A “70s child all day long” as he’s described himself in the past, Colin McBean aka Mr. G has come a long way since graduating from his hometown of Derby. Obsessively collecting from the get go, McBean found himself immersed in soundsystem culture early on, with his wide tastes in dub, indie, blues, jazz, classical and house music making sure he fell in with the right crowd once he eventually moved to London. Here he helped in starting up the KCC, a soundsystem-slash-production outfit that adopted some of the earliest house and garage music in the city, as well as flying in Detroit legends such as Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May and Richie Hawtin on the brink of their now well documented rise to fame. Whilst the name Mr. G has become unanimous with his brand of sample-heavy deep grooves, the name took a while to form. There was a time shortly after the forming of KCC when he and his cohort Cisco Ferreira formed The Advent, after being introduced to the sounds of Jeff Mills and the London Lost parties. What followed was a record deal with Internal, two albums and a live act spanning several years of touring. Eventually breaking off to work on his solo music, inspirations such as Carl Craig, Maurizio and Moodyman set in motion a prolific release output from the year 2000.
As Mr.G, most of his releases have found a home on his own label Phoenix G, but he’s also been a regular contributor to labels such as Rekids and Bass Culture over the years, the former putting out two of his albums, as well the brilliantly assembled Retrospective compilation from a few years back. As Will Lynch puts in his review: “Every one of these tracks would work in a club today, and taken as a whole the 21-track collection is an outstanding resource for any house or techno DJ.” It’s one of the reasons why he’s been able to craft a career so effortlessly over 18 years; a discography you can just pull a record out of and know it’s going to be effective in some big way on the dance floor. With news of his fifth album A Good Place…? set for release on Phoenix G in November, we pressed the idea of a Mr. G Truancy Volume, and he kindly delivered in quick time. Clocking in at an hour, he’s described it simply as a collection of records “showcasing all the different shades of house that I love”.
Header photo by Emelie Pria