Interview: JR Dynamite is hitting Europe
Sydney-based DJ/producer JR Dynamite is heading to Europe this June/July. We discuss his influences, his upcoming tour and those reactionary lockout laws in his hometown:
What type of music were you into when you were growing up and what artists have influenced you?
I grew up in the mid 90s rave scene in Sydney. It was heavily influenced by the Dutch hardcore scene, but I was more into UK breakbeat and jungle. All these genres, much like hip hop, contained random funk and disco samples which, unbeknownst to me, would become my introduction to the music I truly love today.
How and when did you first get into music production?
My older brother was producing rave and deep house around that time and when he was out I would sneak into his room and write hardcore and breaks tunes. The re-edits came later in the late 2000s. I kept finding stacks of great 80s boogie records that had these incredible driving grooves, but the vocals would ruin most of the tune. That’s where the idea came to chop up the good bit and chop out the crap.
What software/hardware do you use for your productions?
I learned on Logic, but I do most of my edits on Ableton as I find the stretch algorithm much more precise.
What is it you look for in songs to help you choose which ones are good for re-editing?
Something will just catch me, usually a great groove or a vocal snippet. But I really don’t know what will be a good one until I work on it. I kind of feel that the song works me in a way..
What is your favourite funk or Latin album and why?
I would have to say Donny Hathaway – Live.. His renditions of Jealous Guy and What’s Goin On inspire me every time. He truly was one of the greatest.
Do you still go digging for records and if so what has been your best find so far?
Absolutely. Vinyl is still the number one format. Nothing compares. I’ve picked up more vinyl gigs around Sydney than digital this year. Speaking of Donny, I found his live album at a random vintage markets last weekend. Find of the year.
You are based in Sydney which has recently seen lock out laws imposed. How has that affected the music scene?
Good question. They were introduced to curb alcohol related violence. Bar operators are struggling in some areas, but the scene is evolving around it. Notorious party precincts are changing, and in someway for the better. Areas outside the lockout laws are booming which is actually quite refreshing. But I don’t agree with the decision, it was a classic case of reactionary politics. The music scene in Sydney has its ups and downs but the introduction of poker machines in pubs back in the 90s had more of a detrimental effect than these current laws. Fortunately the funk scene doesn’t really need 5am drug den venues, nor does it really attract the type of people the lockout laws are trying to ‘protect’ the average punter from.
You are touring Europe in June/July of this year. Where are you playing and what are you most looking forward to doing/seeing whilst over here?
I’m looking forward to all my gigs and meeting some more music heads. I’ll be playing in Ibiza, Channel Islands, South England and Amalfi Coast this time around. My other passion is hiking, so I’ll be spending as much time in the European mountains as I can.
You have recently compiled and released “That’s not an edit Vol. 2”. How did that project come about and can you tell us about some of the artists involved?
I set it up with Hober Mallow, another local Sydney legend who’s churning out some great re-edits. The idea was to create a co-operative label and help a bunch of great Aussie remixers get there stuff out to be listened. The project has been really successful so far and volume 3 is due out end of July. Some of the artists like Casual Connection, D’Funk, DJ Daigo are big names in the re-edit circle, but then there are the big players in the Oz funk scene like Meem and DJ Soup who have minimal internet presence. So it’s been really great to get all these artist music out to new ears.
What else do you have planned for 2015?
Can’t wait for this European tour to begin really. Will be a nice flow into the Aussie summer which keeps me flat out until mid next year. I’ve got some great remix projects and some exciting collaboration opportunities on the burner but that’s a little hush hush for now. But expect some more classic Dynamite sounds and stay tuned for volume 3 and 4 of Thats Not An Edit.
Interview by 25ThC