17 Dec 2008

Tokyo Jo



I played in Tokyo this weekend. What amazingly intensely insane and exhausting trip that is etched into my mind forever. Did I say I enjoyed it? That's what I meant. I don't think I ever adjusted to the 8 hour time difference. But it sort of worked out because as soon as I realized this, it just meant I let myself sleep all day and stay up all night (this is really helpful for a DJ actually). I did manage to do some stuff in the day....like a lot of window shopping, the pound was seriously letting me down there, everything worked out to be like paying for it's weight in gold. But the best times were had in the Tokyo nightlife: karaoke, a trip to the famous Womb club, and of course our own night at Warehouse representing Bugged Out and London at London Calling. Bugged Out residents Matt Walsh and Bi-Bop also joined me on the bill along with numurous other London mates at the party, which meant there was a lot of misbehaving and maybe just a tiny bit brits abroad at times (Oops! ;o)....oh and of course the food was indescribably heavenly and fresh, I lived off raw fish and Edamame mmmm! There are some things in Japanese culture that I found totally enlightening that made for some utopian moments, and naturally some alien moments when I didn't quite get it. I absolutely adored their tireless enthusiasm for their pastimes i.e. fashion, music, culture and the respectful attitude towards work and other peoples work. Thanks so much to Julian and Peter for being such great guides. And thank you to I Am Tokyo Night for the pic and great review!

5 Dec 2008

Saturn Returns - Fan Video



Someone posted this video of Saturn Returns, a track I made in 2006. It's synced up with edits from the 80's science fiction film Tron. I remember the movie from when I was a kid, it looked so futristic to me then, the effects look sooo cheesy and kitsch now though! The track recently got more exposure since Felix Da Housecat licensed it to his Global Underground mix CD in the Spring. It sounds almost proto-bassline-house now that I listen to it again. At the time I was definitely influenced by the Prodigy........It's not totally where my head is it at right now production-wise....the stuff I'm working on right now has moved on bit......But I thought the video was woth a look, well visualized.

29 Nov 2008

Rave From The Grave




....I know from the sounds of my recent posts titles you might think I'm beginning to turn all goth on you, that I'll never do, but I will admit am in a bit of an escapist mood these days....escape to 92......I guess I have been ever since I read Energy Flash by Simon Reynolds - a brilliantly written, massively entertaining documentation of the history of London's electronic dance culture. A totally essential read.......anyway the point is I'm in love with this album Where Were You In '92?, a side-project by a South London dubstep producer Zomby. The album is a long player that works from beginning to end, it's dance music but not really for dancing, a rare bird these days. The production is thick and haunting, as you'd expect from a Dubstep artist, but the feeling is warmer, and there is that all important sense of humor there. It's pure unashamed early UK-hardcore-rave-nostalgia-worship, that also sounds fresh. My fave tracks are the 'Fuck Mixing, Let's Dance' with it's funny "Are you done mixing yet sample", 'Daft Punk Rave', and the beautiful 'Float'.......anyways, I played until 6 am last night at the Egg here in London, my eyelids feel like sandpaper looking at this screen, so I'm not going to get all loved-up waffle on and on........

18 Nov 2008

Vampire Weekend




I played a double header this weekend at Bugged Out with Miss Kittin. First we did Sankey's Soap in Manchester then down to London for the End. I did the late set in Manc and had such an amazing time. Thanks to everyone who stayed until the lights went on and made it such a special night. Manchester is quickly becoming one of my fave cites to play right now. I got such a warm vibe from everyone that night and I loved the warehouse feel in the club. In London I did the early-mid set before Caro. Two incredicbly satifying and inspiring gigs....playing with Kittin is always a great party, we kinda just feed off each others energy and I can enjoy entertaining my dark-side, playing mindfully and with sense of drama....pure escapist, fantasy, just for a session. And why not?

Here you can listen and download my set from the night in London. Remember this is a LIVE MIX, no computers, or Ableton have been used, just two Pioneer CDJ's and a mixer, recorded live on the night at the End. I'll soon be posting via podcast too (my podcasts are coming back with a vengeance TBA) but until then, YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST☺

