Jasper James - In Session - Mixmag
In Session

Jasper James

An expression of confidence

  • Patrick Hinton
  • 8 October 2015

Jasper James has DJing in his blood.

Literally: he's the son of Harri, longstanding resident at legendary Glasgow nightspot Sub Club. At just 24 years old and with a steadily rising profile, he's well on his way to enjoying a life of vinyl and euphoric late nights just like his dad has.

We first encountered Jasper playing at Glastonbury two summers ago alongside his close friend and housemate Jackmaster (imagine the crack-ons...) The atmosphere was as vibrant as you'd expect from Shangri-La on the event's opening night, but Jasper wasn't quite holding his own against the selections of his mentor.

Imagine a partnership along the lines of the Portuguese football team: Jackmaster was Cristiano Ronaldo, Jasper was every single other member. Playing his part sure, but a backseat role while the star man delivered the goods. And that's to be expected: you need serious chops to go toe-to-toe with someone as well versed as Jack.

Fast forward a month and his debut EP 'Sneaky' dropped on Optimo Trax, sparking the start of a meteoric rise. The thumping percussion and funky-yet-driving rhythms tore many a club apart, given regular rotation on dancefloors across the world by the likes of Bicep and Eats Everything.

'Listen To My Buttons' with its soaring, spaced-out pulse and booming bass became one of those tracks which carried colossal weight, a revered weapon not to be used lightly, saved by DJs for only the most deserving of occasions – a 'shutters opening' at Panorama Bar level of banger.

This confidence boost acted like a shot of adrenaline: Jasper exploded from his shell, riding high on bills across Europe's super clubs while developing a reputation for rolling out prime dancefloor-focused cuts of house and techno.

The boy once known only as "Harri's son" around Glasgow had now become the man: internationally-renowned DJ and producer Jasper James.

Given his upbringing, it's not surprising that Jasper was able to push himself to the next level with such rapidity. Learning the ropes of DJing from his Dad at the age of 13, Jasper had to develop fast. He played his first ever set at his Mum's 40th birthday to all the colourful characters of the Glaswegian scene; a baptism of fire if ever there was one. While most people hone their skills playing in basements to intoxicated students who couldn't tell a clanger if it slapped them in the face, Jasper was playing to JD Twitch.

While very much in charge of his own fate, Jasper has retained the Glasgow connection that shaped him. He still digs into his father's record collection for inspiration and swaps tips with Jackmaster.

Now one of London's most up and coming clubs Phonox has locked him in for a weekly residency. Armed with a Rane rotary mixer and backed by a fearsome Funktion-One rig, he takes the reins every Saturday night alongside a secret guest. The DJs joining him are kept strictly under wraps until you pass through the door, with Jasper packing out the club weekly on the strength of his name alone. Artists sharing the booth so far have included Jackmaster, Disclosure, Matt Tolfrey and Skream. This Saturday marks Jasper's birthday celebrations, so expect it to kick off to a new level.

Now we've got Jasper to showcase his taste for an exclusive In Session mix. Opting for tracks by producers varying from Midland to Detroit electro pioneer James Stinson, Jasper demonstrates his versatility while never once losing sight of the overall goal of potent danceability. Limber up, prepare to move your feet and listen now.

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