Home' In The City : In the City - Summer 2012 Edition Contents James Cayzer is enjoying some
time off in his hometown after
several weeks touring through
Europe, the US and Australia
in support of his new album,
"I definitely relish coming back to
Canberra," James says. "I don't get
homesick too much, because I make
a point of coming back at least once a
year, usually twice a year. So the next
homecoming is always on the horizon."
Now based out of Berlin, James is
arguably one of the Territory's most
successful musical exports.
His melodic and uplifting brand of
progressive house has earned James
a coveted place on Anjunabeats, a
forward-thinking, pedigree record label
overseen by British trance maestros
Above & Beyond.
James' productions feature
persistently in the record box of top
international DJs like Armin van Buuren,
and have seen him perform at some
of the most renowned clubs and music
festivals in the world.
"To me, it's quite humbling, because I
still consider myself to be a producer-in-
training," James says.
"I never expected to get the attention
of people on the other side of the world
and up in these high places. So I'm just
trying to be as humble as I can about
it, and just be aware that there's still a
lot that I have to learn, and I do have
the potential to one day be at that level
While growing up in Canberra, James
was introduced to the world of music
when his mother and aunt encouraged
him to take piano lessons as a five-year-
"I used to play in the local piano
competitions and eisteddfods and things
like that," he says. "I was basically doing
music composition and performance for
my HSC at Canberra Grammar...so I was
always well-versed in music theory."
As a teenager, James fell in love with
turn-of-the-century trance from genre-
shaping producers like Paul Van Dyk and
"It was really exciting, because I'd
never experienced producing and
composing with so many different
sounds, and having the ability to
manipulate sound as well as the musical
elements," he says.
"So that ended up overtaking the more
traditional musical direction I was going
in -- there was just so much more to it."
Equipped with an old PC, a pair of
70s-era hi-fi speakers and some basic
music production software, James
began to play around with electronic
composition and "it just sort of
snowballed from there".
"Originally I had my speakers on the
ground, and I couldn't work out why I
wasn't getting such a great sound -- then
a family friend suggested I'd have a lot
more success if I put them up on my
desk," he laughs.
"So that was the formation of my first
Rudimentary though it may have been,
James' bedroom studio was enough to
put together a series of impressive tracks
-- including a remix in 2005 for Markus
Schulz' label, Coldharbour Recordings.
"That was one of the first experiences
I had releasing music overseas -- I think
that was one of the first vinyl records I
put out as well. So that was obviously
very exciting, getting a copy of that in
the post," James recalls.
The excitement continued to build
the following year, after James' track
Genesis was picked up by Tiesto to
feature on volume five of his legendary
In Search of Sunrise mix compilations.
"I still remember I got a signed copy
that said, 'Dear Jimbo -- Thanks for your
epic track. Signed Tiesto'. That was a
sort of eye-opening moment for me," he
Realising that electronic music was
something that he "could make a go
of", James threw himself into producing
singles -- and soon earned the attention
of Above & Beyond, who quickly signed
the young Canberran and oversaw the
release of his critically-acclaimed debut
album, Everything Is OK, in 2008.
"Once I moved over to the UK, [Above
& Beyond] were not only very helpful
in my career, they were a big help in
getting me set up over there and getting
me integrated into the UK lifestyle. So I
definitely owe them a debt of gratitude
In the years since, James' strong
relationship with Anjunabeats has
seen him taking on DJ duties for three
Anjunadeep compilations, releasing a
monthly podcast, and touring extensively
in support of Above & Beyond, who also
provided technical assistance during
the recording of Multiverse, released in
A 13-track journey through a broad
spectrum of electronic music, the
consistent thread in Multiverse is the
trademark Jaytech emphasis on melody.
"I think my approach to writing music
definitely comes from playing piano,
where everything is based on melody
and harmony and stuff like that," James
"I think it's a really important aspect,
and it's something I always try and keep
in my tracks...because it's the best way
to tell a really good story with music."
Freshly emerged from the
abstract oven that cooks
up Canberra's dance
music talent is the
young duo of Adam Hyde
and Reuben Styles.
"We met at the skate park in 8th
grade and became good mates when
we went to Dickson College in Year
11," Reuben recounts. "I was playing
in bands and Adam was in hip hop
crews at the time."
After a friend introduced them
to brutal, fidget-style house from
artists like Crookers and the Bloody
Beetroots in 2010, the electronic love
"Reubo bought [production
software] Reason and he learnt the
ropes very quickly," Adam says. "Then
I got Ableton and started jamming
beats on it...from there we couldn't
stay away from our laptop for more
than a day."
Two years later, Peking Duk have
racked up an impressive catalogue
of releases, beginning with a remix
for Melbourne act ButterBOX and
followed soon after by their own
single, Bingo Trippin.
"Canberra's cool because everyone
knows each other, so you can send
beats around and get down-to-earth
feedback quickly," Adam says. "The
Aston Shuffle have been hugely
supportive, we can't thank them
enough for how much they've helped
us over the last two years."
The boys have also received the
support of Melbourne house stalwart
John Course, who signed Peking Duk
to his longstanding label, Vicious
"Coursey is amazing," Adam says.
"He was in Amsterdam last week
at [international dance industry
conference] ADE and he played our
upcoming single to a lot of big dogs,
we can't thank him enough for that."
The single, Reuben says, is due for
release very soon: "Can't give away
too much, but there are some tasty
remixes getting made for it as we
speak. This will be by far our most
exciting release to date."
In the meantime, Peking Duk
have a busy summer tour schedule
includes DJ sets at festivals like
Foreshore, Stereosonic and Field Day.
"We're stoked to have been put on
some of Australia's biggest parties,"
Reuben says. "Lots were personal
favourites of ours as punters, so to
be on the other side of the decks is
definitely a great feeling."
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