★ Diplo - Wassup Wassup Ft. Rye Rye - Crookers Remix
★ Jan Driver - Rat Alert
★ A-Track - Say Whoa - Boys Noize Remix
★ Hatiras - Tom Le Douche
★ Bloc Party - Mercury - Herve is in Disarray Remix
★ Plan Tec - Jonas Kopp Remix -Espias Psiquicios
★ Crystal Castles - Crimewave - Sinden Remix
★ Smith N Hack - Space Warrior
★ Man Like Me - Carny - JoJo De Freq's Island Pressure Remix
★ Tomas Schumacher - Red Purple
★ Kebacid - Felafellows
★ Kevin Saunderson - Rock to the Beat - Smith & Selway Remix
★ Melon & Je Davu - I Zebra
★ Chemical Brothers - Hey Girl, Hey Boy - Soulwax Remix
★ Medhi -Pocket Piano - Brodinski Remix
★ Patrice Baumel - Roar
★ Justice - Phantom II - Boys Noize Remix
★ Italo Boys - Zinga
★ Hot Chip - Hold On - Switch L.A. Remix
★ Kevin Saunderson -Bassline - Joris Voorn Remix
★ Fra Soler & Maxim Ruiz - Zambomba
★ Diplo vs Sega - Ready Or Not
★ Holgar Zilske - Wrecker

11 Nov 2008

Return Of The Mac!



After an unbelievable 6 weeks of painful computer withdrawals, the Mac is back! It's hard to believe that Apple could not figure out what went wrong with my machine. It was a freq case of Mac attack. My repair guy told me it was getting shipped strait over to the Apple development technicians -in other words the people who actually design the machines- so they could try to solve the mystery of my Mac....in the end they had to replace my entire machine....To credit Apple, they did give me incredibly fantastic customer support and genuinely tried resolve the issue, while reimbursing me for anything lost in the process (except precious time of course). I truly wish all the businesses I have to deal with with were so helpful. I still love Apple for all the genius stuff they produce. I've had 6 weeks to learn how everything I do completely revolves around my Mac, to say I'm happy it's back would be a massive understatement.......So after this little period of misfortune, now I can finally get back to blogging, being a digital DJ and of course my most beloved passion, making music.

On top of the Mac meldown, October had been one of my busiest DJ months of 2008. I played everywhere from Moscow to Madrid, from Nottingham to Newport. It's a shame I've not been able to tell you all about them.....but there are still many more to come.....that's one of the reasons I like to blog: the second you finish playing the experience just disappears into the cosmos, here I can at least document a little bit of the hard work and excitement that is unique each night.

To try to make up for my Mac attack and my resulting neglect of this blog, I'M OFFERING 10 HALF PRICE TICKETS ON MY GUEST-LIST FOR BUGGED OUT THIS WEEKEND at the End in London exclusively for De Frequencies' blog readers. So that means £8 tickets and guest-list cue. The first 10 people to email us here at De Frequencies will get 'em. It's gonna be a fabulous party will me and Miss Kittin ripping it up in the main room and loads of other hot guests, so get yourself down there, and if you're in London and you're a Freq HIT US UP!

15 Sep 2008

The End of The End


ME @ THE END IN DECEMBER


Oh dear, it's true, I've not posted for almost two weeks now....but I really have the best (actually the worst) excuse! My laptop of over 4 years just died on me a couple of weeks ago, just like that poof, its gone but after that long, you start to expect this to happen, so naturally I had the entire drive backed-up. No major trauma. It just means until I can afford to replace it, I have to use my desktop computer -normally strictly reserved for making music with- to do admin tasks including blogging. But last week suddenly my desk top died! Can you believe a monster 8 core processor Mac Pro, basically the top Mac your money can buy, and less than a year and a half old, can breakdown just like that!? I can't, I wasn't expecting it, and it couldn't have happened at worse time. Thank god for my extended Apple warranty is coving it. Although it seemed way over priced, I highly recommend getting it if you're buying a Mac (you also get telephone support)....anyways, this is why I've not blogged. And not done a lot of things. I've come to realized my whole life revolves around my Mac. So borrowing my boyf's lappy, I'm writing a little update finally for De Frequencies until I get it back.....

If you haven't heard already, the news was out last week, London's legendary End club is going to be closing it's doors for ever in January. Really, it's like the end of London club venues en masse this year, it kicked off with the closure of the massive Canvas and the historic Cross, along with the slightly younger fab boutique disco The Key. Then, the long-time London clubbing institution Turnmills closed it's doors, and now one of the last standing credible 'proper' club venues, The End. The End was the first club I visited when I moved to London in 2001, it was one of the few, of the then massive number of big clubs, that appealed to me because of their great underground line-ups. Now I've played there, OMG, for like 5 years?! I'll be sad to see it go. So Bugged out will be looking for a new home, along with Erol Alkan's Durr club, two important alternative dance nights residing at The End. Where will we go??? If someone opened up a medium sized two roomed 1500 capacity proper night club with a killer layout and sound-system, they would absolutely clean up right now....I hope someone does, or else we're going to be forced to keep throwing parties with crappy sound systems in the car parks (well, alt least more than we already are!)

It's just coincidence, but The End website-zine asked me to do an interview with them the same week they announced their closure. It's quite in-depth because Bugged Out asked the questions, and I think the questions are spot on because they know me so well. You can check out my full interview for The End here.

