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FEATURE

COVERCHORD CULTURE

RAINBOW DISCO CLUB 2022

After a two-year pandemic-enforced hiatus, dance music festival Rainbow Disco Club returns in full force later this month. Scheduled to take place from April 29th to May 1st, the festival’s homecoming boasts a line-up brimming with some of the world’s leading DJ talent. To celebrate the long-awaited return of the event, two of COVERCHORD’s select brands, RAB, and nonnative, have collaborated with the festival.    
British outdoor brand RAB presents a limited-edition Rainbow Disco Club version of its “Downpour Eco Waterproof Jacket”, while a series of long and short sleeve t-shirts from nonnative includes a free CD of “exclusive and unreleased” music by one of the festival’s headlining artists, GE-OLOGY. 

COVERCHORD caught up with Baltimore-raised, New York-based, DJ, producer, and visual artist GE-OLOGY, to hear more about the project, his symbiotic love of hip-hop and house, and launching his career with Tupac Shakur.  
Both RAB and nonnative Rainbow Disco Club collaborations will be available at COVERCHORD from Saturday, April 23rd.

Through a combination of stunning nature, some of the world's finest DJ talent, outstanding audio/visual production, and a laid-back, family-friendly environment, Rainbow Disco Club offers an experience that few music festivals in the world can achieve.

It is a place where you can completely lose yourself in music and dancing, take a nap on the grass or in one of the hammocks, or play with your children in the kids’ area. An air of respect for the surroundings and one another permeates the dance floor and manifests itself in a meticulously clean site for the duration of the festival.

For many outdoors-loving dance music fans, Rainbow Disco Club represents something akin to three days of paradise.

After pivoting to a virtual streaming event in 2020, then relocating and reforming as a condensed 2-day park event in 2021, Rainbow Disco Club is set to stage its first full-scale festival in three years. 

 

After a two-year pandemic-enforced hiatus, Rainbow Disco Club returns to its Higashi-Izu venue in 2022.

Photograph_Masanori Naruse, Ken Kawamura, Jiro Ken

Rainbow Disco Club 2022

Date: April 29th (Friday), April 30th (Saturday), May 1st (Sunday)
Location: Higashiizu Cross Country Course 
3348 Inatori, Higashiizu-Cho, Kamo-gun, Shizuoka Prefecture

Ticket: Website

GE-OLOGY
INTERVIEW

Let's start with the CD - “Exclusive and Unreleased”. The first track is a cover version of the dance classic “Thousand Finger Man” by Candido. How do you approach reinterpreting such an iconic track?

That was a tricky one because the original 1979 version is one of my favorite songs. Plus I’m old school. Some things just shouldn’t be touched if you’re not going to do it with the proper care and respect.

After experimenting with some ideas, I had a friend lay down some vocals on it, which took it in a whole new direction. I never expected anyone outside the two of us to ever hear it, but when I did finally let someone listen, the response was incredible.

That lead to the first version getting released in a couple of different formats, including one on Salsoul, the record label that released the original. Fast forward to this current project, there were still all these other vocal parts we recorded that had never been used, so I decided to put together a special mix of the song that no one's ever heard, exclusively for this. 

GE-OLOGY “Exclusive & Unreleased”

In high school, you formed a group and recorded music with Tupac Shakur. How did that come about, and do you still have the recordings? 

We met in my senior year in high school, at the Baltimore School for the Arts. There was a spot just outside the cafeteria in the hallway with great acoustics.

You could get a bit of delay, you know some nice reverb and echo, so that's where everyone used to rap or beatbox or do something musical. Tupac, who was just new at the school, was down there rapping and his friend Dana was beatboxing, and they were just murdering everyone. Dana’s bass when beatboxing, you just can't even imagine how loud that thump was, we were like wow.

That was the moment that brought us all together, and we soon became good friends. I’d been making beats for a while and one day we decided to record something. So Darrin and Tupac came over after school one day.

I started playing some beats and Tupac started freestyling. And that became the first recording right there. He was rapping for like 15 minutes. It was super dope, and after that, we decided to start a group. We called ourselves Born Busy - I was DJ Plain Terror, Tupac was MC New York, Darrin was Ace Rocker and Dana called himself Slick D. From that point, we would go around the city and we were battling people and it was just a really fun and crazy time. 

GE-OLOGY with Tupac Shakur and the Born Busy crew

While you’ve been making hip-hop since the Born Busy days, you were also producing house music from very early on. Were hip-hop and house always running parallel for you? 

I was born in 1970. It was the start of this very amazing decade of creative experimentation, musically. Everything was morphing together, you know, all different types of textures and sounds, spiritual stuff, and it was a very beautiful time in music.

I think that's why I like to play a lot of music from that era because there was depth and freeness to the music that was created at that time. And when you get towards the latter part of that decade, all of these other forms of music started to come about.

If we think back to the first commercial DJ mixer, the Bozak, it was brought onto the commercial market in 1971. So I just happened to be born during that golden period, growing up in and experiencing the culture as it was developing. I experienced the development of Disco, Hip Hop, House Music, Detroit techno, and all these different styles of music that exploded onto the scene. I watched these things evolve in real-time.

So I was influenced by everything, I wasn't limited to hip hop or anything. Hip hop was definitely very important to me, and I'm part of that culture, but I was also simultaneously making dance music too. While I was making hip-hop beats, I was also making 4/4 beats.

The first two records that I had released were house music tracks, in 1993. One was for the Basement Boys under their "Those Guys" moniker, and the other was for a record released by their keyboardist Neil Conway. So yeah, ever since I started making and releasing music, both styles have always been a part of my language. 

GE-OLOGY in the studio 

You’ve worked with a diverse group of artists including Mos Def and Talib Kweli, De La Soul, Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon, and electronic jazz pioneer Mark de Clive-Lowe. How do you approach collaborative work? 

