Today we have a interview with a collective who ran some of the best parties in the UK, have a label that releases some of the hottest records and generally kick ass at every opportunity. Just Jack are one of Bristols best exports, this isn’t the first time we have spoken to them at DMC Mag. You can check our first chat from way back in 2012, which makes it all the more interesting to sit down again after so much time, talk about the journey so far and what’s next…
Dan & Ryan join us from Just Jack, it’s been a long time since we last spoke, you were doing some exciting things back then. Tell us what you have been up to?
DAN: We have had some releases we are immensely proud of, and it is amazing walking into somewhere like Panoramabar and hearing a record from your label absolutely booting off! We have had the chance to work with some great artists so far and I’d like to thank them all for their music. Absolute legends! Loads has changed for us all personally, and as a collective since 2012. Taking a break gave us a chance to take stock and all focus on some other passion projects (check Toms dope releases under his Sports Casual alias, on his new label Exotic Robotics for example). We decided running big parties wasn’t our priority any more, and after a little break Ryan and I decided it was the right time to throw ourselves headlong into the label again… so here we are as a gruesome twosome, and we couldn’t be happier with JJR011. Derek has definitely delivered the goods!
With so many top releases – what are your stand out tunes from your back catelog? Tell us a bit about the history of the label?
DAN: It might be a bit cliche’d but I’m really proud of everything we have put out. We have covered a lot of ground musically, and there is some real variation, but that is what we have always been about. That makes it harder to pick! Some that immediately spring to mind would be The Mole’s remix of Mr KS, which has the sleaziest groove and baseline its unreal, Steven Tang remixing Dana Ruh. ‘Blessed are the Meek’ by Amir Alexander, which destroys any dance floor, and of course our first release is always memorable- ‘How I wish’ by Beesmunt Soundsystem.
RYAN: Like Dan said, it’s hard to choose just a few as I really love them all. But stand out tunes for me would of course be the Mr. G release. Everything he touches just bangs! Another highlight would be the record store release we did a few years back with Amir Alexander under his Ritchie Ratchet moniker. It was limited to 303 units& came on a bright pink vinyl with acid inspired label sticker. Badboy!
How would you say your label has changed over the years?
DAN: The process has always remained the same… hear music we like, badger that artist we love for an EP, sometimes badger another artist we love for a remix and then try and pull it all together on an ever changing chaotic timeline… some releases come together smoother than others, haha.
RYAN: Apart from a tiny hiatus and time out due to personal commitments, not much has changed in terms of direction. We are still learning how to run a label, even after 5/6 years, so we have to adapt every now and then. For instance most of out back catalogue has been strictly vinyl only. But moving forward we are looking into opening up the digital platforms which is all kinda new to us. Sound wise nothing has changed either, we love all sorts of house and techno, and nothing is ever off the table…
As we speak to you, you are just working on a re-launch of Just Jack Recordings, new artwork and a fresh new look – what are your plans for the label going forward? What made it time for a re-launch?
DAN: It is time to grab it by the horns again. It just felt natural and timely. So fresh look, fresh energy, but same old approach!
RYAN: The main goal or focus for the label is to continue finding fresh and interesting sounds from both up and coming and more established artists. And like I mentioned earlier, reaching a wider audience by releasing digitally as well as vinyl.
For those that may not know, let us know a couple of tunes that represent the labels history, and a couple that represent the future?
RYAN: Some records which inspire me, I’ll go for a past & present vibe.
Earth People – Dance (Kerri’s Centro Fly mix) – Stone cold party starter that never fails! Proper!!
Edward – Mind Loop – such an infectious groove. Released on a label which I massively respect and are doing such fantastic things. Go check them out!!
Underground stalwart Derek Carr graces the next record, tell us a bit about how that came about?
DAN: Yes, we are really really honoured to have him on the label. Again same approach, I badgered him till he said yes and the rest is history!
Do you produce yourself or stick to the A&R?
DAN: Yep, I’m spending more and more time in my beautiful studio in Wales, a place which is giving me loads of head space and inspiration and I will be releasing 3 tracks, pus a remix from a personal hero Xdb, for JJR012, hopefully dropping some time in Feb.
RYAN: I’ve always worked & preferred being more behind the scenes per se, so I’m strictly A&R… for now!
Where can we hear you out next? and what are your plans for the future?
DAN: Im not out now till New Years eve where Im playing with my side project the Edit Soundsystem (a beautifully mind-blowing, vintage Klipsch audiophile system I somehow seem to have acquired).I have also just been made resident at my favourite place in the world. (Apart from Just Jack of course!). I have been playing there for 9 years, and they have now officially given me the honour of being one of their ressies, which is actually quite emotional as this place means so much to me. I can’t announce it yet, but anyone who knows me will know where I’m talking about, its pretty dam special!