04 November 2010

J. Codec's Biography

I finally sat down and wrote myself a proper third-person biography for Last.fm. Though I typically frown upon self-written third-person biographies (they all tend to sound far more grandiose than the artist deserves), I felt that if I was very honest, transparent and true, it would come out well. It did. Since I spent the time crafting it for another website, I thought it'd be only appropriate that I posted it on my own blog.


J. Codec (born Jason Cook) is a DJ and producer from Los Angeles, California who has released a handful of songs on small indie labels since 2001. He started his career in 1996, DJing on WRCT Pittsburgh 88.3 FM, the radio station of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Carnegie-Mellon University, where he studied art. After radio, he played at clubs and raves, in Southern California at first, then later as far as Eastern Europe.

J. Codec’s musical themes tend to feature an emphasis on complex polyrhythms, intense synthesizer work and deep bass, blending elements of house, techno, breakbeat and dubstep. However, in the mid- to late-90s, he was focused on drum & bass. His first release was as half of the duo, “Digital Physics”, along with Southern Californian DJ Syphon. In 2000 Digital Physics wrote three hard-hitting drum & bass tracks under the Futurestep Recordings imprint, which saw little distribution.

His first widely-distributed release was his first artist mix CD in 2001, which was mixed by J. Codec, and consisted entirely of tracks written by himself, Digital Physics, and fellow Los Angeles DJ, producer, and long-time collaborator, Anti. This album was actually released twice: the first time as a limited-edition CD with original art by J. Codec himself and entitled “Continuous Play”; the second as a digital-only release and entitled “Hard Math vol. 1 - Algorhythms”. Both versions were released under the Dragonbeats Recordings imprint.

The follow-up to the first album was entitled “Hard Math vol. 2 - Logarhythms”, which is another DJ mix of Dragonbeats Recordings singles, some new, some remixes of the songs on volume 1. This was J. Codec’s last deliberately-distributed drum & bass release.

Some time after 2001, J. Codec diversified his sound, branching out into house, techno, breakbeat, and later, dubstep. His first notable release outside of drum & bass was the electro house banger “Inside Your Soul” which featured heavy drumming, dirty synths, soulful female vocals and a breakbeat breakdown. Even though the track was never officially released, it was the fifth most requested song on an Eastern European radio station’s house music chart in 2005. Since then, J. Codec has put out over a dozen DJ mixes on his blog at http://codecrecords.blogspot.com - about half house, the other half a combination of techno, breakbeat and dubstep.

In 2010, J. Codec announced his new label, fonotype. The label is expected to release it’s first single later this year.

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