"It's got a lot to do with my basslines, I'm pretty good at writing them," shrugs master of the understatement Jamie Jones matter-of-factly, when asked what makes his productions different. There's more than a kernel of truth to the
London-based beat-smith's point - those b-lines could level cities - but his huge appeal extends far beyond that. It's no surprise that Jamie Jones has bagged the Best Producer category in our latest Best Of British poll: 2009 is the year that he truly arrived.
"It's amazing," beams Jones at the news. "Especially as it's voted for by fans, it's great to have that sort of support."
With releases like the epochal 'Amazon' on Freak 'n' Chic dating back to 2006, smash collaborations with Mathew Styles and Simon Baker ('Lady Judy' and 'Kaskazi'), and a mix album for Crosstown Rebels ('Get Lost 02') all under his belt, prior to this year Jones was already a hot property. Each fresh production seemed to further cement his reputation, with every cut packing equal quantities of butt-rotating electronic freak funk and subterranean, floor-quaking, hypnotic power. But until recently, he was a best-kept secret, his tracks the smart bomb in every underground DJs' arsenal.
Then, this March, just in time for Miami Winter Music Conference, he unleashed the vocal mix of 'Summertime': a track so goddamned huge, it would catapult him out of the underground tastemakers' clutches and into the CD wallets of DJs of all stripes across the globe. A unique conflation of eerie, piercing techno riffage and the Prince-like, pervo-funk pipes of Norwegian oddballs Ost & Kjex, it typified Jamie's distinctive, sci-fi blend of the most futuristic electronic noise and fragments of disco dementia at its most giddying and powerful.
Naturally, it was no fluke, but a happy portent of what was to come. 'Don't You Remember The Future?' his lithe, flab-free debut album has received unilateral praise from across the dance board, with its perfect balance of club-centric deep electronic house, melodic hooks, cavernous techno sensibilities and experimental, border-prodding transgressions. That notoriously difficult trick of mixing accessibility, enduring appeal and dancefloor impact pulled off with effortless poise, in fact.
"Dance music albums are always tough to do, it's always difficult to convey what people want to hear in clubs, and also to make it so you can listen to it at home as well, which is a totally different experience," Jamie admitted. "Trying to find a balance between those two things was quite hard. But it's been really well received, so I can't complain one bit!"
The album also saw Jones connecting with one of his old school electro heroes, Egyptian Lover, who provided an ice-cool rap for the body-poppin' bass invader 'Galactic Space Bar'.
"He's a cool guy and super talented, and underrated, considering his earlier tracks," Jamie raved. "They're really great, and if they'd been marketed in the right way they could have been huge, much bigger than what they were. He's a legend and it was great to have him on board."
Constantly looking beyond the obvious for inspiration, Jones is first and foremost a music lover, and those eclectic tastes ensure that his take on tech is never run-of-the-mill, whether he's licking MGMT's 'Electric Feel' into a more club friendly, remixed shape, or turning an obscure disco number into the latest secret weapon with one of his increasingly in-demand edits.
"I try to buy as much music as possible, taking influences from all kinds of sounds. With my re-edits, I'm trying to do something a bit different to what's going on elsewhere."
Looking forward, Jones has just sired his own new label, Hot Natured, and is keeping his production laboratory bubbling with ever more dastardly dancefloor deviations.
"I'm gonna release solo tracks, and with Hot Natured as a production outfit, too, which is me and Lee Foss from L.A. And there's some other new guys from Leeds, people like Robert James, who have tracks coming. He's a wicked new producer with lots of material.
"I'm also working on some slightly more, I wouldn't say pop exactly, but I've got a singer. It's quite electronic, still dance music, but not strictly 4/4. It's with a new band - they haven't yet got a name. I'm getting that ready for next summer." Looks like Jamie Jones is set to own summertime from here on out…
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The Other Nominees
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