Back Track 02 _ Gez Varley / G-Man _ G-Man II EP
There’s been a great longevity to these tracks and recently Craig Richards included El Jem on his Fabric 58 mix. It on Swim – the label run by Colin Newman from Wire. How did that relationship come about. What was the reaction to the release like?
Yeah it’s great that people still play some of my old tracks like El Jem. If you’d have told me this back in 95, that my music would still be played out today, I would have just never believed you. It’s funny how things work out.
The tracks were released by Swim Records on a friendship basis, as opposed to it being a proper record deal. That had its positive and negative points to be honest. I´d sent the tracks to several big dance record labels and got no response whatsoever. Thankfully I was in touch with Colin Newman who I´d previously done some remix work for. He believed in my solo project and said he´d love to put the tracks out. Thank god. Yeah, the first EP G-Man I did really good and the reaction to Quo Vadis was massive to say the least. The G-Man II EP went on to sell even more and was No.1 in Groove Magazine’s DJ chart in Germany back in 1996. That was such a great honour to have.
So El Jem.. what can you remember about the track? It sounds like there is a lot of groovin’ going on & live tweaking. Those remixes from 2011, especially that insane heavy kick remix from Perc was nuts. Were you using a static sample, or was it running off hardware? All the kicks on these tracks are great.
Yeah at the time, I think most of the early G-Man tracks were done with the Casio FZ-10 sampler and a 909, which was sampled. They were being run by an ATARI 1040, with Creator software and some other bits and bobs, like a Roland R8 drum machine, Yamaha SY77 keyboard and a couple of FX units going through a Studio Master desk. Theres was a very nice sound of all that!
Yeah, the track has a lot of live tweaking on it. I think most of the tracks today are over produced with very little feel and end up a bit boring to say the least. I really liked the remix from Perc as it’s got plenty of energy. Maybe in the future it might come out as a vinyl release as so many people overlooked the digital release of this.
Sparticus is a monster track. Were there any producers that you would look out for and feel like you were in friendly competition with?
Yeah at the time Basic Channel were a big influence and I like to think that they were friendly competition. Mike Inc was also amazing at this time. I think Quo Vadis was definitely one of the first tracks to start off the minimal techno scene, although today it’s totally changed for the worst. The set up for this track was more or less like before. There was a tons of live tweaking going on and all the old G-Man tracks were done in one take. If it didn’t work I would switch the machines off without saving any of the sounds and just start again. Completely from fresh. For me music is about capturing a moment in time, so the idea of doing a track over a few months just doesn’t appeal to me whatsoever.
Dougga is a bit of a slow burner and theres another great kick..
I think the track was more based around the R8 drum machine, which was being the master sequencer. As for the kick drum sound; in all my tracks, even if I use a 909 kick, I’ll play around and tweak it. All the sounds are tweaked with.
I have to laugh at some of today´s so called “Producers”. The ones that just use preset samples, loops and keyboard sounds hahaha!! They may fool some people but not me.
Second Legion is great. Theres a pretty hefty donk on this track too haha – did you play it out much? I’d say if it was played at the right time it could destroy a place..
The Legion track was done on a real 909, which I borrowed from a mate of mine Mark Gamble – Krush, Rhythmatic. Thanks Mark! The 909 was used to trigger the sampler and also for the kick and Hi Hats. Yeah, legion was a killer track that would always rock the dance floor.