In a day and age when all DJs seem to also be producers, actors, singers, or pretty much anything that doesn’t actually involve putting a needle to a record, it’s nice to know that guys like Jackmaster still exist. A genuine home-grown hero, Jack Revill’s rise to fame is about as storybook perfect as is possible. A chance hearing of Model 500’s ‘The Chase’ whilst mopping floors in Glasgow’s legendary Rub-A-Dub record shop opened his eyes to the possibilities of electronic music outside of the chart house he was listening to. Recruiting like-minded friends, he got involved in the city’s vibrant club scene eventually starting the long running Numbers night. Taking their cue from the irreverent selections of the legendary Club 69, the crew went on to form the Wireblock, Dress 2 Sweat and Stuff Records’ imprints, releasing tracks from the likes of Hudson Mohawke and Rustie. As their popularity started snowballing, they made the decision last year to combine forces across the Glasgow scene and form the Numbers collective which has steadily been shaping its post-dubstep sound with a number of landmark releases as well as amassing column inches. Jackmaster has led the charge, spreading their unashamedly full-on party sound to dance floors all over the world and snatching DJ Magazine’s Breakthrough DJ of 2010 award in the process. FABRICLIVE now proudly presents its 57th release with a peek into the Glaswegian mischief-maker’s eclectic record bags.
"The reason that I'm not really producing music is because I just think that at the moment, I'd be doing it for the wrong reasons. You shouldn't make music with the objective of furthering your career as a DJ, or to become famous. Too many people are doing that these days I think. I'll make music when I feel that I need to do it as a means of expressing myself. I don't think you could ever call me a heads DJ. It's always been about the party for me and I think that's really come through in the mix." Jackmaster
The mix itself brings a taste of the relentless nature of the Numbers dancefloor, where the parties are fast, frantic and intense. With a tracklist running to almost 30 tracks in just 70 minutes, they come short and sharp, running the whole gamut of what’s considered ‘party music’, from Detroit techno classics to the orphaned children of garage, dubstep and grime, the only thing that stays consistent is the upbeat tempo. Kicking things off with a slice of classic disco from The Fantastic Aleems, we head straight into classic ‘hands in the air’ territory with the Inner City anthem ‘Big Fun’. For someone who constantly talks up his love for 90s dance classics, or the music that most resonates from his childhood, it’s no surprise to hear Kim English’s soaring vocals on the proto-garage ‘Nite Life’ emerge out of the robot funk of Model 500. There’s a nod to Jamaica and in turn their grime compatriots down south, with an MC name checking the whole crew on the unreleased calypso bounce of Geiom’s ‘2 4 6’ which swiftly rolls along taking in melodic breakbeat, the staccato stabs of acid yearning in ‘The Sun Can’t Compare’ and Addison Groove’s juke-influenced groove. The middle section is the peak time, full strobe moment presented as a kind of rave sandwich, with the comedy Miami Bass of Splack Pack as the x-rated bread while Mad Mike brings an unusually sensitive side with a cut of euphoric piano house and a Wookie remix leading into the Todd Terry jacker ‘Can You Feel It?’. It’s the sound of 90s rave as channelled through the mind of someone who grew up in the online world with access to all the disparate strands of hardcore influenced music, from the neo-NRG of Fix to frenetic ghetto tech, weaving all the influences into each other with a single-minded purpose, for people to be able to dance without feeling guilty about enjoying moments of unexpected nostalgia. The mix ends with a trio of cuts with AFX’s unsettling acid squelch melded into the jerky vocal patterns from Skepta’s ‘Doin’ It Again’ and finishing up on a high note with that most unexpected of danceable singles, the track which exposed Radiohead’s unashamed electronic genius, the alienation anthem of ‘Idioteque’.