With his next set in Farringdon due to take place on our very first Saturday of the year where the nomadic DJ is set to join two of his previously cited inspirations (Villalobos & Richards) we jumped on email to find out more about his journey and preview his sounds in the way of this exclusively recorded fabric Promo Mix that Amir introduces perfectly for us here...
"This mix was recorded using two Technics turntables, two CDJs and a RANE MP2016s rotary mixer. It’s a mostly vinyl selection from the past, with the occasional digital track of the past year. My philosophy behind every recorded mix is to capture how I would play at a club, it's recorded in one shot and always unedited."
Download: Amir Javasoul fabric Promo Mix
Can you tell us about your first contact with music – what kind of music were you brought up on?
I was intrigued by all genres of music from early on, and this is still true today. Growing up in Iran, I was exposed to whatever my parents were into at the time, which was anything from classical to tisco and to more traditional Persian music. I don’t remember them ever being into the easy top 40 stuff, which is a blessing really. It exposed me to music that had more depth in my opinion, whatever genre it may be, tt also made me search for more. From there, I went through a whole lot of phases from MJ and Prince to a lot of hip hop and R&B, but also Pink Floyd and Phish, or Depeche mode and Bowie, but then also Chopin and Bach. I guess what I’m trying to say is that music in general has had a big influence on me, and I can't pin it down to one particular genre or format
And then how did that move to the place you are now – in the world of electronic music?
The move to electronic music came in two distinct phases for me. I first discovered Brian Eno, Depeche mode and New Order shortly after moving to Canada in the late 80s. I can’t say that I was blown away by it from the start but it kept me interested until I went to my first few parties in Montreal in the mid 90s. Then it was one particular party with Derrick Carter as the DJ that made me want to become the DJ I am today.
You’ve cited Craig Richards as an influence – when did you first see him play?
I moved to Europe in 2001, a few years after Fabric opened so I had the chance to come hear Craig at the club on a few occasions. We also played in Paris together, and more recently at Piknic Electronik.
What is it about what he does that hit you?
Craig is a DJ! And he’s always been a DJ. That’s what he does. And he does it so brilliantly. This is all so important today, in an era where successful producers get thrown in the spotlight and have to ‘learn’ how to DJ almost overnight. It’s also important to ME because I refuse to simplify what I call “the DJ culture”. I still believe it to be a lifelong art, a journey, and a work in progress. I believe in learning the history, in vinyl digging, in finding the perfect beat to layer with that record. The constant mystery of how no one can replicate the original acid house, 25 years later. But I digress. To sum it up, I cite Craig as an influence (alongside, Derrick Carter, Ricardo Villalobos and DJ Harvey) because he really defines the word DJ to me.
Can you tell us a bit about Montreal and how you’re connected to the scene there?
Montreal has always been a very important city for underground electronic music, it’s my home and where I grew up. I moved away from it for 10 years, but came back around 3 years ago. The scene is healthy and thriving again these days. I’ve been involved in a few different projects and club residencies alongside my friends, as well as playing both seasonal outdoor festivals – Piknic and Igloofest. That being said, we never shy away from throwing an impromptu “loft party” here and there.
What’s your opinion of Europe and what’s going on here compared to on your side of the Atlantic?
The way I see it, Europe as a whole didn’t give in so easily to this mass EDM wave/market that was manufactured in the US. That’s the main difference. You have to understand that the majority of kids in the US only know what has been shown to them as a form of electronic music, and that is the hands-in-the-air-fist-pumping-EDM kind. Europe has for the most part steered clear of that. I should mention however that some major underground electronic music markets like New York City for example are booming right now! I hope this will have a positive effect for the scene in North America in the years to come.
Is it true that you left Montreal for a period – why was that and where did you go?
Yes. I moved to Paris from 2001 to 2011. It was initially for my day job (IT engineering), but I quickly met some good folks with a common interest in throwing some good parties and the rest is history. Starting with Filipe Alves and the Delahouse/Terrassa parties. Moving on to a residency at Queen club, and then the L’enfer/Redlight days with Ludo. In most of these places I was able to book the guest DJ for my night. This in turn helped me establish contact, and create long lasting friendship with some of my favourite DJs and producers. Living in Paris also gave me the chance to tour most of the cities in Europe much easily. I played in London quite often actually. Classic records party at The End, and the Dig Your Own Rave parties at T-Bar were some of my favourite times in the city.
