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Cameron Jack

Interview & guest mix: Cameron Jack. Brooding beats.

Up next in our guest mix series is the talented London based breakthrough artists Cameron Jack. He brings us a mix with deep Balearic-influenced sounds. Think Ellum, think Diynamic and you will get a good feeling about how he sets the mood on this one hour long mix. Brimming with thumping beats and a deep brooding bass topped with a haunting atmosphere.

With regular passages at Egg London and a massive highlight playing at the Exit Festival in Serbia in 2016, we are more than delighted with this massive mix. So turn up that volume and feel that bass pounding in your chest.

On top of the mix, we had a very nice talk with this young talent. We wanted to know ho whard it is nowadays to gain akwnowledgement in the music industry. Wetter a good network really is important or if you can make it on your own.

Cameron Jack - djJack

Hello Cameron, thank you for your time. How are things these days in London?
They’re good thank you. Back to work now after a bit of time off at the end of the year.

It’s almost the end of January already. But still, how did you celebrate NYE? Did you have a good time?
I went to an event in East London at one of my favourite London venues right on the river. Bicep, Midland and Nick Hoppner were all playing. There were about 12 of us who went, it was a really good night.

Tell our readers a bit about yourself. A few words about your music maybe.
My music style is quite deep Balearic techno. Some labels that have really influenced my sound are Ellum, Diynamic and Life and Death

Is this what we can hear in the guest mix you made for us? Tell us something about the tracks you used in the mix.
Yeah exactly, the mix I’ve done represents this style. It doesn’t rush and progresses slowly from start to finish. All the tracks are in there as I feel they add something unique to the mix, there aren’t any fillers.

While readers are listening to the mix we can move on to the next questions. What were your most memorable moments of 2016?
Career wise the most memorable moment was probably playing at Exit Festival in Serbia. I’d never been before and was really impressed with the whole festival. It was a really European crowd with very few English people there, and they really loved their music which was great.

On a personal level, it was when I went out to Ibiza for the final ever Space Closing party. It’s my favourite club in the world and was it was really sad to see it go. But the closing party was amazing.

What news do you have in the works for 2017?
I’ve got a few productions that I’m working on at the moment that I’m hoping to finish and put out in the first half of 2017.

Tell us the story of how you were introduced to house music. Was there a specific moment you realized that you wanted to be a DJ?
I can’t say for sure when I first heard house music. With the DJing thing, my flatmate at Uni bought these old decks from a second-hand shop and from then on me and him were hooked. We spent hours and hours playing around with them, burning CD’s and trying them out. We didn’t really know what we were doing but managed to get the hang of it after a while. I went to Ibiza with that same flatmate in second summer of University to try and DJ out there just to earn some money and have a fun summer in the sun. But whilst out there, watching the best DJ’s in the world at the best clubs in the world night after night, that’s when I decided it’s what I wanted to do.

What do you find most challenging about the music business nowadays?
I think the hardest thing about the music industry as a DJ certainly is getting gigs. The industry can be very cliquey, and I’ve found a lot of the time it’s about who you know, rather than what you know or how good you are. Making that initial break into the ‘inner circle’ is really difficult.

How hard is it for an emerging DJ nowadays to breakthrough? Keep pushing boundaries and having a good network is essential?
Yeah, exactly, constantly putting yourself out there and approaching venues and promoters is difficult but essential. You get a lot of knock backs and most of the time you won’t even get a response. But building up a network is so important.

Let’s talk a bit about you as a DJ. Name one track in your crate that gets the dance floor moving every time.
Jam by Taho & Jules Wells – I’ve been finishing my sets with this recently. After an hour or two of deep and dark rolling techno, this is the perfect end. It’s so uplifting and infectious.

Thanks to developments in the realm of software, DJing, playing live and producing have moved closer together than ever before, allowing DJs to change a track down the tiniest detail. How do you make use of these possibilities in your sets and is there a benefit?
I don’t play live, but I often make small edits and adjustments to track’s in Ableton. Even if it’s something as small as cutting an unnecessary breakdown, or looping a part I like. It’s nice because it means you’re giving the crowd something totally unique and not just the same track they’ve heard elsewhere.

Do you feel a crowd is actually able to appreciate the intricacies of complex DJing, if they don’t actually know what, precisely, is happening behind the decks?
I don’t know if they understand or not. I’m not sure they’re that bothered most of the time about what’s going on behind the booth, so long as what’s coming out the speaker sounds good.

What makes you decide to play a particular record during one of your sets? Is there a criteria other than pure subjectivity, for selecting what to play at a gig?
I always try and think about the gig I’m playing beforehand and think about what the crowd will be like there, what the vibe of the night will be and what the other artists are like on the bill. As a smaller emerging artist, I think it’s important not to be pig headed and go in there with no flexibility with what you’re going to play. A lot of the times I see DJ’s in similar positions to me, going in with a set full of absolute burners and it’s only half 12. I think one of the most important things to learn is how to be a warm up DJ. When DJ’s are at home and digging for new music, they more often than not, are thinking about what would sound good at peak time, with a packed out room full of people. It’s important to have music that works earlier on and warms the crowd up for the main headliner.

A strong set can truly be more than the sum of its parts. How, do you feel, is the music transformed in the hands of a DJ? In which way are you actively trying to create an experience that is more than just stringing together a few excellent records?
I completely agree, the art of DJing is about mixing records in a certain way and at a certain time so that you bring something completely new to the table. You have to give something to the listeners, that they couldn’t have got on their own.

Only recently Bontan’s track ran out and had an awkward moment. What’s the most funny, annoying or awkward thing that ever happened to you while playing?

I was once playing in a club and the guy on after me was trying to plug in his Soundcard and was messing about behind the mixer and unplugged the CDJ. There was a deathly silence in which you could have heard a pin drop, until everyone started booing …

No boo for this nice talk. Thank you very much!!

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