Guy J has established himself as one of the most sophisticated and emotive producers in electronic music of the last decade and that is why Balance Music have recruited him to take control of the latest Balance Mix 024.
We caught up with the Israeli born producer to find out more about the process of his Balance Mix and what his been up to lately.
Thanks very much for taking the time out to speak to us! Can you tell the readers where you are in the world today and what you’ve been up to over the last 7 days?
I’m writing this now in Argentina, where people can dance all night! For the last 7 days I've been working on finishing new music before coming out here, it’s a very inspiring place and always before I come I want to finish more and more music.
So you’ve been put behind the controls of the latest Balance Mix 024, could you tell us a little bit about the project and how you approached it?
My Balance album is a mix cd made from remixes and edits I've made myself, it’s the first time I’m taking part in working on a mix compilation and I wanted to do something special rather than presenting just a mix of tracks. Maybe, when I get the chance to do another mix cd I’ll do it like that, but since this is my first time, I wanted it to be special.
How did you incorporate the “Guy J” sound into the mix?
Well, I used a lot of elements I use in the music I produce. It’s very warm mix, very musical and tells a story. I believe I achieved the goal I wanted to and hope people will find the essence of Guy J in this mix.
I can imagine the Balance Mix has taken up a lot of your time but what else have you been up to lately?
I'm also working on my label - Lost & Found - there is some great music coming up! I also did a few remixes for the label and, as always, I’ve been in a search of exciting new music. Plus, there’s always a lot going on behind the scenes, like thinking up new ideas for the label how to push some of the new artists.
What’s behind the doors of Guy J’s studio, is it a world of tangled cables and hardware synths or is it stripped right back down to the box?
A lot of cables! I have a fetish for cables, they confuse me and annoy me, but I love them! I'm using mostly my Virus TI, which has been a long time friend in my studio and I find it one of the best bits of gear you can have. I've recently got the DSI Poly Evolver and I'm involved with it, every time when you think you’ve reached the maximum you can get out of it, you find something new! And, of course – Cubase – it’s a love-hate relationship, but I'm used to it.
I’m sure all our readers are dying to know how you produce your hypnotic house, your deep techno or your more ambient material, can you let us into a little studio secret?
Well, I don't really have a secret, I don't exactly have a pattern as to how I start a track, it changes every time and I'm very bad with technical terms, so I cannot explain it. I just go into my studio without planning what I'm going to create and I know my gear pretty well, so it’s more easy to write what I have in my head.
You were born in Israel, how did you get into dance music and what was the dance music scene like back then?
Dance music in Israel was amazing, now it’s great and alive, but back then it was rocking! House music was on the radio, in clubs, bars, mega clubs etc. Things have changed now and moved into smaller clubs, but it’s still big part of the nightlife with DJs coming to the country every weekend.
How has your childhood and place of birth influenced your music?
I think it was a big influence - I'm lucky to have family and friends that supported me and my goals, it takes time to get into music and it’s important that your surroundings will be there to hear what you are doing and give you confidence with it.
You’re performing at Electronic Sessions along with Nick Warren, Wehbba and more at Brixton Jamm on June 29th. You’ll also be DJing on boat party beforehand, what can we expect?
YES! It is going to be a fun time! I love doing the boat party with the ES people, there is always a good vibe and good people, I will play some music from my Balance album and also new material from my lab and Lost & Found label, so it’s going to be exciting!
The summer is well under way, what does the rest of 2013 have in store for Guy J?
For this year, I have a remix coming out on my label Lost & Found and maybe an original track. My Balance album has been a big project and I gave a lot to it, so now I’m going to work on some originals and make plans for next year and enjoy playing music everywhere - Australia, USA and S. America is on the way!
A big thank you to GUy J for taking the time out to speak with us. You can catch Guy J perform at Electronic Sessions Saturday June 29th on their boat party and at Brixton Jamm, London.
Guy J's Recommendations
Claire is one of most beautiful tracks this year, in my opinion. Guy Gerber always comes up with original music and this track proves it – a totally timeless piece of work here.
Juan Deminicis is one of the best discoveries for me over the last few years, he reminds me of what real house music is all about – very sexy and very groovy – there’s a great energy in his music, so make sure you follow on him if you don’t already.
My own track "Twenty 11" is a very special track for me, I dedicated it to the year 2011, which was a special year for me and this track really reflects that – it was like a journey, with good ending & very atmospheric.
Dosem is familiar to many with his techno-ish tracks and sound. But for me it is when he goes melodic you know you’ve come across a very special track. I love this one a lot and I think it will become one of my all time favourites by him.
BP is an amazing artist from Belgium and this track is one of most beautiful tracks I have ever heard. Quite simply, it is a masterpiece, like a symphony, so you must follow his music creations.
Robert Babicz presents an amazing album, a journey through music and feelings, I love this work a lot, you can find here different sides of Robert and feel what he is trying to deliver, a must listen.
I don't remember how, but I found this track by mistake – a great groove with great vocals and this can be a very useful track for a warm-up set.
Navar is a rising star from Holland who has more and more superb music coming out and also he has just joined my label - Lost & Found. I got to hear Fragma before it came out and fell in love with it immediately, so of course I recommend this track by him but keep an eye out for his future stuff on Lost & Found.
Hernan Cattaneo & Soundexile are one of only a few that keep on delivering quality progressive house music - the real thing - and this is another amazing piece of work by them. Plattenbank is a great label and this release is a beauty.
I love this remix by Doomwork - it has such great drive! So when you want to unite everyone in the club you need a track like this, one that does pure magic on the dancefloor.