In Conversation With: Geddes
It’s been a helluva summer for FOUND. Earlier in September, we headed down to Finsbury Park for what would be their fifth and final event of the season. Presenting a lineup that exhibited the very London-centric crux between US and UK house music, garage and grime, Ceremony Festival offered a lively spread of vintage and contemporary acts to close off the summer with aplomb.
Flying the flag for London’s tech house scene was founder of mulletover and Nofitstate head honcho, Geddes. Afforded with a main stage slot in the late afternoon, the importance of his infamous warehouse parties of the mid 2000s and output of his now defunct label, murmur, clearly wasn’t lost on the programming team, finding himself pitched alongside Stateside heavyweights Armand Van Helden and The Martinez Brothers.
After throwing down an hour of solid techno-leaning house cuts, we grabbed a few minutes with Geddes to talk past collaborations, the state of London clubbing and his latest release on Adam Beyer’s Truesoul.
How has your summer been so far?
Apart from the weather back home it’s been a good one with Ibiza and going backwards and forwards from Croatia. I’ve been doing Hideout for the last three years and it’s a really good production out there, the stages are really cool and you’re well looked after. It’s a good time.
Did you check any of the events at the Garden site this year?
Not this year no, I used to play for them years ago but since I’ve started Hideout I haven’t been back. Not through choice! Sometimes in Croatia it can be a little bit territorial but I’m sure i’ll be back for their new festival Love International next year.
How was Ibiza for you this year?
For me it rolls in a five year cycle: I’m really busy out there for like four years straight then one of those years is the quiet one. Ibiza’s going through a bit of a change right now, it’s all about VIP culture. Hopefully it’ll get through that… I’ve been going out there for about twelve years and definitely now, for clubbers, places like Croatia are the more attractive option simply because Ibiza is so expensive nowadays. However, the Terrace in Amnesia is still the best room for clubbing I’ve ever been to.
You’ve been involved in the London warehouse scene for quite some time: first mulletover and now Nofitstate. What’s your view on the London clubbing scene right now?
Ten years ago the scene was in a very good place: vibrant, underground, lots of things going on. It felt like a real key period for UK dance music. In terms of the warehouse scene for me it was really only mulletover and Secretsundaze flying the flag. Ten years ago the Royal Oak on Columbia Road was an after-party pub: full on lawless, with the flower market going on during the day. Mental. Nowadays you go down there and it’s a proper pub.
“In terms of the warehouse scene for me it was really only mulletover and Secretsundaze flying the flag.”
There’s a famous story of me going down there completely high thinking I was playing when I really wasn’t, sorting through my records etc haha. The warehouse scene just isn’t unique any more. London needs to be more careful. Everyone sees it as an investment opportunity. Even fabric is under threat. In five years time if we’re not lucky there might not even be a scene here any more. Maybe festivals will live on but the smaller, crucial events may not.
You’ve done a few events in Hackney Wick this year already. How has your relationship with Shapes been?
Yeah it’s been really cool but they get a lot of hassle from the council. One side of Wallis Street has been given planning permission for flats which will be bad news down the line. It’s not like Berlin which has a concentrated number of clubs that drive the scene, London is money and property-driven.
What were your favourite moments during the now sadly defunct mulletover era?
We held these parties in the woods that were legendary. I’m so glad we did it but it’s sad that there’s nothing along a similar vibe any more. Nofitstate was born from the ethos of mulletover, and Secretsundaze were a huge influence on me, they had some amazing parties. But the funny thing is, most people who go to their parties now wouldn’t have a clue what went on during the early years.
“London needs to be more careful. Everyone sees it as an investment opportunity.”
You have a WetYourself! showcase at fabric coming up soon. Tell us a bit more…
We’re taking over Room 1 with Zoo Look and others which is pretty big for us. Zoo Look have released a few EPs with us now, they’ve got a new one coming from two guys called London Base. They’re really hot, techno-house vibes… I mean I’m a producer and those guys are just beyond me. Really good.
Talking about your own productions, you have a new release on Adam Beyer’s Truesoul imprint. Does this signal a different direction for your production in the sense that Adam Beyer and Truesoul’s sound tends to lean towards out-and-out Techno?
I just think there’s so much out there than just sticking to one niche, if I were to say I only play 120bpm deep house it’d be boring so in that sense my change in sound mirrors my DJing style right now. I wouldn’t say it’s a new thing for me but I’m a dance-floor sorta guy, that’s what I’m always thinking about.
Describe to us your methods in terms of how your collaborations come together in the studio.
When you’re first in a studio with someone it’s a bit like going out with a girl. You’ve taken her out for dinner, get home and you’re really not sure what to do, whether to kiss her or put your arm round her… It’s all unknown territory. You either bounce off each other or you don’t. I’ve had loads of collaborations that just didn’t work.
Is there anyone in particular you’ve most enjoyed collaborating with?
Mic Newman is a very nice guy, he’s got loads of aliases now, Fantastic Man etc.. but my most favourite would have to be Audiofly. We did around 8 or 9 EPs under the name Rekleiner, we did one on my label murmur called Some People. They were friends of mine and we just decided to make some records, it worked out really well.
Lastly, I hear you’re a big fan of Formula One…
I love Formula One, it’s definitely my thing. When I was younger I used to love cars, motorbikes, I follow it religiously. Lewis is running away with it, he’s amazing. Super talented, and English!
Geddes – On The Streets is out now on Truesoul.