Derrick Gee | May 22, 2023

The Monday Media Diet with Derrick Gee

On Yohji Yamamoto, spiritual jazz, and K-Pop fan edits

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The Awakening - Hear, Sense and Feel
The Awakening - Hear, Sense and Feel

A Spiritual Jazz album from 1972.


A post rock music album released in 2022.

I found Derrick Gee (DG) through some of his audiophile conversations on IG, and went down the rabbit hole to discover his DJing, podcast, and new-ish Substack. He’s got superb taste and articulates it well. Very happy to welcome to the WITI MMD crew this morning. -Colin (CJN)

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a painfully private person who tripped over and fell into a content creation ball pit, where I now talk to hundreds of thousands of people about music and culture on TikTok/Instagram/YouTube/newsletter/podcast. So much for privacy! 

I’m an Australian based in Sydney, who has worked in London and New York and am of Chinese descent - which actually gives me an interesting footing as a person from many places all at once. 

I describe myself as a DJ/radio host (with former residencies on London’s NTS Radio and SiriusXM), but in reality I am just a music obsessive with a poor memory and an unhealthy reliance on my iTunes (they don’t even call it that anymore) where I fossick for music that I’ve collected, ripped and organised.

Describe your media diet. 

I have a CMD+T habit of opening the Verge whenever I’m procrastinating, which also extends to Nilay Patel’s Decoder podcast. I am endlessly fascinated in how technology influences our lives, and how decisions made regarding user interface and design impact our consumption, entertainment and addictions. Similarly I keep an eye on Music Business Worldwide because I find the bigger picture music industry moves to be fascinating, as there’s always someone suing or impersonating another.

I enjoy the Colin and Samir podcast also - two guys who cover the goings on in the creator economy. They were super smart to have jumped on this niche early, as it’s a massive industry that is only growing to be more and more influential and complicated. Personally I learn a lot but I also love listening to minutiae of thumbnail strategies and algorithm conspiracy theories.

Outside of that, I keep up to date with music via internet radio, Soundcloud and suggestions in my discord. I have to admit, a lot of my media consumption is my TikTok For You Page. It may not be the intellectual answer, but it really is Twitter in vertical video scrolling form. If there’s a drama happening at your local music festival, you’ll see it all, in video, almost in real time, and is really the evolution that was missing from the Twitter interface long ago.

What’s the last great book you read?

I’m not much of a reader! (I understand if you now close this newsletter and deem me an uncultured TikTokker!). I’m not sure if it’s my attention span, but I’m much more of a listener - whether it’s albums or podcasts. Ironically I enjoy writing a lot via my newsletter - a newfound passion that seems to be resonating.

So to that end - here are some great texts (albums) to check out:

What are you reading now?

I’ve had a GQ tab open for forever titled “Can Yohji Yamamoto Save Fashion From Itself?” It has been a month since I opened the tab and sits on my phone as a reminder of my lacking attention span but interest in a finely draped trouser.. 

What’s your reading strategy when you pick up a print copy of your favorite publication?

Finish it. Sometimes I enjoy the New Yorker, because it’s in-depth enough but fits my attention span. But what ends up happening is I have a copy in my beach bag and I stare at the horizon for an hour.

If I’m to flip this to be more about music - it’s much the same. I try my best to finish an album and give it repeat listens before fully passing judgement, because sometimes it can take years for a record to truly sink in. The accompaniment of a horizon also helps me to digest this audio diet.

Who should everyone be reading that they’re not?

The Wikipedia article on the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. An introductory guide to a non-profit from 60’s Chicago that nurtured the spiritual jazz expression of artists such as Phil Cohran, Ann E. Ward and many lesser known but influential black jazz artists. A coalition such as this is somewhat unprecedented when considering the individualist nature of modern music, and is an awe inspiring representation of what can happen when a community and organisation can form around the shared vision of a collective. I find myself revisiting this page often, because there’s always more music to discover.

What is the best non-famous app you love on your phone? 

Apple Music Classical is the most important app launch of the last year. It organises and recontextualises classical music in a standalone app - much needed when the composer and composition is as important as the conductor and the orchestra. As a classical music newb, this has been a great way to learn about and dip my toe in and I hope this concept can extend to more genres (jazz and hip hop for starters).

Plane or train?

Train all day. Planes are overrated meat tubes that smell like highly processed oil and hand sanitiser. Trains go choo choo.

What is one place everyone should visit? 

Your nearest beach with a New Yorker in your bag. Also bring with you a determined gaze.

Tell us the story of a rabbit hole you fell deep into.

Edits of K-Pop group TWICE by Osmomosis. K-Pop fan edits on YouTube have some of the best “internet” comedy editing around. The sense of timing, memes, sound effects, irony, it’s a different language and a much underrated creative expression of fandom.

Thanks for reading,

Noah (NRB) & Colin (CJN) & Derrick (DG)

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