It’s a familiar story: A chance meeting over 10 years ago in Ibiza (where else?) forms the basis of the duo now known as Audiojack, a Leeds-based DJ and production outfit made up of Richard Burkinshaw and James Rial. Over the last decade the twosome’s initial link-up on the White Island has evolved to become a formidable outfit; rocking dancefloors from Brazil to Australia, unleashing a consistently high level of their own music and managing a label, Gruuv, that has maintained a sterling reputation for nurturing the very best in talent, new and old.
Despite a large degree of success from the beginning (their first single ‘Robot’ thrust them into the limelight back in 2005), Jamie and Rich have maintained a degree of control over their careers that is rare to find in the modern-day, looking inward and reinventing themselves to keep things constantly fresh. Though they are focused on the dancefloor, their output is not limited to one particular style – you can always expect quality, but they straddle a variety of styles from techno through to the more melodic end of house music. “We’ve been DJing for over 30 years between the pair of us and we always look at things from the perspective of the dance floor, therefore our music is always focused on that,” they say.
This focus has seen them notch up one successful release after another, from their expertly reimagined mix of Jaydee’s classic ‘Plastic Dreams’ to the huge ‘No Equal Sides’ EP, released via their long-standing relationship with seminal label 2020Vision. It was the label’s best-selling EP of the last 12 months and the pair themselves were the 6th most charted artists of 2012 by Resident Advisor’s community. As well as a constant flow of original material, Jamie and Rich have produced remixes for labels such as BPitch Control, Get Physical, Cityfox, Diynamic, Exploited, Gomma, Tsuba and Leftroom (where it all started).
Meanwhile, thanks to their fun-filled, energetic DJ sets, this past year Audiojack have been enlisted to rock dancefloors at some of the world’s best-known and most respected clubs, including: Kater Holzig, Ritter Butzke & Watergate (Berlin), Sankeys (Ibiza), Rex Club (Paris), Hive (Zurich), Harry Klein (Munich), Electric Pickle (Miami), Ego (Hamburg) as well as past appearances at venues such as fabric in London, Space in Ibiza, Zouk in Singapore and D-Edge in Brazil. Add to this their list of appearances at smaller boutique festivals (which they prefer to huge corporate events), including: Found (London), Jack’s (Kent), Straf_werk (Amsterdam), Into the Woods Festival (Amersfoort) and the Rainbow Serpent Festival (Melbourne).
As they continue to evolve and move forward, Audiojack are now at a stage where they can truly blossom as both a production duo and label managers. In the studio they have left sample-based music behind in favour of creating their own sounds, working with live vocalists from Stee Downes and Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem to regular collaborators like Kevin Knapp. A ‘less is more’ approach is now fully integrated into their production process and has subsequently permeated through into their label ethos. “We throw away many more tracks than we release,” they say, keeping the emphasis on quality over quantity – the foundation for success in so many industries.
Meanwhile Gruuv is slowly developing into much more than a label, with the duo steadily building an empire which will become a fully rounded home for their releases, bookings, publishing, podcasts and events with a long-term view to take care of other artists. Their roster currently consists of producers such as A1 Bassline, Copy Paste Soul, Chris James/Coat of Arms and Black Loops with luminaries such as Mr.G, Jimmy Edgar and John Tejada also contributing to the label’s output. Funnily enough, the HQ of both Gruuv and Audiojack will soon relocate to Ibiza, bringing their story full circle and heralding a new chapter in their careers.
Remaining true to their beliefs and staying relevant without being contrived is at the core of Audiojack’s success. The duo never rest on their laurels, reinventing themselves when necessary, though in a very organic manner. In today’s fast-paced, ever growing world of electronic music it’s not always easy to keep a cool head and to maintain one’s credibility and integrity. However, Audiojack stand proud as a prime example of how to do things the right way and long may they continue to do so…