Having always championed new music, new artists and the up and coming we like to think at Lazy Genius that we can spot something special when we see it. Whether that’s a new young band, an artist or a DJ there’s always just that something that you can’t quite put your finger on, which tells you that they are going to get somewhere. Well in our newly adopted home of Bristol think we’ve found one of those people – Jack Had A Groove (Danny Donovan).
The young DJ and soon to be producer couldn’t be earlier in his journey, but already you can see that he has an insatiable appetite not just for incredible music, unique and special parties but a life doing what he loves best. That is perhaps the something special we are talking about – a real passion and connection with your chosen art.
We know it’s early days and we don’t want to be lumping too much pressure on the guy, but we are very much looking forward to seeing him develop as a DJ and latterly as a producer. So it was a pleasure to have an initial chat and find out a bit more about what gives Danny, his groove.
So you’re just coming onto the Bristol scene, but tell us a bit about your background and how you got into DJing?
I first fell in love with house and techno as I got caught up in the incredible revival in my home city Cardiff’s dance music scene in recent years. I cut my teeth on raw jacking music from pop up car park parties and an infamous night inside an abandoned bank vault.
Then it was a three-month stint in Europe’s cultural capital Berlin that properly cemented my passion for quality electronic music. With its finger firmly on the pulse of creativity, Berlin blew my mind with a relentless passion for making parties go off and a ‘no rules’ approach to everything!
I came back to the UK having witnessed first hand the very best DJ’s at some of the grittiest clubs in Europe. Bristol has so many similarities to Berlin from its music and arts to the way of life. I moved here in 2013, tracked down a pair of Technics 1210’s record players and started my journey into DJ’ing.
What’s the Bristol scene like at the moment then?
Outside of London, Bristol is recognised as one of the realest scenes in the U.K for its open minded and sound approach to ideas and music. There’s simply something in the South West’s air that unites people, and that’s why I love it. Whether its dub music, house, techno or something else entirely, the cross-pollination in Bristol ’s sound is unique. It’s open minded to new people and ideas and there’s creativity everywhere. I like it here because the whole city is made up of close knit communities. It’s big enough to cater for all sorts but small enough to feel like home.
Is there anything you think Bristol is missing?
In relation to music; honestly no. It’s absolutely thriving.
So tell us a bit about what you play
My taste in music is really eclectic and I’m into loads of different genres. But specifically there’s an urban influence in what I really like; soul, hip-hop ,grime and reggae music and you’ll notice elements of each genre incorporated into what I play.
Ultimately my passion is soulful and deep house moving into more jacking tech house and then odd stab of techno when the time is right.
Who are your influences and favourite DJs?
What about your favourite tracks or producers?
The Organ Grinder – I like Cardiff’s Cayne Ramos aka ‘The Organ Grinder’ because he hails directly from the dance floor’s I did in our hometown. He knows exactly what makes a crowd tick; it’s all about classic-tinged house, with addictive piano hooks and anthemic vocals.
Respect to this guy for helping to put Cardiff on the map by gaining such widespread acclaim both for his productions and what went down as an epic set at the Panorama Bar.
&ME – When I was in Berlin I followed the local Keniemusik records crew with artists like Rampa, Adam Port and &ME. Pretty much everything they put out in 2012 was gold dust and &ME’s tracks in particular were very very cool. Check out his ‘Matters & Ashes’ E.P.
FUSE – Most things that come from Fuse records are spot on. They’ve got this raw characteristically ‘London’ house sound that just delivers.
And are you looking to produce yourself?
I’ve recently started work at studios in the heart of Stokes Croft in Bristol. It’s nestled in between iconic street art pieces ‘Breakdancing Jesus’ and Banksy’s ‘Mild Mild West’, and just next to the Idle Hands record store; so it’s a great place to be. Its early days but I’m determined to make something killer in the near future.
What would be your ultimate party? What would it consist of?
It would be an industrial, gritty and well-hidden venue somewhere off the beat and track, with seemingly endless nooks and crannies to get lost in. Quite a minimal setup so the focus is on the sound system. Funktion 1 of course.
This is a picture taken from inside about blank in Berlin, it’s my ultimate party and venue for sure.
Give us your 3 favourite tracks of the moment?