Guy Gerber: "I Want Something That Will Stand the Test of Time"

Guy Gerber was in his friend’s underground studio in Toronto when we tracked him down. He could have been on South Beach with one of those margaritas with the upside down Corona in them, but he's the kind of guy who prefers a cavernous recording studio.

The place looks like a panic room with lots of knobs and wires. And it’s Gerber’s favorite place in the world to make music, he says. The secret layer of beats is a long way from his hometown of Holon, Israel, a city just outside of Tel Aviv. As a young musician, Gerber said a lot of dance music was coming out of Israel’s second-largest city, but he preferred to be apart from trends and influence. In Holon, he developed his own sound — his own style.

Like cutting the crust off a sandwich, Gerber enjoys spending his time crafting the meat of a track — “the good stuff,” as he says.

“I like making music that has more essence and isn’t a tool, per se. A club track is a tool with a proper intro, middle, and ending. It has to have the proper beginning and ending so other DJs can work with it. I want something that will stand the test of time. Actually right now, though, I’m working on some club bombs, which I don’t always do. I’m remixing Matthew Dear’s 'Mouth to Mouth,' and I’m going to make sure it’s pumping.”

Perhaps Gerber will have the Dear remix ready for his return to Story on November 28. On this night, the South Beach megaclub takes on its “Underground Story” persona, which has become a bat signal of sorts for Miami's dance-music purists, whom Gerber has nothing but respect for.

“There is a big connection for me and the underground electronic music fans in America. I think it is natural for people in America to like rock or hip-hop, but for the dance-music fans, they have to work harder, and I respect this.”

Gerber remembers when dance music didn't sell tickets in the States. At one of his first Miami gigs in the '90s, he and friends had to wait for a hip-hop dance battle to finish before he was allowed to start playing. Around 6 a.m., he put the needle down, and the dance floor cleared. An hour later, a small crowd had returned, and two hours later, there were about 200 people on floor
Miami would eventually catch on, and 200 would become 2,000. Since, Gerber has played damned near every joint in this town. He has particularly fond memories of a 2007 Sunday-night gig at the late great Miami club Pawn Shop.

A lot has changed since then. Gerber’s a Miami made man now. He owns a place on South Beach and tells us, “I’m kind of a resident.” He likes to eat ceviche and chill on the beach. Gerber will be the main attraction at Story and it’s unlikely there will be a preliminary hip-hop dance battle to open for him. Unless his buddy P. Diddy shows up, which we're all for. 

“On this night at Story, the sound should be more abstract. You can lose yourself in the music; you don’t have to focus on it. This is a major difference between a rock concert and a night at the club. At a concert, you focus on the band and in the instant that the band isn’t amazing – they suck. At the club a lot of people are doing a lot of different things. There will be people doing drugs at the toilet, people will be hitting on girls, people will be dancing, and I can help people escape. At the club there is less information and people can stay for hours and hours.”

Asked what the last three sounds he would like to hear before he dies are, Gerber responds with this: the opera, David Bowie and the sizzling sound meat makes when it’s on the grill.

The sound of people doing drugs by the toilet, sadly, didn’t make the cut.

Guy Gerber. 11 p.m. Saturday, November 28, at Story, 136 Collins Ave, Miami Beach; 305-538-2424; storymiami.com. Tickets cost $30 plus fees via flavorus.com.

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