Tell us about Piknik Electronic and what your role is there…
Piknic Electronik is an outdoor season-long festival (May to September). It’s been around for over 10 years now. It is run by people with a real passion for music, and it’s done for all the right reasons. I first played it in July 2007 during a memorable Canada weekend tour with my dear friend Rob Mello (I was living in Paris at the time), and I’ve been playing it the past two years. Maher Daniel and I did the opening weekend in 2013 playing under our alias “Creatures of Habit” alongside Carl Craig, and I played with Craig Richards this past September. I’m happy to collaborate with the Piknic crew and I’m proud of what they have achieved so far. You will hear more from them in the coming months as they start a new venture in Australia!
Musically, what artists are creating right now that excites you the most?
Hmmm. That’s a little difficult to answer. I mean, we all have our favourite producers and labels. There’s always a lot of good music being made. You just have to look for it a little deeper nowadays. I can tell you that right now I’m listening to the new D’angelo album in my hotel room in Las Vegas and it’s brilliant! First album in 14 years, I’m so happy he’s back. My homies Apollonia’s first album is also great. Straight up dancefloor, no fillers. They had an amazing year and they so deserve it. I’m also super excited about a certain Ricardo Villalobos RMX that should come out in 2015. But I can’t say much more there...
You started DJing in the 90’s that’s a pretty great span of being active with music I kind of want to know whether you felt (as sometimes the sentiment is felt) that that was in general a better time for dance music than now?
Ahhhh. That’s the question I really want to talk about actually! I’m not going to be all nostalgic and jaded and say that it was way better back then. Because the way it is now, a lot of folks are making a good living out of the DJ life. There’s something for everybody and that’s a good thing! It wasn’t always like that. But in my opinion, the invention of the digital DJ and the availability of its tools to everyone have had a negative impact on the real DJ culture. Let me elaborate on that; I have recently developed a theory that all music that you get for your Traktor, Serato etc comes with an expiry date. That after a while, you just forget about 90% of them, no matter how good the song is. It just sits there on your computer begging to be played but you have moved on to another playlist. This is because you haven’t established a common human connection with it. You haven’t touched it. It is not a thing. You don’t visually identify with it the same way you did with vinyl. Therefore, you forget. Whereas I can look at every single one of my vinyl from a distance and tell you who it is by, which cut does it for me, and what memories I have from playing it. Now, I don’t want to take anything away from the digital-only producers because it’s not the music itself that’s at fault. It’s the format I have a problem with. Therefore I’m seriously considering going back to how it used to be, vinyl-only.
As you’ll be playing for us at the start of a fresh year can you share what plans or aspirations you have laid out for yourself to achieve in 2015?
Plan is always continue to grow as an artist. I had a great 2014 and I’m very blessed to start this new year playing at fabric amongst two of my friends and inspirations (Ricardo & Craig). Thank you Judy for giving me this opportunity. I’m also looking forward to the rest of this tour, and should be back in Europe again in April. I’d love to do some dates in Ibiza this summer. Underground or DC-10 with Dan, Dyed and Shonky for example. I’m also spending more time in the studio producing so you will hopefully see some new remixes and production from me in 2015. Both solo and as “Creatures of Habit” with Maher Daniel.
AOKI Takamasa & Tujiko Noriko - 26th Floor (Aesthes Rework)
Undercover Agency - Outrun
Apollonia - El Senor Vador
Colm III - Take me higher (Johnny Rock rmx)
Valenzuela & Bucci - Mas
Eriko Tanabe - Moonlight
DJ Q - The Zones
Nail - A kitten
BT- Remember (Mood II Swing Dub)
Sound Patrol - Cruising with the top down (Lazy sunday edition)
Ricardo Villalobos - Fools Garden (Black Conga)
John Thomas - Jeff’s Song
Mugwump - Yajna (No fears Dub)