• Stu

In Conversation With... Jimpster

Hi Jamie – great to meet you. Thanks for making the time to chat with us. We’ll jump straight into it…

1. Wow, 250th release on Freerange Records! Congratulations, that’s going some. If you had to pick, what would you say has been the highlights of the last 30 years of releasing records on the label?

Well it’s not 30 years just yet! We’ll be 25 years old next year but it’s still a long stretch by any label standards so we’re very proud!

There have been many ups as well as quite a few downs and it’s fair to say we’ve been pushed to the limit on more than one occasion and nearly had to close shop. Distributors going bust was usually involved! Thankfully we’ve been able to just about weather these storms and the scene feels fairly healthy and stable at the moment. Highlights for me usually come out of the blue and most often come from recognition received from peers.

I distinctly remember getting my first reviews back in 1996 and ‘97 from guys like Mixmaster Morris in iD and Calvin Bush for Muzik Magazine. As the label started to grow and we began releasing music from other artists every now and then we would sign something that would make a bigger impact. The first of those would be Switch with Get Ya Dub On. You could feel a buzz as soon as we sent the promo with lots of DJ’s getting in touch trying to get a copy and respected radio DJ’s like Pete Tong giving it plays. It’s really exciting to be a part of something like that.

More recently a similar thing happened with Detroit Swindle with the guys blowing up after only a few releases. Another highlight for me would be our Freerange X Delusions of Grandeur X Heist ADE event in 2014 held at the beautiful Stanislavski venue with Detroit Swindle, Session Victim, 6th Borough Project, Andre Lodemann, Manuel Tur, Nachtbraker and more and was a brilliant night! We also put on an event at ADE this year with Dan Shake, Demuja, Black Loops and Fouk which was a blast.

2. Waajeed is definitely the man of the moment. Tell us about how you came to land him on the remix?

I’ve been a fan of his music for many years - probably first discovering him through his Platinum Pied Pipers releases on Ubiquity as well as his contributions to Slum Village and more recently his releases on Sound Signature and his Dirt Tech Reck label. He’s currently working on a new solo LP and getting some remixes made so we worked out a swap and there you have it. I can’t wait to get started on my remix for him now!

3. How’s 2020 shaping up for you? Any special Summer shows coming up you can let us in on…?

I’m kicking off the new year with plenty of energy and enthusiasm for the year ahead! I started off the year with some great gigs in Mexico, South Africa, USA and Europe and now taking some time to prepare a new hardware-based Jimpster Live-set which I’m really excited about. Whilst I’ve always considered myself a musician and performer first and foremost, the live side of things took a back seat when I found myself Doing more in the mid 00’s.

Back in the late 90’s I was regularly touring as a four-piece live act, playing festivals such as Interference in Berlin, club dates including a recently opened Fabric in London, and my first trips to play in Japan around ’99/00 often included solo live performances as well as DJ sets.

In the early to mid 00’s I joined improvisational electronic outfit The Bays and became a key-member playing keyboards for the next five or six years and experiencing some incredible highlights during this time - headlining Glastonbury dance tent several times, performing a sold-out Barbican playing with Herbie Hancock, recording three John Peel Sessions live from the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios, all without a single record release or any idea what we were going to play before the first note started. Fast forward to 2020, and missing the live performance aspect I've decided to put together a hardware-based solo live set which will dig into my back-catalogue of originals and remixes, reconstructing and tweaking them live with MPC, drum machine and FX.

We’ve just confirmed one of my first shows with the live setup on 9th May at Heidelgluhn in Berlin, which many consider one of the best clubs in the world right now! I’m also halfway through a new LP which is shaping up nicely and have a few remixes dropping soon for the likes of Charles Webster and Teologen.

4. For anyone that hasn’t before explored the extensive Freerange Records catalogue, what are the Top 10 tracks on the label that you’d say they must listen to…?

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