Keeping up with Jamie Jones - selector is at Blue Marlin on Friday
What’s On teams up with Hype to bring you an interview with Jamie Jones, the selector set for Blue Marlin UAE on Friday June 6.
Jamie Jones is more than just another DJ and producer. Rather he is the king of his own empire, has legions of adoring fans all over the world, and can truly claim to have dictated the direction of house music over the last few years.
Where most selectors might turn up and play a party, Jamie Jones generally curates the whole thing, choosing the club and bringing along the rest of the guests. Most often that happens under his all-consuming Hot Creations banner and so far he’s done so everywhere from the Winter Music Conference in Miami to BPM Festival in Mexico via just about every city between here and kingdom come. Oh, and then there’s his midweek Ibiza party at DC10 during the summer. Called Paradise, the night has, to date, proven one of the most successful new parties to join the island’s ever-expanding roster in recent years.
None of this has happened overnight. Those who follow the scene closely will remember that Jones first popped up back in 2006 with the mini-minimal anthem that was Amazon, released on the now defunct Freak N Chic label run by Dan Ghenacia of Apollonia fame. Despite the ubiquity of that track that summer, it didn’t quite mark the arrival of Jones proper. That came in 2009 on Crosstown Rebels when the Welshman released Summertime and then his debut album Don’t You Remember The Future in the same year.
Enjoying an evermore popular profile in the wake of his on-point productions (which themselves helped usher in a new era of warm, funky house music in the wake of the dry, abstract minimal that had gone before), it was the inauguration of the now infamous Hot Natured label in 2010 that really set in motion the birth of Jones’ brand. The first releases were Jones’ own edits of the year’s biggest crossover hit in MGMT’s Electric Feel and they went truly stratospheric.
From there, in cahoots with friend and LA producer Lee Foss, the Hot Creations empire has continued to expand, built on Jones and Foss’s knack for laying down a killer bassline and fusing it to creamy disco influences, neon ’80s melodies and plenty of poolside humidity. Early releases like the U Got Me and Ruckus EPs defined this new direction for house – as did Jones’ edits of everyone from P Diddy and Guy Gerber to Azari & III – and people everywhere lapped it up, mainly cause the girls simply loved it.
Happily for Foss and Jones, their emergence came at the same time that dance music itself was breaking out of sweaty clubs and into more mainstream territory. As such and since then, this pair have fomented an ever more radio friendly R&B style that even casual dance fans found easy to devour, and hoards of new producers from Robert James to Danny Daze to Waifs & Strays have all been brought through the ranks of the various Hot Creations labels and sub labels as a result.
Their collective sound is devilishly accessible and is perfectly suited to poolside parties, Ibiza beaches and vest-sporting, sunglasses-wearing crowds that love to be seen as much as they love to be seduced. More recently Jones and Foss – who also recorded as Hot Natured – have expanded their duo to include vocalists Ali Love and Luca C and now perform live shows at places like Brixton Academy in London.
Whatever they do seems to turn to gold and in 2014 Jones and Foss can pretty much work with whomever they want. Legendary American dub-house pioneer and sometime go-to producer for US hip hop glitterati, Mark Kinchen, aka MK, is one such person who has grown ever closer to the crew in recent times and has helped make them just as much of a success in the US as they are everywhere else around the world.
All this success, of course, means there has also been a backlash. Detractors accuse Jones and co of pulling the same trick over and over again, or worse, of specifically aiming for the big time, but really it was more a case of the mainstream and popular consensus finding them rather than the other way round. Either way, you suspect the softly spoken, curly haired Jones knows that he needs to make a bold next step in a new direction and as such he seems to have recently locked himself away to work on a new sound. As of yet, we’ve heard nothing from him in 2014 in terms of production, but the man continues to be a DJ in much demand.
He rarely lets anyone down with his infectious house sound, bulbous bassline deployment and knack for weaving together catchy hooks. “A DJ set is a story,” Jones has said. “It starts from the time I arrive at the club and start socialising or whatever. Everything that happens during the night affects it. When I play I try to soundtrack the experience I’ve had, or am having, and I try to make it as entertaining as I can, keeping a balance between energy levels and musical interest.”
HOT CREATIONS’ HOTTEST HITS
Hot Natured & Ali Love
This one actually hit the Top 40 and led to Jones defending himself and his crew from the haters who accused him of selling out. Quite simply, though, it just hit such a sweet spot it was always going to be massive, intentional or not.
Baby I Got It
Something Special of this EP remains one of the label’s biggest hits and came at the very peak of their ascendency. The standout vocal is still irresistibly heart-melting to this day.
One of the most recent additions to the family, Flynn’s 2014 EP marks a return to a slightly less feminine, more tech-edged sound for the label.
Blue Marlin, Ghantoot Al Jazira Island Hotel, Dubai. Friday, 1pm to 11pm. Get on the free guestlist by calling (056) 1133400 quick smart. Taxi: Ghantoot Al Jazira. bluemarlinibiza-uae.com