(Extended Mix): Ge-ology

▫️ “I had to explore the unbearable pain of injustice and oppression my people have suffered that the world is standing up against…but also the love and creativity that pain gave birth to.”

A four-plus hour (Extended Mix) from New York DJ and producer Ge-ology, also less-recently-known for a platinum selling cameo, as Tupac’s high-school bandmate and a visual artist whose subjects include Mos Def. The 2016 Stamp Mix guest quadruples his last offering for us with an all-vinyl set titled ‘400 Years (Voices and Scars)’, which expresses the raw emotions he’s been feeling in recent weeks.

(Extended Mix) is a new charitable series that celebrates all-night specialists and more simple, carbon-friendly lineups. Instead of paying on the door for this extended experience, we invite listeners to donate to the DJ directly while their gigs are cancelled. To pass on your gratitude, please direct to Geo at paypal.me/geology360.

We now premiere all our mixes a week early on Mixcloud. Subscribe to our channel to listen first, download all mixes, and ensure that the artists included in each one gets paid. Read more about our decision here.

First off, how have the last few weeks been for you since George Floyd’s murder and the subsequent protests round the world? Are there any resounding thoughts or reflections that you’d like to share?

I think it’s best that I keep all of my answers brief here, as I could write a long, deeply thoughtful dissertation on everything that’s been happening. It’s heavy, but these situations have been happening for centuries. Me being a black male, I could have easily been George Floyd or a million other people who have been killed unjustly due to systemic racism in the culture and in the institutions that govern the land. These are the concerns we live with from day one, throughout our entire lifetime sadly. Like so many of us, I’ve been racially profiled more times than I can remember. But on Friday, November 29, 1985, one month before my 15th birthday, my life could have ended that day. A white police officer sped his car in my direction, jumped out suddenly and quickly pulled a gun on me and a kid from Chicago who was in town visiting family (my neighbor) for the Thanksgiving Holiday. It was surreal and terrorizing. We were only playing football…had done nothing wrong at all. The officer’s hands pointing the gun at me was trembling like crazy…so much I thought he was going to shoot me out of pure uncontrollable impulse. The fear in this man’s face was so perplexing for a 14 year old kid who couldn’t comprehend why this grown man decided to pull his gun on two black kids before he even said a single word to us. Like too often, the police officer made some poor choices. He was in the wrong neighborhood, far from where he was supposed to be, and didn’t follow proper procedure. His shoot first, ask questions later approach, could have turned out very tragic for me and my family, as well as the kid visiting from Chicago. Thankfully we survived, but my life changed from that day forward. Rarely do these officers face any real consequences for their mistakes, or when they break the law themselves. The blatant corruption in the system is one of the many things that needs to be dismantled, uprooted and corrected.

For a lot of the music industry, it feels like a watershed moment in the support for the Black Lives Matter movement, but there’s a lot of work still to do in converting this into genuine action and change. What do you think impactful support looks like, and what are your hopes for the industry in making the most of this moment to completely restructure? 

Change starts with ourselves first and foremost. Even in small ways, there are so many things that could and should be done, but that requires serious commitment. It will also require people to become more educated and honest, and be willing to face their deepest fears. Some things may be uncomfortable, but to face those truths will be necessary if we want to create real change and the equality needed. Financially speaking as well. So there’s endless work to be done. I see this moment in time as a chance to reimagine and reinvent what we’d like to see exist. It’s up to us to make it happen.

Thank you for recording an Extended Mix for us. Could you tell us about your idea for the mix and how you found the recording process? 

My most enjoyable times DJing are generally the ALL NIGHT sets, because it gives me time to build and tell a story properly. Having the space and time to explore, gives me the opportunity to travel through various soundscapes and chapters along the way. Being that I’m an artist, every creative way I express myself is always very personal. The long fight against the systematic inequalities that exist in the world, is a part of my everyday battle. With all the senseless murders of Black people with impunity and no accountability, it sickens the stomach. So I had to explore the unbearable pain of injustice and oppression my people have suffered that the world is standing up against…but also the love and creativity that pain gave birth to. It’s HEAVY and quite raw, but this struggle has existed for well over 400 years, and the mix needed to reflect those emotions. I recorded the mix with all vinyl using 2 Technics turntables, a portable Vestax turntable and my E&S rotary mixer. I recorded my set into Pro Tools.

