By Zachary Hooker
With releases from artists such as Rustie, Hudson Mohawke and Deadboy, it’s an understatement to say that Glasgow’s party night/record label Numbers has been an influential force in dance music over the past two or three years. In anticipation of their upcoming party at Seoul’s Cakeshop, Zach H of local DJ collective/party starters Silk/Juice was able to sit down for a brief chat with two of the main forces behind Numbers — Jackmaster (a.k.a. Jack Revill) and P.O.L.Style (a.k.a Paul Beveridge).
In what follows, the guys discuss how they got their stage names, scene-building in Glasgow and elsewhere, and what’s in store for Numbers in 2013. Jackmaster was also kind enough to leave you with his preferred warm-up tunes for this weekend’s party, reaching back to 2005 for Diplo’s FabricLive.24 mix.
Jackmaster and P.O.L.Style will be spinning at Itaewon’s Cakeshop on Friday, February 15 with support from local selector KINGMCK.
Q: Congrats on grabbing eight of the top ten Google search results for “JACKMASTER.” I was really expecting to see more sites referencing Chicago house, but the only two that pop up are Farley Keith’s (aka Farley JACKMASTER Funk) Wikipedia page and JACKMASTER’s (aka Richie Hawtin) cheeky 1993 cut “Bang the Box.” Did you have any reservations using the name JACKMASTER? How did you settle on it?
A: The name chose me to be honest. It was my nickname when I worked at Glasgow’s Rubadub Records from when I was like 13 years old. When they nicknamed me it I didn’t even know who Farley JACKMASTER Funk was. I had to choose a name for myself for a mix I did on Claude Young’s radio show, and I just went with my nickname at the time!
Q: Everybody loves to point out that you are in fact not a producer, but a DJ. Why not produce? Ever tempted to dive into it?
A: I produce from time to time in the house. It’s just that it isn’t really good enough. When all your friends are such great producers it sets a very high standard. I hope one day to release my own record, but it would be a long time off.
Q: Numbers seems to have slowed a bit over the past year as a label. However, you’ll launch a massive new festival this April — Pleasure Principle. If I’m correct, Numbers in fact began as a party before it was a label. Is this a return to roots? What’s in store for Numbers over the next couple years?
A: It’s not a conscious decision to return to our roots, no. It was just logical progression for us. An opportunity presented itself and we had to take it. This year will see new music from Deadboy, an album from Redinho and lots more secret stuff!
Q: Word association! Respond to each item in under three words.
EDM: Stupid american saying
Q: If possible, name a mix — by someone other than yourself — that we can pass on to our
readers as a warm-up for your set. Something you that you know is readily available on the web
would be preferred, but we can also dig if you want to make us
A: Let’s go with Diplo’s Fabric mix. A masterclass!
Q) What’s the story behind the moniker, “P.O.L.Style”? It was too much work to type that, but
then again I’m pretty lazy.
A) When I was younger I used to bump Wu-Tang all day. For those not so familiar with The Wu: one of the crew members, Method Man, had a tune called P.O.L.Style (Palestinian Liberation Organization) so my friends started calling me P.O.L.Style (cuz my name is Paul) and it just stuck.
Q) Most places around the net have you billed as a versatile producer/remixer and Numbers’
Tokyo connection. What was the motivation to head east?
A) It was more circumstantial than anything. My situation at the time presented me with a good chance to relocate to another country. So I thought I may as well go somewhere completely different that I knew very little about. One of my best mates was living in Tokyo, so I decided to give it a try.
Q) Despite Tokyo’s long history of embracing underground electronic music, I’m tempted to say that you’re current endeavors in Japan might very well remind you of organizing and spinning at early Numbers parties. Are there any parallels that you are finding between “scene-building” in Glasgow, London, Tokyo or elsewhere?
A) We definitely helped build a scene in Glasgow, and we’re lucky that the people there are so keen to embrace new styles of music. However, it’s definitely been more of a challenge in Tokyo – trying to familiarize people with brand new styles of music like Jersey Club, UK funky or vogue right as they begin, and obviously trying to compete (as a foreigner) with the big Japanese promoters like Smash.
Certain styles of electronic music, like Detroit techno, have always been popular in Tokyo, but it’s more difficult to encourage people to step out of their scene and try something new. That’s the main drive for me to do Numbers in Tokyo though, is to try and expose people to the same artists and styles of music we play at Numbers in the UK, while mixing it up with the styles of music we’ve always played, like techno, house and IDM.