Few artists in todays game are as prolific as Jay Tripwire. With over two hundred releases on many of Europe and north America’s most cutting edge labels, it’s a testament to the Canadian DJ that his skills as a producer have come so far with tracks included on compilations such as fabric, Cocoon, Renaissance and Bedrock. He speaks with MEOKO ahead of his appearance at Cartuli’s Day this Saturday at one of London’s best and most cavernous warehouse spaces; Crucifix Lane. Included in his topics of chat are London, his most-played track, shooting Kalashnikov pistols with drunk Bulgarians and the crazy inspiration behind his latest podcast in the MEOKO mix series…
Hi Jay, thanks for joining us. You top the bill at the next Cartuli’s Day party in East London on December 15th. When you play in the capital, I imagine there’s a feeling of ‘comfortable pressure’ as you DJ, if that makes sense?
I love London..I started playing here for the End,then I switched to mainly playing Fabric, and a few other underground parties, I think I have played in London over 30 times in the course of my career, its one of the places I look forward to coming most and its one of the places on the planet that the music I play is really well received. London is full of crazy people and I feel at home amongst the characters, I have alot of close friends there and they are some of the best people I know, although London has some of the worst drag queens I have ever seen..
As someone who has seen the scene go through a series of peaks and troughs, where do you think house and techno is at now? Is it an exciting time for you as a DJ?
Djing is always exciting to me, in my 20+ years of doing this I am never ceased to be amazed by how far this thing has come. Its nice right now because ther eis a huge underground scene all over the world. It’s like being part of a rebellion against shit music, bad food, and gives the finger to the disposable culture we live in.
You have proven such a prolific producer over the years, exploring a variety of different styles. What are the main differences in the way you made music in the past and the way you do now? Is today a much more fluid experience?
I dont know I go through bouts where I am really productive and just go with the flow, in the 15 years I have been making records the well of inspiritation hasn’t dried up. I am always creating something, I have other creative hobbies, right now I am really into painting fantasy nudes of Bea Arthur. I just finished a piece where she is in a vineyard picking a grape while holding a rubber chicken.
Many artists are wary of producing too much material, wanting to ensure quality over quantity. Where does this approach sit with you? Have you ever worried you were over-saturating your own output?
I dont think of these things, I just make music, people are always asking me for remixes and to do releases, the demand is 5x what I can possibly actually do. There have been years where it slows down a bit, and some years are nuts…my multiple personality disorder also keeps me in check, I never know the other personalities have released or remixed.
Do current, contemporary sounds and styles influence you in the studio? Or would you describe it as a timeless working environment?
It all comes down to putting a black leotard on and doing interpretive dance to it. If i can become the haiku octopus and express myself that way, then its the kind of track that makes it out alive.
I keep the other tracks in a small jail. Im a DJ who happens to make music too, I draw on all the stuff I play and like and just create. I dont have an agenda or any motive behind making what I make, but I am quite content and lucky to have the longevity I have.
You’ve mixed the latest in the MEOKO podcast series. Tell us a little bit about your approach and track selection for the mix.
I let my dog and my baby girl pick the records for me, I then went into my chamber of sounds and disrobed and locked the padlocks behind me. I lit exactly 8 red candles and poured the wax on my hands so they would not slip off the pitch controls. I sat in the “soft rotini dog, facing the sun” pose for exactly 87 minutes while I would ponder existential conundrum.
After I awoke from my transcendental state I painted a water colour of a one eyed girl about to kiss a lizard man, they wore loin cloths and carried shields made of hardened spaghetti.
While enjoying a glass of Chinon I took in the painting, relishing the bouquet of the wine and preparing to play records.
This mix is the story of a man whom I shall call Thelosius, he comes from ancient Roma and has been transported into the future via wormhole into the year 2918, the world is post apocalyptic with only 1 remaining city. The city is inhabited by 2 tribes, one tribe are the descendants of Emu and the other is a form of human. This mix shows the spiritual warfare between the tribal Emu people and the technologically addicted humans as they struggle to rebuild their world after the ravages of a 200 year war…
Exclusive Jay Tripwire Mix – Click Image to Listen
How has your staunch dedication to production informed the manner in which you DJ over the years? How and where do the two disciplines cross over?
When i finally got my black belt in DJing I was only a blue belt at production, but now that I have achieved the honour of grand scoundrel and that encompasses a unilateral knowledge of the practice of the arts, yet the application is always where you can expand between the 2 disciplines.
I make music I wanna play most of the time, sometimes I make something that might be good to listen to, but my Dj style dictates the fact my music will be very Dj friendly and have a balance of fun with a serious methodical mindset towards the dancefloor.
There was talk of a 2012 LP from your 8 Channels alias. Is that still in the pipeline? If so, how is it progressing and what can we expect from the album?
That album has been done for a year now, it just hasn’t come out, the label is still waiting on getting their vinyl situation sorted out.The 8channels sound is more of a dubby deep techno fusion and the rule of thumb is I only use 8 channels for each song because I can only count to 8 in spanish.
Over the years, what do you think is the record you’ve played more than any other and why?
Floppy Sounds-Ultrasong-Wave records..Its one of the best records for me personally, that perfect blend of underground music with a hint of wierd and the bassline is MASSIVE.
Is there anything in particular you’d still like to achieve in your career that has so far eluded you?
Hmm well DJing has taken me to the strangest scenarios possible, donkey shows in Panama, Gator hunting in Florida, shooting Kalashnikov pistols with drunk Bulgarians, food poisoning more times than I can count (I even crapped myself in Mexico City airport on a layover once).
The things I get from my career that matter are meeting miscreants and deviants and engaging in all kinds of bizarre activities, eating local cuisine, and having a plethora of odd stories to tell. I don’t care about achievements and status, they don’t make legends, oddball behavior and doing stupid shit does…