Mix & In Conversation: J.A.M
Updated: Jan 4
To Carlos Azurin aka. J.A.M house music encompasses a lot of things, however his style definitely centers around depth and soul and the next HalcyonWax mix shows off J.A.M's ability to explore a wide range of genres whilst remaining true to the roots of house music itself. Drenched in gorgeous piano chords, soulful vocals and Chicago basses this is not one to miss. Lock in here:
Rachael also got the chance to chat to Carlos and get an insight into a scene which predominately focuses on tech house, techno and minimal house. Due to this - and a lack of venues for electronic music - J.A.M and his friends have taken to throwing illegal parties around Peru's capital, Lima, in order to share the music they love: 'I have always said that I don't want to play what everyone plays'. Find out more below:
Firstly can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into DJing?
I was born in Lima, Peru. It all started about 6 years ago with a friend who was way ahead in electronic music, he taught me the basics of beatmatching and mixing. By that time we were into DJ Sneak, DJ Rasoul, Chez Damier and Moodymann, so I used to listen to their tracks constantly and memorize every part of them. I didn't have decks until mid 2016 and since then I've practiced a lot. I also love to spend most of my free time looking for new music.
How did you get into house considering Peru has a larger focus on tech house/ harder techno?
My influences come mainly from disco, funk and of course soul. As a DJ I’m influenced by the old school wave from Chicago and New York and by DJ's like Louie Vega, Glenn Underground, Ron trent, Terry Hunter and many more. As I mentioned before, this friend taught me the basics about mixing but he also introduced me to house music and since then it has became my trademark.
Can you talk a little more about the scene in Peru?
From my point of view, the Peruvian scene is in constant growing. There are many crews promoting different styles of electronic music for all kinds of people but the lack of venues and clubs has always been the main difficulty among us. I believe this will change in the near future because there are many amazing DJ's/producers on this side of the globe.
What are the difficulties of playing the music you love in Peru?
I have always said that I don't want to play what everyone plays, so in regards of that there aren't much difficulties to play what I love, people always had a good reaction when I play something they have never heard before. You can see them smiling and dancing when a good track is burning the dancefloor.
You were talking about illegal parties. Where are these hosted? What kind of music is played and what are the crowds and vibes like?
The lack of venues and places for electronic music makes us have illegal parties. Mostly they are at houses or apartments. There's a wide range of styles, you can find tech-house, minimal and even some ambient/experimental music in town. The Peruvian crowd is very supportive and that helps the scene to keep growing.
Would you say there's a good house scene at all in Lima?
Not at all. There are only few DJ's playing disco/house tunes and also some people tend to get confused with the word 'house', but I believe this is a global issue.
I've also seen many talented people leave what they love most for this issue
or some of the best house DJ's change their style to get gigs.
What's your favourite song in the mix you've done for us and what was your process of putting it together?
My favourite is definitely 'This house music' by the Italian Master Don Carlos, classic house vibes all the way! When I record a mix I do it from the heart and It's difficult to describe it but I just wanted to make a mix that is musically attractive to everyone. I just started thinking about the tracks I have, looking into my vinyl collection and it naturally flows. This mix was made with a CDJ's 100's + allen & heath xone 22 mixer and a turntable. I'm kind of old school guy.
Continue with production, digging for more records and DJing of course.