CJ Art

The 107th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer CJ Art.

CJ Art

1. If you had to pick one track which solidified your love for electronic music early on what would it be?

Haha, that’s a really interesting and also quite difficult question 😉 Difficulty may lie in the answer ‘cause of multiplicity and variety of influences that affected on me musically when I was kid, but I think that the “crucial” moment (if I can say so) was the mid & end of 90s. Then I definitely found myself in electronic music and as my music roots go back to those magic times I’d have to dig in my head for some compilations/mixes released between 90 and 00. To be honest, in my country it was really hard to hear/find some quality electronic music before year 2k (and even in the first years of 21st century). It’s my humble opinion of course, but I feel that a lot of people from my generation may agree 😉 So discovering some new sounds often happened by accident. I loved electronic music artists and bands like Jean-Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, Gus Gus, Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze, Enigma, Delerium, Deep Forest, Leftfield, Underworld etc. etc., but when in 1994/5 I’ve heard some (totally unknown for me back then) mixes or compilations by Paul Oakenfold with tracks from Spooky (Little Bullet), Man With No Name (Sly-Ed, Teleport), Hallucinogen (LSD) etc. I was totally amazed. I felt like ‘damn, that music takes me on a real trip!’…

Okay, I see my answer is slowly changing into some essay, so maybe I’ll pick one track, haha ;D Let it be not mentioned before Sasha – Xpander from 99, I suppose that may have been the moment of ‘solidification’ 😉

2. What was your first and last DJ gig?

I’m not sure if I remember my exactly the first DJ gig. I’ve started DJing (guest sets, radio shows etc.) in year 2k, but I suppose first real club gig was a year later. On the other hand, the recent one I remember very well! 🙂 S.U.N. Festival 2014 in Hungary, great festival, amazing atmosphere, beautiful music & people. I’ve played there 2,5 hour on special stage (Kaleidoscope) where during the entire soundtrip you could also enjoy totally superb visualisations done live by my talented friend Vjane Vortex Visual Division. In short words – what a magic night that was! 🙂

3. What was the first and last record you purchased?

Oh no, don’t do this to me again, haha! I hope you don’t mind if I say that I don’t remember my first bought record? 😉 and recently… recently I receive so many promos from my fav artists and labels daily (thank you!), that It would be quite hard for me to check out also music shops and buy certain records, but yes, from time to time I do buy some classic stuff which is hard to find elsewhere – it’s always cool to undust probably forgotten gems and play them in sets 🙂

4. What would you say is the highlight of your career thus far?

I know it’s may sounds cliché, but music (and art overall) is like air in my life. Can’t imagine existence without it, so all things I did, I do now and will do in the near future are ’highlights’ for me, there’s no career kind of thing etc., just a passion 24/7, that’s how I feel 😉 All the smaller and bigger musical steps, releases, sets, radios shows, parties with fantastic, smiling people who love what you do, who shows support every day, all that brings a lot of happiness and motivation, that’s most important for me, definitely 🙂

5. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?

Oh man, what I can say? Let me think 😉 Maybe that I’m rarely serious? I suppose that may be a kind of key to keep some distance and balance in my life, you know, it’s like you need darkness to see the light, feel cold to appreciate the warmth, use water to control fire… yeah, it may be that kind of stuff, haha 😉

6. Who are some of the best undiscovered talents in your eyes?

Ahhh, lots of them out there!! I believe that if you will dig deeply enough, you will always find talented artists which fit your taste, maybe not today, not tomorrow, but at the right moment you will find them for sure 🙂

I try to do my best to support new, undiscovered talents since many years, and I do it till now. You may check out my radio shows, live sets, charts etc. and I’m sure you will find some yet unknown names 🙂 Would be hard to mention the certain names and do not miss anybody, but for example I remember when I was one of the first guys playing tracks from ‘Ivo’ aka ‘Dark Soul Project’, it’s been years, years back on Spectrum sets @ Frisky radio and live gigs at various parties – now his tracks are supported by the top jocks like Hernan Cattaneo, I’m really, really glad about it 🙂

7. Which producers consistently inspire you?

Haha, and again that’s the topic for an essay! But I’ll try to keep it short this time 😉 It won’t be true if I say that some artists inspire me ‘consistently’. Every day inspiration may be different. Influences comes from entire universum, nature, space, art, people, situations etc. etc. Same with music. One day I’m into a world of Pink Floyd, Ozric Tentacles, Tool, Riverside, Lez Zeppelin etc., another it’s Shpongle, Dead Can Dance, Delerium, Kaya Project, Asura, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Akshan and some folk/world music. When it’s 4×4 day I listen to artists like Kliment, Frangellico, Merkaba, Atmos, Oliver Prime etc. etc. On the other hand it may be day for acoustic, jazz/nu jazz or classiacal/modern classical music + I love movie/game soundtracks!

But of course most frequently it’s wide (really wide) range of underground electronic music 🙂

8. What artist or track would you love to remix? and who would you love to be remixed by?

That’s a tough one, again! There are so many great artists on this planet (and maybe on other planets too, haha;) ) that it would be really hard task to pick just one artist or track 😉

9. Record labels are a dime a dozen these days, which ones if any standout for you?

All labels have it’s own ups and downs. Like most of us, I used to love many of so called ‘legendary’ labels back in the days. Nowadays, many of them are closed or, if they still works, there are too few and far between releases that fit my style. Of course, sometimes it’s just a matter of taste 😉

But sure, I have my favs since many years like: Joof, Mistique, Bonzai etc., as well as a bunch of small new labels, which I wish a lot of success, devotion and patience!

10. What would you say is the best mix compilation of all time?

I’d like to mention a looot of great compilations in various genres, but okay, this time will pick one to make it shorter ;)) Mo-Shic – Distorted Patterns. I don’t know if it’s best, but I keep coming back to this one quite a lot 😉

11. Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)

Food: Some tasty meal? 🙂
Drink: Tea, definitely.
Drug: Music and … tea, yeah I’m a ‘teaholic’ 😉
Animal: All creations of nature.
TV Show: I do not watch TV too much, sorry 😉
Movie: Cube (first part only!), Space Odyssey, Gatacca, Equilibrium to mention just a few.
Video Game: Dune (primarily as a book).
Album: Moshic ‘Salamat’.
Track / Song: Pink Floyd ‘High Hopes’.
Producer / Band: Simon Posford / Shpongle.
Record Label: Joof Recordings.
Nightclub: Maybe some Open Air party? 😉
DJ: John ‘00’ Fleming.

12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?

To be honest, I always try to close my sets with tracks picked like there were last ones I’d ever play. Usually those tracks play in my head for many hours after the set, so I need to pick ‘em carefully, haha ;)) Mostly those are some so called ‘classics’ or special records for me personally, which I don’t have an occasion to play in the middle of my sets. Also I like to close the entire sound journey with some outro that will reverberate in listener’s mind after the trip comes to an end. That element may refer to the beginning, so we could call it as a some kind of a framing device 😉

segment collected by Benjaminas Bagdonas.

CJ’s remix of Red Nails ‘Somewhere’ is out now on Massive Harmony Records, you can purchase the release: here

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  • Mitch Alexander
    Mitch Alexander

    WRITER @ C-U

    Mitch Alexander is the owner of microCastle | Beatport "One of the most influential, tastemaker labels out there and also part of our genre committee."