Could you talk us through a few significant standouts from the set?

I don’t want to give it away, but there are definitely some  standout moments where I was blending three records at a time…and how some of the song choices were creating a conversation.

Where’s been your favourite place to play an all-night set, and why?

Anytime I get to play an all-night set on a high quality sound system…I will surely be happy. There are so many places I’ve enjoyed playing the first record to the last, but I have to say, getting to do my residency at home in New York City at Public Records in Brooklyn is a special treat. The space and sound system is incredible. I’ve also really enjoyed playing all-night at Nowadays as well. Another really special place with a great sound system.

Who are some of your favourite all-night specialists, and wh

Any DJ faced with the opportunity to play all-night is also faced with the challenge of keeping the crowd engaged in the conversation. The people I enjoy listening to are generally around my age more or less. Those folks have lived some life and have something to say when they play. We all have that in common, as well as having some very special records in our individual collections. Naming names can be tricky because you always run the risk of not mentioning someone that you meant to include. Lucky for me, most of my friends that are DJs are very dope at what they do…so many of them I could also include here. Quickly off the top, my brother Ron Trent is a master with the way he programs his sets. My brother Theo Parrish is a master at taking you on a journey. My brother Sadar Bahar is the master of the Disco Beatdown. My brother Darryn Jones is the master of the Durty Truth…got them heavy digs in his bag always. My brother Tone B Nimble is the master Gospel don…but got salivating deep crates of everything from rare disco to hip-hop. My brother Red Greg is a master of technique, with the deepest crates of records you’ve been looking for over 30 years just sitting around in his cupboard. My brother Rahaan is a master of having some of the deepest crates while combining his sets with some of his own well produced songs (that I’m dying to get my hands on)…and doing this smoothly while drunk! And I could go on and on and on….Rich Medina, DJ Spinna, The Twilite Tone, Edson Sabajo (PATTA) and so many more amazing DJ friends of mine that are all true masters of the craft.

By celebrating DJs with a penchant for all-night sets, the (Extended Mix) series hopes to encourage a more stripped back, carbon-friendly approach to lineup curation. Reducing our footprint as a globalised underground community is a big challenge post-lockdown, and we hope progress can be made through sharing our experiences. Are there any thoughts you’d like to add to the discussion?

If you call yourself a DJ but never played all night set for six to eight hours or more, then you need to challenge yourself and do it. It’s a great experience. Prepare for it of course, but don’t map out a set list. Just freestyle it and challenge yourself on the spot. It will teach you stamina, patience and force you to expand your music knowledge….which can help build not only the range of your music conversation, but also your confidence. This time at home should be used wisely. There’s always something to learn…so hopefully whatever new discoveries you add to your repertoire can be useful when we reset our future new normal. 

How has Coronavirus affected you professionally? As we start to emerge from lockdown are they any lessons you’ve taken from this period?

I’ve been touring internationally as a DJ, quite heavily, for some time. The last several years increased to levels beyond my expectations. This year I was also scheduled to travel and tour, but of course, once Covd-19 struck the world, everything on my calendar got canceled. It’s been difficult with a lot of uncertainty, and I still don’t have all the answers or solutions yet.  But I’m facing it because I have to keep moving forward. We all do. Hopefully there will be some good fortune waiting ahead. I try to learn lessons from every experience. Even in times of great challenges and difficulties….it’s best to always stay positive, patience and to never give up.

If you like the mix enough to support Ge-ology during this period without gigs, please direct donations to paypal.me/geology360 

We now premiere all our mixes a week early on Mixcloud. Subscribe to our channel to listen first, download all mixes, and ensure that the artists included in each one gets paid. Read more about our decision here.

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