29 Aug 2008

Welcome To Dalston



Well here it is. MYTH 04, Welcome To Dalston. It's a homage to my place of residence for more than 4 years here in East London, the lovely-grimy Dalston. If you've been here you'll know what I mean. It's a strange but buzzing mix of Afro/Caribbean immigrants and hipsters (and it is growing) hence the African gospel choir samples and the stacks of klapz. It's meant to be a Summery track, cause I made it in the Summer, unfortunately Summer is prematurely dead were I am right now.....but maybe some of the Southerners from the warmer parts of the world that visit the blog can still enjoy it (and there are quite a few of you!) Don't worry if nothing much happens in the first 60 seconds, that's just the intro for mixing, it's not a radio edit, just in club format. I've uploaded it to Swiss super-music-sharing-and-caring-site Fairtilizer to create this snazzy new player. If you've not checked this site, get on there now, is it hot! hot! hot!

This is, as always, a 100% JoJo De Freq production. The track is out today exclusively on Beatport. You heard it here first. SHO SUM LUV!

21 Aug 2008

Ruled By Mercury



PLEASE LEAVE NOW IF YOU DON'T LIKE THIS SONG

If you don't already know (I'm a bit late to learn, as I don't think there were any promos sent out on this one) this is Bloc Party's new single Mercury. I saw it last night and was absolutely mesmerized. I'd like to declare this my new Favorite song....but it's more that that, it has entered into my bloodstream, my cells are vibrating this song and it's video. You know when a track just connects like a strong slap, it's like an old leather jacket that fits perfectly. The track makes me excited. Period...... I'm a fan of this on so many levels: the chorus is a direct reference to an Astrological transit, and I'm a secret astro-believer. The brass section in this is so what I'm loving right now too, that's why it's the only instrument I choose to use in my Man Like Me Remix, although theirs is live not sampled, which has it's own brilliant chaotic shapes. And no, it's not dance music, in a conventional club format, (because this blog is not limited to genres, neither are my my tastes). But it does have a lot of electronic dance production techniques, and one that I've been loving for while, which is manipulating vocals in a sampler. Kelly's vocal sounds brilliant on this anyways, but the stuttered looped vocal effect in the chorus is so fucking fresh. And I guess it's the menacing bottom end that really gets me, it's almost drum and bass and definatly techno.....or maybe it's the mad percussion....yes, I almost forgot they have the most amazing drummer.....but it's the video too. The surrealsim, the cow with the lobster-claw that takes over the world, the conven of evil monkeys that orchestrate it. What does it mean? It's not just beacause I'm a massive Mighty Boosh fan, but I've always been attracted to surrealism, whether it means running around playing dress-up or contemplating Dali.....I'm sure they'll be another post on this topic............but I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. I think it's an gutsy creative turn for Block Party and possibly the best thing they've done.

There is also a Herve Remix on the single which is out now, which will undoubtedly destroy the dancefloor......

19 Aug 2008

What Summer?



Yes, we love to moan, "this summer is crap!", but then when it's too hot and sticky, as it gets in England in the Summer, we complain about that too.....but really, what Summer??? It's been the worst in years me thinks ; (.....And hence It's the name of my latest Beatport chart, because it's already Autumn in August, and mostly because, sadly, just about everybody who submits a chart for Beatport in the Summer calls it, guess what, "Summer" chart....how inspiring?

Anyway, too be honest I secretly love the grey rainy weather. I love wearing my Autumn clothes much more than my Summer ones. And grey is great when you're working in the studio all day...there's nothing worse as when the sun beats through my window in the afternoons so I can't see my computer screen and I have to close the curtains and work in the dark... or even funnier, with my sunglasses on. So bring on the grey! It's gloomy, introspective and productive. Love it!

JoJo De Freq's What Summer? Beatport Chart

1 - Man Like Me - JoJo De Freq's - Island Pressure Remix (Prestel)
You know about this one already (cause i just blogged about it below), and yes, I've shamelessly put it at number one, cause I've decided I really like it now ; )

2 - Kevin Saunderson Rock To The Beat - Cristian Smith & John Selway Remix (KMS)
How fabulous is this??? Sexy deep, dramatic, and bang up to this second, curtosey of Smith & Selway's production skills. Check out the original new beat version on You Tube, it's even earlier than the Detroit techno version. Brilliantly retro and kooky, I'm in love with it. "Fantasy. Fantasy".

3 - The Loungin Kollective - Riddim Come Forward - Herve's Fire Pom Dem Version (Loungin Recordins)
Is it just me, or does this not sound like a big fat de-tuned techno lead?...Me tinks it's great twist for bassline bad boy Herve.

