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Jason Ellis Interview

We chat to Positiva's main man

The boss of long-running dance label Positiva, Jason Ellis, has been responsible for signing some of the UK's biggest dance hits, across the genre divide, of the last 15 years. A collection of their most massive tunes 'Positiva Presents Essential Club Anthems', which includes everything from Spiller's 'Groovejet' to Bucketheads' 'The Bomb', via BBE's 'Seven Days and One Week', is out now. We dialed up the head honcho to find out more…

Does it feel good to have reached the 15-year mark?

"It's quite an achievement in this industry, especially in the dance world, which is so transient, always changing so quickly with so many different sub genres. And I'm quite proud that we've managed to bring the label through difficult times to reach this milestone. It's great!"

Looking back, what do you think are the most significant releases on Positiva?

"There have been so many that it's hard to pick out just a few. Generally the trance explosion in the '90s was a key factor. Kevin Robinson who was at the label at the time was instrumental in bringing in classic records from Binary Finary and Veracocha which at the time was a huge part of the scene. And obviously, Spiller's 'Groovejet', which was a great moment for me, one of my first signings to the label and a No.1 in 2000, with all the surrounding media frenzy, the battle for the top spot with Posh Spice was quite an experience. Shapeshifters' 'Lola's Theme' getting to No.1 was great as well, working on the vocal version early on, and it crossing over as much as it did."

What would you say the label's philosophy has been since its inception?

"To pick the best and most commercially viable records at any one time. We've always tried to keep a broad appeal to the styles of records that we use, we never tie ourselves to any one genre, so we can reflect what's big at any one time in clubland."

What have you got coming up for Positiva in the future?

"The new Positiva album collection is out, 'Positiva Presents Essential Club Anthems' that has been fun to put together, and early reactions seem to be good. What we've been up to over the last 15 years. And we've got a couple of big records lined up for the summer, the Buy Now 'Bodycrash' record, which is Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso, a fantastic club record. It really sums up the sound of now, and we're very proud to have that on that label. And then we've got a Canadian DJ/producer, James Dormand, whose reworking of Red Carpet's 'Alright' which has never really been a hit in this country. We think his take on that is gonna be a really big one."

Where can you take Positiva from here?

"I don't have a grand plan to change the philosophy of the label, to give current producers a platform to go onto bigger and better things. And hopefully carry on working with some leading lights of the scene. The Positiva brand is still strong I think."