The next episode of DJ Kicks comes from Jackmaster. The Numbers cofounder and charismatic Glaswegian delivers an honest journey, unearthing a serious passion for the obscure boundaries of house and techno.
Featuring exclusive tracks from Tessela, Alcatraz Harry and Denis Sulta, Jackmaster AKA Jack Revill went through multiple attempts before he picked his final selections for the mix. "I was in the Caribbean DJing on a cruise ship that had no internet and got a call with the deadline. I went straight to my cabin on the boat and started picking out tracks on Rekordbox. The boat docked in Miami and I left my record bag in a taxi. I lost everything. My computer, all my USBs and new records. Once I got to Glasgow I bought a new computer, salvaged what music I could from old machines but most importantly delved deep into my record collection to find some obscure and forgotten bits that would do the CD justice. I holed up in the studio and managed to get the tracklist down within about a week, which is very quick for me. I thought it was solid but I listened to it on the plane and really hated it. So I went back to my old flat where my whole record collection is and started again. I probably did four or five different versions till I arrived at something I was really happy with."
This precision is what has made Jackmaster one of the most in demand DJs over the past few years. From humble beginnings in Scotland running events, his has been a grassroots movement to dominate the bills of some of the best electronic music events across Europe and America. The Numbers club night he cofounded a decade ago has forged a tight-knit and loyal scene in Glasgow and fruited a revered label that has seen the likes of Jessie Ware, SBTRKT, Rustie, Hudson Mohawke and Jamie xx all having released material. Jack has also hosted a series of shows for the globally renowned BBC Radio 1 allowing his charming personality and instinct for judging an audience to unite, a formula that continues to elevate his status as a world class DJ.
"The mix is influenced heavily by how I used to DJ at the first party I ever promoted, named Seismic, and another named Monox which was a straight up techno night where I was a resident from the age of 17. And although it wasn't my plan, it turned into a kind of tribute to the cities that really formulated me as a DJ: Detroit, Chicago and Glasgow."
The musical foundations of these cities are deeply embedded in the mix, as is Jack's knowledge from his first job working at Glasgow's infamous Rubadub record shop. "There are a couple of wee secret weapons on there that are stolen from the guys at Rubadub, and obviously tracks Q1.1 by Basic Channel and the M-Plant bits I picked up from them too. The rest is stuff I found myself or on mates labels or produced by friends."
Jack's loyalty and appreciation for his peers and roots is strongly evident in his actions. He still resides in his hometown of Glasgow and has spoken frankly about the role his career has played in his own personal journey. "Music was my escape when things were bad at home. Music was the bond that brought me and my best friends together, particularly Spencer who taught me how to DJ and who I'd hang out with every day mixing records. Music became my drive to do something with my life."
DJ Kicks is a testament to that journey Jack embarked on as a young teenager and a symbol of how far he has come. A well-considered and seamless course that plots his early influences and cements his status for years to come. "I think it's different to what a lot of people would expect from me, but for me it was important to do something honest and something that sets the record straight in a way. Some people think I'm a dubstep DJ, some people think I just bang out classics, but neither of those are true. I try not to be too purposely idiosyncratic when selecting music. It's kind of contrived. I want to educate people but never compromise my vision. I just want to play good music and tell my own story."