Forward-thinking EDM nerds (we here at Crossfade included) are totally geeking out about the Hotflush label's exclusive Winter Music Conference 2013 showcase at the Electric Pickle on March 23. And one of the artists we're most psyched to see is U.K. DJ/producer George FitzGerald, making his Miami debut.
Like his Hotflush labelmates, FitzGerald has been breaking the four-to-the-floor house music mold and revitalizing dancefloors with bass music influences harking back to the classic U.K. rave era he grew up in.
"The first time I heard electronic music was when my elder brother started playing me some of the early Leftfield and Orbital stuff," FitzGerald reminisces with Crossfade.
"[But] I wasn't old enough to really engage with the music until a few years later, when UK garage and 2-step were such a big thing in London. That's when I bought my first set of decks and starting going to record shops.
"If I were to say anything was a main influence, it would simply be that muddled spirit of musical cross-pollination which is so strong in London," he explains. "It never seemed to be an issue listening and playing all sorts of different electronic styles until I went elsewhere."
Now while George FitzGerald first reached international prominence via his early releases on Hotflush, his own label Man Make Music has also gained a serious following over the last year.
"The label has been a continuation of the musical ethos we had at the Hackney warehouse parties which originally went under the Man Make Music name," he says. "There is a definite slant towards house and techno but with something unique and slightly off-kilter. Unsurprisingly, a lot of our artists are people with a unique (or mildly insane) approach to making those styles of electronic music.
"The label has already carved itself a small niche as a bit of a house/techno outsider, and I'm happy for it to remain like that," he adds. "I think the moment we start releasing straight-up bangers and tools for the dancefloor is the moment I'll lose interest and pack it in."
Just don't call FitzGerald and his label's sound post-dubstep, because he is quick to shrug off the ambiguous categorization.
"Post-dubstep really only exists as a community of (mainly) U.K. artists who became disillusioned with where dubstep was heading," he says. "The spirit of experimentation and disregard for stylistic boundaries remains, but little else. I feel I currently make something in the region of house music, but I do admit that when I listen to my tracks next to more orthodox proponents of that genre, I don't quite fit as comfortably as some."
"I'm looking forward to all of them," he says. [But] if I had to pick one, it would be playing the Bayfront Stage at Ultra. The lineup for that is insane, so it's humbling to be a part of it. I've got lots of images in my head of how Miami will be: cocktails, beaches, scantily clad women, etc., so I'll be bringing some tunes to fit that vibe. Let's hope I'm not disappointed!"
Ultra Music Festival 2013. With Deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia, Tiesto, Avicii, and others. Friday, March 16, to Sunday, March 17, and Friday, March 22, to Sunday, March 24.. Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Visit ultramusicfestival.com.
Hotflush Miami. Presented by SAFE and Embrace. Saturday, March 23.
Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Electric Pickle Pop-Up at Club Axis, 1439 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Party starts at 10 p.m. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-456-5613 or visit electricpicklemiami.com.