borrowed identity / a conversation

We’re back! And with a vengeance. This week sees the mighty Borrowed Identity (BI) back for an Asian tour that is touching down in Hong Kong, Jakarta, Shanghai, Singapore, Beijing, Saigon – and, of course, Bangkok. Jaydubb of Disco Robot talked to BI recently about his 2015 highs and lows, disco and champagne – and his gig this weekend.

Thanks for finding some time for us in what looks like a busy schedule. Where exactly are you right now, and how was the kick-off?

I’m in Hong Kong right now and just played at a new venue here, Mahalo. It was a lot of fun – great crowd, amazing view, Funktion One – and not even the police was able to stop the people from dancing! 🙂 Today, we have a Cliché Records boat party with Fantastic Man, Andy Hart and myself.

From our own, far away perspective, things seem to be going fantastic for you. Give us a quick summary of the highs (and lows) of 2015 so far.

Yes DJ-wise it is all working out – it’s fantastic, really – and I’m definitely enjoying it more than ever! It’s just a bit hard to keep a sort-of normal life going when you’re away half the week and grappling with strange sleeping rhythms. In 2016, I’m going to reduce my DJ activity a bit and spend more time at home and in the studio.

Let’s talk disco. We weren’t surprised at all when you released your EP of edits on Homesick. And, just this month, you have a wonderful track on the new Lumberjacks in Hell compilation. As someone most recognised for top notch house and techno, how do the sounds of the past find their way into your productions and DJ sets? How often do you get to play a proper disco set (like you will in Bangkok on the 24th of October)?

My roots are in hip hop – and, for me, the funk, soul and disco samples in 90s hip hop have always been my biggest love and influence. When all the rappers moved into the ‘bubblegum’ sound around 10 years ago, I stopped listening. Luckily, I found what I loved about old school hip hop in house in an even purer form – just with a different tempo and rhythm. You can hear disco in nearly all my sets, but I’m mixing it up with techno and house. It doesn’t happen often that I’m only playing in one direction, but I like the challenge when I get the request for it, and it fits into the vibe of the night. The last disco only set I played was alongside Greg Wilson some months ago, so I’m looking forward to doing that again in Bangkok. But I will also play some funky house and stuff like that – as that is what I consider disco 2.0!

You seem to have a cheeky confidence to remind people there’s more to house than the seriousness of cutting-edge or crate-digging authenticity. I’ve noticed you drop a lot of older house tracks into your sets that other talented, younger DJs wouldn’t know or wouldn’t think cool enough to play. I’m not talking classic, über-cool deep house productions – just proper, driving, funky jams that were once the standard fare and then forgotten. It’s almost like you were there in the late 90s or even early 2000s, and remember sounds that worked then. As someone who’s discovered dance music just a few years back, how have you figured all this out?

Stone cold, cool sets are just boring to me, I don’t like it when it becomes too nerdy, and you start not playing what you love just because you think it’s not cool. I try to be real and play what I feel; that’s the only rule I have set for my DJing. I’m ugly, I’m strange, cheesy and stupid – but also beautiful, smart and cool like everybody else out there. The only difference is I’m just not trying to hide my strange sides and guilty pleasures. I try to be real and not hide behind a fake image or box I put myself into, like many of my colleagues…

Your perfect evening: Champagne or whiskey? Rotary or Line Fader? Jam with Sneak or Carter?

Neither – I’m a rum drinker! 🙂 And rotary and fader mixers both have their strengths; rotary for better sound – but faders for more advanced mixing techniques. I wish someone would combine both strengths into one mixer! Damn tough question… For productions I would like to jam with Sneak but Carter is the better DJ!!

Thanks for taking the time – we are very excited. Travel safe.

Borrowed Identity will play an exclusive disco set at DISCO ROBOT this Sat 24 October. From 10pm to late at the Black Pagoda, Patpong Soi 2, Silom. For more details, click here

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