Little over a week has passed since the tragic news that Guillaume Wyss had died. Perhaps best known as Boogie G, Wyss was a key figure in the Southeast Asian underground music and skate scenes. Perhaps above all, he was a beloved friend and treasured member of the local community.
Boogie had called Bangkok home since moving to the Thai capital from his Native Switzerland more than two decades ago. He was rightfully revered as a figurehead among the local DJ circle, having performed at events across the region as well as organising benchmark events at some of Bangkok’s most renowned venues. His familiar Boogie moniker was a testament to his encyclopaedic knowledge of the electro-tinged disco-funk form, and his long-running Nite Ride event was known as a veritable bastion of vinyl-spun boogie flavours. Indeed, G was a driving force in Bangkok’s vinyl revival, and one of the first to champion vinyl-only events at spaces including Studio Lam and 12x12.
While the shimmer of ‘80s boogie and Italo disco were key features of his undulating sound signature, his repertoire far exceeded strictly retrospective realms. Deep house, high-grade techno and futurist cosmic flavours were among the stylistic tones he’d skilfully navigate behind the platters, and the Music Makes Me High night he co-founded was the playground in which he explored the more deviant shades of his sonic spectrum. Boogie was a gentle giant, a larger-than-life character who spoke his words softly. His manner may have been supremely laidback, but his passion for sharing music saw him brim with enthusiasm — routinely bringing irrepressible vigour to his sets while expertly enlivening the dance floors he served. As well as booking the cream of local talent, G took the risk of flying in a dazzling selection of international artists for his events, with the likes of Dam Funk, Egyptian Lover, Onra and B Bravo just some of those he booked to perform.
Outside of music, Wyss made his powerful presence felt in the region’s skateboarding scene. The Preduce skateboard company he co-founded in 2002 is a vastly impressive success story. Having opened its first store in Siam Square back in 2006, the brand went from strength to strength, helping to put Thai skateboarding on the international map and establishing itself as a forward-thinking and innovative brand. The company recently opened its Baan Preduce hub in Bangkok— a purpose-built skate park, shop, skate school, cafe and bar that is already seen as a jewel in the crown of the southeast Asian skate community.
Boogie had style and swagger in abundance but showed no signs of the ego-driven arrogance that affects so many of the world’s disc jockeys. A tireless enthusiast and supporter of the local subterranean scene, he selflessly got behind the full gamut of creative endeavours to emerge from his adopted home. “G was one of the best,” Sarayu of More Rice Records shared with Mixmag Asia. “We've done so many things together over the past years. He's also supported and helped us a lot over the years, including wearing the first edition of our t-shirt so much that it changed colour! We’ll miss him so much. I want to say thanks for all the great times, the advice, the music and being such a great guy!”
There were surreal scenes on Saturday, December 17 as news of his untimely passing filtered through to his many friends and collaborators attending the Wonderfruit festival, where Boogie had first fallen ill. Unsure quite how to process the information and understandably shell-shocked, some of his closest friends were tasked with the unenviable challenge of performing on stage to unsuspecting throngs — having been hit by the proverbial tidal wave of what had transpired. After much consultation and soul searching, the consensus was that ‘the show must go on’, that Boogie wouldn’t have wanted the dance to stop.
Sabai Sabai Soundsystem’s Maarten was among the first to step up to the turntables following the news, summoning all of his inner strength to play a fitting tribute in the warm afternoon sun. “Guillaume was a driving force, an engine,” he told Mixmag Asia. “Passionately driven, always aiming for quality and a great sense of community. What he wanted most was for people to enjoy the culture of music, skateboarding, and streetwear, together in unity. He celebrated his mentors and mentored those who cared to listen and learn from him. Boogie G forever!”
Boogie was a warm and reassuring presence and I deeply enjoyed my exchanges and jam sessions with him. He always got behind my music and was often one of the first to buy my EPs when released via Bandcamp. He’d sometimes message me to say kind words about my productions, and when I’d offer to send him the promo files, he’d politely refuse, saying he’d rather purchase them to support the project. Speaking to his many friends currently mourning his loss, this type of conduct seems to be a key feature of G’s personality. Generous, supportive and humble.
Guillaume Wyss leaves behind a family, his wife, Pichy, daughter, Mimi, and the countless friends, loved ones and contemporaries whose lives he touched. Rest In Peace Boogie G, your presence will be missed, but your legacy lives on eternally.