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James Talk - Talk Like That

Author: Cyclone
Monday, 30 June 2008
British DJ/producer James Talk is lauded by all the top progressive house stalwarts, but he can't understand it. Talk's sensibilities span acid, house and techno - but never prog. And his hero is the US acid house pioneer Josh Wink, not Sasha. But one thing is for sure. Talk belongs to a fresh wave of DJs revitalising the UK underground.

Though not inclined to embroil himself in scene politics, James Talk recognises that there has been a monumental change in dance music, with many '90s superstar DJs disappearing. It's a case of adapt or die.

'I believe nearly all people begin DJing for one reason - a love of the music,' Talk says. 'I bring a strong love to what I do, not clouded by years of business. I get excited about music all the time and can't wait to play new records out to people. I think this new era of producer/DJs is exciting, too. More DJs are making their own records - and this is one way to keep the clubbers guessing about tracks. So much music is available so quickly today but, if you've made it yourself, you can have music no one else in the world has.'

Talk was raised in Southampton, on England's South Coast, apparently destined for a life behind the turntables. 'I was always the entertainer when I was young and most certainly enjoyed being the centre of attention and the loudest person in the room.'

Talk's parents encouraged his musical predilection. He was given a CD player at 11. Talk discovered dance school. 'Friends at school had walkmans and introduced me to bands like The Prodigy, which we would sneakily listen to in science class.'

Talk's biggest champions, excluding dance tsar Pete Tong, are progressive housers like Digweed, Sasha and Steve Lawler. In 2005 Digweed invited him to guest DJ on his Kiss FM program. Yet Talk doesn't connect with the progressive movement.

'I never really followed that whole progressive house scene - Sasha, Digweed, [Dave] Seaman... Those weren't the DJs I listened to growing up. I've never listened to a Northern Exposure CD! I played some progressive house in the early 2000s, but I was never much of a fan of the deep, dark, melodic kind of progressive that was so popular back then. [But] I don't think 'progressive house' is a dirty word anymore. If anything, minimal is the new prog house and people are starting to call it just 'techno'.'

With early material signed to Nic Fanciulli's Saved, Talk is building up Spoken Recordings, which exists exclusively for his own music. He's circulated tracks like Pass Me the Suntan Lotion. This year Talk aired his first 'artist' album, Walky Talky, digitally. He's lately busied himself with an X-Press 2 remix. Talk is anticipating his latest Australian club tour. For those who missed him in 2007, the DJ maintains that he's 'more about the music than all the tech geek gadgets.

'I'll be dropping my usual style of big builds, heavy basslines and killer acid lines with plenty of tension and excitement!'

WHO: James Talk
WHAT: Plays Lost Baggage at The Cross
WHEN: Saturday 5 July