Positive Vibes: Bryan Gee
This is how Drum&BassArena’s positive vibes features go down…
We call up an artist. We have a little chat. We ask them for three tunes that make them smile. They tell us the three tunes. We turn the whole thing into a cheeky little feature that sheds light on the artist’s inspirations and motivations
Them’s the positive vibes rules. But as you know, rules are made to be broken. And Bryan Gee’s current mindset hasn’t just broken the rules, it’s bust them up beyond belief.
Here’s the thing: Bryan Gee is BUZZING anyway.
He doesn’t need an uplifting playlist to put him in a good mood. He is a walking talking positive vibe merchant right now. We called him up and he wouldn’t stop talking about how excited he is about drum & bass and his four labels. We eventually managed to get three beautiful reggae selections. But to be honest, his thoughts on the scene are a much more interesting read….
“I won’t lie,” he tells us. “A few years ago big people in the game were telling me drum & bass was dead. You hear? Dead. They were getting the funeral tunes ready and everything. Well look at us now. It’s bigger and more exciting than ever. You get all these two-minute genres and they come and go but drum & bass just keeps rearing it’s big old head and returns even bigger and better than it was before.”
Cue the introduction to his new mix series. 41 tracks strong and over two hours of Bryan’s selector-style mix vibes, Planet V Drum & Bass Volume 1 is a reference to the period many believe to be drum & bass’s gloriest of glory days; back in the late 90s you couldn’t move for Planet V activity. To refer to such a golden time for D&B and V, it needed to be every bit as good – nay, better! – than anything the original Planet V brand delivered.
“The big thing was the name,” agrees Bryan. “The original Planet V name means so much! It means a lot to me. It means a lot to the fans. It means a lot to people in drum & bass. It sums up a time when the music was at such a magical, influential stage. You had the emergence and development of the Virus lot. The Bristol lot. So many producers were really blossoming at that time and Planet V represented that time. It’s like the myth and reputation of it got bigger and bigger since then too. People always talking about those good old days. I wanted to follow up Planet V for years and years but it’s like it got too big – how could I follow that up? For a long time I thought I’d leave it in the past and concentrate on the future. Then we started the Planet V parties again and we’ve got so many amazing producers giving us music we thought we’d go ahead with Planet V.”
Curating such an opus, Bryan explains, was trickiest challenge. With so many talented contributors to his labels – Savage Rehab, David Boomah, Mr Joseph, Level 2, DJ Chap, Ruffstuff, Calibre, Northern Lights, Eveson, Nitri, Dr Meaker, AI, Bladerunner, Serum, the list goes on – he was faced with the unenviable task of putting together a release that not only hypes up his labels’ output, but also rolled with consistency.
Has he done it? Check it out and judge yourself. One thing is for sure, Bryan Gee’s enthusiasm is somewhat inspiring…
“Now is the time!” he laughs. “Right now it feels like 10 years ago when I was working with all these amazing producers who are now household names. The vibe and the levels of excitement are just the same. Every day I wake up and there’s a new tune sitting in my hard drive and it’s better than the last! One day it’ll be DJ Chap, the next day it’s Level 2, the next it’s Savage Rehab. Mr Joseph, AI… everyone! There’s an energy. The Brazil guys remind me of the Full Cycle lot; they’re just a group of guys bouncing off each other, vibing and influencing each other to push things further and further. It’s just like back in the day. Not competitive; just bouncing and vibing. You get that amazing energy when people are working in groups. Savage Rehab are the same – bouncing, bouncing, bouncing.”
Boomah Boomah Shake Shake The Room…
JUST in case the Planet V release isn’t quite enough to back up Bryan’s positive evangelism, next week also sees the release of another massive V release: David Boomah’s long-awaited debut album, One World Many Cultures.
“David Boomah is another reason for me to be happy,” laughs Bryan. “I’m buzzing about it! He deserves it; he’s been in the business a long, long time. He works hard, he gets his head down, I’m so happy for him to achieve this album. I can’t wait for people to hear it. Everyone wants to work with Boomah. He’s a shining light. Very few people in D&B do what he does. Anything he sings just takes you away. He’s got that vibe! It doesn’t matter whether he’s singing jungle vibes, reggae vibes, urban vibes. He’s got that vibe! It’s such a special album. I grew up playing reggae. I never thought I’d put reggae out on V. It’s a dream for me! I was cutting reggae dubplates in the late 70s and early 80s, you know? To have that sound on my label? Wow. It’s a dream come true.”
And so we finally get to Bryan Gee’s positive vibes. Three happy reggae tunes that instantly put the V boss in the ultimate happy place. Not that he needs any help getting to there right now!
Planet V Drum & Bass Volume 1 is out now.
Bryan Gee – Positive Vibes
Dennis Brown – Have You Ever Been In Love?
The Abyssinians – Forward On To Zion
Frankie Paul – Sara