Well before every man and his dog could make beats on cheap computer programs 50Hz (Jeremy Geor) was making groundbreaking electronic music in his Wellington studio.
50Hz's debut album Cyclehum was self-released back in 1997 on his own Pacific Noise imprint and was the first full length drum & bass release to emerge from Aotearoa. In October 2000 Cyclehum was picked by a panel of 250 industry insiders as one of Rip It Up magazine's Top 100 New Zealand albums of all time: "A surprise for some, this was the first New Zealand drum'n'bass release and it took many off guard. This is something special out of Wellington. To be noted is the production and quality of programmed material – totally polished, totally international quality with a Megashira flavour and big on ambience. This is sophisticated drum'n'bass, not jungle, not tech-step, it's listening more than dancing and is supreme. Smooth, seamless, atmospheric in the right way, with enough chops to give it life beyond the year it was made. It's an album especially suited to put on after a night of hardcore drum'n'bass – all the vibe without the viciousness. One to carry you through with aplomb."
His next release was a storming 12" single put out by Wellington drum & bass label Breakers Wax early in 2001. The double A-side single Amalga/Descent received this glowing review in drum & bass bible Knowledge Magazine's May 2001 issue: "New Zealand-based label Breakers Wax throw down their second issue, this one featuring a pair of deep and technical tracks from 50Hz. The hypnotic 'Amalga' is a tight percussive roll out, laying down trippy aquatic sounds over a serious, throbbing bassline and with a similar, though more uptempo, vibe being draped over the jazz bass and complex drums of 'Descent', this is a quality twelve."
Then after a five year absence 50Hz was back with his highly anticipated second album Carbon – another booming batch of beats and breaks set to take New Zealand by storm. While his debut album was strictly a cinematic drum & bass affair, on Carbon he broadens his scope to include elements of dub, downbeat, hip-hop, jazz and funk. An impressive guest list of singers and players enlisted from around Aotearoa have helped flesh out a full live sound throughout the album.
Lead single 'Seek Know More' features singer Ladi6, formerly of Christchurch hip hop group Sheelahroc. Flown to Wellington to sing on a different album track altogether, Ladi's impromptu vocal for Seek Know More fell into place at the last minute and has become one of Carbon's highlights. On 'Smooth Rhodes' singer Miss La from Auckland jazz band The Torch Set offers an updated interpretation of the jazz standard 'Detour Ahead', which has in the past been performed by such legendary jazz singers as Billy Holiday and Sarah Vaughan. Another deep jazzy track, 'Infatuation', features vocals by ex-pat British singer Pepsi Demacque, a former full time backing vocalist for Wham and one half of chart topping '80s group Pepsi & Shirley. Other vocalists on Carbon include Loop label mate Barnaby Weir, front man for The Black Seeds, who sings the dubby downbeat cut 'Every 1 Can See'.
The instrumental tracks on Carbon employ intricate arrangements and expansive live band instrumentation throughout, giving a cohesive feel to this stylistically diverse album. The downbeat dub mash-up 'Versionary Dub' features melodica and horns by brothers Ruia and Ranea Aperahama (who founded Southside Of Bombay and released an album produced by Jeremy in 2001), bass by Fat Freddy's Drop guitarist Tehimana Kerr and effects by the legendary DJ Mu (Roots Foundation/Fat Freddy's Drop). Guest musicians elsewhere on the album include Ebb's Iain Gordon, whilst elsewhere Jeremy's own pinpoint programming steps to the fore without ever losing touch of Carbon's lush live feel, be it on fat downbeat grooves like 'Electrohoney' or the stonking heavyweight dancefloor feel of 'Longitude Zero'.
Sadly Jeremy hung up his producing boots long ago and sensibly opted for a solid full time job and family life.
Mikee swears he will get Jeremy out of retirement one day!