The Modern Man, an Interview with Justice

There are some artists/musicians in this world who speak loudly but say very little while others simply get on with the act of creating. To place Justice in the category of the former would be an understatement at best. With a career spanning well over 20 years with releases on legendary labels like Moving Shadow, White House, Recordings of Substance and his own label Modern Urban Jazz (or MJAZZ for short), Justice has always been one to let his music do the talking. Coming off of a very busy 2013 that saw the release of the critically well received album “Oxymoron” as well as the fourth installment of the always on point “Modernists” compilation series, the new year looks to be even bigger  (and busier) with  a new Justice and Metro EP in the works as well as an off-shoot label that will cover beats, boogie and hip hop called ‘MUJ’.

In my new series “10 Questions”, Justice shares his views on the current state of music, not winning a Grammy and finally, England’s chances at this years World Cup…

Jaxlore: The Grammys are over and you got snubbed, how do you feel?

Justice: Another year, another snubbing …..
there is always next year !! To be fair though I don’t really follow awards so I couldn’t tell you who scooped any of the prizes.

Jaxlore: What are your thoughts on the current state of DnB and music in general?

Justice: For me personally I am still really excited by music generally which is great. I still love hearing something new or someone telling me to listen to a tune or LP. D and B I would say is the same as it’s always been with a lot of stuff getting props that is mediocre and the really interesting good stuff being generally overlooked and undersold.

Jaxlore: Are record labels dead? I mean, are they needed on any level, major or otherwise? Seems like everyone is starting one these days and do you think the internet has helped music or destroy it?

Justice: I think in this day of digital labels and the internet it’s a double edge sword. It’s easy for anyone to get a release out, that’s great, but there is so much stuff out there sloshing around and not all of it good. I think where a record label can help is by being a filter, it can also help with promo and press and get the record into places the artist maybe couldn’t themselves.
It has helped and hindered in equal measure.

Jaxlore: Why start a label when you did? It seemed to be a big risk at the time (to leave a label like Moving Shadow) and did you think it would last as long as it has?

Justice: It was started to carry our more left field productions at the time. I was never signed exclusively to anyone so it was quite easy to move around and record on other labels also, which was the norm. I recorded with Basement, Precious Materials and Creative Wax after Shadow and it was just an extension of all of this to start MJAZZ. We had the backing of our distributor at the time so financially it was covered and we could just get on with making music, which was ideal. Longevity is important to me , there was a label hiatus during early 00’s, but the break galvanized MJAZZ .

Jaxlore: Why do you think you’re still around?

Justice: I still love music and being an artist and very sometime dj these days, I still love being involved and the label is part and parcel of that. While I have the time and inclination I will carry on.

Jaxlore: Favorite record you’ve made and what, in your career, are you most proud of?

Justice: Aquisse is a special tune and my fave, the feeling of it, it’s simplistic
style, it was just one of them magical studio sessions. I am proud that I have been involved with d and b from the start and have seen it through to this point.

Jaxlore: How’d you hook up with Scott and when?

Justice: Me and Scott Metro have been buddies for 20 odd years. We met back in the rave days when it was all starting. We were both out partying and also fostering interests in the scene through production and djing for me and Scott used to do a bit of mcing.

Jaxlore: Who have you most wanted to work with?

Justice: I have been lucky to work with some great people over the years-Deep Blue, Neil Trix, Endemic Void, Dj Pulse, Blame and remix some diverse and interesting artists also Airto, UB40, The Creatures and so on.

Jaxlore: Mp3 or vinyl?

Justice: I collect vinyl  , that’s what I personally love, but MP3 has it’s place and use also, I think it’s horses for courses. I am not a format nazi, I think you have to embrace change and move forward. But if you collect it’s obvious that you want a tangible product.

Jaxlore: And finally,  the World Cup is this year, how is England looking and what are their chances?

Justice: How to end on a low point …!
England expects, England always expects ! I suspect it will be the usual anticipation before, scrape through the group stage and then crash out, more than likely on penalties, it’s written in the stars !

The Modern Urban Jazz compilations “WORKS” is available now.

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