The manner in which an artist tackles a Fabric mix reflects – to an extent – what they’re like as a character, much like the often uncanny resemblance shared between dog owners and their pets. Some go down the conceptual route (Four Tet, Surgeon), while the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Shackleton and Omar S choose to fill their mixes solely with their own material - a sign of supreme confidence in one’s own ability, any pop psychologist will tell you. Levon Vincent has chosen to pepper his entry into the Fabric canon with a mixture of his own tracks alongside material from the New York-based contemporaries he holds so dear, and it says a lot about the man.
Jus-Ed is quite possibly the hardest working man in house music. You probably know him as the Underground Quality guy – label boss, DJ, producer, radio show host. But to others he’s also the firewood guy, the lawn guy, the junk removal guy, the handyman guy and a devoted father and husband. He’s a people person, and even the most fleeting of conversations will elicit some kind of laughter, and probably leave you with a deep and lasting sense that this is a man doing what he loves.
Ed (full name Edward McKeithen) has been DJing on and off since the age of 10, but his first production didn’t hit the shelves until as recently as 2005. Since then he’s been in prolific form, with 33 releases to date, most of which have been pressed up on his beloved UQ imprint. His weekly radio slot on Myhouse-yourhouse has served as a platform to preach the virtues of underground house music, and Ed has used the position to give up-and-coming producers a boost (indeed some have reported getting label deals soon after getting the Jus-Ed stamp of approval).
We logged onto Skype for a chat with Ed, who, speaking from his home in Bridgeport, Connecticut, had much to say about going digital, DJ politics and how 2010 has been a watershed 12 months for his label.
From the New York house of Underground Quality chief Jus-Ed to the tribal percussion of Mark E’s new jam on Running Back, there’s no shortage of deep gems on this week’s Juno podcast.
Cutting his teeth as a DJ in New York the 90s, Levon Vincent witnessed first hand the impact of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on New York’s nightlife, and saw his gigs and hence his livelihood dry up overnight. So Vincent went back to school, in his words, to “take a negative and turn it into a positive”, and devote himself to learning the many complexities and nuances of music theory and production. In 2008 his star began to rise, with the first signs coming not from NYC but London, where his tracks drew raucous receptions from the Fabric crowd when dropped by close friend Jus Ed. Affable, humble down to the ground; Vincent’s rise to prominence is a remarkable and heart warming tale. Aaron Coultate met up with the man himself during his recent stay in London to find out more.
Ramon Lisandro Quezada – or DJ Qu as he’s known to the house music intelligentsia – is an integral part of a rejuvenated New York house scene that includes the likes of Levon Vincent, Fred P and Jus Ed. He’s released a slew of fine cuts since 2006 gem “Expressway EP”, during which time he’s cultivated a fine reputation as a purveyor of all things deep. Qu’s April chart reflects his love for the raw side of house, with legends past and present (including Ron Trent, Move D, Jus Ed and Marcellus Pittmann) all featuring. Meanwhile be sure to look out for more releases dropping on his Strength Music imprint, including he return of “Exchange Place” and the “Semester II” release coming this year. In the words of the man himself: “Keep deep music living”.
Featured DJ Chart: Reggie Dokes (January 2010)
Detroit producer Reggie Dokes puts together his hottest tracks of January in our first featured chart for 2010. In what is arguably the most varied Juno Plus chart so far, Reggie takes us on a fascinating stroll through his world of music, with some classic John Coltrane jazz nestled alongside Jus Ed’s stripped down house and the latest R&B club anthems.