4 - Frankie - Brize (Faste Music)
I've always been a fan of Frankie's quirky techno sound and have featured him many times in my charts. He's had so many great tracks on his label, but still he remains quite a faceless underground producer. This one really blows my mind...brilliant late night contortions.

5 - Smith N Hack - Space Warrior (Smith N Hack)
I heard this originaly on a blog last year and had to wait for ever for it to come out...but it was worth it. This is bonkers, in the most skilled way. It's one of those rare visual tracks, just close your eyes and you can just see the cinematic Space Warrior in action.

6 - Gamal Kabour - The Filth (Poker Flat)
Sometimes Poker Flat is a bit too slick, cold and polished for my taste, so I had overlooked this one. Then Matt Walsh turned me on to this and I'll now have to eat my words. This is dirty and weird, in the best way of course ; )

7 - Lexy - The Return of Skakovac (Areal Records)
So lush and dreamy and emotional, a rare find.

8 - Thomas Schumacher - Red Purple (Spiel-Zeug Schallplatten)
I got turned on to this at an after-house-party in Vienna. It's hard to tell listening to it on Beatport, but the bass in this just makes you float. Simple but so effective.

9 - The Martin Brothers - Dum (Dirty Bird)
Another quirky bouncing bass line from the Dirty Bird crew. Dum. It just sums it up doesn't it? It's just how you feel some points in the night.

10 - Marc Houle - Jouster (Minus)
I looooove Marc Houle and I've been enthusing about him for ages. He seems a bit of an outsider to the whole minimal thing, despite being on Minus, and despite being very minimalist in style. His stuff just has something special about it. Something different. Can't put my finger on it. This is minimal electro, not minimal techno, from Detroit.

★ click on the link to go straight through to Beatport to listen/buy

10 Aug 2008

Field Report


Me and Naomi// *Girlcore*



Crooker


Isa GT, Crooker & Friend


Modeselecktor on the mic


Brodinski & Matt Walsh


Richie Hawtin Eating some crisps


Richie on stage


Richie's techno-tastic-lightshow


Brodinski rocking it


I had the weekend off, and went down to check out the brilliant line-up in the Bugged Out tent at the Field Day festival in East London. It was the first time in as long as I can remember I went out to enjoy some music without thinking about playing myself! It was completely recreational. Strange, but nice. Nice to have the time to check out some some other acts, and socialize. The weather was crap and raining, of course, but then that just made it all the more a proper English festival. I met up with some friends in the crowd and met a few new people backstage. I had a really nice mojito and organic chicken burger...... and then just generally misbehaved......now, back to the studio with some fresh perspective........

5 Aug 2008

Ich Bin Plem Plem?

I was playing in Vienna at the weekend. The club night was called Plem Plem. Apparently this is German for "a little bit crazy" but in a "cute" way, like a word kids use in the playground type thing.....hmmmm? Yes I liked that idea for a club name.....and it was indeed a little bit crazy....I had a great time though, even though I had very little sleep...etc.etc...

Here is my set recorded at the club by Vienna's Play FM, a very cool website that has been streaming electronic DJ sets forever (in internet terms), check out their site and my set there:

JoJo De Freq Live @ Plem Plem, Camera Club, Vienna

Edu K Ft. Marina-Me Bota Pra Dancar - Acapella
Tomboy & Fredski - Do The Tartlet
Smith N Hack - Space Warrior
The Martin Brothers -Dum
Otto Van Schirach - Dance Like A Hoe
Alter Ego - Jolly Joker - DJ Koze Remix
Sven UK & Andomat 3000 - O Mores
Aramand Van Helden J' T amie - Switch Remix
Deadmau5 & Jelo - The Reward is Cheese
Andy Stuffa - Pretty Girls Ft. Mapei - David Ekenback Remix
Surkin - White Knight Two
Daniele Papini - Church Of Nonsense
JoJo De Freq - Feel Your Mind
Matasoul - Fix This
The Black Ghosts - I Want Nothing - Sinden Remix
Audion - Billy Says Go
Marc Romboy Ft. Chelonis R. Jones - The Slam
Oliver Huntemann & Dubfire - Diablo
Kevin Sauderson - Inner City -Mattew Jonson Remix
Pfirter - Mi Auto
Freak Seven - We Bring the Music
Jerome Sydenham - Peter Pan
KU BO Ft. Fefe MC - Turnerment
Santogold - L.E.S. Artists - Switch Remix
Patrice Baumel - Roar
Tiga - Sunglasses At Night - Alter Ego Remix

And below you can listen to my interview with the FM4 La Boum radio show, another fab electronic music purveyour from Vienna (you may have to load the page twice to get it to play):

JoJo De Freq Interview @ FM4 La Boum Radio, Vienna

And this is a funny little video from the night, done by some of the organizers, complete with gimps and all. I really have no idea what going on as it's all in German, but it looks like some plem plem fun:

29 Jul 2008

In Da Bug






It was another great night. Packed with a responsive crowd. Felix payed the best I've heard him....and what character too, with that big cheshire cat grin, and swaying around with his big bottle of bling Tequila. And what about his spontaneous Ibiza-style go-go dancers (his girlfriend and her sister?!) going mad on the podium...er, booth. Brilliant.

