In Balance with Jimmy Van M

His smooth mixing style, creative programming and talent for production have placed him among the elite of today's DJs. With several single releases for labels such Bedrock, Regress, Subliminal, Sunkissed Records and Regress, people found Jimmy Van M as a distinctive producer who knows how to rock the dance floor, how to warm up things and how to induce a feel of euphoria, but also nostalgia with his music.

Jimmy Van M has built a reputation on being among the most patient and sophisticated dj's to be found globally from his opening sets to his peak-time club sessions and all the way through to the after-hours parties that he's become so famous for. His ability to deliver music ranging from the deepest of early morning sessions to the most banging and driving peak-hour main-room affairs has placed him in seemingly unlimited and ever-delightful company throughout the world.

It remains as one of the most distinguishing features of this very urbane and global performer that, for him, the music must move and then move on. When it comes to atmosphere, vibe and drive there are very few dj's that can stand alongside Jimmy Van M. Whether it's putting together a cross-country tour, programming innovative and forward thinking dance music or dj'ing to thunderous masses anywhere from Buenos Aires to Tokyo he is one of the most characteristic performers to be found anywhere.

I like making mistakes. I think it's more human; sometimes when you make a mistake, it makes you want to do it better. I think computers its one step forward away from being human.
Last Friday, October the 6th, Beat Factor catched the electronic dance music pioneer Jimmy Van M while having a gig in Bucharest in Kristal Glam Club. As he entered at the decks around 1:30, we had some time to chat about his music, about the Balance mix CD, about gigs, about Jimmy Van M...He came up to the club with a brand new pair of headphones, a Mac, a bag of CDs and the movie Indiana Jones, just in case. As he is always on the road, his DJ bag started to be transformed in a simple traveling luggage.

The Balance 010 compilation

Asked to say some words about his new achievement on EQ, the Balance compilation, Jimmy said he "had fun making it". It took him more than 3 months to find the whole tracks and to compile the compilation. Why is the compilation composed of three different mixes? "I came up with the idea of doing three different CDs and building it. The first CD starts very mellow and the tempo keeps building into the third mix." As the Balance compilation is usually a two CD mixes (with the exception of Chris Fortier who made another bonus mix besides the two main mixes), Jimmy says that three CDs is a lot of music. And he didn't follow a main rule, also doesn't think this is out of a normal compilation. "The music on this mix album is mostly music that I loved for many years. I've always wanted to do something like chill out to an album, among dance music." Regarding the compilation tour, it will start in Australia next week, so the European tour won't be until February. For those who are not familiar with the tenth installment from Balance, Jimmy Van M did a pretty good job using diverse music in order to complete three different mixes, he started with "downtempo", continuing with "midtempo" and then moving to "uptempo". "This compilation was 15 years in the making; it offers different shades of music. The first 2 CDs are downtempo mixes that expose a different side of me as a DJ", said Jimmy in a press release, just when he completed the compilation. What he expects from this compilation is that people to listen to it for a long time, since there's much good and diverse music. "It was ultimately created for the audience in pursuit of quality."

Jimmy Van M, the producer and the DJ

Record labels such as Bedrock, Regress or Subliminal released good EPs produced by Jimmy Van M, such as "Love Like Sleep", "Sanctuary" and "Jetlaq", also a massive 2 CD compilation released on Bedrock in 2001; just to name a few. The present seems to be bright for Jimmy Van M. "I plan to do more production work; I just finished a track with Nick Warren, called One and Only on Hope Recordings. As I said, I want to do much production, I have a partner and his name is Steve T; he comes from a rock and roll background, so we had a lot of fun working together. I plan to do a lot of DJ-ing, I have some concepts for future CDs that I'd like to do, there are also different." Should we expect an artist album coming out? "Maybe, it depends, you know? Right now, my friend Steve is making an album, it will also be the concept of an album so I might remix something, it could be fun. I'd love everything to happen next year, but, things take time." Despite Jimmy came with a laptop in his bag, he didn't use it. "I like making mistakes. I think it's more human; sometimes when you make a mistake, it makes you want to do it better. I think computers are one step forward away from being human." Nevertheless, Jimmy Van M still made and makes live acts. "Yeah, I've tried live, I've tried Tracktor, I've tried Final Scratch; tonight I'll play just CDs". Speaking about remix skills, Jimmy says that it's different ways of looking at it. "It might be certain parts you love about the remix. Most of the time I think the artist you remix wants you to keep the feeling like the original".

Features Archive

[2008]

In Balance with Jimmy Van M
PUBLISHED

October 9, 2006 at 2:42 PM CEST

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Beat Factor

Delta Heavy Tour

Jimmy didn't shine only in dance music, but also in business. His Delta Heavy concept entered the dance music history, not only in America, but also worldwide. The proof is the Delta Heavy DVD released on System Recordings back in February this year. Despite releasing several popular mix CDs and playing to crowds in other cities, Sasha & John Digweed couldn't possibly reach all their fans in a vast land like America. As a result, Sasha & John Digweed's protégé Jimmy Van M. conceived a massive first-of-its-kind touring electronic music event. The revolutionary event was called Delta Heavy. Any memories brought back by this? "Yeah, it was really amazing, intense, visuals, really strong visuals. A very strong and real experience. One important event was in Denver, Colorado, together with Brad, the same guy that runs Beatport; another one amazing event was the Tabernacle in Atlanta, in Austin was really fun with John Digweed".

Behind DJ-ing

Speaking about favorite producers, Jimmy Van M likes Peter Gun, Trentemoller, Guy Gerber, D-Nox. Persons like James Holden are Jimmy's most appreciated DJs. Asked where he'd like to play and never had the occasion, Jimmy says that India and Thailand. "Some places I haven't been to is India and Thailand; yes, India is one place I'd really like to go play". At the moment, Jimmy thinks the hottest place around which perfectly reflects the dance music scene is Buenos Aires. But still Jimmy can be found touring in Australia, UK (which he doesn't think it's the best regarding the dance music scene) and Europe. Living in London for almost two years now, he experienced almost every club, he had the occasion to play elsewhere, including clubs and festivals. With a few delays in our conversation, we started to talk about clubbing and the major role of the DJ. "In my opinion, going to clubs is something superficial." But he admitted that dance music is not superficial, even if a track is no longer good after three or four months. "Good music will still resist, it still will be played, no matter how old it is."

Conclusions

We stopped here, as he had to enter the decks. Unfortunately, the club was not as crowded as he was expecting, but the people who came there I want to believe they were there for Jimmy and not just for showing off. Jimmy played some really cool tunes, but as he said the European tour will start at the end of 2006, he didn't offer an insight of his Balance compilation, although the sound was really fresh and enjoyable. I found a calm and cool guy in Jimmy Van M, an open minded DJ who is not afraid of trying different new things, even if he asked me "what is minimal music?" when I wanted to know what he will play later that night. First of all, Jimmy means legend - you can't speak about Sasha or John Digweed and not include Jimmy too. What else he should do if he gives up music and DJ-ing? "Well, I'd like to build something. Maybe a house or something like that". But he doesn't want to stop just right now, since he has many new plans and concepts to develop.

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