Bass Generator played many of the big Rezerection events in Scotland and was also the promoter behind Judgment Day which held hardcore/gabba style events in Scotland and the NE of England and released many live sets.
If you have ever been to Rezerection or any event that Bass Generator has played at then you will know how much of a following he has, especially in the North. For a man who started out with nothing, he has done exceptionally well to form a respected name as a DJ, with his own label and not just one but two outstanding record shops. So read on, as I tell you how this Geordie party animal got to the position he now holds.
Guy, as he is known to most of his friends, began DJ’ing many years ago, or as he puts it “As far back as he can remember”. He was at first into electro-breakdancing and when the Acid House boom came he was a major Acid freak. However, as soon as the Rave new beats of early Techno and Breakbeat came in he hated it. As the early Rave scene started to grow and events took place, DJ’s who were once playing the sort of stuff Guy played then started to change their style and got a name for themselves as Rave DJ’s.
At the time Guy hadn’t though about becoming a Rave DJ, he absolutely hated it and thought all the new beat tunes were “cheesy crap”. He was then asked to play a night in Newcastle. So he got one of his friends who was a rapper at the time to MC for him (this happened to be MC ‘Sneaky Eye’). He played an Acid and Techno set which left the crowd dumb-struck, hence he was labelled a Hardcore DJ. He found that he now quite enjoyed himself and the money was good, so he decided to pursue Rave DJ’ing further.
Bass Generators first major break came at Rezerection in 1991 and by now he was getting into hard Gabba, Rotterdam tunes or as Guy calls them, “hoover tunes”.
“It did get to a point in the Scottish scene where the music was getting harder and harder. I went through a phase where my whole set would consist of hoover tunes. But it did get too hard, to a point where it could not get any harder, so I decided to break off and go in a different direction playing the bouncy stuff”.
His concentration on the Scottish scene came from the atmosphere up there and for their love of the harder side of dance music. Also Guy was put off with playing a lot of the clubs down South.
“The gigs that I used to do down South I never used to live, I never liked the atmosphere or mixing with the DJ’s socially. There was always hassle with the promoters either about getting paid or travel and accommodation. At the time I think it was the black element in the clubs, I’m not racist or anything, but it was a real let down because I was playing the Rotterdam stuff and they wanted Breakbeat or Jungle. So I’d get a lot of grief and this was before the music was even segregated”.
But in Scotland, Guy knew exactly what the crowd wanted. He was well looked after by the promoters and the atmosphere was just right. His ideal night would be going to Rezerection to see people at a twelve hour event dancing to Jungle, Acid, Happy Hardcore, right through to Trance and Gabba.
So now we know the background of the DJ it is interesting to hear how the shop and the record label come into it. Before Guy got his own shop he used to work in Trax Records in Newcastle, but because he was the only one there who liked Hardcore and Techno he was starting to get a bit sick of it, so decided to leave. Not so long after leaving he was offered a shop close to the city centre which was perfect for a record shop.
“One of my mates told me about this shop so I went to have a look at it. The part on offer was in the basement which was ideal because it meant we could play tunes as loud as we wanted. So I got my act together and opened it up as ‘Bass Generator Records’ which timed in with my label that had just started”.
After a few months the people who owned the shop above moved, so Guy expanded his shop upstairs making it House on the top floor and Hardcore in the basement. The label began in 1989, his first release being a House tune which sold thousands of copies all over the country. However, he did get into trouble by pinching a sample from a record on a label called ‘FFRR’.
“I did not clear the sample through FFRR and they found out, I got a phone call saying that if I pressed any more copies I would be in the shit”. Apart from the misunderstanding his first release was a success and so the label was on a roll. He then decided to turn to his production style to Hardcore, I asked him why…
“Well, after about 1990 I changed my DJ’ing style from House and Acid to the harder stuff like Gabba. So if I was playing an hours set, in that hour I would play maybe thirty minutes of what I liked i.e.: Gabba, but then I would have to play the other thirty minutes of absolute cheesy crap to keep the crowd happy. So the only way around that was to make my own tunes which would consist of happy, Italian sort of tunes, but with a hard fast kickdrum in them”.
And that is exactly what he did along with other signings to his label such as ‘Neurotek’, ‘Gordon Tennant’ and his good friend ‘Technotrance’. This brings me neatly onto how the gruesome twosome, Bass Generator and Technotrance began to play at events back to back.