His first track 'Eggs Are Cute' was met with immediate success and signed by Nu-Republic Records, receiving major support from the planets leading DJs including James Zabiela and Sasha. Tracks packed with similar acid riffs and killer b-lines were soon to follow with three of them being instantly signed to Saved Records, following a chance meeting with label boss Nic Fanciulli. Further praise was given to James in a major interview when Fanciulli uttered just three words when asked who the next big thing in dance music was; "James Talk – Amazing."
More details about James and his talking music in this exclusive interview.
James Talk: My best mate Mick had some Energy Rush cds with tracks like Eberneezer Good on. I bought an Energy Rush dance CD too and loved it, it featured music from The Prodigy, Toni Di Bart, The Grid, and Degree's Of Motion. I suppose this was the first time I had heard dance music, Prior to this I had only ever listened to music in the charts and music my parents liked such as Pink Floys, Dire Straites, The Beatles and Queen.
I discovered mixing and djing in 1996, two friends of mine at school were talking about getting some decks to share, and they asked if I would like to join them and split the cost 3 ways. It never actually happened, but durring this time, I learnt about different manufactuers and equiptment. 6 Months later I saved up the money myself and purcased a set of turntables and a mixer. I had no idea how to mix tracks together and spent the first 6 months of my new hobby blending the breakdowns of records together to mix. It wasn't untill I went to a DJ workshop at my local youth centre that I learnt how to beat match.
BF: What are your musical influences as a producer?
JT: Everything to be honest, no one particular sound or artist. I suppose the early influence of The Prodigy has stayed with me in some form.
BF: What are you currently working on and what releases do you have coming up? Many people are waiting for a Talk compilation.
JT: Remixes, Loads of them. I've just finished a remix for Saved Records of a track by Denney, he's a dj and producer from Sheffield with a bright future. I've also just finished a mix for Funkagenda's label Groove Digital. The track is produced by Vito & Escobar and its called Jack The Groove. I just started work on a remix of Meat Katie's new single too for Adrfit, and soon after that I'm mixing the new Reflekt single Shine. The Beta Blokka, Harold Heath and Kid Blue mix for Lot 49 are still waiting to be released and I have a single for Get Physical due out this summer. I've mixed the next Thinking Out Loud CD for Nascent and its ready for release this June.
BF: When will we see the first release from your label Spoken Recordings? Why has it been postponed since March?
JT: We have been trying to finalise the distrobution, wether to go exclusively with one distrobuter or use many distrobuters over the UK. I think all this has been sorted now. I have had the TP's back so expect a release on vinyl and digital soon. The 2nd release is ready to roll soon after, an EP by myself and Dave Robertson.
BF: Back in March of 2006 you started a new Turnmills residency alongside King Unique at their bi-monthly night called Curfew Time. How is this going along?
JT: Good! KU were really pleased with the opening night and how I played. I'm sitting the May Curfew time out as Scott Udberg is coming down from Newcastle to play, but I'll be back in full force in July.
BF: What was the best gig for you in the year 2005? Any "juicy" stories?
JT: Renaissance @ The Cross in London warming up for Hernan Cattaneo. Great club, great atmosphere and great people.
BF: It was your first time at WMC in Miami this year. What are your impressions?
JT: Expensive, haha. It was good, I didn't party too much, but the parties I did go to were excellent. I did a little bit of business and caught up with some friends. I don't think Miami is so important for labels/producers as it was 5 years ago. With the dawn of mp3s and AIM/iChat you can send music to the biggest djs in a matter of moments. Some records still do surface in Miami tho, and its nice to put a face to a name.
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May 8, 2006 at 7:28 PM CEST
Vlad Dumitrescu ()
JT: Djing, travelling, more remixes and finally working on some singles. I'm warming up for Nic Fanciulli in June at Stealth in Nottingham, it will be the first time I've warmed up for Nic in a proper club so really excited about that, and of course my Essential Mix for Radio 1 sometime this year. No date confirmed as yet, but I have been asked.
BF: You are both producer and DJ. Which do you like best?
JT: Both, good for different reasons. I think im a DJ at heart tho.
BF: There are many talented DJs out there who will not see many gigs because they have never produced music. Do you feel that today a DJ must produce in order to be "in demand"?
JT: It definitely helps. I starting messing about with production as a bit of fun really and my early productions didn't get me any bookings. It wasn't untill the summer of 2005 that things picked up. I think unless you create a world wide dance smash then its going to take more than 1 release on a label to see any significant increase in djing. There are new artists and new tracks being released everyday, and there are only so many club nights in the world, you have to be a cut above the rest to stand out, and have a fair few releases of singles and remixes under yout belt.
BF: As the software technology for making music evolves, we are seeing the death of synthesizers and original studio equipment, just as we are seeing the death of vinyl. What is your take on this digital revolution?
JT: I hope hardware doesn't die out. It sounds amazing. It is very expensive tho, and not easy for the average bedroom producer to afford. Nor would they have the space to house a rack of synths and FX units. I'm not for or against either really, both are good, and have their positive and negatives.
Its definitely easier to get started on a purely software based setup. Most households have computers now, and you can get some really good software for just a couple of hundred pounds. Vinyl... I love it, but it is a pain to carry, so I burn all my vinyl to cd. I buy a lot of digital downloads and use a fair few sites. It's definitely a great resource but you loose that social area which you might have had in your local record shop. Also you need to spend hours going through all the trance tracks in the new releases before you get to any house music.Theres no shop assistant advising on whats hot.
BF: And finally, what do you like to do in your free time besides working on music?
JT: Nothing particularly exciting or unusual... hanging out with my girlfriend, clothes shopping, going to restaurants, watching films, chilling with my mates. The usual stuff. I try to get a balance so its not all work work work, but it is hard when you love your job. When I used to work 9-5 in an office. I would consider record shopping as something I did in my free time, now that is kinda part of my job..... Strange how things change.