A young producer “blowing up” over the space of 12 months and a handful of releases is nothing new; we’ve seen the likes of Thefft, South London Ordnance, Bobby Champs and a whole heap more acheive similar feats in recent times.
Gerry Read, though, has done it in a way dissimilar to many others. Firstly on a musical level, he’s clearly not the first person to have sampled himself playing drums, but the insistent and defining way he centres virtually all his tracks on these raw, scattered rhythms has brought a natural warmth to his music that is missing from some of his contemporaries’. Since dropping his debut record last year Read has steadily amassed 11 releases for the likes of 2nd Drop, Delsin and Ramp Recordings‘ sister label Fourth Wave.
The way he has handled himself in the eye of the media has also raised eyebrows. His shady character seems to add something to his music, and importantly, the lack of background knowledge takes nothing away. In a rare interview ahead of his album release next Monday, November 26, the Bury St Edmunds resident uncovered a little more about the man behind the music; touching on the making of ‘Jummy’, how he perceives his own music, and why he chooses to stay out of the limelight.
Is there a specific reason you choose to keep your personal life and music so seperate?
If you mean why I dont want my face on loads of websites, it’s because I’d rather not be recognized in a club toilet or walking round Asda. I’m not interested in having zoomed-in pictures of me pulling a serious face staring at the lens with airbrushed eyelashes.
Do you feel a lot of your elusive character translates into your music?
My music is the only elusive part about me I think, I’m not really an elusive person. I think music should be its own thing to some extent. I don’t like people coming up to me talking about my music if I’m honest, it is its own thing, not much to do with me personally. You’ll find out more listening to it than you ever will having a conversation with me.
So do you think your music is literally just an arrangement of sounds, without any themes or meaning?
There’s no concious theme or meaning behind any of my music, it’s just something that means alot to me.
How important is the artwork to you?
I had artwork in mind for the album whilst I was making it about a year ago which felt quite personal, but the pictures weren’t hi-res enough. What we’ve gone with was pretty last minute, but it fits both the album and the label – which I’ve ended up preferring.
What made you feel it was the right time to write an LP?
It has been finished for about a year now. At the time I was just making loads of tunes pretty quickly and sending them to Tom, so he suggested making an album.
How different does the stuff you’re making now sound? Your recent remix of George FitzGerald was, in comparison, pretty heavy. Is that something you’ve been exploring a lot since the album?
Yes definitely. My stuff now is a lot weirder than this album, some of it is quite fast/heavy and also I’ve started using some hardware aswell. This album just feels like a jazzy tip of the iceberg.
What links the tracks in ‘Jummy’ and makes it an album?
I made all the tunes pretty much one after another, probably spent no longer than 2 hours on each tune all using a 30 minute recording I had of me playing the drums. So I think they just naturally linked together.
They sound less club-focused than what you’ve made before. Was this a conscious choice?
Not really, I never actually set out to make club music which is probably why alot of people tell me they can’t mix my tunes, I try – to some extent – to not have the dj in mind when I’m making stuff. I find it easier if I just forget about how you’re supposed to make dance music.
What do you have planned to follow ‘Jummy’?
There’s another EP for Delsin fairly soon, lots more on Fourth Wave, and I’ve just finished my second album aswell.
Gerry Read’s album, ‘Jummy’, is out on November 26 via Fourth Wave.