CoolJunkie recently caught up with DJ-producer Jaytech and chatted about his classically trained style, his thought process for his latest album and what his favorite markets are to play in the U.S.
CoolJunkie: You are a classically trained pianist. Do your experiences with keys translate into your work today?
Jaytech: Yeah, I would say the classical training I had all through school is the basis of my music style nowadays. My classical upbringing taught me all about how chords work and how to write melodies. That’s a pretty pivotal point in my music today, so it definitely helped.
CoolJunkie: Congratulations on your recent Anjunadeep 03, release. What were your thoughts going into the mixing lab for this effort?
Jaytech: Thank you. The mixing side of things is one of the easiest things to do because most of the work is the A&R side of things, basically collecting the 29 tracks and editing them all and A&Ring them, which is basically getting in touch with all the producers and suggesting changes and ways that we can make the tracks better and stuff like that, and getting it all together. So once everything is actually in place, it’s pretty easy to do the actual mix. For me, that’s kind of the very, very last stages of the overall work.
CoolJunkie: What did you imagine for this album when you started?
Jaytech: We had such a good response to the 02 CD, so obviously this time around there was pressure to recreate that success. None of us were expecting the kind of response that we got for number 2, so the main thing we wanted with the new compilation was a bit more contrast between the two CDs. So we decided James Grant’s CD would be more of a deep house kind of style and mine would be more on the uplifting, progressive side. So basically, we went to all the artists that we had on the label in the past and had on the previous compilation, and put the word out very early to them to turn in some new stuff. The most important thing after that was to try to track down some new talent for the CD as well, so that was probably the most difficult thing right at the start, tracking down people who we had been keeping on eye on for a while, but hadn’t actually signed anything from yet. We came across a few really, really cool artists, such as Kobana from Europe, Eelke Kleijn, and a few other people who we’ve been listening to for a while.
CoolJunkie: How would you describe your sound to someone that's not familiar with electronic music?
Jaytech: The best way that we usually put it is: intelligent and uplifting house music. It’s built on the roots of house music, but it’s melodically a bit more interesting and complex. It still retains the dancefloor sensibility so that you can play it in clubs and at festivals.
CoolJunkie: Who are some producers that you currently admire?
Jaytech: I really like Soundprank from Canada. He’s a guy who sort of is blowing up in the progressive house scene at the moment because of his signature sound. It’s got very, very fat house grooves and he’s great with his atmospheres and stuff like that. I’m really liking Roddy Reynaert from France. He’s been turning in tracks to the Anjunadeep label for a couple of years now, but he’s got a brand new one on the Anjunadeep 03 CD called 'Brotherhood,' which absolutely blows me away. And I’m also loving Solarity from London. Two guys, Nick and Alfie, who are doing absolutely amazing things right now in progressive house.
CoolJunkie: What are some of your favorite clubs to play in the U.S.?
Jaytech: Vision in Chicago is one of my personal favorites because of the layout of the club and the crazy mezzanine levels all looking down on the dancefloor. I love Ruby Skye in San Francisco because the whole 18th century playhouse vibe that it has going on is really, really cool. I was a big fan of -- the night is called Glow, but I think the actual club is called Fur in Washington, DC. I played there with Above & Beyond once and that was a really special night.
CoolJunkie: We've come across a lot of talent that hails from Australia, but never one from Canberra. How is the electronic music scene in Australia as a whole?
Jaytech: When I started getting into all of this kind of music, it was actually the style du jour in Canberra. We had all sorts of progressive house artists coming through all the time. We were really lucky for such a small city to have so many world class acts coming through. When I moved to the UK in 2008, it was basically to be closer to this kind of music, because it was sort of...the music style in Australia is changing. It’s moved more towards electro and funky house, and that other style of house music became the forefront of music in Australia. Nowadays, I go back once every six months to play on tour, just because rather than trying to get a residency in Australia, I thought it would be better to go back twice a year and just make it a bit more of a special event. So yeah, this kind of music is actually quite hard to find in Australia nowadays. When you can find a party with this kind of music in Australia, it’s got some really dedicated fans. But the Australian scene as a whole is very fickle, because for the population that we’ve got, spread across so many cities, it can be quite risky putting on parties. They don’t always go as planned. So I think as far as the Australian scene goes, the most exciting thing for me is festivals, because that’s one thing we’re really, really good at, is throwing a really big festival. The best parties in Australia are usually the ones with pretty big lineups at pretty big venues as well.
CoolJunkie: You're set to play at Ice Palace during Ultra week in Miami for the Anjunabeats in Miami event. What excites you the most about playing during a week like this?
Jaytech: Obviously the most exciting thing for me is the chance to hang out with other artists. I went to Miami for the first time last year for WMC, and the parties were great, the experiences that we had while we were there were really cool, and this time the Anjunabeats party is at what sounds to be a much bigger venue. Last year, the Anjunabeats room was probably a few hundred people, whereas this year, I think that room is going to be about 700 people. I’m very excited to play at a bigger venue and excited to catch up with all the crazy people who make this music happen.
CoolJunkie: Do you have anything special planned for Anjunabeats in Miami?
Jaytech: [Laughs] Yes, I’m going to be cracking a bottle of champagne on stage to celebrate the CD. Hopefully not all over the decks and mixer.