There is no one quite like Jay Haze. He’s a man with a heart of gold, and an artist with a consistently left of centre take on electronic music.
Under his own name, and as Fuckpony, amongst other aliases, he has helped to redefine the contemporary sound of house and techno from the mid 2000’s. At that point, he disappeared to focus on charitable pursuits, spending time providing tsunami relief in Indonesia, working with Red Dot Relief in Japan and Toys and Needs in Latin America, as well as raising awareness and making documentaries to help victims in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Now, he is back creating painfully emotive techno tracks that drip with sensuousness and soul.
Balance Selections Q+A
My last 3 releases:
Jay Haze – Close To You
Fuckpony feat. Boy From Africa – Talk To Me
Jay Haze & Kareem Da Li – Cameroon Boogie
What music did you listen to as a child?
I had a mix of Talking Heads, Sly and the Family Stone, and Prince. I was fascinated with my father’s collection, and from the moment I could crawl I remember bringing record sleeves to my father to play for me on his turntable. Those three acts still have a profound influence on my work no doubt. Thank god.
When was the first time that you realised that you liked electronic music?
I remember hearing it from my father’s tape collection, which included David Mancuso, Larry Levan, Pink Floyd. It changed my life when I listened on tape to ‘Dark Side of the Moon’.
When was the first time you saw a DJ in a club?
I had my first experiences in renegade (underground rave) parties, as in the USA, you need to be 21 to have a club experience. I was already getting a hustle on this scene at 15, it was a lovely time always scouting locations. But, it was when I moved to Europe in 2002 that I had my first club experiences, I stayed for nearly 20… Jajaja.
Which producers/artists/acts inspire you?
Sly, Marvin, Miles, John C., John L., Al, George, Bob – I’m pretty generic in this field :)
What was the last album that you downloaded/bought?
The newest album from Michael Kiwanuka, just resonates in the deeper parts of my soul.
What is your current production and DJ set up like?
For DJ’ing it depends on the gig, but I’m comfortable on the CDJ’s, and can play 24-bit, which has allowed me to play sounds in the club in the manner in which they were made. When I play live, I’ll put together my set-up depending on the sound of the tour. As resources of gear are not limited… Thanks again to God.
What releases do you have on the horizon?
There is the Fuckpony ‘Crystal Lake’ release, which is featured in this mix. I think this is the most important one for now. The next focused thing is my album, it’s been a long time in the works and i am super excited to finally share.
Where can we hear you perform?
I’m paying Mexico City this weekend, but with the current times, I’m going to have to update you. I just moved back to the USA after 20 years, and I am re-adjusting.
Tell us more about the podcast you made for Balance?
In this mix I played with time and space. The goal was I wanted to use original material, for a trip of the body and mind. I really enjoy invites, it makes me curious how much of myself I can reveal before I’m asked to leave the venue. I always try my best, and this podcast was no exception to that law. I use silence sometimes in an expressive way, which might tickle you.
The top track in my DJ wallet currently is:
Dixon – Call me on Monday
If I could recommend only one of my tracks for you to listen to it would be:
Jay Haze – I Wait for you feat. Laila Tov
If I could recommend only one track for you to listen to it would be:
Robert Owens – Walk a Mile in my Shoes (Henrik Schwarz remix)
The last movie I watched that I really liked:
I wish I could answer that honestly… Maybe ‘Caddyshack’
My favourite TV show:
Rick and Morty
Balance Selections 158: Jay Haze
1. Jeff Darko – Blue Skies (Massi BCN re-rub)
2. Los Millonarios – El Rio
3. Bozoo Boyou – Divers Jay Haze (Big Boom remix)
4. Credit Clown – Is it the Ever the Same
5. JNK – Dances with Stars
6. Stanislav N – Farm Life
7. Vys Monks – Every Sunday Morning
8. Fuckpony feat. Tanya Nickich – Crystal Lakes
9. Kareem Da-Li – My Temperament