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Featured DJ Chart: James Curd

Featured DJ Chart: James Curd (January 2010)

James Curd has beaten his own path from cult indie band Greenskeepers (a favourite of John Peel) to a respected DJ and beat-merchant over the last few years. His new EP In With The Old, In With The New shows off the range of styles that the Chicago-born producer has got under his belt. We chased him down to find out what tunes are floating his musical boat so far in 2010, and he admits it wasn’t an easy choice.

“It’s always hard for me to give my top songs at the moment,” he said. “I never know how to narrow them down. I don’t know if I should be pulling songs out of my DJ sets to list, or from all the music I buy and listen to in general. My DJ set is always depending on the people I’m playing for and the energy of the club. So (my choices) are some things you may hear me DJ and some things you may hear blasting out of my car window as I drive by. If it was summer…and you lived in Chicago.”

1. Colors Sound System – Yeah Mate I Hate (Manuel Sahagun Mix) (Candy)

“I really love the groove of this track. It has a bit of a minimal feel but also has vocal chops and breaks that give it a real party starting sound. Simple, fun and works every time!”

2. The Phenomenal Handclap Band – 15 to 20 – Den Haan Remix (Gomma)

“It really reminds me of an updated version of “Me No Pop I” by Coati Mundi which I love. It’s a really dope disco jam and whenever there is a chant that we can all sing along to, I usually get hooked and find myself with a big smile on my face. The whole EP that this song is featured on, released by Gomma, is really great.”

3. Bob Sinclar – Ultimate Funk (Original 1998 mix) (Tommy Boy)

“I just saw this pop up on the site. I used to play it all the time and it still makes appearances in my sets now and then if I’m doing one of those marathon sets. It’s a great track to play at 5 am to make people forget about even thinking of going home. Classic!”

4. In Flagranti – Ex Ex Ex (In Flagranti Mix) (Codek)

“This has a Tom Tom Club feeling. I love the whole sound of this song, full of strumming guitars and a Blondie-style female rap. Super fun and well done.”

5. ZZZ – Lion – (Breakbot remix) (Bang Gang)

“I first heard about Breakbot after hearing his remix of “Baby” by PNAU. I like that way his mixes run the fine line of pretty and dirty at the same time. It’s alway full of crunchy beats but layered under some sort of pretty piano. I also     found this on a Bang Gang release which is an Australian label that I love and am excited to work with.”

6. James Curd – In With The Old, In With The New (Greenskeepers)

“I just wanted to say a little something about this release. I am always making different kinds of music in the studio and when I sat down to think about what I wanted this release to sound like, I decided wanted to offer a bigger picture into my styles. I love Chicago house and the jazzy, swing styled songs I have made over the course of my career. I wanted something to represent that which is “Be My Baby”. I am also finding myself buying guitars and filling my studio up with instruments and trying to incorporate them into full house songs. This is “Got To Have” and why there is a guitar solo right in the middle! I’m thankful to make music everyday. Being creative and trying to push the music I make in different directions is a high I get that no drug could come close to. I hope you like the songs!”