Posted by: martinworster | November 22, 2016

Justin Robertson Interview

justin robertsonJustin Robertson has been a regular face on the UK dance scene since day one. Back in the heady early 90s he started the legendary Spice and Most Excellent club nights which were an early source of inspiration to stars like the Chemical Brothers – regulars at Spice – when they were in their infancy. Most Excellent also hosted great nights at Venus in Nottingham with DJs like Andy Weatherall and the pre-Underworld Darren Emmerson .

Moving forward a couple of years Justin founded Lionrock and enjoyed chart success with their first album ‘An Instinct For Detection’ spawning classics like ‘Carnival’, Rude Boy Rock and ‘Packet Of Peace’ (remixed by Chemical Brothers and Jeff Mills). Aided by the ragga-styled chatting of MC Buzz B, Lionrock found a following with their fusion of, well, almost every genre you’d care to mention – these boys were ‘eclectic’ before ‘eclectic’ became a horrible journalistic cliche.

Six years later and the following is still evident as Justin recalls his latest gig in front of the Homelands crowd: “It was a bit lame being on so early. But then it was good to see people getting down since over half our set was new – so it was good to check the reaction out.” This was the first appearance of the Lionrock Soundsytem under their new moniker Lionrock Superstereo. Justin explains: “We changed tack, there’s too many soundsystems around at the moment!”
Despite having a good time at Homelands, he’s not 100 per cent sold on the dance music festival concept: “It’s a bit too cosmic and hippy for me and I don’t like fields. Dance music’s core is always going to be in the urban setting with sweaty clubs and basements and the like. If you hang around too long in fields it can all go a bit too Goan trance.”

After a long run in the Deconstruction stable, Justin is finally enjoying the freedom of his own independent imprint Master Detective – “its been a real liberation.” Now he takes care of all the Lionrock label business alongside new signings Homelife, Dis-Jam and King Marvel Invention. The first release on the new label is ‘Gentleman Thief’, a groovy and seasonal slice of old school-flavoured house which Justin put together with Lionrock partner Roger.

As well as making music and DJing, Justin‘s doing some detective work and hunting out undiscovered talent for Master Detective as its A&R boss: “We’ve got a band called Homelife who are from Manchester and are a kind of jazz, post-rock type thing. We’ve also got Dis-Jam from Germany and a band from Norway so it’s quite international really.”

The label project provides the perfect opportunity for Justin to trade on his nine plus years of clubland experiences, after all, as he puts it, “I don’t want to end up being the Status Quo of DJing”.
Justin releases the Gentleman Thief single next month (July) and follows it with an album later in the year.
(originally published on dotmusic)

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