Jason James is a talented producer, DJ, and event host who has brought a signature sound to Los Angeles through his Black Lodge events and Force Placement productions. We are excited to have Jason on board for the third ITW mix in our series.
With his recent release on Clave House, James breaks into genre-defying territory on "Retinex" with its swirling synths overlapping breakbeats and vocal snippets. "Ratatat" thumps with more four to the floor groove and kinetic acid over pretty arps, vocals and stuttered kicks.
On this third outing of our Into the Woods mix series, James takes us through funk, jazz, soul, house, future funk, and broken beat. A unique and wonderful ride on the cosmos. We got a chance to chat with Jason to ask about this mix and his recent music creations.
ITW: Thanks for taking the time to create this mix and answer some questions. Can you tell us about the mix you created? What sorts of vibes are inside?
Jason James: For this particular mix I went for a deep house/broken-beat vibe, similar to what I played at the Andrés party back in January. That party was such an incredible night of music. Andrés always blows me away whenever I see him perform.
ITW: As a DJ, you have a very refined palette of sound. Is this a result of specific tastes or a well curated dj box?
Jason James: I'm not sure, I probably spend too much time hunting for old records on Discogs lol. Lately I've been making an effort to check out more new music though.
ITW: We're big fans of your latest release, the Retinex EP on Clave House. Do you mind if we ask what you are using to make tunes?
Jason James: Thanks so much! Most of the EP was written in Abelton along with a few pieces of hardware (Electribe EMX-1, XOXBox). I just recently purchased a Yamaha DX-200 and I've been having a lot of fun messing around with it.
ITW: What is your usual process of starting a track?
Jason James: I usually start with drums and get a little groove going first. After that I'll start messing around with a bassline and adding other layers of sounds. Lately I've been starting all my tracks with the MPC 1000 and just building from there. It's so easy to bang out a few rhythms with the pads and get things rolling.
ITW: Favorite authors during a quarantine?
Jason James: I just started reading Horace Tapscott's autobiography "Songs of The Unsung", I highly recommend it if you're a jazz fan.