James Zabiela's story is as close to a fairy tale as it gets for a DJ. The Southampton, England native won a bedroom DJ competition from a now-defunct British dance music magazine eight years ago. Since then, he's enjoyed a career with most of the UK superstar DJ highlights, from mixing on Radio 1 to playing the world's nightlife centers and festival circuit.
Naturally this sort of longevity in a fickle circle doesn't come without a standout sort of talent, and Zabiela consistently proves his skill, creativity, and willingness to cross genre boundaries of house, techno, and breakbeat in pursuit of the ultimate DJ set. He's also interested in pushing the envelope of technique itself, often using a fairly new tool called a Q2 Dual DJ mixing unit with frequent partner Nic Fanciulli for double the dancing pleasure.
James Zabiela performs Friday, March 28, at the Ultra Music Festival at Bicentennial Park, 1075 Biscayne Blvd, Miami. Gates open at 4 p.m. Tickets cost $129 and up for a two-day pass, or $69.95 and up for Friday only. Visit www.ultramusicfestival.com. He also performs Friday, March 28, at Studio A, 60 NE 11th St, Miami. Others on the bill include Nic Fanciulli, Kos, and Tom Budden. Doors open at 10 p.m., and tickets cost $20. Those 21 and older are welcome with ID. Call 305-358-7625, or visit www.studioamiami.com.
1. DZ, "Unleash" (Fling)
2. DKS, "Lick My Synth (2's Company F--- House Mix)" (CDR)
3. X-Press 2, "Muzik (Skylark Remix)" (Skint)
4. Tom Budden, "Snakebite" (Transient)
5. Kos, "Untitled" (CDR)
6. Depeptikon, "Megatron (Original Mix)" (Republika)
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7. Spektre, "Flux" (UFO)
8. Jamie Stevens, "Keep Her Space (Christian Smith and John Selway Anthem Remix)" (Dieb Audio)
9. Hassassins, "Rampage (Dub)" (Music to Die For)
10. Lifecycle, "Pulse (Si Begg Remix)" (Ricochet)