I'm an artist, and not all artists can collaborate with people. I've made a conscious effort to collaborate with people at times because it creates certain challenges, but also brings together different energies and ideas.

Through that, you can problem-solve together and find new ways of seeing and doing things. So I think there's a lot of opportunity for growth in collaboration. But I also love to do my own stuff as well.

I don't necessarily want to collaborate all the time. And I don't want to collaborate with just anyone either. I have to feel inspired to collaborate with someone or have a connection with what they're doing. I want to continue learning and growing and keep pushing myself to be better. Great collaborations can be a good way of doing that. 

GE-OLOGY with long-time collaborator, hip-hip icon Mos Def 

Your 2015 record “Moon Circuitry,” released on Theo Parish’s Sound Signature label, introduced a new generation of dance music fans to your music. It was also your first release in 5 years. How did that record come about and how did it end up landing on Sound Signature?  

I’d met Theo a long time ago and we had toured together before and played together several times. I took a break and stopped releasing music in 2010, but started playing around with ideas whenever I felt inspired. Once I had a collection of songs recorded that felt good together, I knew I wanted to get it to Theo.

It took him a while to listen to it but the moment he listened to it, he called me up and was like “Yo!” and offered me a deal right away. I think originally he had my hip-hop stuff in mind. I don’t think he was expecting me to present the up-tempo dance stuff I presented to him.

You know, that Black, very deep, soulful, jazzy electronic stuff. But that was the point for me. When I took a break from putting out music, it wasn't that I didn't have anything else to say musically. But I was frustrated because I felt like people were putting me in a box, and I needed to destroy their limited view of me.

Once I had this music, I did let some other labels hear it first, and everybody was trying to get it from me. But I wasn’t going to agree to anything until I let Theo hear it. I just felt that it fit Sound Signature the best, and wanted it to land there if it could. 

GE-OLOGY “Moon Circuitry” (2015)

Does DJing inform your production work at all, or are they separate disciplines for you? 

Digging for records was always a big part of my production. I have invested a lot of money into records just to get the right snare, or kick drum, or hi-hat, you know.

Or finding weird records with obscure sounds that I can use. And now I’m rediscovering all these records that I bought for sampling in my productions, but didn’t touch for 10 or 15 years, and listening to them differently and finding all these hidden gems. So in a way, my production work is informing my DJing now too. 

GE-OLOGY performing in France

What format can we expect from you at Rainbow Disco Club? 

Always vinyl. I just prefer playing records. I carry my records all over the world with me. Some of my friends think I'm crazy because I have some valuable records that probably shouldn't leave the house. But, I’ll keep doing it for as long as I feel like doing it.

I just want to share good music with people, and take them on a journey with some surprises along the way. 


You’ve been coming to Japan for a long time. How do you spend your time here when you’re not performing?

Japan is like another home for me. I've been coming to Japan for 22 years now. I'm always excited to go to Japan.

If I could go to Japan multiple times a year I would. I have so many good friends there. Like the Jazzy Sport crew, they’re old friends of mine. Music has brought me in contact with so many amazing people and I'm grateful for that.

One of the things I love about Japan is, that all the records that I've been in search of for decades, that I can't seem to find anywhere, are all there somewhere. So it’s always mandatory for me to go record shopping in Japan to see what I can find from my endless want list.

GE-OLOGY

Baltimore-raised, New York-based DJ, producer, and visual artist. Throughout his career, he has produced music for the likes of Mos Def, Talib Kweli, De La Soul, Yukimi Nagano (Little Dragon), and even a young Tupac Shakur. His 2015 debut single on Theo Parish’s Sound Signature label, “Moon Circuitry”, received wide-spread-acclaim. 

Photograpy_MASANORI NARUSE
Text_Sam Fitzgerald
Translation_Yuko Caroline Omura

RAINBOW DISCO CLUB
COLLABORATION PRODUCTS

Rab × Rainbow Disco Club
DOWNPOUR ECO JACKET

Constructed from recycled 2.5-layer Pertex® Revolve fabric with a fluorocarbon-free DWR treatment, the Downpour Eco Waterproof Jacket is lightweight, packable, waterproof, windproof, and breathable, making it perfect for unpredictable festival weather conditions.  

The jacket features an adjustable hem and cuffs, and a pair of deep-venting pit zips enable you to tweak the fit and ventilation as conditions demand. The peaked hood is two-way adjustable for reliable visibility. Also features two zipped pockets at the waist for securing essentials.

Light and packable, with a weight of just 280g.

Rab × Rainbow Disco Club
Downpour Eco Jacket
Color : Black, Nightfall blue
Price: ¥22,000 

nonnative × Rainbow Disco Club
RAINBOW DISCO CLUB SS TEE & LS TEE

nonnative continues its long-standing partnership with Rainbow Disco Club via a series of long and short sleeve T-shirts. Constructed from 100% cotton, the T-shirts feature an original graphic print on the back and dual nonnative and “RDC” logos on the chest.

Offered in three colors, BROWN, WHITE, and NAVY, each T-shirt comes with “Exclusive & Unreleased,” a five-track CD produced by Rainbow Disco Club 2022 headlining artist GE-OLOGY.

nonnative × Rainbow Disco Club
RAINBOW DISCO CLUB SS TEE
Color: WHITE, BROWN, NAVY
Price: ¥7,800


nonnative × Rainbow Disco Clu
RAINBOW DISCO CLUB LS TEE
Color: WHITE, BROWN, NAVY
Price: ¥9,800

Our partner store vendor will be at Rainbow Disco Club 2022 selling both collaborative items alongside essential outdoor wear, gear, shoes and more.

We look forward to seeing you there.

 

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