We're treatin' ya!
To accompany Jake D's 135th edition of our Loose Lips Mix Series, Treece sat down with Less Effect's talented beat-maker to dig deep.
Who is Jake D and what is he all about?
I’m a DJ and producer. I’ve been DJing for about 12 years, and producing for around 10 years - although it’s hard to say when I properly started producing as I was messing about and making electronic music from a pretty early age. I have a varied music taste, and when DJing and producing I like to jump around quite a lot between different vibes and tempos. I think a lot of people find it pretty hard to tie me down but I kinda like it that way.
Do you feel that being a Merseyside lad and growing up in Liverpool has had a direct influence on your music?
Well I spent most of my childhood in Stroud (down south) and didn’t move up to Liverpool until just before I turned 11. I wouldn’t say it’s had a direct influence on my musical pallet living here. But, in terms of opportunity it’s been great - going from living in a small town to a big city. I started DJing about 6 months after I moved here and was fortunate that there was a good selection of record shops, like 3 Beat and Phase Records, where I used to spend my pocket money every month. There was also a little DJ school above 3 Beat which is where I learnt all the basics - which was an invaluable experience - especially as I had zero mates who DJ’d. I hardly had any mates who were into the same music as me until I was about 16 when I started college.
Funnily enough, for like my first 2 years of DJing I was bang into my ‘scouse house’ which is about the only obvious and direct influence Liverpool has had on my music taste, but thank fuck I’m over that hump. Apologies to any donk fanatics that might be reading this. In all seriousness though, as cheesy as so much of that music was, I did love the vibe. You were buying and playing records made by locals and people heavily influenced by that scene in Liverpool, so you kinda felt like you were part of something - even if it was in a small way.
Scouse house aside, I think my parents have had a big impact on my musical tastes and I was lucky that they both had such good taste in music. I was brought up listening to everything from Portishead and Nightmares on Wax to PJ Harvey and Jeff Buckley, JJ Cale and John Lee Hooker, Radiohead, Buena Vista Social Club, etc...
What current artists or labels are you following?
I’ll have to give a shout to a few local heads…
SertOne, who heads up Fly High Society - he sent me over a load of unreleased tunes the other week, and they were all sick - definitely one to look out for.
Jenome – he’s not really put out anything publicly for ages but an oldie-but-goldie of his, ‘The Further Adventures of Radio Doom’ EP, I’ve been listening to loads again recently - fucking dope.
Lee Scott, who shouldn’t need much introduction for any UK hip hop heads. I basically follow anything he’s involved in – got his own sick individual style and is always backed up by some sick raw beats.
Lack - a good mate who’s been making loads of great 130ish bassy techno hybrids over the past 2 or 3 years and has been getting lots of Rinse FM support.
ASOK, with his raw analogue techno jams – he used to run the Scenery Records label which put out a great LP from another local lad Bantam Lions earlier in the year.
Reedale Rise, who I got onto a few months ago, has had quite a few vinyl releases recently and makes boss old-school electro-influenced music.
There’s plenty of others I could mention but off the top of my head those are a few that stand out for me. Outside of Merseyside I could mention a load of other producers and labels. A special shout would have to go to Floating Points though – a constant source of inspiration for me.
Can you give us five tracks that you’re bumping atm ?
Terry Callier – Be My Woman
Idris Muhammad – Could Heaven Ever Be Like This
Peverelist – Under Clearing Skies
5 Elementz – Don’t Stop
Abner Jay – My Middle Name Is The Blues
What are the differences between the Jake D and Lunation monikers?
Basically I’d been making loads of hip hop influenced beats and thought it’d be good to have a side-project to put them out under, which is why I came up with the Lunation name last year. Generally, ‘Jake D’ is the name I use for my dancefloor oriented stuff. Still, there’s a fair bit of crossover between the music I’m putting out as Jake D and Lunation.
We've listened to the 'Snapshots' beat tape - can you explain the process behind it? Are there plans to make more beat tapes in this style?
I had a big batch of beats I’d made over 10 months or so that spanned a variety of different vibes, and I tried to put them together in a semi-cohesive way. I called it ‘Snapshots’ as a way to group them together, because they’re all like little snapshots in time of music I’d been making over that period and I also wanted to tie it in in some way to photos that I’d been taking. One of the photos on the cover is from A-1 Records in New York. I went there last year and came away with a big stack of records which ended up being sampled a lot in some of the beats on the tape. In the future, I’d love to work on some more focused projects – more like extended EPs or something where I can try and keep it a lot more cohesive with a specific inspiration or concept. I’d also love to collaborate a lot more with ‘proper’ musicians and MCs.
Can you tell us about the Less Effect crew?
It was started by Pidge as a club-night, about 4 years ago. It was a night pushing more bass-heavy music in Liverpool, partly inspired by nights like FWD>> in London, and wanting to bring a taste of that to Liverpool. He brought names like Objekt, Livity Sound, Hotline Recordings, A Made Up Sound and loads more to the city. About this time last year he got in touch with me; he was looking for fresh people to get involved with the night and I jumped at the opportunity. Since then, it’s developed into a bit of a collective as well, with the core heads being Pidge, (myself), Horus, Lack, Impurity and Rufa, and extending down to Manchester for a few nights at Soup Kitchen (a lot of the Less Effect family now live there and it’s a city we love anyway.) So we kinda consider ourselves a Liverpool and North-West/Manchester based club-night and collective.
We're into all kinds of music that has a strong emphasis on heavy low-end, whether that’s dub, reggae, techno, dubstep, jungle, footwork, drum and bass and everything in between. We pride ourselves on how seriously we take the sound and often have the likes of Sinai, RC1 or Void Soundsystems supplying that bassweight. Our focus over the past few months has shifted a bit really and we’re wanting to come at things from a different angle… basically while running the nights over the past year I was starting to realize that the thing that actually got me the most excited about Less Effect was the nights where we were really starting to develop a local community and local scene. That’s not to say that we haven’t loved the nights with the bigger, more well-known headliners because we have, and there will always be a place for those nights. But we want to take things a bit more back to the roots and start focusing a lot more on all the dope local talent that we have in Merseyside and the Northwest. Often we feel like local DJs become an after-thought to the bigger club-nights - especially in Liverpool - which is a big shame really. We’ve also all been wanting to start a record label for quite some time now, putting out vinyl releases from us as a crew and other local heads. So this will definitely be another step for us in the future, although financially running both a club-night and label isn’t so easy! But watch this space.
We’re also going to be representing at Outlook Festival in September, with me and Lack playing out there, so we’re hyped for that!
What does the future hold for Jake D?
Hopefully nice things. I put out my first vinyl release last year on my own little label Project 1030 which was a bit of an experiment really, and I’m really wanting to put out another release on that label this year. Most of the music has been ready for quite a while but unfortunately circumstances have stalled things a bit.
Apart from that, just continuing to make loads of music, collaborating with more people, and hopefully getting some more releases out there!