I was a little wilted from this ridiculously humid weather we've had, as was everyone, so I eased into the night with some house-ier-disco sounds, before building up to the big-room-techy stuff.......and to my huge enjoyment (and relief!), the debut of my new remix went down a storm at about 2am........xxJ

26 Jul 2008

Love Bug



I was in spain for most of last week. I was in Benicassim doing the FIB pre-party on Weds which was really really packed and fab. There were loads of familair faces from the festival last year...... Then hopped on Ferry over to Ibiza. A place I hadn't played for almost 6 years! To be honest, I never really liked playing there. I think the first time around, in 2002, Ibiza was not quite ready for the electro-non-conformity of De Freq....but a lot changes in 6 years......I played at Amnesia this time, in the main room. I really think it's the one of the best if not the best venues on the Island. It was Jade Jagger's Jezabel night, so I was glam-ing it up (at her stunning villa afterwards and at the club ; ), but I still kept the music underground and unashamedly upfront.....it was really a big success for me to see the crowd in Ibiza really going for all of it. A great night......

But now it's that time again!!! Bugged Out is on tonight at the End in London, and I'm playing the 1-3am set before Felix Da Housecat , whoop whoop! It's been at least a year since I've had this earlier-peak-time-ish set (normally I do the weird and wonderful graveyard, 4:30-7am), so I'm super excited and getting my tracks together for tonight......I've literally just finished my Man Like Me remix, and just done some DIY mastering so I can debut it tonight. It's turned out to be quite a peak-timer I must say, and quite a tricky one at that, so Bugged Out in the End's main room is surely the best possible place to test drive it?.....I'm also gonna drop Alter Ego's new completely bonkers discothequed-up version of Tiga's classic "Sunglasses at Night". I know what you're thinking, I too was a bit scared when I initially heard it was getting remixed, but trust me this will blow your camp-as-you-know-you-wanna-be mind. It is seriously fresh...........

Bugged Out is always a place where I really can play what I want to play, that being the most forward thinking, entertaining electronic club music. It's totally about music, listening to it, buzzing about it, but it's also just fun and and about letting go....serious, but without being up your arse about it.....It's really another great-line up tonight too. Hope to see you there!

11 Jul 2008

Back 2 Jack

I'm back.....

After a little break in Ibiza to celebrate a friends birthday, which I almost blogged about but had to quickly whisk off to Paris to visit some family over from Canada on a whirlwind high speed Eurostar trip. Then dash straight over to Zurich and Madrid for a weekend of gigs, and wizz down to my debut in Bath not before a gig at Magic Circle in London. I've been in 6 cities over the last couple of weeks and although it's exciting, inevitably, it's exhausting too.

So I'm back......

Back with a bloody Summer cold. As well as the travel-fatigue, it's probably all the winter-like weather we're currently experiencing here in this part of the UK. But it's nice to be at home again to re-group, even if I'm somewhat debilitated with a bug.

Back, back.....

In London, in Dalston, at home! I'm currently in my studio finishing off a remix for Man Like Me, which I'm very very excited about. It was a totally unplanned spontaneous commission. I literally received his new single 'Carny' via MP3 as a promo and emailed back immediately to ask to do a remix. I love the track. When I saw them live a few times last Summer it was always the standout for me. But it's not in any shape or form that I could ever really work into a club set, so.......It's been an absolute pleasure to remix, I guess it always is when you really love the tracks you're working with...and that's how I'd always like it to be.... only work with the stuff I really love.....If we're lucky I'll get to post my remix up here when it's ready next week! I've also got another of my own original tracks in the works, it's just about finished as well, but got put on hold temporarily while I did the remix. So my new one will be ready for promo at the end of the month, I may post it up here too if I'm feelin generous ( and i usually am ; )

Back again.....

And got my html book out, and got I my blog title fixed up and looking sharp. Do you like it? If you look at it long enough you'll start breathing in time time with it, and it will hypnotize you, whhhah...I'm also re-directing all my traffic from jojodefreq.com over to here, and to my Myspace. My website was once the hub of my attention, but since these other web mediums have developed, it's been a bit neglected. I've had it for over three and it seems like eons! It's time for a re-fit, a renewal, so in the meantime I'll be sending people here.....which means a lot more action on this site.

