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Palms Trax

A masterclass in euphoria

  • Patrick Hinton
  • 20 January 2016

Casting a cursory glance at the origins of Jay Donaldson's Palms Trax project may not present the most compelling tale: a young upstart who developed an interest in dance music while living in London, then moved to Berlin holding the loose hopes of making it as a DJ. But don't stop here if you've heard this one before, because honing in on Palms Trax reveals one of the most refreshing figures working within the spectrum of house and techno.

The manner in which he presents himself through his music and as a person is a tonic among a scene that can at times become entrenched in obeying certain perceptions.

We'll often suspiciously side-eye home counties-bred DJs bigging up their "pirate radio past" or boasting about the rarities that comprised their record collection when they "first got into jungle at the age of 8", but Palms Trax is forthright, often self-deprecating and always unafraid to be himself.

Growing up in Saltford, a village outside Bristol, his upbringing involved playing Metallica and Black Sabbath covers in bands and going to gigs with his Dad. When asked in an interview with Fabric last year for a record signifying a particularly significant moment in his life, Donaldson replied: "Getting a Blue Peter badge soundtracked by 'O Little Town Of Bethlehem' was pretty memorable." And he happily recounted to DJ Broadcast his struggles to perform a C-major scale, "the easiest scale on the planet", during his initial musical exploits.

A move to London to study audio production at University led to Donaldson taking up a highly influential internship at Phonica Records and residency at Jimmy Asquith's Streets Of Beige club night, crystalising his interest in dance music, and since then he's been on fire.

 
 
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