"Edinburgh has had a lot of an impact on my music"
J Wax has his own take on music when it comes to production and its peculiarities. This young DJ and producer from Edinburgh whose industrial-tinged electro is making real impact. Take a dive in their in-depth answers and enjoy them as much as we did.
What initially led you into the path of electronic music? Do you recall hearing a life-changing record, meeting someone or attending a party in particular?
It started from my dad giving some of the early Nightmares on Wax, Leftfield and Air albums. Those records opened the gates for me to discover so much amazing electronic music. My dad also showed me Kruder & Dorfmeister - "The K&D Sessions" which really sparked my interest in electronic production and djing.
How did you first start experimenting with electronic music?
I got a copy of Cubase elements when I was about 15/16. My original intention was to use the software for recording and producing bands. However, after using Cubase for a while I soon began to use the software to try and create more trip hop and electronic focused music.
Do you recall a particular record or a gig that changed your life forever?
For a record I would say probably Outkast - "Aquemini" or Nightmares on Wax - "In a Space Outta Sound" or maybe Radiohead - "Ok Computer" Gigwise I would say Ben UFO at Bongo In Edinburgh 2016.
How did you first come to music production? What was the trigger?
When I first started learning about DAWs a real excitement sparked. Realising that people had created such amazing music at home with just a laptop and minimal equipment gave me the confidence to go and try it out for myself.
What do you like most about producing tracks? What is your selection criteria?
Just the excitement and momentum that builds when you get a solid idea going. It’s such a good feeling, I’ll never get tired of it.
What kind of impact does the city’s atmosphere have on your craft? Do you feel it effects the way you produce/approach music?
Edinburgh has had a lot of an impact on my music. Having such a diverse scene has allowed me to be exposed to so much amazing music. There're so many great club nights, DJs and producers all with their own sound and a style making the music scene here very exciting and inspiring.
How did you get to that unique sound?
I think it comes from my love of hip hop and trying to incorporate it into a sort of electro and breakbeat style.
What’s your studio comprised of at the minute? And is there a special piece of gear you’d never get rid of?
I have a pretty minimal studio at the moment. All it consists of is an audio interface, AKAI MPD218 and a midi keyboard.
What makes a good mix to you?
I like mixes that build over time and create an atmosphere. I’m not too fussed about flawless or overly technical mixing. If it creates an exciting and inspiring listen then i’m happy.
In and out of the electronic music circle, who’s an inspiration to you?
Artists like Jensen Interceptor, JPEGMAFIA, Little Simz, Solid Blake, Raw Takes, SAAH, King Krule, DJ Stringray, Dj Bone, Teki Latex, Young fathers, Death Grips and many more inspire me.
I also find many films inspiring. The use of good cinematography and atmosphere really have an impact on me. Such films as La Haine, City of God, Grand Budapest Hotel and The Lives of Others. I find nature and the weather inspiring as well.
What makes you happy? Peaceful early spring mornings with coffee and my dog. What pisses you off? Unmade beds. How do you deal with C19 confinement with your work?
For the moment I’m trying to use this free time to perfect my upcoming projects. It’s going well so far and I feel that i’m making some pretty interesting music. Spending a lot of time learning more about my DAW and trying to figure out where I want to take my music. So things have been good on the production side.
Has this situation influenced your creative perspective? What social and musical implications do you think this situation can lead to?
It hasn’t impacted my creative perspective much, not yet anyway. However, I did have a few gigs that got cancelled in cities I had never played in before due to C19. So I’m pretty disappointed about that. Also we had Teki Latex booked for our club night Palidrone in Edinburgh a few weeks ago. Unfortunately we had to cancel. I believe that the industry will struggle a lot over the year. I feel that everyone has got to come together and help support each other as much as possible once this whole situation is over.
Can you tell us something about your current or future projects? Where can we continue to see and hear J Wax?
Well I’m currently finishing up my second EP which is due out this summer on a new Scottish label. It’ll be available digitally as well as on vinyl, which i’m very excited for. Apart from that I’m just going to focus on playing more gigs and start working on further projects.