Also got a new Beatport chart up: JoJo's Acid Carnival

And here is vid from Man Like Me, it's from his "Oh My Gosh" released last Summer, but it's a good taste of his sound and style and what's to come from their new single.....I think it's the bee knees ; )...I love all the home made pyschotropic graphics...and I'm really feelin the lyrics:

29 May 2008

Oh! You Pretty Things



"Hear the music

Say the word

See the light

Join the herd

Love it comes

Love it goes

Diamond memories

Go with the flow"


(Felix Da Housecat - Intro From "Silver Screen" -2002)


Perhaps felix was rhyming about the fantasy, glamor, and exhilaration one can only experience in a club full of sweaty strangers that is so poetic. It's a universal phenomena. And in this case, it was prophetic...parties weren't meant to last......

The last Nag far surpassed even the best scenario I had imaged. The queue curled long around the smelly alleyway just like old times, and every time I turned around there was an old regular. And trust me, after playing every week for 6 years there were many many cycles of 'regulars', of every possible sort, and everyone made an effort, carrying on the Nag aesthetic, i.e. got out their eyeliner, sticky tape, mirror ball masks etc......it really was a fabulous looking crowd (cheers to Chris from We Know What You Did Last Night for the fantastic pics). Boy George performed just before me and truly bedazzled everyone, he was really was on form I must say.... maybe he was inspired by the sentiment of the night? The only minor annoyance was Pete Burns', uninvited, performance. After playing my first three tracks to an ecstatic audience, I looked up to find him on stage with a mic waiting to perform over a CD he had the sound engineer put on, on a separate CD player out of my view in the DJ booth. Then he had the gaul to make a catty remark about me. You can imagine my offense since it was my last performance of a night I'd just dedicated 6 years of my life to! But I think anyone who was there can agree, he didn't have the music or voice to back up his big attitude. His performance was really more of inappropriate interruption than anything, and luckily the crowd were rightly in my favor and gave him big ol' boooo! Thanks ;)

Here is my playlist from the night. I spent about three days sifting through all my old vinyl, re-discovering so many memories in that black plastic. For my last Nag set, I didn't want to play anything that came out past about 2003. It was all about the electro-clash-back. And it was interesting playing vinyl for the first time in about a year. I think it is more emotional, less analytical......Although, that could have easily just been the circumstances of it being a completely indulgent nostalgia trip.....but even so, vinyl has more physical presence because it's analogue, making you sense it rather than think about it. But hey, there is nothing wrong with thinking a bit about music a as long as it doesn't replace the feeling part. In fact it's best to feel it and think it. It was interesting to play that format again. I'm happy that I could still rock it out with vinyl...but god, it was too bloody heavy...and dusty!.....anyway, let's save the CD/Vinyl debate for another blog. Here is the playlist:

JoJo De Freq's best of Nag Nag Nag (the early years) set:

★Felix Da Housecat - Silver Screen - Jaques Lu Cont Remix (City Rockers)
- This is possibly the ultimate anthem of the time. An absolute, hands down classic.
★Kiko - Monique - David Caretta Remix (Goodlife) - French muscle!
★Steril- Grey (Gigolo) - Stompling/marching German-style techno stiff-riff with an ironically sweet an seductive Japanese female vocal. An underground Gigolo clash-sic.
★Legowelt - Disco Route (Ghostly Internatonal) - Legowelt is a truly brilliant artist. Were is he now, I wonder? I might do a retrospective on him at this blog later.....
★Kiki - Gas 126 (Bpitch) - Samples "Heat Of Glass" by Blondie to an ecstatic effect.
★Vitalic - Poney Part 1 (Gigolo) -OMG is this not the most beautifully powerful dark techno record in the word?! He wrote this with sympathy for the pony's forced to slave on circus fairground rides, apparently. I played this non-stop for a year in 2002, and had another un-played copy hanging on my wall in plastic. No joke.
★ Miss Kittin & The Hacker - Stock Exchange (Gigolo) - Possibly my favorite track from as a synth-pop duo. Uplifting, melancholic and poetic. I wish I could of played many more, but time was limited.
★ TGV - Fools Gold (Turbo)- This was a staple in my bags for years high NRG melody...OMFG how I love it.
★ Ellen Allien - Salzsee (Bpitch) - This is very early Ellen. 2001 I believe? It sounds like a cosmic harpsichord from the future. One of my faves from her.
★ Kiki - Wasp (Bpitch)- OMG this is the most underrated electro-tech anthem. I played it a Glasto 2004 and people are still talking about it.
★ Monologic (TBL)- This is a strange Detroit Ghetto-tech-electro hybrid. Got it on import, never heard anyone else ever play it, but it didn't leave my box for years. Bounce dat.
★ Christopher Just - House (Cheap) - Can you believe this came out in '99!? It's so a head of it's time, it's frightening. It was the photo-type for new acid house. In fact I've not heard anything in it's style better since. Gwan Christopher.
★ Ascii Disc - Einfach (L'arge D'or) - This was simply my favorite NRG acid disco record for years. Brilliant.
★ Kiki - Luv Sikk (Bpitch) - Yes, I know another Kiki track, but to be fair his early stuff still sounds so good. Classic.
★ Creme De Menthe - Plastique (Disco B) - Apparently this guy was from the north of the UK. This is surely the coolest, sexiest, quirkiest pop of the time. I love it.
★ Dot Allison - Substance - Felix Da Housecat Remix (Mantra) - Still sounds sultry and anthemic as hell. Another classic. Seek this one out.

