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Gush Collective: 2step has a Right to Children – Part 2 (2000)

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Kodwo Eshun
London – Hyperdub HQ

Originally published in 2000

On April 7th, 8th and 9th, Zed Bias made his dj debut alongside Andy Lewis. Tellingly it’s not in the UK but in the German cities of Munich, Dortmund and Hamburg. There’s an Anglo/German 2 Step alliance emerging here that runs both ways. Franz Schuier, one half of the garage production duo 2 Smart and co-owner of Gush Collective, the first German garage label, travelled to Milton Keynes in February to collaborate with Bias. Like Jones, he’s a keen disciple of maestros like Steve Gurley and El B/Lewis.

In fact 26 year old Schuier caught garage fever listening to Spirit of the Sun back in mid ’98 at Amsterdam’s Paradiso. “I really liked Gurleys beats, they were very tricky and still swinging, they had the niceness and the easiness.” From then on, Schuier was a convert. In garage, you can do something new.

“Garage brought back the fun. We can use sexy vocals, it’s more of a party vibe. I had more fun dancing to it than anything in years.” Assembling a team of 4 producers- Herb, Yoshino, Bassbin Drivers and 2 Smart, i.e. Franz and MC/DJ Matz, the Collective began releasing tracks in September 99. With 3 releases down, the next 4 ready to go and a market in London rather than his homebase of Dusseldorf, Schuier spends most of his time in the UK. Unsurprisingly, Gush productions, snappy and punchy, are indistinguishable from UK ones, something Schuier aspires to. “I would say Gush is a London label without being in London”, he admits unhesitatingly, proudly.

Socially speaking however, the urban dynamics are quite distinct. In London, they run along class lines; garage and r’n’b go hand in hand with a working class dress to impress aesthetic that shuns middle class combat/trainers orthodoxy. With certain exceptions like Munich, German ravers and clubbers, Franz says, are racially divided. “Turkish people have r’n’b he explains,” so there are not so much white Germans going to these parties.” Last year, the Collective played parties in Dusseldorf and Dortmund, bringing 2 Step garage to the regions. This year, they’ve lined up residencies at Dortmunds Au Bar and Kolns Arcadia. Maybe Gush Collective can integrate their parties and catalyse a 21st Century garage rave spirit. Which would be wild. Because 2 Step has the right to children.

Check out the Gush Collective site at http://www.gushcollective.de

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Copyright © Hyperdub 2001 – Reprinted with permission.

Category: Hyperdub

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