise on sub-label Liquid V where delicate names as Command Strange, Atlantic Connection, Mr Joseph or new enigmatic Tolima Jets appear. Or other sister labels Chronic and Philly Blunt. It is up to you how far you want to go.
Aren’t you one of those who regularly listen to Bryan’s podcast yet? You definitely should. Every show is nothing but a sparkling adventure journey. It brings you not only to the forthcoming fresh beats from V itself, but from the entire spectrum of the planet drum & bass. Plus he does not forget the good old days and reminds us of classic tracks. Bryan Gee forms a link on the continuum of time between yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Probably the greatest benefit of Bryan Gee is that he has discovered the Brazilian scene for us. What would happen if DJ Patife did not stop by on holiday at one of the parties that Bryan had organized in London? Perhaps we would miss the whole Brazilian wave. Maybe we would never hear such a legendary thing like DJ Marky’s anthem “LK” (and hopefully no one will ever remix this gem using some foghorns!). Maybe we would miss Marky himself.
Bryan Gee has an extraordinary gift to discover new talents. Moreover, infinite energy is synonymous with his personality. Which was, after all, easy to see when he was taking this year’s award: “I don´t think about these things, awards. I am always thinking about how we can just push things and make things better, enjoy things more, just try to nurture people!“ Absolutely.
How does he manage to lead one of the longest-running labels? Maybe because he is a real epitome of true devotion, playfulness and a precise approach.
Find last few years of Bryan’s work concentrated in one excellent compilation Bryan Gee Presents FUTURE.