DJ DB has been a fixture in dance music through every renaissance the style has experienced. His archive of DJ mixes and flyers from the 90s rave era are a time capsule of electronic music's first worldwide explosion, and in NO SCHOOL LIKE THE OLD SKOOL he shares some of these treasures. Get out your notepads...
Jason was a kid when I met him, maybe 17. My memory is really shot and things like timelines are particularly hard for me, but this is what I think happened:
In 1991, he and his raver friends from Long Island turned up at the launch of a new night I was starting called Brilliant. The concept for the night was to musically replicate the Orbital parties happening back in the UK, exclusively playing the same kind of music. Jason and his little crew stood out like a beacon--they had more style than anyone else in the club, plus they could really dance! I nicked all these great pics from his Facebook.
He and his mates came over to talk and and were wonderfully enthusiastic about the night. Some of them had just retuned from England and were super loved up. They also told me how great Jason was as a DJ. Not knowing anyone else in New York who was playing this stuff other than Moby, I trusted them and gave Jason a spot. It was to be the first of many many nights I've witnessed Jason rock a crowd.
This live club mix is probably from 10 years ago, but he's playing 20-year-old records.
Sadly, Brilliant was short lived, simply because it was six months too early for enough people to have caught the UK rave bug. But by the time my next event NASA launched, raving was definitely in the air, and Jason was an integral part of the epidemic that was about to occur.
He was even more obsessed with knowing every track coming from the UK breakbeat labels than I was. Without him and the other Jungle residents, Soul Slinger and On-E , NASA never would have been the influential force it was. After NASA, Jason started focusing on producing. He had an extraordinary run of making records for pretty much every great house label around the world. This is one of my faves.
Over the years Jason and I have tag-teamed a million nights, often getting booked to play classic NASA sets. Here, we're both wearing shirts from an ill-fated project of ours.
Jason is actually one of my closest family friends. He's stuck by me through my most painful personal problems, and he's even made flyers using with my son Max's face.
While I am happily married with kids, there is definitely a part of me that's jealous of Jason. He's still super cute and always has beautiful friends around him. Even if it's just in my imagination, he's totally living la vida loca!
Connect with him here: