When you come from a town rated as one of the worst in the UK (and maybe even one of the fattest), things can only get better once you move. But BodyJack has managed to achieve a lot more than escaping some dodgy little town. After living in Ibiza and pursuing a successful career as techno DJ for labels like Luke Slater's Mote Evolver and Trapez, he's lauched off into a looser dance space, bridging 4x4 beats together with bass music under his new alias.
With upcoming releases on Hypercolour and his self-titled Bodyjack label in the coming weeks, he won't even have to pose as Grooverider to get girls back to his hotel room anymore.
THUMP: What's your name?
Bodyjack: Bodyjack aka Chris Finke.
Where are you from?
I'm from the Midlands, UK aka “The Windy City."
Tell us something about your hometown.
It made it into a book called The 100 Worst Towns In the UK.
What made you decide to go start going under the alias Bodyjack? Did you want to reboot your reputation?
Yes totally. It's something that's been coming for a while. I've been torn for so long with what I want to make/play as a “techno” DJ and it's become increasingly constrictive, so I just decided to go for it and I'm glad I did. People seem to like what they have heard so far; both EPs have had loads of plays on Radio 1 and it's a bit like a revelation for me to just do what I feel like doing. The shackles are off!
What labels do you record for?
I've just signed to Hypercolour and the first EP for them, Feel Real Good EP, is out on September 9. Then our Bodyjack label launches in October with the Bodyjack EP. So it's an exciting start to the project right away.
What inspired you to write "Bodyjack"?
I remember I had just finished a really moody techno EP (which came out recently under an anonymous alias), and walked into the studio the next day and thought I just wanted to make a fun banger. I did the bassline and the rest fell into place in about three hours. The thought of the rave siren in the breakdown came to me that night and woke me up and I put it on the next morning and it just worked. Bang!
How did you pick Jackmaster, Paul Woolford, Dave Clarke, L-Vis 1990, and Rolando as the DJs you passed the track to?
It was kind of organic. I sent it to Dave straightaway as it was right up his street and he has always supported my stuff. Then I sent it to Paul and Jack, who loved it, and then Rolando, as I wanted to see if it would work on another side of the coin, and finally L-Vis. Because of plays from those guys I got so many people asking for it when it was coming out, but I just held it down until the time was right.
What's the funniest feedback you've gotten about your live sets?
When I very first started DJing, I was playing somewhere and Grooverider was also on the bill (in a different room). I finished playing and these two girls came up to me and started chatting, saying I played a good set, etcetera, and all of a sudden one of them said (in a broad Northern UK accent): “But I thought Grooverider were black?” Obviously, my friends had told them I was Grooverider when I was playing and they fell for it, so I just styled it out and said, “People always say that,” and I got away with it. I wonder how many bets they lost after that night 'til they realised. Obviously being a DJ, I took them both back to my hotel room in the name of Grooverider. (I didn't, but If I was a real DJ, I would have done that. That's what DJs do, right?)
What's the most unexpected obstacle you've had to face while starting your own label?
I've run a few labels before, so it's nothing new, but the approach is different this time as things change so much so quickly. It's something both me and my label partner (Aidy West from Vinyl Underground) both believe in so we are having fun with it and seeing what happens. Working with Tailored Communications on it has been great as well. All in all, it's been good.
What’s the best environment to hear your music, either real or imagined?
Radio is always nice! Other than that, I wont be a happy boy until something I've written appears in a sitcom.
What are your favorite sounds right now?
I'm a massive music fan, and I can honestly say that this year I have listened to more music than I ever have before. I'm kind of totally soaking up everything I hear from band music, electronic, DJ mixes, and old stuff. I'll go on record as saying 2013 is the most exciting year for music in years, and I keep getting surprised by the amount of incredible stuff I hear every day.
Name three non-musical inspirations.
My family and friends (boring but true). My pets—I've got a pug and a cat and they really rely on me and give a lot back. Love those little guys. Ibiza—I pretty much grew up there when I was young and I just love the place, it makes me happy when I'm there.
Who is one up-and-coming artist you think we should look out for and why?
The Belleville 3 seem to have a bright future ahead of them.
What's next for you?
Working on a second Hypercolour EP and a second one for the Bodyjack label. I've had some remix requests just off the hype off the first two EP promos, but I've not said yes to any yet. I'm putting everything into this Bodyjack project right now, so working hard on my own stuff. I'm approaching this whole thing differently to anything I've done before and it's fun. There are no rules or boundaries with it and thats not something I've had before, so I'm just in it for the ride!