With a number of stellar releases, a growing crew of up-and-coming talent, and a Wednesday-night residency in Ibiza called Paradise, there’s no question that 2013 has been the year of Jamie Jones and Hot Creations (which we sort of predicted last year). A Welsh DJ and producer who got his start when his Freak n Chic release “Amazon” took over the charts in 2006, Jones founded the Hot Creations label with friend and fellow artist Lee Foss in 2010. Together, the duo has been steadily releasing music from a solid roster of like-minded artists, including Digitaria, Clockwork, Miguel Campbell, Ultrasone, wAFF, Jesse Perez, and Bubba. A couple of weeks back, the London-based producer dropped the deep and techy Planets, Spaceships EP on the label so we caught up with him to talk about the four-tracker, the magic of Ibiza, and the year that was 2013.
It’s been a big year for Hot Creations. Tell me about the most exciting thing you and Lee have done with the label this year?
We’re about to do our Hot Creations tour with Stereosonic, with our own stages at loads of different festivals, which is cool. We’ve had some really good releases like Richy Ahmed and myself. Also signing solid acts such as Patrick Topping, Paul C, and Paolo Martini, which are really good.
Have you got a favorite release from this year?
That’s a tough one. I like them all, but my favorite right now would have to be Richy Ahmed’s “The Drums.” My favorite song musically was Greg Pidcock’s “Blame Game.” His stuff is really interesting, melodic and new.
It’s been said that you guys took Ibiza by storm this summer, and I know you personally had a pretty epic festival tour. Tell me a bit about your time spent in Ibiza? For our readers that have yet to make it there, what makes Ibiza so special?
After moving Paradise from Thursdays to Wednesdays it proved a really successful move; the club was completely packed every week. Ibiza has got something about it; people have always been drawn there. The people you meet there, you are always going to have something in common and you’ll be able to relate to them.
Tell me a bit about what it’s been like running Hot Creations? What would you say is the Hot Creations mantra, motto, or mission? How do you accomplish that?
We don’t really have a real mission; it’s just to always follow our hearts and to not lose sight of what our strengths are. We’re about stuff that works on the dancefloor and makes you smile. We are always trying to be original.
I read that you first got interested in beat making when you got this game called Music 2000 for your PlayStation. What kind of music were you making with it?
Music 2000 is basically a simple sequencer. You have a lot of drum samples and you have different kinds of bass hits. It was really basic. The music I was making was kind of progressive. It was the late ’90s so I was into John Digweed and Sasha! I actually played one of the tracks I made on Music 2000 out in Ibiza at one of my first gigs but…it sounded really bad!
So, I have to admit, I still listen to that first release of yours, “Amazon.” I think it holds as much weight today as it did in 2006. Same with that Green Velvet remix. Have you dropped either of those recently?
Yeah! I’ve been playing “Amazon,” for sure. I’ve got this really cool new track from Ricardo Villalobos called “Butch,” which works really well over the breakdown of “Amazon.”
Are there any other tracks or records from your early days that you’re still playing today?
I just play random bits from the past five years, really. “Capsule” I’ve played a bit. There’s a track I gave to Nike for some promotional thing a few years ago, which I’ve been playing quite a lot. It’s called “Rockbat.”
Your latest effort, Planets, Spaceships, on your own label, was a long-awaited return for you, but I know that you’d been using the tracks this summer. Tell me about the release. You went with kind of a spacey theme but I hear a darker edge mixed in with your usual melodic sound.
Right. I made the track back in January in LA during my time off… I didn’t revisit it until sometime in the summer. Once I had it mastered, it sounded a lot better! I only started playing it mid- to late summer. It’s only darker if you think about stuff we’ve been producing for Hot Natured. It’s not really that far away from my last solo productions other than the stuff that’s quite melodic.
Can you talk about the inspirations behind the “Planets, Spaceships” concept? What were you hoping to say with this release?
It’s actually me saying “planets, spaceships,” so I had that as an original demo, which was my inspiration! But I thought I could do a lot more with the vocals so I sent it to Daniela from Digitaria. And she sent me back the vocals, which I really liked and ended up using.
I heard that you have a pretty extensive vinyl collection. What’s the first record you ever bought?
The first 12″s I bought to mix with were Byron Stingily’s “Get Up Everybody,” and Kim English’s “Nightlife.”
What about the last record you bought?
Mr G, “J’s Credit,” which is out on Bassculture.
Do you own any records that are particularly special?
Yeah, I own a few. There are some original disco records my mum handed down to me. Nothing rare, a lot of Shalamar albums—they are very special to me. I also have a Masters at Work remix of Virgo’s “Do You Know Who You Are,” which I put in my Essential Mix. I’ve also got the Masters at Work 10th Anniversary vinyl, which I love! It’s got so many good tracks on there.