Thoughts from DJ Damien Jay, all the way from the UK…
Images of DJ Damien Jay took whilst playing at Techno Taco Tuesday in Las Vegas 2016
SOME QUESTIONS & ANSWERS WITH OUR DJ
What made you want to DJ?
I used to listen to late night radio and heard a Pete Tong show when I was about 14 or 15 years old and thought to myself “I want to do that!” (infect the first record I played in my room I pretended to present it like on the radio to myself lol) – at the time I was playing guitar, bass and singing with local bands on stage.
I started to hang out with cooler kids who dj’d Drum & Bass and smoked grass, so before I knew it I’d traded in my guitar in for a pair of DLP3 turntables… my gosh they were horrible because one of them had a platter that detached, so rather than just rock back n forth, the platter would go up and down.
It was a bit of a nightmare so you had to be really gentle with them… but they were better than no turntables, and it certainly helped develop the touch needed when you’re playing ‘needle on the record style’. Over time I slowly moved from playing Jungle records into mixing house and before I knew it I was the opening DJ for a pretty major club where every week somebody like Boy George, Graham Gold, Brandon Block or Alex P would come in and play.
What was the first track you bought specifically to DJ with?
It was something on Manifesto records in 95 or 96 but the title slips me… I’m guessing it was maybe Gusto Disco’s Revenge… but really the first stuff was all white labels that the local record stores would give me at a super cheap price… I have them all still stored in the UK
Everybody wants to be a DJ these days. What ignites your passion for continuing, despite the competitiveness within club culture?
Wanting to be a DJ is fair enough; I just ask people in all seriousness to really study their craft, learn to beat match by ear with multiple formats (and without using auto cue), put your time in and earn the right to play like it was back in the day! Some of us had to stand behind a qualified DJ and watch him or her play the night for years, before we were allowed to play a main set. As far as keeping the passion, actually when EDM big room music became super popular I really didn’t want to play during that time very much at all…
The music was something I wasn’t really feeling thus why I took the UG show off the air for a while. So, I just kind of hid and went under the radar but was watching from a far until I saw the music was starting to massively improve on the underground, so I knew that soon it would be time to resurface and do the show again…
I wasn’t sure where to take it when thankfully I saw Grant Nelson’s post about D3ep Radio opening up, I’d always played a lot of his and Swing City records over the years and looked to him as a credible artist & producer. I thought “yeah this is a solid guy, I can really see myself going to bat for his team”… We have some great shows DJ’s on the d3ep Radio team and was thrilled to see some familiar underground names in our midst and to meet so much great new young talent.
Now to be amongst all these great shows and DJ’s, it seemed like a perfect time to reemerge. This reignited the passion for bringing the Undisputed Grooves show back on the air and carrying on; as I’d been promising the fans I’d bring the show back at some point. The UG radio show has been on the air at various intervals over the last ten years, it just seemed like right now would be the perfect time for its return.
If you could go back in time and be involved in the club scene of any era, when would this be and why?
I think I’d go back to 1996 and do it all over again with the knowledge I’ve learned now. That was a bloody fun time back then and I got to work around some pretty major legends, which gave me the experience of learning how the pro’s get down in the booth. A lot of the memories were fantastic if a little fuzzy. I was only sixteen years old and somehow very quickly became the opening DJ, two nights a week in an over eighteen’s club! No complaints about that!
Who would be your dream guest on your show?
Armand Van Helden has always been dream somebody I really wanted to bring on… but so far it’s not happened.
If you could go B2B with any DJ on the planet, who would it be and where?
I would actually have to say, that it would be some of our own D3ep Dj’s because we have some amazing djs in our midst… Anywhere on the planet? That would have to be somewhere nice and sunny with a beach nearby, like the Greek islands or Ibiza… Actually, Ibiza is one of the few places I haven’t played there so I’d like to tick that off the list.
What was the last tune that was stuck in your head before this interview?
Actually the song I can’t escape from my mind is our UG track of the year (2014) which was ‘Withdrawal by Dubrocca” – it’s so flipping sexy! I sing it all the time in my office…
If you could have made any of the records you have played which one would it be and why?
Withdrawal by Dubrocca” because it’s just so flipping sexy, and right on point with the sound that Undisputed Grooves stands for at this point.
What’s your musical guilty pleasure?
Guilty pleasure? Actually, I would say it’s Classical music, I listen to really relaxing stuff at home to keep me calm because s#*t is busy right now… also really like meditation music, like Golden ohm type stuff…
If you could only listen to the same 5 records for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Midlake – Roscoe (Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve Remix)
Nightcall – Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx
Wolfman featuring Peter Doherty – For Lovers
Just Aint no Love – Barbara Acklin
We are the people – Empire of the sun
Get up or Get Down?
Too Hot or Too Cold?
Piano or Bassline?
Yoda or Gandalf?
Yoda, I’m an avid Star Wars fan!!!
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