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JACKMASTER (BEST DJ)

With a touring schedule to make most DJs baulk and a wide-ranging style that spans disco, techno and everything in-between, Jackmaster gets your vote for the top spot...

In some ways, it’s like a certain department store unveiling their Christmas advert. Except with far better music and far less likely to make you puke. For his fans, Jackmaster’s annual free ‘Mastermix’ is the first sign that Yuletide is nigh, as Jack Revill unpacks what’s in his box — which isn’t cute penguins but the high grade house, techno and disco that makes his club sets burn like figgy puddings in kerosene.

“My only other annual tradition is talking absolute nonsense on Twitter whilst steaming on Christmas Day and trying to make people laugh,” the Glaswegian DJ says. “I said I've cut down but Christmas is Christmas. You've got to get steaming just to make it through the afternoon.”

Having said that, Jack receiving a Best of British Award is almost something of a yearly tradition itself. Having first scooped the Best Breakthrough DJ award in 2010 the intervening years have seen Jack rise from cocky upstart to the DJ big league, although he demurs “I don't think I'll ever see myself as part of the ‘big league’ and I'm not necessarily looking to be, either, because I find when people start thinking like that, they suffer from it and start to compromise their vision.

“It's been a mad year and this is the perfect cherry on top,” he says of the award. “[When I received the last award] that was a stage in my life where a few things culminated to put me onto folks’ radar. I was accepted into Red Bull Music Academy, we evolved Numbers from just a club night to a label too, I received the DJ Mag award at around the same time, which was the main catalyst in me landing the 'Fabric Live' CD. The combination of all of those elements coming together within six months or so are what essentially kickstarted my DJ career.”

It also whipped Jack’s whirlwind touring up even more, taking the party-starting sound he’d honed at his hometown’s Numbers night to stages as far afield as Sonar and San Francisco. In fact, it says a lot about his relentless schedule that he regards his two regular gigs this summer — one at Circo Loco in Ibiza and his residency at London’s XOYO — almost as a chance to put his feet up.

“I find it funny that some DJs announce ‘tours’ in the UK or Europe that last two to three weeks. I've been touring for 10 years non-stop. The XOYO residency was good because I knew where I was going to be every Saturday for three months, and I knew I was needed in Ibiza most Mondays for Circo Loco, so it took a lot of the hassle out of summer travelling which can be a bit of a stress with all these festivals held in fields in the arse end of nowhere every weekend.”
Although plenty of fields did get a kick up the arse when Jack arrived with his ‘Can U Dance’ show with Oneman and MC Chunky. “Steve and I loved to DJ together, and we were constantly on the same bills that allowed us to play back-to-back anyway. So why not give it its own name and kick it up a notch with the visuals and production, and add Chunky on the mic? It was more festival-orientated because it revolved a lot around bigger anthems, and whilst my solo sets were becoming a little straighter, ‘Can U Dance’ was my outlet to play more varied styles of music.”

It also saw the pair beginning to acquire something of a hell-raising reputation, although before they become the 21st century’s Brandon Block and Alex P, Jack is keen to say he’s ‘cut down’ and lists his New Year’s resolutions as the sober-sounding “Watch less TV. Read more. Quit Facebook”.

Somewhat more exciting though is the news that after years of building up his reputation purely on his DJ skills, Jackmaster will finally be entering the studio in 2015.

“It's coming,” he confirms. “Jasper James and I are building a studio at the moment and I've pencilled some time to work on some music with a mate from Detroit soon.”

When the wrapping comes off that, it really should be like every Christmas has come at once.

OTHER NOMINEES
MR SCRUFF
JAMES ZABIELA
SURGEON
EROL ALKAN

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