After launching his new imprint, A-SIDED, earlier on in the year, Jesse Rose has proven himself to be at the sharp end of the house scene once again
Born in London, Jesse Rose first entered the scene while living in Bristol, throwing club nights alongside his friend and collaborator, Jamie Anderson. In 1997, Jesse returned to London and soon started playing around the capital. His characteristic blend of Chicago House and Detroit techno instantly took off, and earned him coveted residencies at Front Room Sessions @ Kinzo in Berlin, Wagg in Paris and a two-year stint on Kiss FM. Alongside performing, Jesse has provided remixes for some of the biggest acts around and invests much of his time into sourcing the freshest electronic talent for his brand new imprint, A-SIDED. His latest track, "Touch 'N' Tease", was released on A-SIDED last month:
Earlier on in the week, we caught up with Jesse Rose to talk life in general all things A-SIDED.
Hey Jesse, how’s it going?
Jesse Rose: It's going good thanks, just getting ready for our one-day open air festival in Barcelona this Sunday, a collaboration between Picnik Electronik and A-SIDED. We did it two years ago and it was one of the highlights of my year. This time we've got Detroit Swindle, Marquis Hawkes and Justin Martin and myself back to back. Should be good, lots to do.
A huge congratulations on the launch of your new label, A-SIDED, earlier on in the year. How have you been finding things?
Whenever you start a new label you are always a bit nervous because people don't know the brand - will they find the label within the thousands of releases each week? But I can happily say it all worked out really well. The first release - a collaboration between Claude VonStroke & myself, "Bare Mountain" - went straight into the Beatport Top Ten, received Essential New Tune from Pete Tong and Track of the Month from Mixmag. The second release "The Grandma" from Junior Sanchez (as IMIURU) got playlisted on hip-hop radio in the states (pretty amazing considering it's a vocal house track). I guess even in a time of thousands of records coming out each week, a good, playable, track will get through.
You’re not new to the label game. You started Front Room over ten years ago, and then there’s Made To Play and Play It Down. What made you decide to launch a new imprint entirely?
I can be emotional at times but never sentimental, when it feels like something has run its course then it's time to change. At the same time when it feels like the right time to start something new you have to do it. Play It Down is our outlet for tracks that groove in your set, it's not about selling records, it's about those deeper cuts that you love as a DJ, especially on those long four, five, six hour sets. With A-SIDED, I decided I wanted an outlet for those peak-time special moment tracks. Each release is one track, we might work on it for a long time or it might be right straight away but it needs to stand out to us. We might release twelve tracks a year but we might also release four. It's all about the music we love and what we consider a stand out track.
You said that you want A-SIDED “to bring back house music’s original message and meaning to the forefront of the scene”, which kind of implies that you think the message has become lost somewhere over the past few years, how so?
Well firstly the world 'house' is now perceived around the world to pretty much mean 'EDM', so I guess our first battle is to try and take back the word itself. After that it's as I said before about putting out records we really love. Not for sales, not for hype, just because we are really into the tracks themselves. When I signed a couple of tracks from Junior Sanchez he said, "man I can't believe you want these tracks, cause no one is putting out these type of vocal house tracks." To which I just said, "I honestly couldn't give a shit what everyone else is doing. If we love it and we're gonna play it out in our sets, then we should be releasing them."
Are you searching for a particular kind of sound on A-SIDED, or happy to see where things take you?
Not really... it's more about a certain feeling, but as with all my labels eventually they find their own sounds I guess.
Do you have a favourite release on the label so far?
Honesty we're on release number four and none of them look like they're leaving my sets anytime soon.
So you’ve been busy in the studio working on remixes for Eric Prydz, Juan Maclean and IMIURU, you’ve just released your latest track “Touch ‘N’ Tease”, you’re running A-SIDED and you’re preparing for your 2015 summer tour. Do you have any time to yourself?
I love what I (and we) do - it takes a big team to make all this happen: label managers, assistants, designers, bookers, managers etc... you work a lot, but you mostly feel like it comes right back at you in a really positive way. I finished all the remixes in May and started my world tour 'Toursided' which is going on for a straight four months. I'm about a month in and so far it's been pretty special - Parklife Festival in Manchester felt like one for the books.
I did take a couple of days off in Lisbon a few weeks ago, which was amazing. I was with my girlfriend and realised we had a chance to cancel a few little things and take three days off so I just booked the tickets and did it last minute. Wow, what an amazing city, I was so happy I did that.
And, finally, if you weren’t doing this interview right at this moment in time what would you be doing?
Doing the next interview, but this one was fun, thank you!
Jesse Rose is playing at the club on Saturday 11th July, alongside DJ W!LD, Dense & Pika and Doorly. Tickets are available here.
Words: Katie O'Leary
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02 Jul 2015