Disconnected Podcast 024 – Jay Simon

Jay Simon

Hi Jay, hows it going?

Pretty good man…just got off work. I work at a liquor store, but it’s not nearly as shady as it sounds haha.

We first came across you when we saw the latest Wild Oats release, can you tell us a bit about yourself away from music?

Music is a really huge part of my life, but when I’m not doing stuff related to that I work and go to school. Hobby wise I consider the internet itself a hobby, so I do a lot of that haha. Other than that I love 2D fighting games (Street fighter…hit me up on xbox live haha!), cooking all types of food, philosophy (been into Hume lately), movies (last one I saw was the ATCQ documentary…enjoyed that) and of course the ladies…ya dig?

For sure man, so what’s your musical background?

Tough question for me, but I suppose it all started with my parents. I was born in Chicago, and my mom and dad always had a deep love for music. My very first musical memory was Midnight Star – No Parking On The Dancefloor the song and the cover of the LP!

That was when I was like…3 years old or so, so I guess the Boogie vibe was strong in me from a really early age. Besides that I listened to a lot of 80s r&b like Anita Baker, funk like One Way – Cutie Pie, and some Jazz like Miles Davis’ & ‘Grover Washington Jr. I’m 22, so growing up in the 90’s Hip-Hop was a huge part of my life as well, the first producer who really fascinated me was Timbaland…I was listening to whatever he was producing at the time, and was always really interested in the little details he would put in his beats, and later the Neptunes as well. When I was about 14, I was living in Atlanta at the time and met a DJ named Neidel Crisan, he was the first person to really show me electronic music, mostly West Coast House & Downtempo/Underground Hip-Hop like Mark Farina’s Mushrooom Jazz stuff. I was always into music, but a sort of specific vibe, so it blew my mind that there were entire genres that catered to the sounds that I really related to. After that I did a lot of searching myself, and met another really influential friend, Shane Schaetz on IRC, which is an old school chat client. Shane took it to the next level and really schooled me on the history of dance music, from Boogie to Broken Beat he showed me all sorts of fantastic music and I just had to learn more. Broken Beat was still going strong at the time so I was very into that up until the scene started to die around..07ish. From there things were starting to get a little stagnant, but I still was looking for something new…I met a guy named Cagdas online and he schooled me on Detroit house…and here we are.

Cool man, some really cool heritage there, so, how much of all the different influence come through into the music you’re making?

Rhythmically, broken beat and Dilla style swing plays a huge role in the stuff I do. I really love any kind of music that can make your neck snap with the swing of the groove, so I try to apply that to whatever I do. Another thing that is really important to me is a warm and textured sort of sound, a lot of the music coming out today, in any genre, in part due to production techniques, is really devoid of a thick, textured sort of sound. In the past, people like Ron Trent & Chez Damier were masters at creating these fantastic sound dynamics that really hit you in the chest, it was more than just music you processed in your mind, it had a very physical effect on you too. Today a lot of music sounds very flat, even if its loud because of over compression. PUNCH is a huge huge part of dance music to me, which is why a lot of those Chicago house records made in the 80’s still can rock a sound-system today.

Yeah man, there is definitely something missing from a lot of the stuff doing the round at the moment. What have you for lined up for the next new months?

The 7″ coming on Wild Oats obviously, but the weird thing about that is it happened completely accidentally. I’ve known Kyle for a few years now but I never bothered showing him any of the stuff I made, I did one day and he was really into it and wanted to put some of it out, so some more things on Wild Oats will be coming as well. In addition to that though before I had ever planned to release any music with Kyle I was in the process of starting my own label, Must Have Records. The first release on that is a friend of mine, Finnish producer Saine, and it should be out around mid to late September…so watch out for that. Coming on WAX for the heads out there. Previews will be up on Soundcloud once the tracks are mastered, which is happening as we speak. Other than that I have a monthly party with my friend Omari in Washington D.C. called Melange, we do that on the 2nd Thursday of every month at Velvet Lounge. Also I am playing Saturday, September 3rd at U Street Music Hall in D.C.

Why did you guys decide to do a 7″?

I was just talking to Kyle on G-Chat, and linked him my Soundcloud page…and he just really loved the track and wanted to do a single sided release for it. Plus 7″ records are dope.

Yes they are! What can people expect from the mix?

Just good music from the past, present, and future. I included the upcoming 7″ on Wild Oats, a track from Saine’s forthcoming EP on my label, a forthcoming Erdbeerschnitzel track on 3rd Strike, a cut off the latest L.I.E.S release from my friend Terekke, music from fellow D.C. house heads Protect-U (special shout out to my Future Times family), and some classics thrown in for good measure.

I’ve got a few Protect-U bits, really cool stuff, is there a nice crew of you guys in D.C?

D.C. is strange, on one hand you got a few people doing some really fantastic stuff and pushing things forward, like the Future Times guys, Andrew Field Pickering aka Maxmillion Dunbar, Ari Goldman 1/2 of Beautiful Swimmers with Andrew, Mike Petillo & Aaron Leitko who are Protect-U and Chris Robinson aka C-Rob who is not a producer, but a DJ. Also you have Andrew Morgan who runs one of the best modern boogie labels, Peoples Potential Unlimited. And then on the other you got the guys who just follow trends (we used to like minimal, but now we like deep house!) and are more concerned with being a DJ or being a promoter than the actual music being played. Unfortunately in D.C. dance music tends to be quantitatively assessed as opposed to the quality of the actual music. Until more people are willing to step outside their comfort zone, and educate themselves a bit, the scene will be held back here.

I think you can transpose that to almost every city in the world man! Is there anything in the mix we should listen out for?

The Wild Oats record & the first Must Have Records release for sure…Also the new Erdbeerschnitzel record and new stuff from my man Terekke http://soundcloud.com/terekke

Yeah man, Erbeerschnitzel is doing some damn good stuff, how did you come across that man?

I first came across Tim’s (Erdbeerschnitzel) music through his release on 3rd strike, 4 Months. I was really into it, and Soundcloud was getting more popular, so I looked him up on there and was really impressed with a lot of his music. I contacted him on there, and we hit it off and became friends. He’s definitely one of my favorite producers at the moment, and I’m lucky to be able to call him a good friend too. He mentioned that he might want to do some music together at some point, so maybe you can look forward to some of his stuff on Must Have as well.

Cool man, thanks again for the mix, cheers for chatting with us. Big up

Now worries.

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