After ‘Blue Treacle’ was put on our radar in #SpindleSelects, we premiere an Ibiza-ready club mix and chat with the young prodigy.
Bristol based JAQ caught our attention when a spine-tingling groove-machine of a house track flew into our inbox – a track that turned out to be JAQ’s debut. ‘Blue Treacle’ is a staggering debut at that; cemented in a deep house groove it oscillates between synth stabs, layers of body-moving percussion and distorted vocals. It’s a track that would be impressive from a veteran of the scene, let alone a 23-year-old newcomer.
Now the track has been taken up a notch ready for the climax of Ibiza’s summer season, courtesy of Leeds legend Jey Kurmis. Kurmis reshuffles the track with a building heavy bass beat and some wonky, mind bending twists. All you need to set the scene is a hand in the air and a drink in the other.
With little known about JAQ, Spindle decided to have a chat with the enigma to talk ‘Blue Treacle’, Fabric and the night time industries in crisis…
Tell us more about your new track Blue Treacle…
Prior to Blue Treacle, I’d been experimenting with different types of music, ambient, experimental, dub, house… however, I wanted to make a classic sounding house anthem kind of tune, with emphasis on keeping it simple, powerful and catchy. I also wanted to write something uplifting, as a lot of my stuff is emotional and quite dark.
Tell us how you got into music?
I’ve always loved music and started quite young with regular trips to Download and Sonisphere to see bands like Metallica, Chase & Status and The Prodigy, but my music interest ranged from that stuff to Shaggy, Cher, Hans Zimmer and electronic music! I studied a Music Production degree (where I somehow achieved a first) at ACM in Guildford and moved to Bristol when I graduated, as there’s a thriving music scene here. I love the Bristol scene, as there are always huge line ups on events of all sizes, from dance music through to my other favourite, reggae, and everything in-between.
What are your thoughts on the current UK live music scene?
The UK at the moment has such a massive live music scene – it’s thriving. Its so refreshing to see how popular grime music has become in the past year, as it is exposing a genre that has always been underground to the masses. TQD are also smashing it this year, they are making bassline music become more and more popular due to the high standard of their sets, which is really exciting to see. However, the closure of so many high-profile clubs needs to stop.
How do you feel about the potential Fabric closure?
It will be extremely disappointing if Fabric closes. It is, in my opinion, one of the best clubs in the UK, it has held so many amazing and unforgettable nights for me. I have signed the petition, and urge others to do the same.
What do you think the future holds for the night time industries?
I definitely think the industry is going to grow and grow. The current music scene in the UK is so exciting at the minute, things are looking super positive! However, like I said before, the closure of clubs needs to stop – if anything, we need more.
What’s your favourite club, and why?
My favourite club would have been Cable, in London – but that got closed down too. Now it just varies. There’s no one particular club I enjoy going to more than any other. Living in Bristol, I would say that Motion and Thekla, as well as the classic Lakota nights.
Which city (globally) do you think best supports the night time industries?
Europe in general, particularly Berlin, has an amazing support for the industry. Music festivals such as Tomorrowland and Outlook, and the night life in Ibiza, are all extremely popular and massively support the night time industry.
GCSE results are out today, what advice would you give to those deciding what to do with their next stage of their life?
Don’t worry about what grades you get, there are countless examples of successful people who got poor grades at GCSE/A Level and are absolutely smashing it right now. Life is not about how many numbers go into the square root of X, or how accurately you can recite the periodic table.
At 23, you’re still so young, how do you think technology is going to help your job progress?
Well, hopefully by the time I’m 30 I can just think of a tune, and technology will produce it for me! I actually had a vision of something whereby there were wires connected to your brain somehow, and anything you thought of, was recorded. So, you could write a song in your head, think the song, and it would be there in front of you to work on and refine. DJing will certainly change with the evolution of technology, I think many interesting avenues for live performance will also be explored by artists.
Do you think one day there’ll be robots DJing, and less humans?
I hope not. That would be awful!