So it's time now to let go of Nag Nag Nag. A lot changes in 6 years. I've moved on. And I'm sure so have you. This is a good thing. I think this will be the last time I speak of it.

xxJ

26 May 2008

Bom Bom Brazil!




I recently played in Sao Paulo, my first time in Brazil, and it was de Bom! (good in portuguese). The climate was colder than London, since it was the first week we really felt Summer here at the beginning of May, but the first signs of Winter in Brazil. So like a silly tourist I didn't bring enough warm clothes thinking I was going to the tropics (a good excuse to retreat to the hotel sauna most days, I LOVE saunas). But the Sao Paulo that I experienced was not really that classic cliche of thong bikini's and fruity Carmen Mirandas, but a sprawling cosmopolitan metropolis of over 11 million people. Hence, a fantastic fashion-music-art-nightlife scene. The club I played was Clube Gloria. All of it's interior walls were covered ceiling high mirrors which cast a dream-like sense of space and light. The crowd was mixed-up, fixed-up, and looking sharp, but in a not-trying-hard-way (which is the best way innit!?). My lovely hosts were resident DJ/promoter, the truly brilliant, Barbie Da Silva who warmed us up with some welcoming eclectic electro, staying true to the best warm-up form, and the fabulous Fernando from Smartbiz DJ agency in Brazil. Although I was in a jello-y jet-lagged state for most of it, I had a truly, truly, truly outrageous trip. I'm going back to Brazil!

xxJ

A link to a live an exclusive DJ mix and interview on the Smartbiz Radio show in Sao Paulo (in English).


A link to an interview I did for Rraul a Brazilian music webzine (in Portuguese).

20 May 2008

THE LAST EVER NAG NAG NAG (My Story)



......yes, the rumors you've heard/seen are true. We will celebrate over 6 years of wild Wednesdays, and the end of a trailblazing-rule-wrecking-forward-fighting-legacy on May the 28th. I hope you can join us!

.....but the point of this blog is not to add to the press announcements, but to tell you a bit of my personal story (sigh, watery eyes).........

After making the life changing move to London from Vancouver to kick off the new century in Jan 2001, it was almost exactly a year later when I met Jonny Slut via Fil OK on NYE '02. Our decision to start up a night together was pretty much instantaneous. I was 21, and had already spent the whole year trying to hook up with like minded promoters/DJ's/artists. Finding the club scene increasingly soulless and stale, and the prospect of even getting a booking as DJ, let alone carving a career as one, next to impossible. The state of dance music was at the highest point of commercially since it revolutionized music in the UK, and everyone and their Gran wanted a piece of it. It was about big money, chart places, unattainable superstardom and, as it seemed to me at least, no new kids allowed! There was also a distinct air of old boys club domination, and the lofty and impersonal fashion of facelessness was king. The effects of this status quo was a rejection of any sense of, what I will generalize and call, "feminine" aspects in music. i.e. vocals, melody, emotionality, and the most basic expressions of dance music sexuality. Just a few things not uncommon in the gay scene either. But I'm not a sociologist so I don't want to go any further into drawing abstractions. What I want to do is convey to you the picture I had of the dance scene at the time, it's the mood, and ultimately what motivated me to want to start my own club with a uniqueness, even a rebellion to what I experienced, and I guess why in a matter of months, Nag Nag Nag escalated into such an explosive fervour.

By Spring 2002, Nag had moved from it's original incarnation at a disgusting, black-walled-sewer-flooded-rotted-smelly-basement of a Leicester Square pub, to the newly refurbished "The Ghetto" that had just been bought by the hugely supportive, nightlife visionary, Simon Holbart (RIP). The Ghetto excited me, it had the vibe I liked. It was down a Soho back alley, it's exterior wall was covered by a giant ghetto-fabulous graffiti sign, and inside you went underground to find red walls, white leatherette side-seats, it was intimate and sleazy, and to me it wreaked of Soho punks from days gone by. It was really quiet in our first few months, but I had fun dressing up in my outrageously loud home-made DIY charity shop outfits, incessantly dancing around to my own DJ sets, and generally just being free. The music I played was eclectic, a mix of synthetic quirky house like Music For Freaks, Detroit ghetto-tech, Dutch "Clone" electro, Italo disco, and the energetic anthemic techno-pop coming from Europe, still very underground at the time, from the likes of Gigolo records and B-pitch Control. Each week, I dreamt about it being great, but in reality it wasn't. I used to joke about there one day being a queue outside, (like "as if!?") But I never expected or planned the attention that was just around the corner.

