James Holden Interview

James Holden, the main man on Border Community and also an outstanding DJ and music producer, has established himself over the past four years as one of the pillars of the dance music community, having a strong impact on it. He can be relied upon to produce consistently beautiful and futuristic tracks and equally stunning remixes, which are always a mainstay of the major league dj's sets, from Sasha, Digweed and Warren to Tong, Oakenfold and Tiesto.

His own dj talents have taken him round the world and secured residencies at UK super club Passion and Dutch super club Kremlin alike, as he builds a reputation for himself as a distinguished dj and producer.

Since i left the label who tied me up when i was very young and set up Border Community I've been able to do exactly what I want though, and so everything since then I'm more fond of.
Hi James, thanks for the time taken to have a little chat with us. How are you doing at the moment?

I'm good thanks :) enjoying the English summer while it lasts...

You have been on the forefront of the dance industry for quite a while now, with singles like 'Nothing' or 'A Break In the Clouds', doing gigs all over the world and not too mention the highly praised Balance compilation. How it all started? Did you expect to go this far?

I just started doing it for fun, because i always liked to make up tunes – and never imagined I'd be where I am today... I'm quite lucky really!

Back in February this year, you had a gig in Bucharest, at the 'Nights.ro Awards' party. How did it go? Have you noticed any improvements on the Romanian club scene, since the last time you've played here and comparatively with other places, like Holland, for example?

I had fun at that night – its very hard for someone who just visits for one day to say about the club scene in a place – it seems really good and healthy and the clubbers appreciate good music just like everywhere else, but I think you probably know better than me on this question...

Anything impressed you in particular during your time in Romania, any local dj or maybe a fan even?

I was actually really impressed by the dj before me – he played some really cool music, but of course i am an idiot and i have forgotten his name...

The last achievement of Border Community is Petter's 'Six Songs EP', released at the end of May. Tell us a bit about this release in conjunction with the current label activity.

Border Community is my favourite thing that I do at the moment – its really rewarding seeing the young artists we release go on to do great things, and there are a million other things we'd like to do in the future, so it's all really exciting. Petter is a case in point – we've known each other a few years now and we chat about music a lot – I've learnt from him and respected him for ages and I think the Six Songs EP shows why – its remarkably accomplished for someone so young, as well as being really unique and special.. I think he'll go a long way..

Features Archive


James Holden Interview

July 1, 2004 at 4:22 PM CEST


Andrei Rusu

And regarding original productions, what can we expect from you in the near future, maybe the new track with Julie Thompson, "Come To Me" or the artist album?

Yeah... come to me should be coming pretty soon, after that I'm going to be working on something bigger – an EP or an album, depending how well I work this summer...

How did you come about remixing Britney Spears? Have you put your techy, unusual sound imprint on it?

Yes of course – i wouldn't just stick the vocal over some half-arsed prog! its funny – i had a couple of emails from angry geeks saying 'i cant believe you've sold out, pop is so evil etc etc' and that makes me laugh – there are so many things more important in the world than disliking Britney Spears, and in the end, remixing her is an interesting challenge. And my mum knows who she is too! Anyway, there are two versions, a dub (which is nintendo acid) and a vocal (which is melodic, and probably my favourite thing I've done for ages...)

How would you say your sound has evolved during the past years? Do you ever listen to the tracks you've done and think you could have done better?

Totally – the sound changes as i get interested in new things and bored of old things. Since i left the label who tied me up when i was very young and set up Border Community I've been able to do exactly what I want though, and so everything since then I'm more fond of..

What was the most unusual dj experience you had?

I don't know! I've not had anything super-weird yet. A nice lady posted me a leaflet about a museum about salt, but that's not that unusual really...

What would be your advice to a young producer, struggling to get known?

Struggling to get known isn't the point, making great music is the point. I still believe if you do that then you don't have to try hard, self-promote or whatever. But I think it is harder now – so many people can download reason or whatever and make pc-prog without much effort that it's harder to get anywhere without making something special and unique. So that's the thing to do.. Getting a record released is a case of getting your music to exactly the person who is looking for the kind of music you've made – at BC we get hundreds of really proggy 1-note demos, but how many 1-note prog records have we put out? none – so those people all wasted a CD and an envelope and a stamp..

What's your theory regarding life?

I've got lots, and most of them are offensive, half of them just for the sake of it. But i really believe in being nice to animals, they are mostly better than people.

Comments on this article: