Itâ€™s hard to find a succinct way to describe a man with over 23 years experience as an innovator and restless proponent of fascinating forward-thinking music, letâ€™s use Legend. its sometimes over-used, sometimes misplaced, but in this case itâ€™s entirely accurate. His rich history is matched only by his tireless need to keep pushing forward, and as a result he remains one of the most relevant and exciting DJ/Producers around, as a whole new generation of electronic enthusiasts will sweatily testify.
Justinâ€™s latest incarnation as The Deadstock 33s has been garnishing lavish praise from established figures such as Andrew Weatherall and Erol Alkan, as well as a diverse cross-section of fresh talent from Daniel Avery (with whom he has a long standing production partnership) to Eats Everything. With one album released to widespread critical acclaim, and a new collection nearing completion, several EPs, for the likes of Gomma, Optimo Music, Tiger Sushi, Southern Fried, Batty Bass and Join Our Club, and with a raft of top-notch remixes for the likes of Paul Weller, Erol Alkan and Boys Noize, Asphodells, Justice, Steve Mason, and 2 Bears, Justin shows no sign of slowing down creatively.
Justin began his journey as a student in Manchester. Attracted by the flourishing musical heritage of the town, he soon fell in love with the emerging alien machine funk that would become the Acid House scene. Working at the legendary Eastern Bloc records, it wasnâ€™t long before he began to make his mark as a DJ, creating and curating two of the Uâ€™Ks seminal Balearic House clubs in Spice (with Greg Fenton) and Most Excellent, where the young Chemical Brothers found inspiration.
Through out the 90s Justin was consistently found at the cutting-edge of clubland, whether it be in his own genre-crunching Rebellious Jukebox (the blueprint for eclectic clubs like the Heavenly Social), the sweaty techno and electronica mecca that was Sleuth, or providing the underground alternative at Cream. Justin became the by-word for uncompromising Jacking, but with a party guaranteed.
The early 90â€™s also saw Justin begin a fruitful remixing career starting with local band Mad Jacks, he moved swiftly on to re-work, Erasure, Bjork, Happy Mondays, New Order, Talk Talk, Stereo MCs, Gary Clail, Fini Tribe, Felix Da Housecat and Chicken lips, to name but a few in a terrifyingly huge catalogue. Inevitably his own productions soon took centre stage, and he scored several top 40 hits and an appearance on Top of The Pops with his genre defying Lionrock. Touring with the likes of The Chemical Brothers, the Cocteau Twins and Death In Vegas, Lionrock became one of the bands that defined the growing confidence of dance music and its potential to flourish and mutate into so many fascinating hybrids, producing some of dance musics most famous tracks along the way. Songs like â€˜Packet of Peaceâ€™, â€˜Rude Boy Rockâ€™ and â€˜Carnivalâ€™ appear in almost any list of stone-cold classics worth their salt.
As the new millennium dawned, Robertson moved on, releasing several singles for Bugged Out, with whom he has had a long and fruitful relationship. In 2001 he conjured up and another genre defining release with his Revtone project, the eponymous album becoming something of a cult hit for the Nuphonic label, it brought primitive house and no wave disco into the digital age. The seminal track â€˜Love Movementâ€™ was reworked to devastating effect by Ulrich Schnauss, who has often cited Justinâ€™s work as an influence, anchoring itself to almost every top 10 end of year chart in 2003.
Justin also found time to produce the achingly beautiful â€˜Yes It Isâ€™ with Tim Burgess, record reggae in Jamaica with Ernest Ranglin and Nadine Sutherland, front the art-rock combo Thee Earls, write songs for two Fatboy Slim albums and run his own Neverwork label releasing several singles that found favour with everyone from Ellen Alien to Paul Woolford, before embarking on the latest sonic adventure known as The Deadstock 33s.
The Deadstock 33s has certainly seen Justinâ€™s stock rise in the last few years, from killer headline sets at Bestival, Unknown, Festival No 6 and Electric Elephant, to acclaimed sessions from the Warehouse Project in Manchester to Crobar in Argentina, Justin continues to enthral, painting from a rich psychedelic pallet, taking in everything from wigged-out disco to stripped-down visceral Acid House. Justin Robertson, still as sharp as his rakishly appointed hat.
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