Since it was first released in 1998, Viewpoints, the debut album by British producer Justice, also known as Tony Bowes, (not to be confused with the much later French duo) has been celebrated as one of the most popular albums. Influential by DJs and producers around the world. the spectrum of electronic music. The 11-track album was the product of a feverish outburst of creativity and experimentation that explored Justice's many influences, resulting in the creation of never-before-heard sonic hybrids. Now Viewpoints, originally released on the cult label Recordings Of Substance, is being reissued by Hydrogen Dukebox Records, complete with stunning new artwork and on vinyl for the first time featuring all 11 tracks.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing Justice and this has been the result.
How and when have you been interested in music? And electronic music?
I have always had an interest in sound and as a kid used to record sounds onto tape cassettes. There was always music on the radio in the house when I was growing up, but the first music I discovered was Electro in the early 80’s, this was my gateway.
Can you tell us a little about your experience? Where are you from / how did you get into music?
I am from Luton, UK and have been involved in music since the advent of rave. As I mentioned I always had a love for sound and music and always played records and collected and had decks. I did some work experience in a studio whilst on a college course iand after I had finished was offered some studio time, this was where it all started.
How is your sound evolving? What artists and genres do you enjoy mixing right now?
I have been doing this for 30 years now. I started in the rave era and was doing rave, then proto drum and bass, into drum and bass, into doing hip hop and techno stuff. I guess you form a signature along the way through motifs and the sounds that are used. I always like stuff quite stripped back and a bit raw. Experimentation was and still is a big part of what I do and finding inspiration in new places and new ways of working. I listen to a lot of UK jazz right now and listen to Nubiya Garcia, Moses Boyd, Yussef Kamaal as well as some great new D and B from No Nation and Sheba Q, Sicknote, Necrotype, Metro and Between Walls.
How do you feel your music influences or impacts your listeners?
I think the listeners get an insight into what I like and how I am weaving that through my sound via the samples used and the sounds selected. They know to expect the unexpected.
I just do what I feel at the time now and its feels good to have this freedom and bring the listener along too.
What projects are you working on right now? What can you tell us about your last work?
I have been doing a lot of lathe cut record projects, mostly 7 inches, on my Modern Urban Jazz Imprint. The latest is a remix Aquisse by Necrotype and myself remixing Necrotype’s Yosei track. All released on an 8 inch lathe cut record.Following on from this myself and Metro have a rave inspired 7 inch followed by a 5 inch lathe cut .
Where are you and what have you been doing now?
Right now I am just in my home studio, sorting out some music stuff, whilst watching the Olympics. My day started with me going on a walk to the post office to post some records, this is a regular occurrence.
Has that sound changed a lot in recent years? What is your musical criteria?
My sound is ever changing I think or at least cyclical. I have been doing this a long time so I do find certain styles or genres coming round again, or I get interested in something again or something new can influence me. It’s nice to be able to go revisit different era’s/ genres that I have passed through in a hurry and be able to sit there now for a while and explore.
Do you feel safe now to play a more experimental sound?
I always felt safe to experiment, its what I have always done and will continue to do so and drag the listeners along also.
We all know that the digital revolution has affected sales, but has it affected creativity?
For me personally no, in general I think so. I think there’s so much stuff floating around on line, the record always seemed like a natural filter. I am not against digital at all but it just dilutes creativity in some areas.
Can you tell us what your present and future projects are?
I have been doing a lot of lathe cut record projects, mostly 7 inches, on my Modern Urban Jazz Imprint. The lathe cut record.Following on from this myself and Metro have a rave inspired 7 inch followed by a 5 inch lathe cut ! The latest is a remix Aquisse by Necrotype and myself remixing Necrotype’s Yosei track. All released on an 8 inch.