RS: Have you made the move to laptop or thinking about doing that?
Judge Jules: I would only move to laptop if they brought out a laptop that was very, very small, because I think it just doesn't look right. Though ten years ago I would have told you that I didn't think DJs playing CDs looked right. But DJs staring into their laptops doesn't look right to me, which is only because there aren't small enough laptops. If there was a very, very small, almost handheld laptop on the market, that wasn't very visible to the audience, then I wouldn't mind changing to Serato, because I can see many advantages. The biggest disadvantage of Serato to me is that the weekends I spin in the UK, I do an awful lot of Fridays and Saturdays, doing more than one gig, where I have to turn up and plug in very quickly. It would make it quite difficult in that respect.
RS: Well on the tech side, what is a pacemaker?
Judge Jules: A pacemaker is a brand new handheld hard disk, do-everything, mix-your-tracks-together-and-add-effect, all in one go.
RS: So it's more of a studio thing than a DJ thing?
Judge Jules: It's a DJ thing completely. You can mix your tracks together. It's like a handheld DJ console that incorporates both a hard disk and effects and a mixer.
RS: Very cool, very cool. So looking back on 2007, what was the
big trend for you music-wise?
Judge Jules: I've always tried to do sets that oscillate between different styles – playing some sort of tech trance, playing vocal trance, playing more tech-y music and some more stuff with a housey, funky influence, even though it's still within the house context. I think it's been a really good year for trance; I think trance has come back very strong. Lots of people were talking about electro, but there's certainly a lot of people getting quite bored with electro now because there so many same-sounding records coming out. Whereas trance is a sort of evergreen that won't quite hit the ridiculous heights it did in '98, '99, and 2000, but it's grown in popularity and it's perceived as being underground again. It was perceived as being a little bit too commercial in the early part of this decade, and there was a bit of a backlash against it as a consequence.
RS: I read that you're doing stuff with sportspeople now, that
you're working with a boxer. Tell us about that.
Judge Jules: Well, I've done a couple of sports themes. I did the Premiership theme for the soccer league here. It's actually watched on TV by something like four hundred million people a week, because UK soccer is so massive abroad, everywhere except for America, ironically. I've also done the ring theme for Britain's number one boxer. He's a lightweight boxer, an Olympic silver medallist, and he's pretty much a world champion in the making, called Amir Khan. He comes out to the music that we worked on together, holding his belts.
RS: Very cool. How was Ibiza this season for you?
Judge Jules: I've been having my own party there for eight years, and this was the busiest. But it's not just about physical numbers in the club, it's about crowd quality, and the crowd quality was really, really good this year. I think Ibiza has always been a very accurate barometer of the strength of the European dance scene, and it was a very good year in Ibiza, absolutely packed. In any given week you can go to Ibiza and see a gathering of the world's best DJs. It's like no festival or other location would give you the opportunity to check, in such a short period of time.
RS: Was there a track from there that stands out as your track from Ibiza?
Judge Jules: I suppose all the versions of the Red Hot Chili Peppers bootlegs were big. There were a couple of electro versions and a couple of trance versions. The Peter Gelderblom "Waiting 4" track was really big. Sander Van Doorn's "The Riff" and Marcel Wood's "Lemon Tree" would be the two biggest records in my area.
RS: How's life at Radio One?
Judge Jules: All good. They've moved all the dance shows to Friday night which was a change, because I was on Saturday nights for many years. But it was a change that's been musically beneficial for me because it's allowed me to do a radio show that's much more representative of what I do in a club, whereas in my old incarnation I was forced to be all things to all people. I've always been fifty-one percent a club DJ and forty-nine percent a radio DJ.
RS: And so since, how did the move to Friday night change that?
Judge Jules: I'm on a little bit later so I'm not at such a commercially sensitive hour.