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.

J. Codec - Live in Los Angeles

On Halloween weekend, 2010, Source.CTRL (fellow fonotype label mate CTRL-S and I) dropped a massive five-and-a-half hour set on the Echo Park Underground. While I did bring out a whole stack of brand new tracks, I really love playing at that venue because of the crowd's open-mindedness; I can play more "left field" tracks than I can get away with at most venues. I can break down all the way into Martin Dawson's mellow, soulful vocals on Andre Crom's "Gonna Be Alright" or the eerie mind-warp techno of Phil Kieran's remix of Roel H's "Dancing Bears" - these types of tracks are excellent and rarely-heard at a typical club or rave.

The show was great, the crowd was having it, and about half a dozen people asked me if we were recording it. Sadly, we didn't record that show, but since so many people asked, I used the same Ableton set that I used at the party and recorded a similar set the next day on my Jazzmutant Lemur (shown in the pic above). Unfortunately, this isn't the same exact Source.CTRL set - CTRL-S' Serato wizardry isn't there - but some time in the near future I promise that Source.CTRL will post a live recording soon. Really, I promise - no more six-month delays!

So, I present Live in Los Angeles - a massive four-hour mix in four parts. This set feels a lot like the "live experience" - with four hours, I can take the audience through movements, starting off with some chill headnod deep house, progressing through minimal, tech, electro, jackin', tribal and dubby business as it goes. I also tried to keep it feeling nice and live by avoiding any post-production - I just sat down and recorded it straight through so you get it as-is, imperfections and all. Also, sorry about not posting the labels - there are just too many tracks here and I've spent all day preparing photos and video from the show, too. I'm exhausted!
  1. Angel Stoxx - Close Your Eyes
  2. Miles Maeda - My World (Giom 'Call My World' Remix)
  3. Andre Crom - Gonna Be Alright feat. Martin Dawson
  4. Kid Cudi - Day & Night (Jokers Of The Scene Remix, J. Codec Edit)
  5. Oxia & Eric Borgo - Plastic Bed
  6. Gregor Salto & DJ Gregory - Canoa
  7. Joe Maker - Minima Muchacho
  8. Ismael Rivas & Wally Lopez - Is Deeper
  9. AC Slater - Take You feat. Ninjasonik (Nadastrom Remix)
  10. Adam Beyer & Alexi Delano - Sleep Horn
  11. Phunk Investigation - Dark Floor
  12. Roy Rosenfeld - Balloons
  13. Noob - Petit Totocar
  14. Milton Jackson - Breathe (Roy Rosenfeld Remix)
  15. BSOD - Even More Sketchy
  16. Joan Reyes - It's Like
  17. Olivier Giacomotto & DJ Tonio - V1ru5
  18. Balthazar & JackRock - Olga
  19. Nick & Danny Chatelain & Roberto Serrano - Pikante (Mastiksoul Remix)
  20. Jquintel & Manufactured Superstars - Haste
  21. Nujax - Beat Gon' Boom (Dooze Jackers Remix)
  22. A.L.C.A. - Calling Africa (JASC Remix)
  23. Mark Reeve - Carlito
  24. Angel Stoxx - I Dropped My E On The Dancefloor
  25. Rah Band - Clouds Across The Moon (Neuroxyde & Aki Bergen Remix)
  26. Green Velvet - La La Land (Pleasurekraft 'Sideshow' Remix)
  27. Nicola Olivetti & Faith Inetas - Locongas (Jay Lumen Rework)
  28. Fedde Le Grand & Funkerman - The Joker
  29. HiJack - Can't Touch
  30. Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano - Pondo (Chuckie & Silvio Ecomo Remix)
  31. Justin Martin & Ardalan - Mr. Spock
  32. Mikix The Cat - Hot Block
  33. Afrojack - Polkadots 2010 (Oliver Twizt Remix)
  34. Crookers - Cooler Couleur (AC Slater Remix)
  35. Crookers - Put Your Hands On Me feat. Kardinall Offishall & Carla (BeatauCue Remix)
  36. Robin S. - Show Me Love (Afrojack Remix)
  37. M.I.A - Steppin' Up (Breakdown HARD LA Remix, J. Codec's "Not Too Hard" Edit)
  38. Shopliftas - Freak Out (Bass Kleph Remix)
  39. Roel H. - Dancing Bears (Phil Kieran Remix)
  40. Redman - I Hold The Crown (His Majesty Andre Remix)
  41. Roger Sanchez - 2Gether (DJ Chus & Robbie Taylor InStereo Remix)
  42. Jay Lumen - Do Not Cross
  43. Sebastien Leger - Mixtape (Umek Remix)
  44. Todd Terry, Prok & Fitch - Something's Going On
  45. Pitto - Feelin' (J. Codec Edit)
  46. Koen Groeneveld - Air Breaks
  47. HiJack & Brabe - Boogie
  48. Malente - I Like It (Riva Starr Remix)
  49. Swing Kids - Nonsense
  50. Binkers - Do It Right (J. Codec Edit)
  51. Santiago & Bushido - All That I Can Say
  52. Santos - Camels (Trick & Kubic Remix)
  53. Deadmau5 - SOFI Needs A Ladder (Roy Rosenfeld Remix)
  54. Spencer & Hill vs. Bastian Van Shield - Cantina (Bastian Van Shield Mix)
  55. Afrojack - Claudia
  56. Roy Rosenfeld - So Juicy
  57. Foamo - Here Comes
  58. Olivier Giacomotto - Back Down
  59. Audio Bullys - Flickery Vision (Tim Green Remix)
  60. Jack Beats - Revolution
  61. MC Flipside & Neon Stereo - This Noiz
  62. Erick Decks & David Puentez - In My Mouth feat. Lauren Neko (Nicky Romero Remix)
  63. Umek - Circles of Hell (Sebastien Leger Remix)
  64. Kobbe vs. Balthazar & JackRock - La Puneta (Dub Makers Remix)
  65. The Machine - Oosa
  66. Jay Lumen - Good Woodoo
  67. Round Table Knights - Cut To The Top
  68. Black Raw - Circo Nero
J. Codec - Live in Los Angeles
[Download part 1]
[Download part 2]
[Download part 3]
[Download part 4]