Justin Harris’ illustrious musical career kicked off way back in 1987 when he was a regular DJ at the first pioneering Acid House events in the UK. He later went on to become one half of the DJ partnership North & South (Nigel Casey, House of 909), who were infamous on the Warehouse and free party / DiY circuit throughout the UK and Europe… a blur follows of free parties, thrills, pills, and belly laughs…read on…
Upon moving to London in the early 90’s, Justin turned his technical dexterity to the studio and began making some of the most innovative and leftfield house music around. Eight years ago, he teamed up with Luke Solomon to create the groundbreaking Freaks project. Freaks have over 80 productions under their belt, including remixes for artists such as Revlon9, Matthew Herbert, The Good Books, Kasabian, Soft Cell, The Human League, Derrick Carter, Greenskeepers, Tiefschwarz and Damon Albarn to name a few… and have themselves recorded for such esteemed labels as Perlon, Wally’s Groove World, Classic, Playhouse, International Deejay Gigolo, Silver Network and of course the legendary Music For Freaks (MFF) and Classic Recordings.
Freaks, over the last nine years, have continued to concentrate their musical output on their own ‘Music For Freaks’ imprint and have released around 20 EPs along with Three Albums – ‘The Beat Diaries’ , ‘Meanwhile Back At The Disco’ and the most recent ‘Man Who Lived Underground’. All three albums were creative landmarks in house and electronic music production, bending people’s perceptions of how house music should sound. Probably also worth mentioning is the fact that one of the songs Creeps (originally from their album ‘The Man Who Lived Underground’) got to number 9 in the UK pop charts and was a huge dance anthem around the world. No mean feat for a dance track these days..Freaks have been writing and recording their next album ‘I LOVE TECHNOLOGY’ for over three years now and this project promises to be an oasis in this confused world of electronic music. Their current releases include the weird and wonderful EP ‘U Make No Sense’ out now on Crosstown Rebels and the wonderful collaboration with Robert Owens – ‘Right Now’ Also out now on Rebirth Records. Also available now by Freaks is the wonderful ‘Best Of Times’ Album which is a fine collection past and present of tracks by Freaks. This has been getting great press recently.
Other highlights of Justin’s sonic career over the years include further collaborations with Luke Solomon under the Robotic Movement, Oliloqui and Freesoul (also featuring Diesel) guises. The audio fruits of these partnerships found homes on seminal house labels such as Classic, Phono, 20/20 Vision, Large, Seasons and SSR and of course their own Wash House imprint. Justin has also recorded his own solo projects as himself or Philippe Maurice for Classic, Sensory Productions, Swag and Tombone. He also runs an underground house label ‘Paranoid’ with old friend and side-kick Lil Mark (Classic Recordings) which is now on it’s seventh release and has been geting world-wide support from such Dj’s as Chris Duckenfield, Mark Farina, Ritchie Hawtin, Rob Mello, Laurent Garnier and Linus.
Over his 22 year DJ’ing career Justin has played literally hundreds of venues around the world (170 cities in 33 countries and counting) such as Fabric (UK), The End (RIP), Planet K (Manchester), Fuse (Brussels), Rex (Paris), Batofar (Paris), Skanssen (Oslo), Lolita (Barcelona), Robert Johnson (Frankfurt), WMF (Berlin), Panorama Bar (Berlin), Back To Basics (Leeds,UK), Sankeys (Manchester-UK) As well some HUGE DJ sets at the following festivals : Homelands, Love Box, The Glade, Rip Curl Festival…Well the list literally just goes on…you get the picture.
Fast Forward to present and the next set of recording projects is already underway Including a new co-production with DJ Red-eye (who featured on the huge ’2cool2dance’ EP on Positiva by John Larner). Red Eye is currently writing vocals for the next Justin Harris EP titled ‘Dusk’.Also currently underway is vol.2 of the next in Justin’s Subway to the Underground series for Pin Up recordings.
Also on the cards year is the DJ’s North and South (Justin and Nigel Casey from House of 909) project. As old colleagues, the boys got back behind the decks last May for the first time in 12 years, They’ve already done two South East Asia tours and played alongside and supported Darren Emerson, Mr C, Will I Am and Underworld to name a few. Another tour is pencilled in for March including Singapore, China, Australia and Miami. North and South are also currently working on an EP to be released in March of this year.
Current and recent remix projects from Justin have included projects for Sculpture Recordings (No man’s Land by Matt Heize), Tallhouse Records (Carolyn Harding – Movin On), An amazing Re-edit of Ralphi Rosario’s You Used To Hold me for the DJ History Trax Re-edits compilation and a remix of Semtek’s – Lotos Eaters for Don’t Be Afraid Records which achieved 5 dancing men from Chris Need’s for DMC magazine. Justin is currently working on remixes for Demarkus Lewis and Littlemen…much more to follow.
As for productions? Well there’s a new Freaks record – a cover of Womack and Womack’s Conscious of my Conscience out now on Rebirth records which is getting massive reviews and achieved No:7 in the DMC Buzz Charts – watch this space.
Justin has also recently recorded EP’s for Pack Up and Dance (‘This Place Is’), Eclectic Avenue Records (Shadows feat. Stella Attar), A new EP with Redeye ‘Get Kicked Out’ for Pin UP Recordings, an EP with Lil Mark – Closing Doors for Paranoid, A new Skyrats EP with Piers Kirwan (Also on Paranoid) and a new solo EP – The Trip.
And if that’s not enough, Justin has also recently began recording an album with Robin Parris (Dancefloor Outlaws, Parris and Vanuccii) and a number of EP projects with Ghettofunk’s Will Streetwise. Both project promise to take Justin out of his comfort zone and into other style territories.
2011′s masterplan is for Justin to get back out on the DJ circuit after taking a year to perfect and refine his studio sound. Keep your ears peeled…