Aaron Ross interview

How did you first get into Dance music and who initially inspired you?

In the early 90’s when I first started Djing I was a DnB / Jungle head, doing pirate radio, inspired by a close friend who’s now part of the DnB outfit Universal Project..
Around the mid 90’s I was introduced to proper house by a good friend who I was working with at Virgin Records, DnB was getting a bit hard and I was looking for something with a little more funk and soul… MAW and Mood II Swing were a huge influence on me getting properly into house..

How did your association with Defected come about: what makes the label unique for you, and how do you see radio’s place in today’s cultural landscape?

The link to Defected actually came through soul heaven who I’m a resident DJ for… Defected drafted me in to work on the soul heaven label which was then in a joint venture with Defected.. It all just grew from their 6 years ago… When my 5 year contract with bbc 1xtra came to an end it was the natural progression to host the Defected radio show….  Radio has become a different animal these days, people are free to pick and choose what they listen to rather than be spoonfed via commercial radio.. Soundcloud and online radio has changed things for the better !

Your latest remix is for Knee Deep ‘All Nite’. How did you construct the remix?

I was actually away in Thailand when I started work on the remix, started with a solid beat and just built a nice bass groove that worked with the vocal, then the Systematik deep mix came a little later when I was back in london, I just felt the vocal could work with a deeper vibe – Systematik is a new alias I’m gonna be running with for the deeper sound..

Soundclip/buy  http://www.traxsource.com/index.php?act=show&fc=tpage&cr=titles&cv=133246

Songs are having a resurgence in House music. From your perspective how do you feel about song writing and soul – is music coming full circle?

Yeah it’s great real house music is making a return, electro and minimal have kinda died off… There’s a huge scene in South Africa for house music which is great, it’s mainstream over there..

What are your plans for 2012 both as a Dj and Producer?

2012 I plan to push the Systematik thing a little more with the deeper sounds… DJ wise I wanna make my debut trip to South Africa and play back in the states in the summer…






‘Upside Down’
Elektrish / Sonar Kollektiv

Time to get excited. Upside Down is a selection of favourite remixes for Jazzanova from the last eight years and at the very, very least highlights all the elements which make the collective such a vital piece of our musical jigsaw: good song-writing and forward-thinking musicianship that encompasses both real and virtual instruments. In ways you only have to look at the list of remixers to see the picture so I’ll mention just a few: Alex Barck, Henrik Schwarz and Ame and so the list travels on… The collection never feels like it’s merely replaying the past but building upon it with fresh technology and invigorating vocals – and of course Paul Randolph and Ben Westbeech sing here too. Needless to say that there isn’t one filler on here, indeed all tracks are standout moments! 9



& the original version of Jazzanova ‘I Can See’ feat. Ben Westbeech 


Leo Zero
‘Acid Life’
Leo Trax

The album begins with a voice: Let’s Go! Well then, lets! What’s so exciting about this album is that it replays all its Chicago/ Detroit influences all in one go and never feels less than party time. But back to that opening track which bangs out sexy Hi-Nrg syncopation like it never went out of fashion and needs to be heard LOUD. More Jackin’ rhythms follow swiftly with Body Music and fly through a selection of classic drum and bass sounds booming straight out of the late eighties, although sometimes seen from today’s perspective such as on Electricity with its cinematic stabs and crescendo of big drums or on the finishing intricate funk of Warehouse Style. Marcel’s vocals feature virtually throughout and add warmth to acid attitude. Don’t say revival – it never went away in the first place. 8




Luca C and Brigante
‘Invisible Cities’
Southern Fried

Hats off to Southern Fried for releasing this perfect summer (mini) album smack bang in the middle of winter – I makes the end of January feel a whole lot warmer. This really is a refreshing listen and for those of a Balearic disposition plays out gentle electronic atmospheres along with cool, soulful feeling vocals. For those not of that persuasion you may well hate it but ho-hum. The Beach typifies it all. At times Invisible Cities is slightly dreamy and California, at others stylishly European and Vangelis. Can that ever be a bad thing? 8





Knee Deep
‘All Nite’ (Remixes)
The Brothers

Next as part of a series of single releases, which eventually cumulate as an entire album collection, this nugget from Knee Deep is the latest to be remixed. Aaron Ross turns it on big time with one of his strongest mixes to date, and as a fan of drums and most definitely bass this sees sizzling beats and percussion combine perfectly with a delicious bassline and synths on the Main Mix. There’s also a Deep Mix which is deeper and a Brothers version that feels polite in comparison. 8




Kraak and Smaak
‘Hold Back Love (feat Lex Empress)’
Jalapeno Records

If you’re a sucker for that early eighties Boogie sound then this is for you plain and simple. Although that’s not to say Lex Empress doesn’t deliver with tastefully sassy vocals or also that the D-train etc vibes aren’t irresistible either – they are. Remixes come from the excellent Lovebirds who twist the groove into deeper territory  to let the chorus feel that bit more powerful when it hits, Analog People in a Digital World give it a more provocative edge, while Neighbour and Elan B play around with jazzy touches on their playful dub-wise take. 8




And for inspiration D-Train ‘You’re The One For Me’ (1981)