Audiojack: "There's Only Good Music and Bad, We Try and Focus on the Good"

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The northern English city of Leeds is a real hotbed of electronic dance music. A few talented natives we've chatted with in the past include Simon Baker, Paul Woolford and Death on the Balcony.

And another illustrious act hailing from Leeds is Audiojack, the DJ-production duo of Jamie Rial and Rich Burkinshaw.

The pair have been blowing up exponentially since their first releases in the mid-noughties, with the hype reaching a fever pitch last year as they topped the deep house charts and burned up dancefloors on both sides of the pond.

Then there's also the matter of Audiojack's own Gruuv label, a who's who of international production luminaries like Tiger Stripes, Catz n Dogz, Jimmy Edgar and H.O.S.H., and therefore a go-to for discerning DJs.

Ahead of a headlining gig at the Electric Pickle tonight with the Lo-Fi Miami crew, Crossfade caught up with the sensational duo to chat about the scene back home, their label and upcoming releases.

Crossfade: Who is Audiojack? How did the partnership first form and what do each of you bring to the table creatively?

Audiojack: We've been friends for over a decade, and started to make music together seven years ago -- originally to get more DJ gigs. DJing has been one of our main passions, since we were both teenagers which is, uh, quite some time ago! Jamie has the attention to detail and patience to tweak sounds to perfection whilst Rich is more ideas-focused. We can both be quite self-critical. so when our productions satisfy both of us, we know we've got it right, this is important to maintaining quality.

Leeds is a renowned electronic dance music hotbed. How has the city and its music scene shaped you as artists?

We've been asked this question many times, and here's a theory. In science, ideal conditions exist for certain outcomes. For example, specific soil, temperature, water, etc. will get the best results when growing vegetables. We think Leeds just has the ideal conditions for growing DJ-producers.

It's cold for most of the year, so there isn't a lot to do outside. Generally people have just enough money to live comfortably, but not excessively -- so they can afford software, laptops, etc. but they don't have the funds to live lavishly and have to work hard for their dreams.

There is a huge student population, therefore lots of clubs and bars, and a great youth culture. This breeds lots of opportunities to get involved in events, from promoting to DJing, people go out drinking in clubs, exposing them to electronic music from a very young age, giving them mature heads on young shoulders. The electronic music clubs are full and popular like the hip-hop clubs of the States, etc. The conditions are perfect.

If we'd lived in Miami back when we were starting out, I'm not sure we'd have gotten off the beach to make any music! It's difficult to say if and how Leeds has shaped us specifically as artists, as we've been away touring all around the world so there are sprinkles of influence from everywhere. But when we were first starting out, our local club Back to Basics was a huge influence, seeing residents like Ralph Lawson and Paul Woolford DJ there really helped establish our early direction.

What prompted you to launch your own label Gruuv? What is your criteria for signing artists and material to release? Is there a specific sound or aesthetic you are looking for to define the label?

As a producer, if you only release music, you're restricted to just that and that's all people know of you. We live and breathe music, and almost felt a duty to showcase the music of others which makes us and other people dance and have a good time. That's really our remit and criteria with Gruuv and Audiojack. We're not really interested in genres, niches, cliques or trends. As someone once said, there are only two types of music: good and bad. We like to try and focus on the good.

2012 was your most fruitful year yet, with many of your releases topping the charts. What were some of your personal highlights?

The whole year was really great, but remember, we're British -- we don't like to celebrate our successes or show off.

So what can fans expect from you in 2013? Any projects or releases we should look out for?

We're in the process of remaking a classic disco record with LCD Soundsystem's Nancy Wang on vocals for Gomma Records. We're also working on a new original EP with our good friend and longtime collaborator Kevin Knapp. We have remixes out soon on Tsuba, Cityfox and Marcin Czubala's Your Mama's Friend label. We've just about wrapped up a sample pack for Loopmaster -- the first time we will share a lot of our sounds.

We'll be on the road touring a lot this year, and after braving the grim British weather for too long, we've finally taken the plunge and are moving our lives to Ibiza later this year, so there's a lot of planning in process. Exciting times ahead.

Love Affair with Audiojack. With Matches and Pelvic Thrust. Presented by Lo-Fi + The Electric Pickle. Thursday, February 14. Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The party starts at 10 p.m. Call 305-456-5613 or visit electricpicklemiami.com.

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.

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