The guys down at AusDJForums.com were nice enough to have me down for an interview. The questions they threw at me were really awesome and touched on everything from my roots in music, to where I think the future of DJing lays. Was great to be able to voice my opinions on some of the topics we covered. Would love to hear your thoughts on it all! (if you can be bothered reading through it all).
Anyway, have a read below:
So Jordan, you say that you’ve been around music from a very early age. What led you to the electronic dance music scene over other styles of music?
My journey into electronic music started in my early primary school days when I was first introduced to Michael Jackson. I suppose you could say that my initial love for EDM came from music like his. I was really attracted to the electronic elements throughout his music – his Dangerous album was the first CD I ever owned and it got huge airtime. During my teenage years I was all about heavy metal, alternative, rap and hip-hop. It wasn’t until around the age of 14 when I was introduced to under-age dance parties that my love for dance music begun to spark. Initially I went chasing girls, but slowly I begun to find an appreciation in the music. At first it was cheesy commercial dance music – stuff you can find on any early Nick Skitz or WILD FM albums. However, after a while that type of music started to sound bland, so I branched out on a limb in an attempt to satisfy my hunger and purchased Gatecrasher’s Black album. That was the first continuously mixed album i’d ever heard – if I could pinpoint a crucial turning point, that’d be it. I couldn’t understand how someone could intertwine all of those different tracks into one cohesive musical journey.
From there on in it was a logical progression. An unhealthy obsession in all things trance progressed into an undying love for breaks and prog, which slowly spawned into encompassing every other electronic genre under the sun.
You’ve now been on the scene for nearly 5 years now, how did it all come about for you for that first gig?
It happened by accident! I was randomly offered a set at friends birthday party. He’d hired out a side-room at a hard trance club and asked if id be interested in doing a DJ set after one of the booked DJs cancelled on him. I didn’t own my own gear and had no experience behind the decks, but decided to give it a shot regardless. The only 12″‘s I owned at the time were Hybrid tracks and Zorba’s dance (which id picked up from an op-shop), so I was kind of limited with what I could play. The mixing was dreadful and I was extremely nervous, but as bad as it was, the crowd seemed to enjoy it. I can still vividly remember being behind the decks and seeing everyone dancing along to the beats – was one of the best feelings in the world. From that point on I was hooked!
Since that first gig you’ve come along way, for example, playing as a headlining act on the renegade stage at Earthcore which had been running since the first event in 93′, how did this go for you playing at such a big event?
It was easily one of the most memorable sets I’ve ever played! Being a renegade stage, it was small and quite far away from the larger arenas, so I was given an open reign to what I could play – which was quite a welcomed change with coming from playing at commercial house clubs and 21sts. I belted out a set full of tracks that I held a close affinity to and got a huge buzz out of it.
Alot of the scene and up and coming DJ’s are taking to the digital age and using cdj’s and more ‘advanced’ technology; spinning vinyl is starting to become a rare sight in the clubs. Do you think it will make a big comeback?
Being a vinyl purist, I’d like to say it will. It still holds a small place in club land, I mean, there’s still the vinyl purists out there pushing the art form, but nowadays it’s getting rarer to see a DJ spinning a set entirely on vinyl. Current technology takes away the hassle of having to lug around 20kgs of Vinyl to a gig, and no longer are DJs limited to only playing from their vinyl collection. One of the main draw-cards that digital DJing offers is the ease at which you can source new music – you just jump online and hit download. Gone are the days when a DJ had to spend hours digging through crates of Vinyl to source out good music. That’s probably one of the things that saddens me the most – that “vinyl culture” is all but gone now. You can’t head down to your local vinyl outlet and spend a day talking tunes with other like-minded music heads. There’s no close knit community behind sourcing music anymore.
I could go on forever about this topic as there’s pro’s and cons to both sides of the argument – but let me say this: One of the things that I feel a DJ should possess is the ability to adapt to his environment – in my eyes a DJ should be able to rock a crowd with whatever equipment he’s faced with, and restricting yourself to just the one approach of DJing means your limiting yourself.
Is there any club/event in particular that you like playing the most?
I love playing at Loop bar in Melbourne. They’ve got a great setup going on down there with massive projectors set up for visuals. The venue itself is really cosy and intimate which is great for the colder months.
Also, enjoyed playing at the Terminus hotel rooftop earlier this year. It’s a fantastic outdoor space that encourages people to get jiggy!
As far as events go im quite biased and would have to say that I really enjoy playing at our Substance events. Full of friendly faces, great music and people up for a good time.
You’ve also been co-running the event ‘Substance Sounds’ for around 2 years; tell us a little bit about that and what is it that you think sets it apart from the rest?
Substance Sounds is a production company my good friend Taran M and I have been running for the past 2 years. Initially it was started up as a way to avoid all the bullshit that comes with playing at and going to club events. Our aim was to provide hassle free, low cost events dedicated to playing quality electronic music and giving up and coming DJs a fair go. As our music tastes are so varied we didn’t want to be pigeonholed into one particular sound or genre so we decided to concentrate on all types of EDM. We don’t run by a strict music policy but instead encourage our DJs to play the music they feel the most passionate about. At any event you can expect to hear everything from house to DnB and everything else in-between. If anything, the musical variety that we offer is easily what set’s us apart from the rest!
Now if someone digs your music, where is he/she most likely to catch you playing?
Any Substance event and I’m sometimes lucky enough to score a gig at Little P on Fridays in Melbourne. You can also occasionally catch me on the Gold Coast playing for the Involved krew.
Hit http://jslyde.com for all my upcoming gigs and http://substancesounds.net for any Substance news.
What lies in the future for J-Slyde?
Planning on getting more into the production side of things. I’ve dabbled a little in the past with mash-ups and the like, but im really keen on working on some original material. I’ve got a lot of ideas in my head that I want to put to use! I also hope to keep things going strong with the Substance parties and am quite keen on concentrating on my music blog (http://jslyde.wordpress.com).
The rest of the Substance krew – Taran, Sam, Simon and Rich and every other guest we’ve had play and/or help at our events over the years! And can’t forget my beautiful girl, Holly.