Lost & Found in Hong Kong with Guy J
"I am a musician that is always developing and I don’t even know what to call my music, I feel like doing whatever I feel like doing.”
Guy J - (Photo courtesy of – Safehouse Management)
Guy Judah (aka. Guy J) hails from Israel. He has built a reputation for being a unique and truly genuine artist in a heavily saturated and artificial arena of progressive producers. As one might compare his sound and even origin story to his countrymen Guy Gerber or Guy Mantzur, amongst his contemporaries he shines as a rising star on his own. Inspired by the eclectic psy-trance scene in Israel, he attended the Tel Aviv Love Parade at the ripe age of 14. While introducing him to the culture, the festival presented him with the best in the progressive scene at that time, resulting in a love affair with dance music that has continued to this day. As an artist he began amassing production equipment in his early teens. Over the years he began taking production more seriously and in 2006 he had his first label release on Deep Records. It was only 15 months later when Guy truly broke into the scene with his Save Me EP on John Digweed's Bedrock Records. Bedrock became a launching pad for Guy's first and second albums (Esperanza— in 2008, 1000 Words—in 2011). Digweed himself would spring Guy's own record label Lost & Found in 2012, producing it as a subsidiary of Bedrock. As one of the top emerging record labels in dance music, Lost & Found has had an unblemished record of high-quality releases. Since its inception, their roster has grown continuously showing not only its influence, but also its desire for diversity. Undoubtedly encompassing a unique and over-arching progressive sound, with each release its scope has broadened, strengthening its reputation as a world-class record label. At its helm Guy J has been the driving force for unyielding emotive sounds that by their nature bring you to delicately dance wherever you are.
As Guy J prepared to play his first show in Kowloon, with a glass of Macallan in one hand and the bottle in the other we ventured around the intimate 30-floor penthouse below the dance floor of Aqua Spirit, trying to find a room that wasn't reverberating with the bass pouring down from above. Having finished a set in Malaysia only hours before, his active schedule was almost unnoticeable within his relaxed manor. As we discovered an empty corner room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Hong Kong harbour, the scene seemed as if it was reserved for a secret service spy novel. The impression of such a situation led us to discussing the opportunities that arise with success as a musician and the feelings that come knowing you have ventured into territories inhabited by your mentors. "With time I think the fact that I travelled a lot, especially to new cities like Hong Kong, I can go home and be more inspired. The last ten years have been amazing for me and I am lucky to have visited all the places I have been. After every trip I am going back home with the memories and the energies and it improves me. I think this is what happened to the other DJs."
Talking further about his successes as a DJ, I asked how these inspirations affected his sound and how he approached the studio after having travelled. "I am a musician who is always developing and I don't even know what to call my music, I feel like doing whatever I feel like doing music wise. In the studio it is a mixture. Some of the tracks I have made after moments where I was feeling amazing and you know it just comes out. It really depends what I feel in the exact moment. I never have it pre-planned. I am away from home two weeks, and therefore I am away from the studio two weeks. I never produce on the road." Although throughout his career Guy has generated a richly layered progressive sound that he has rarely drifted from in his releases, his diversity comes from his ability to consistently produce genre melting dance music. Heavier techno tracks like "Mikro" and chill-out tracks like his remix of Robert Babicz's "Duba" are examples of his versatility. Tracks like "Lamur" and Guy's remix of "The Fade" by Ambassador have the ability to weave into the tapestry of the lives they curate and the experiences they create. His music isn't produced exclusively for the dance floor, yet it feels naturally drawn to it.
As we peered over Hong Kong, Guy began to focus more on the night at hand and delivered some views on his approach to the intimate venue set ahead. "It is my first time coming here, you know I want to give my best. I am excited to play tonight. It is a new market for me, and you know I am going to deliver, do what I do, and do the best I can. I produce most of my set so I am coming to give a full journey of my stuff." As we talked about performing to a crowd that has never seen him before, at least in this city, I commented that he has always had a strong following in Argentina. "Argentina is just magic man, they see the DJs as superstars but in a beautiful way. It is not about fame, it is about true love and they know everything about the DJ. It's the purity of it."
Lost & Found Boat Party on the Kajama with Guy J - (Photo courtesy of - Way of Acting)
Within Canada Guy's audience has been building consistently. He has been playing at Stereo in Montreal once a year since 2011 and has recently been playing twice a year in Toronto. He explained his connection with Toronto and how he came about playing there. "It has happened like magic, the Ozmozis guys brought me one time. It was the first booking where they hadn't done trance music—usually it's trance. Then they booked me after a few months and we really bonded. We are good friends and they just kept bringing me and the crowd in Toronto is amazing, it is very supporting. The Kajama boat party was mental, I am looking forward to the next one." As our conversation came to a close I asked him what his plans were for his future and the future of Lost & Found. "I have some collaborations coming out soon and I am working on a new album from Bedrock coming out this year. I am focusing more on my career, but I believe I am at a stage where I can support other artists. My plans are more modest, but it is going really well so you never know. I did my first vinyl on Lost & Found this year, and I never expected doing vinyl at all, so if things keep going like that then there is no limit."
You can follow Geoff on Twitter: @gpharricks