DJ JahMek Selecta Talks Reggae, Dennis Brown, Bash on Ash, Aswad, King Tubby, and More
As you can judge by his answers below, DJ JahMek Selecta can be short and to the point. His music mixes, however, are anything but.
Not that's necessarily a bad thing, as JahMek's supersized soundscapes (some running upwards of 90 minutes) interweave dub, reggae, electronica, and other genres so adroitly that you hardly even notice the time go by.
The reggae remixer's curt responses to our interview question are just one example of his enigmatic nature. The self-described practitioner of "frontline raggamuffin turntablism" is also loathe to reveal his last name, age, or his birthplace, and is also never seen working the record decks without his trademark black hat. Furthermore, JahMek hasn't divulged much about where his Konkrete Jungle Arizona night (which lost its home when The Lucky Devil closed last month) could possibly landing.
See if you can decipher the selecta for yourself by perusing this week's DJ Dossier.
AKA: JahMek Selecta
Current club nights: Konkrete Jungle Arizona (we're moving to a new spot soon.)
Genres spun: Dub, jungle, reggae, drum 'n' bass.
How did you get started as a DJ? Love for music at young age.
Explanation behind your DJ name? Family name, comes from the Rastafarian way of life.
What's been your best (and worst) experiences as a DJ? Best is [a] perfect mix, worst is skipping.
What's hidden under that trademark hat of yours? 10 pounds of dreadlocks.
What's your mantra when it comes to DJing? Dub it! Pioneers like King Tubby and operators like Jah Shaka Soundsystem.
What do dig about spinning bass-heavy sounds? I like to feel the sound!
How do you predict bassy genres like drum 'n' bass or dubstep will evolve over the next decade? The slower dubstep style will continue to grow popular, while the old school junglist and drum 'n' bass fans will always have its own tight knit support system.
What are some of the other clubs where you've performed at in the past? Club Freedom, Hollywood Alley, Venue of Scottsdale, The Sets, Sail Inn, Paper Heart, Hidden House, Mardi gras, club red, the loft, Lucky devil, the vine, and so many more through the years.
Which bygone club do you miss the most? Bash on Ash had a lot of great shows.
Worst request you've gotten: "You know that one song I'm too drunk to remember?"
What's your opinion of the Valley's reggae music scene? Reggae really needs a solid place with family values that is willing to grow with all the aspects that come with world music scene.
Craziest shit you've seen at a club: I have seem plenty of people just fall flat on their own face, that's always scary.
What sites do you use for music? Ernie B's is number one in USA and too many to mention from the UK.
Which artists have you been championing in your sets lately? Gussie P, Lion Dub, Zion Train, just to touch one percent, really.
Last album purchased: An old Aswad record from 1980s.
Last song downloaded: "How Could I Leave" by Dennis Brown.
Current projects: Keep weekly sessions going and create new horizons when possible.
Any future gigs you'd like to promote? An outdoor festival with camping would be nice.
When not DJing, where can you be found? Home, jobs, outdoors.
Anything else you'd like to add: You really do have to love the music to keep going strong in this biz. I give thanks to every single person who's supported me on the blessed journey so far along the way.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.