Jamie Jones interview
“If there were a “Rising Star” pageant sash for the year, it would adorn the shoulders of the affable Welshman who has galloped 30 places to number 6 in RA’s Top 100 DJS of 2010. “It was only when Jamie Jones came on that things began to distinguish themselves.”
Ahead of his NYE slot, EE caught up with Mr Jones to talk ket house, holding down a residency @ DC10 this summer, the Crosstown Rebel family and the record that never leaves his box.
At the forthcoming Eastern Electrics New Years Eve party the Crosstown Rebels label are hosting one of the arches for the duration of the evening with Damian Lazarus, Seth Troxler and yourself playing. What brought an ex pat LA residing label head, a Detroit kid and you a Welsh producer together?
Sorry my 20s are a bit of a blur.. Joking, Well they are but I do know the answer to this question. I met Damian years ago in Ibiza, and Seth I first met at a gig I did in Chicago just before my first Miami Music confrence about 4 years ago. I guess what unites us is a love of being slightly different musically and in our attitude to what we are doing, and also a slightly abnormal dedication to the rave.
How has this small collective help produce such a successful relationship? How has your different backgrounds and inspirations given birth to such a creative explosion on the underground dance scene?
I respect the fact that Damian, Seth and myself (hopefully this doesnt big us up too much!), always seems like we are getting bored of a particular sound just as it blows up. Thats why we can work together, because we skip between sounds at a similar pace.
This year you held a highly sought after residency at DC10 the newly reopened Monday day party Circoloco in Ibiza. How was it? Did the residency affect your DJing and life style?
IT WAS MENTAL. I mean, I was so so chuffed to be a proper resident this year, Ive been playing there about 4 times a year for about 4 or 5 years, but this year was different. It was also just different on the island, after a few years of being well, rubbish, Ibiza was back with a vengance, and my mental and physical health definitely suffered. I must have flown in and out of Ibiza airport about 20 times, that on top of the above normal schedule that the summer brings. It was well worth it though, so many good times were had.
What is so apparent in your sets and production is an innate ability to draw upon a wide range of genres- techno, deep house, funk, disco and electro and yet aurally there is a very unique moodiness that is part of your Jamie Jones musical signature. How have you cultivated this sound? Are there any specific technological devices that you use? Is it also partly intuitive, where you identify that part of a track that you hone in on and nurture and rework that sound to bring a set together?
Waw, a very analytically correct question. Its one Ive been asked many times, but you have asked it the best way, well done. I guess theres something in the groove of some dance tracks I can pick up on, and make it work for me. Whether its disco, house whatever, but I think most of all its just having a good filter for tracks. Theres so much out there, and nowadays Im sorry to say, so much crap. I would rather take a risk on something that some people may find too deep, or too weird, than just keep the tracks rolling and rolling until it all sounds the same. I try to make every track in my sets memorable, and usually, its that thing thats memorable that I liked in it to begin with, and thats why they work together. Dont get me wrong, its not easy to find them, its a lot of re-editing, digging, producing, whatever, but its worth taking the time because you have to stand out these days.
Part of your signature moody hypnotic style is the way it lulls the dance floor into the music, as though when dancing to it we get lost within the multiple layers of the sounds. Do you think it is this effect of your DJing has that has allowed the label Ket Tech House to be thrown around? How do you feel about this?
Haha. Ive not heard that before, I guess people need labels for anything thats different. Ive worked really hard on what I produce and what I DJ never to be able to be categorised, thats why I play disco, house, loopy techno, anything, its what a DJ is to me. The people I respect can play anything, Laurent Garnier Andrew Weatherall, Craig Richards, DJ Harvey, Mathew Styles. Its all about putting the right record at the right time, not twisting a knob on a traktor controller every 2 mins. Now dont get wrong thats ok too, I have traktor, but thats just a tool to help the music get played, not to overshadow it.
Is this shift in sound also partly due to the shift away from the ecstasy taking raving on the 90s and the now greater prevalence of ketamine being used by the clubbers of the 00s? When you are DJing are you aware of how the dance floor is affected by the use of different drugs; if so do you change the way you plan your set?
Not at all, thats a myth, I think thats an excuse DJs use because they cant connct with the crowd. Oh the crowd was too ketty, blah blah blah. If youre good, you can change a party where people have no drugs and are all sitting down, and make its something special. Let alone one where people are high on ketamine or whatever. People said that minimal was ket music, now we are playing disco in our sets alongside techno and its for people who take ket, give me break!
The November issue of Mixmag features a CD mixed by Seth Troxler and yourself. The CD is a fantastic method to increase exposure to a wide-ranging music loving audience. Because the readership tends to have a variety of different dance music styles being followed did this effect your track selection? Was there a goal of the CD? How do you find working within a collaborative environment, as you did in this CD and your single Galactic Spacebar with Egyptian Lover?
I love techno and I love what I do. But sometimes it can be a little closed minded. I love to be involved in this world, but I try to always see what else is out there. If my ambition was to be the biggest techno minimal DJ whatever there is, then I wouldnt be doing things the way Im doing them, Im not interested in that kind of success, Im interested in reaching as many people as possible with my productions and playing parties that mean something to me, so that I can always be satisfied when the lights come up. I really believe that theres a way to connect the popular market with great underground music. Sometimes it happens, for example the xx, their album is so stripped back and simple, not typical pop at all but just quality and it shone through. Im not saying Im as talanted as they are but I would like to think that one day I can reach a mass audience with the melodies that are in my head.
Now your busy summer touring is over are you planning on hibernating and staying indoors, perhaps to work on some new material to unleash on us in 2011?
Yes, I mean it hasnt stopped, Im on tour right now and living in New York for a month, but I have some nice plans musically for next year. The Hot Natured album is almost done, and Im halfway through my second album, plus some great stuff on Hot Creations. I have no doubt next year will be a corker.
What can we expect from new label Hot Creations you have set up? How do you think a shift in your role as DJ and producer to label head will effect you?
Luckily I have some great people working for me, so my job is purely creative, but it does take time to select the releases properly etc. Luckily the people who are making music for the label are very talented so theres no shortage of tuneage.. boom boom
And finally the 3 questions we ask everyone who plays @ EE:
What got you into dance music?
Eternity magazine, my older cousins, and helterskelter tape packs.
What record never leaves your box?
Now that would be telling wouldnt it.. haha.. Um, theres so many, Funk DVoid Diabla (Hacker remix) I always have time for that one..
Who or what is your greatest musical inspiration?
Waw, probably Michael Jackson, even though he didnt write the music etc he will always be number 1 for me.
Interview by Katie Gibbons mainly & a bit of Wil!
EE NYE HAPPENS @
61 St Thomas St,
Friday 31st December 2010 – NYE baby!
9pm till 7am London SE1
Tickets for NYE
Last tickets anywhere in person from:
The Star of Bethnal Green
359 Bethnal Green Road
51 Poland Street