Jay West’s mix for our New Mix Monday series a couple of weeks ago elicited a deluge of feedback – uniformly positive, but some expressing surprise at the deep direction for a producer widely known in the United States for a more jackin’ sound.
As it turns out, after a brief hiatus from the breakneck speed he was churning out music in the past, Jay has several new releases forthcoming on Amenti and the appropriately titled The Restart EP in promo release now from Miguel Migs’ Salted Music.
Hey Jay, it’s good to talk with ya again. I wanted to do this interview after your mix. I think, at least for folks stateside, you have a lot of people who associate you strictly with Jackin’ House. I got a lot of feedback about it (and I said this to you too) saying, “Wow, that’s seriously deep…”
Well, I can’t control how people decide to label me; my productions range everything from deep to funky and tech… When I started in this game, the US labels (a lot of them jackin’) were predominant and I got involved with some of them so I guess that kinda led people into assuming that way. I never considered myself to be a Jackin’ House DJ though: I’ve always been somewhere between deep & funky with a lot of Disco in it.
The dancefloors in my country are bigger, the parties are different so it’s normal that my DJing won’t fall into a strict definition. We tend to have a wider selection since there’s not really a one-styled crowd to play to…
I’m glad House Music is becoming more of what it used to be, with most DJs mixing it up and blending all types of vibes into their mixes… Definitely deep was and will always be present in my sets.
So you have a new release – actually, it’s in promo now on Traxsource – on Salted. Miguel is really scooping up a bunch of the emerging talent in the scene – how’d you hook up with him? Is there a meaning behind the name “The Restart”?
I took a creative hiatus for the last couple years due to touring, so my output hasnt been as prolific as it used to be. I decided to go back to the studio and try to find my modjo again, found myself finishing a lot of new tracks and working in a different manner. Hence the “restart” name.
It feels like starting fresh again… I decided to send some tracks to Miguel and he supported. I actually have another big follow up EP on the works for Salted… I have a lot of friends on the label’s roster so its great to be there with them as well…
Interesting, the track “Ear of the Tiger” is straight-on Nu Disco/Italo/whatchever you want to call it. I’ve reviewed a lot of your stuff but never heard that from you before. Was this a one shot deal or a new sound you’re tinkering around with?
Yeah, both “Higher” and “Ear of The Tiger” have a slow-mo feel – I still consider most of that music House, just meant to be played slow and with more Disco and dubbed elements. I try every track I make to sound different so that sometimes takes me in new directions, though I try to maintain the House feel and the danceability to all of them!
This is gonna be a cliché, because I know Argentina’s a huge place, but on the Nu Disco tip: I did an interview with Toomy Disco not long ago – are you familiar with him and his work?
For sure! I actually released his first EP on my label under a different moniker! He is one of the young up-and-coming fresh talents of many flourishing in the country. We’ve always had tons of minimal and progressive producers but the indie genre started getting popular so a lot of Deep House, Nu Disco and Deep Techno of quality will be heard from Argentina in the next couple of years!
“Get Started” is a seriously nice track. Have you ever made something that mellow before? I mean, like I said, I know a lot of your stuff but this really sounds like a whole new direction for you. Am I totally off-base?
Well, I had a lot of driving mood recordings like that (usually on B sides!). It’s actually not that mellow if played loud on a dancefloor but has a chord progression that makes it very deep at the same time… I never realise if I am going a new direction, I like all House Music so I try to keep it fun and variated… If every track I make drives someone into thinking, “Hey this doesnt sound like Jay West!” then I’ll be very happy about it!
You mentioned Olivier Desmet is putting out another track of yours on Amenti but I haven’t had a chance to hear it yet. He’s another guy that’s just bagging tons of great music and churning out great tracks lately.
Yeah, I have an EP coming out very soon on Amenti, I always wanted to work with Olivier… The main track is “For So Long”, which has been getting some serious support and is one of my favourite tracks to play out. The second track is also on the driving deep tip, but they are both pretty intense dancefloor stuff… I’m looking forward to this release, hope it’s well-received!!
I notice that Christian, your partner from The Candy Dealers, is raising his profile lately with some really nice releases as well. Are you two still working together?
We are actually about to launch our Live PA as The Candy Dealers, so we are definitely spending a lot of time together. We’re going to introduce the show in some venues in South America and try to tour it afterwards. Also, we got a new EP coming out on Native Soul Recordings next month with a vocal track featuring gorgeous Nika Brooke. We are very excited about these projects… I’m always thrilled to work and learn next to Christian; he’s truly a musical prodigy when it comes to making music…
When we last talked you were heading out to Creamfields and a pretty substantial summer of touring. I know the drag from the economy is seriously impacting a lot of shows here in Chicago and in the US in general. Are you still hitting the road?
Yeah, indeed – I skipped the touring in this first part of 2011 and have been focusing in the studio bumping new tracks and remixes, also playing a lot in my city and around the country.
I will, however do some touring during the summer months in Europe, North America (I hope Chicago is in line, I miss my friends over there!) and probably Australia and, for sure, you can catch me live in Creamfields Buenos Aires like every year!!