When it’s taken into account that the three boys that make up Gerling started their musical life as a snotty nosed trio of Sonic Youth wannabes making noisey free form guitar experiments, their current change in direction is a little difficult to fathom. The original mix of ‘Dust Me Selectah’ is pure unadulterated deep vocal house, with nary a slice of shuddering feedback nor a scrape of dirty distortion to be seen (or heard for that matter). Obviously the effects of the Emerald City’s obsession with house and, more recently, breaks, has been felt in an odd selection of places.
“We started listening to the whole French House thing,” explains Darren, “y’know, Etienne De Crecy, Daft Punk’s first album, St Germain and some more obscure stuff and it just seemed the natural thing to do.” The single also contains a 2step mix courtesy of Dog and a rather cheeky filtered 2step mix replete with Timbaland style plucked strings and some farty synth bass courtesy of Dusted – showing that the trio not only have an uncanny knack of consistently pre-empting the zeitgeist but also being able to choose the perfect people to hook up with. Evidence of this is in their yet to be released album When Young Terrorists Chase the Sun, with its guest spots not only by avant electronic artist Solex and the singing budgie (or should that be the singing wedgie?) Kylie Minogue but by the slightly off-the-program rapper Kool Keith. Explains Darren, “We just got in touch with his management and the sent through an ADAT with all the tracks on it, and he just sent it back a while later.” The only problem was when Keith started to ask for a little cash on the side…
Starting life in the mid nineties releasing a couple of limited 7”s and an EP on the tres cool underground Sydney label Fellaheen, they then moved to the slightly larger Reliant, releasing their much lauded album Children of Telepathic Experiences, and now finally they have settled at Festival. Each time they move reflects both a new sound formed through new opportunities with equipment and also the amount of time and money they’ve been able to spend. “When we did our first album we didn’t even own a sampler – we had to borrow one the night before we went into the studio and record all the samples into it and then we just played them live in the studio – now we have enough money to have a studio of our own.”
For such a glisteningly clubby sound on ‘Dust Me Selectah’ the trio spend a surprisingly small amount of time seeing the inside of club world. “When we go out we normally just go to the pub and then head out to someone’s house – if there’s a party they’ll normally have decks set up and stuff so someone will always be spinning records.” Although Darren also admits that he rarely tries to get into the larger clubs because “they don’t usually let people like me in”. However, it seems that no such door restrictions exist when it comes to a live Gerling show. “We get all sorts,” he states. “We get goths, we get clubbers, we get indie kids, we even get the odd bunch of Mediterranean guys in leather jackets coming along.”
The final word, of course, has to be about those backpacks. Having started wearing them back in the ‘Death To the Apple Gerls’ times they have now reached semi-iconic status, with the band appearing live and in film clips and press shots with the ubiquitous black synthetic prostheses. Darren puts it down to “not having to think about what to wear on stage” and admits that there’s not really much use to them apart from carrying the odd jumper. Given that their next port of call is the Fuji Festival in Japan on a bill alongside Mogwai and Tricky the prop seems to have worked a treat, especially amongst the Japanese, whose delight in seemingly useless details knows no bounds.
‘Dust Me Selectah’ is released through Festival on August 6. They will also be touring extensively in August and September.
This feature story originally appeared in 3D Magazine – Sydney’s #1 weekly dance publication.