Interview: James Dexter

James Dexter is a talented young UK artist who consistently delivers unique, and interesting productions across a variety of esteemed imprints. We sat down with him to talk about his latest ‘Hooked’ Ep on Bondage Music, and how he goes about making such highly thought of sounds…

Hey James, great to meet you! Introduce yourself to any of our readers that might be unfamiliar with your work…

Hi Guys, nice to meet you too. For people that might be unfamiliar with my work, I’m a DJ/Producer from London, I’ve had releases on labels such Pokerflat Recordings, Gruuv, Rebellion, Little Helpers as well as my own label imprint “Inermu” and others.

Musically what excites you and turns you on? What sounds and scenes?

The thing that excites me most about the music I love and play would have to be the groove of a track. For me it is the most essential thing for solid underground house music. You can get away with so few elements in a track when the groove is right. That’s why when I’m making music I always start with the drums, set the groove from the start and it really helps to shape the track the right way.

Do your productions relate to you as a DJ or are they different sides of you as an artist?

Generally I would say when I DJ I play a bit deeper than the music I make, so I guess you could say there are different sides to me as an artist. But it always depends on when and where I’m playing……I generally play 1 or 2 of my own productions in a set (usually testing out unreleased material), the rest of the set will be good solid Deep/Underground Grooves.

Tell us about your new EP for Bondage – what inspired or influenced it?

Hooked is a 3 track EP, which I would say hopefully has a little bit of something for everyone in. The first track “Trip” has a more stripped back underground groove sound to it, where as “93” has an old school deep house kind of touch, and “Hooked” has a bit more of an upbeat tech house style groove on it. I try not to be genre strict when making music, I go with the groove and feel more than anything and if i like it, then it doesn’t matter to me what “Genre” it falls under, and i think this EP shows that. There are three different styles here, but they work together and give a nice diversity to the package.

One of the tracks is called 93 – is that a reference to the dance scene of that era? Are you a fan of that time?

It is actually a nod to the earlier 90’s sound, yes. There’s some great music from that era, that still sounds solid today. I’m definitely a fan.

How important is it to know your house history when producing, or can that be more of a hinderance than a help?

I guess it totally depends on who you are and how you make your music, for some people it can be a huge part of what they do, especially if their style is heavily influenced by early sounds. I don’t think it’s essential to know the history when producing, and it would only be a hindrance if you let it be, perhaps…if you over reference and try to replicate too much, then you lose your originality in the process. I do think it can only be a good thing to know your house history if you are contributing to the future of it. Just try put your own spin on it.

You also run your own imprint Inermu Records. What are the pros and cons of running a label in 2018? What’s good and bad about the job?

For me there have been a lot more pros than cons with running the label so far. It’s been a great networking tool, I’ve formed some great relationships with other artists through the label and well as discovering and releasing some great music. I do everything myself with Inermu, from the A&R, to the artwork and the accounts (probably the con side to running a label, as it is a bit on the boring side). The best thing for me about the job is putting out music I love and believe in from other artists and myself and getting the feedback from other DJ’s and music listeners.

What is the vibe of the music you look to release? Is there a style that makes things right for the label?

Again, I would have to say it all comes down to the groove of each track. I’m not genre strict/specific with the label, if the track has a solid groove to it and I know it will still sound great and I’ll still be playing it in few years time then it ticks all the boxes for me and I’ll put it out.

What else have you got coming up/are you working on?

I’m very excited about what I have coming up this year, next up will be a remix of LondonGround followed by an EP from myself…both coming out on my label “Inermu”. I have remixes coming on Decay & Noexcuse, as well as EP’s on Deeperfect and Little Helpers. There will also be a Inermu Wax (Vinyl Only) VA series coming out very soon, which includes artists like Tuccillo, Clive Henry, Mihai Popoviciu, Two Diggers, David Delgado & myself.

What was the last record you bought that made you go ‘wow’ and why did it?

It would have to be a record I’ve actually signed to my label “Inermu”. It’s from Argentinian producer LondonGround called “Track Y”. I’ve been playing it in all my sets recently and it just works every time, the groove on it is spot on. I love it. It will be released on 12th March 2018 😉

James’ ‘Hooked’ Ep is out now on Bondage Music
Grab it here.