British techno sorcerer and psychedelic shaman James Holden is a man of many talents: zeitgeist-defining label boss, trend-setting producer, hugely in-demand monster remixer, and last but by no means least, he can count himself amongst that very modern breed of disc jockey with a special knack for layering seemingly divergent records with an unparalleled musical ear. Founded in 2003 as a restriction-free outlet for his own music and launch pad for the production careers of his band of talented friends, James Holden’s Border Community label is now firmly established as one of the foremost breeding grounds for fresh young electronic talent, thanks to their small but faithful army of free-spirited genre benders who between them have injected a new life into the European scene.
In a James Holden DJ set this tireless dedication to hunting down the next wave of young production talent is brazenly united with tracks from music’s past and present, disregarding genre, confounding the purists and making club hits out of many an unwitting dancefloor virgin. The rather fanatical cult of Border Community which has sprung up around James Holden’s own label has proved essential in achiveving his independence from the narrow limitations of genre-specific music, and so distinct is his resultant sound that your average conservative dance music night can barely contain it, which is why James Holden is often best experienced alongside his edgy labelmates at one of the many Border Community label nights the world over.
James Holden’s status as an exemplary DJ free-spirit unconstrained by genre or scene was recently confirmed by stalwart indie label !K7, who last year called upon him to deliver his own installment for their definitive mix album series DJ Kicks, along with the first solo Holden single in four years. The primal, rhythmic glory of James Holden’s latest mix CD missive is a musical manifesto that seems particuarly well-timed, and the assembled gathering of musical drifters from across the globe represents his personal recommendation of where the scene might best be driven next.