Mr G: Still Here
Most of us know Colin McBean for years now and he is making people dance with his all house pseudonym Mr G.
Colin McBeam is a multitalent cook. A fashion designer who has worked for Issey Miyake, Stussy and many more. An electronic music producer who has left much on the techno side, especially in the mid 90s.
But he is ‘Still Here’ and has always been as his debut from Rekids is also named after. Colin McBean aka Mr G is the ultimate Rekids personal who is in charge of big hits and hard to find groovy house music. His Rekids debut is already one of the best house albums of 2010 and we have much more to hear from him. Here is the interview I did with Mr G in honor of his perfect album “Still Here”.
Do you like Turkish cuisine? If I am not wrong you were trained as a cook. Maybe you can tell us your favorite Turkish dishes...
To be honest, I know very little about your food. But my friend Jonny Rock brings some food back from his home there, and boy it can be sweet!
You also worked as a fashion designer for Stussy and Betty Jackson right? How did that happen?
I was making music for Zandra Rhodes fashion shows. They decided I had talent and it would be good to retrain in Fashion. Which I did at London Collage Of Fashion.
And then could you please talk about the music now and then? It sounds like it all started sitting on the family couch listening reggae...
Yeah, it was about me at home, playing my dad’s old reggae records. Buying records, making my own speakers and driving me and my pa crazy. Then working as a box boy for a local sound system and getting into the analogue sound. Then it was a lot more organic and now its more synthetic. Its all about the weight in the sound for me.
I know you have an enormous record collection. How many records do you have approximately?
I reckon around about 35.00 and there killing me. But you know what I would’nt change a thing. They are a part of me and what I do.
You have released for In-Tec, Moods & Grooves, Molecular and many more as a techno act, but you are a proper house dweller right?
Yeah my first love is ballads then house music. But by house I mean the shit that’s raw and soulfull with loads of emotion. However badly it produced, its always about the picture and the emotion within rather than some overproduced copy.
And how did you make it all the way to your new home Rekids?
Knew Matt Edwards and heard the first few releases on Rekids. Then made “E.C.G.’ed” and the guys at Darling Department in London passed the track to Matt as they were doing promo for Rekids he loved it and here we are sometime later.
Which other labels do you admire these days?
There ain’t many labels that stay consistent. There are a good few track I love but labels… MM I’ll send a chart ok?
Any current favorite producers?
Ohh yeah! Mr Mills, Mr Beltram, Mr Slater, Mr Holder, Mr Van Ostwold, Mr Edwards, King Tubby, Prince Jammy, Burning Spear, Budd, Fripp, Eno. We could be here all night!
You lived in Germany, France and UK. Where is your favorite spot both music wise and as a citizen?
Japan rocks my world on every level. They wust do it soo different. Just toured there and as ever my eyes were opened. Food, culture, clubs, people, lanscape…Hi Satoshi! I could go on and on. It could be a home.
Have you ever been to istanbul or Turkey?
Funny enough but no! Not been esked yet. How is it there? You guys got funk!
How long did it take you to finish your new album?
Don’t know on and of maybe a year or so. No rushing.
Was there a specific thought or structure in mind beforehand?
No just that it had to cover all the different shades of house I make and work in house / car and sound heavy in the club.
And were you predicting that it will be such a perfect album? Are you happy with it?
Ohh yeah it does what it set out to do. And thank you for the compliment.
Do you have a favorite in the LP or a track with a special or interesting story behind?
I don’t have one it just works as a whole and that’s how I hear it although I love the old school bassline on “Get On Down”.
Will you only go on releasing under Rekids or do you have any other projects?
Nope, there are other projects in the pipeline but truth to be told the guys at Rekids, Matt and James showed me so much love don’t need to go anywhere else.
What about your pseudonym Mr G. What does it refer to?
Was Green Goblin from Spiderman. As I liked the idea of throwing beats out like Goblin throw pumpkin bombs. But couldn’t use it so it became Mr G.
And Why the name 'Still Here' for a debut? Is it a throwback to the old techno days?
Kinda! Whenever I meet people from back in the day, I always end up saying yeah ‘still here’ and I’ve always thought if I do an album that’s what I call it and everyone else seemed to like it.
What do you think about the current techno music and scene?
Ahh man this is a hard one. I think like everything its about swings and roundabouts. There’s a lot I dislike about our scene but I try only to focus on the good which is; there are a lot of great new producers coming through and making some great music, and that keepb me happy.
Would you like to come and play here in İstanbul?
Ohh yeah! I’d love to see what you’d make of my live show. Spread some love and some funk. Why wouldn’t I?
Concludingly do you have something to say to your Turkish fans?
My boy Jonny Rock has shown me that there is a long time link with both soul and disco over there and you guys were really into it and still are. I know you got the funk and passion and for me that’s great as I didn’t know that. Big up to my Turkish fans ant thanks for support.
Interview: Christopher Çolak
19 July 2010