House music has evolved with age and time, yet the underlying values and the core principles remain the same. It has to have a degree of soul, function and demonstrate the relationship between instrumentation and electronics. Two figure who have established themselves as prominent forefathers of the genre are Melchior and Jus-Ed. Two respective figureheads in their own right who have released a sprawling collection of music for many years whilst channelling the origins and roots of the genre.
Jus-Ed is the founder behind the record label Underground Quality, a record label synonymous with deep moving house music which has been responsible for releasing both his own productions and music by the likes of Anton Zap, Fred P, Levon Vincent, Smallpeople, Nina Kraviz, Move D, Dana Ruh and many more. It has become widely respected by the wider electronic musical community, much as Jus-Ed has himself.
Melchior is a Malta born producer and instrumentalist, his sound draws upon the sun kissed soul of warmer climates yet has become intertwined with elements of Chicago and New York house throughout years of experimentation and evolution. He is the founder of Profound Sound, a growing imprint which channels his own ethos and sense of identity.
Jus-Ed and Melchior are keen collaborators having worked together in multiple guises across the years, the latest EP on Profound Sound features a remix of Melchior and Janelle Pulo by Jus-Ed. Now seemed as apt as ever to sit these two down and talk house.
Melchior: You have been in the music business for a long time, so I think it’s best to start here. Where did your journey in music begin?
Jus Ed: Started at 6 years old. I did a sound check with my grandparents and I performed with them, At times I would sing and stir the brushes on a box...keeping the rhythm while they played piano and upright Bass fiddle. This was back in the 60s.
How about yourself Melchior? You certainly like to keep yourself busy...
What instruments are you playing at the moment as I know that you are a man of many talents, the world deserves to hear.
Melchior: I started making music early on. This passion came naturally and after some years experimenting I found my musical path when I first heard house music. This blend of live instrumentation and electronic rhythms, as well as the fact that only dj’s had this music was fascinating. Therefore I started to become interested in the electronic side of music: from deep house to techno, drum & bass and Hip Hop to jazz, soul etc .
Underground Quality is one of the most respected labels in the industry, what is the story behind the label?
Jus Ed: Thanks! It's all based on my natural ability to find talent and having good taste in Music. I’m always looking for new talent but it has to happen organically. I’m old school. For example I still go shop to shop and I meet the owners...or buyers and I sell the records one at a time. I love what I do and I love what the Underground Quality movement is about and has become. I will continue to do what I do as long as I can.
You also have Profound Sound. We recently released together alongside Janelle Pulo. How did your label start?
Melchior: Profound Sound is the home for my projects where I have total control of the music I’m releasing and how it is being released and that is the main thing. Being free to build a project the way that I feel best .
Would you say you have taken heavy influences from where you grew up? You are now based in Berlin, two different ends of the world that play a big role in your music..
Jus Ed: My influences come from home… Bridgeport, Connecticut where I grew up...That's where I got my work ethics, values and principles. My hustle comes from being poor and not having. That's why I still hustle like I do...Cause I still don't have… Being in Berlin was a move for my kids education and cultural experience. It was also to make working a bit easier. I'm still working on getting people to know I am closer now and easier to book, I do my own bookings now. Hopefully after this interview a few more bookings will come...
I could say the same for yourself in Malta, What was it like growing up musically in Malta? What sounds were you exposed to from a young age?
Melchior: Growing up in Malta means that you are surrounded, breathing in a Mediterranean vibe and way of life that it is captured in the music. It comes naturally to inject a certain soul into the music, The music Is not what I do but what I am.
Over the years you have travelled well, where would you say is a cool place to gig and dig? Where are some of your favourite clubs?
Jus Ed: ALL!
You have taken your live set to a few countries, what kind of set up are you using for this?
Melchior: My live setup is based around the MPC being the sequencer and the Guitar and Keys are improvisation tools. Every live set I do is created from scratch and improvisation is an essential part of how the live set is performed
What do you have coming up over the next few months?
Jus Ed: New releases. UQ-074 is out now, this EP is dope! From house to minimal tech and acid bangers!
How about yourself?
Melchior: My main focus and mission remains the same. That of making more music in the studio and bettering myself everyday as a musician and all things music
Thanks for this interview!