By Summer 2002 it blew-up. It suddenly filled up with the most inspired, inspirational, crazy and wayward crowd. We attracted a large percentage of art-students, fashion-outsiders, gender-benders, and outcast like-minded straight clubbers just sick of the boring sterilised beat supplied to them by the 'super' clubs. It was hedonistic, self-expressive, and for me, a dream come true. I acquired my first agent and pretty much right away started to play out at other clubs in the UK and Europe.

By 2003, it went overground, ridiculously so. Mixmag did a story and interview with us and the heading was "The Secret's Out!". It was like one minute we were freaks and the next we were fashionable. Everyone wanted in, massive queues stretching to the end of the alleyway, people milling around outside up to an hour before we opened, page long guest-lists faxed in from uninvited big-time fashion houses. Certain dance press demanding queue-jumps at the door, even though they were originally un-supportive of our outsider ideology. Certain unnamed superstar "purist" techno traditionalists dancing to my sets?! More unnamed "intelligent" electronica genius-wizards asking to play with us for free?!!! Nag in the News Of The World!??? British Vogue wants an interview???! Christina Agulara and Justin Timberlake turned away because their entourage was too big??!! Cilla Black??? WTF? For me it was like a giddy, dizzying mix of panic, excitement and chaos. But also suspicion and annoyance as I tried to avoid the flash of cameras in my face. To my irritated discomfort, due to my paradoxical shyness, suddenly everyone wanted to pose with me like I was some kind of freak fairground attraction. I was, and am still, not really a showy person in the sense that I was more about feeling the music and experiencing the individualist freedom that Nag offered in it's womb-like fantasy world, than about having my chubby face in every magazine. I like to give of myself, but at a certain point it felt like my image was no longer my own. The photographic fashion frenzy was only fun when it was on my own terms. I became frustrated that our unexpected success in media-hype terms was misunderstood by many to be something far less innocent that I ever intended.

2004, for me was the darkside. After a few years of hedonistic mayhem, I started to play harder, and I sort of discovered "Techno" in the traditional sense, how it was more linear repetitive beats meant for mix manipulation by the DJ, and to me it was as avant-guarde and energetic as anything I played before, but much colder and meaner. Basically I wanted all the faux believers out. And after a year or so of pummeling, I pretty much got my way. For me it was a period of isolation and paranoia. Not fun really. But I learned that I could communicate what I was feeling and thinking through my DJing, that I could be technical, and that post-electroclash, I could still energize the pants off people.

2005, enter bleepy techno, acid house's second coming and electro house. Also believe it or not, minimal, before it resulted in the mass rigamortis that it is today, it was futurist, synthetic, tribalist, quirky and fun, which I like. All these new sounds re-inspired me, and I started to lighten up a bit. The club was still packed to the brim, but much more cosmopolitan now, with a large percentage of Spanish, Italians, Brazilians and other Europeans. I was playing almost every weekend abroad due to the international status that Nag received. So I was playing sometimes three to four times a week and traveling to some crazy places, like Tokyo, Kazakstan, Israel, Mexico City. It was a mix of exhaustion and elation all the time.

(Thanks to anyone who is still with me, I wasn't expecting to write this much either, so I'll start to wrap it up........)

For the next few years Nag exceeded way beyond what I imagined and was packed full every week with very little promotion up until 2007. This last year has been slightly quieter but has still had some amazing highlights like Bonde Do Role live (who absolutely destroyed the place) Black Lips, and Patrick Wolf. I must admit I had begun to focus a lot of my energy on production. Setting up my label and teaching myself the science of creating music and having the time for the art of creating it, all by my own do-it-yourself will, has been all consuming and inspiring.

Saying goodbye to Nag is like saying goodbye to a little bit of JoJo De Freq, the name I christened myself to be it's resident DJ. And, as I hope you can understand by my former story, it has been a major part of my life for more than 6 years.......so...

I want to thank everyone who ever came to Nag, whether I ignored you (sorry!) or rocked you, it was the crowd that made that place what it was, that fed my energy every week and that made it special, and that conjured up the magical symbiosis between me and you. Thank you for helping to fulfill my vision of freedom, forwardness and fantasy. I hope to be seeing you all soon at my next club....more TBA!!!

xxJ