George FitzGerald on his banging new album, the dance scene and becoming a father

His new album 'All That Must Be' is a must-listen

If you want an ethereal but banging new album to get you going this Monday, George FitzGerald’s ‘All That Must Be’ is the one to get your teeth into. With guest spots from Bonobo, Lil Silva and Tracey Thorn, the British’s producer’s new album is a house-tinged triumph. Get to know the London producer.

How has your life changed since you started this record?

I was still living in Berlin when I started the record, then I had a daughter and she was living in London and I was commuting between the two, and just decided it was all too much for me, so moved back to London. I found myself in the studio between New Cross and Peckham and in retrospect it’s been a great two or three years. But some massive changes.

How has becoming a father changed you?

It’s always a process. I found my life was fundamentally different than the way it was when I was in Berlin when I had this kind of selfish existence where I was very free and did whatever I wanted and the time was my own. Now, I’m still a musician – I don’t have to go to an office or anything – but I’m responsible for another human life now.

‘All That Must Be’ is a truly cohesive dance record. Is having that LP mindset important to you?

Weirdly I’d say no, and that’s a shame. I think that’s one of the failures of dance music over the years, and maybe why some people haven’t given it the respect other genres have. People haven’t regularly managed to translate dancefloor energy into effective LPs. There are far less successful LPs in dance music than in a lot of other genres, in my opinion, so I don’t think it’s important for dance music – but it was important for me to do that. If it isn’t going to be a coherent whole then it’s not a record, it’s just a set of tracks you could have split up into something else.

What’s your favourite thing about the dance scene in 2018?

I like the fact that dance music has always felt like a weird thing that’s tacked onto the side of the rest of the music industry. One of things that can be infuriating sometimes is that it can be quite insular – but there is a really inspiring DIY culture in dance music still. It is thoroughly independent and it’s possible to be incredibly successful, and always has.

And are there parts of it you don’t like?

A lot of things have improved since the smoking in the clubs, vinyl-playing era of clubbing – but I think mobile phones in the club have had a big impact on artists and DJs; turning underground artists into celebrities that they never were. Things have become as a result superficial, fashion-driven and personality-driven. I always liked the fact that you could buy records and not know at all what they look like or the faintest thing about them. You could be standing next to your favourite DJs in a record shop and wouldn’t have any idea.

You seem to use social media sparingly – is that on purpose?

I did do a bit at the beginning when I was on Twitter, but I reached the point a couple years ago where I felt like I was contributing to this completely bland background noise. On a more basic level, I didn’t feel like I always had to comment on everything.

Does that put pressure on artists now, you think?

Now, there’s more of a pressure to be standing on stage and looking a certain way and that does detract from the music a little bit, for me. I don’t mind standing in front of the art and being the person that people recognise, but that’s not really something that I’ve ever sought out – I’m not a frontman of a band or a singer – I’m basically a studio producer. I’m quite happy for the music to do the talking.

All That Must Be is out now via Domino