"I sold my TB-303 and bought a Virus TI Yeah basically I stopped making acid house and using outboard gear then went into software. At the same time I was heavily influenced by Switch and the dubsided sound so it made sense. Acid House was so niche and the dare I say "fidget" sound was emerging but that was oh so 2008! Lots has changed."
LA-based DJ/producer T J Rozdilsky (who is better known by his initials TJR) first came to public attention for his techy remixes back on 2008, but it was not until he unleashed his Bob Marley sampling One Love earlier this year that he really entered people's psyche.
With One Love having more than ridden a wave of success, with it having been in the Beatport Top 10 for more than a month or two, is TJR worried that the overriding success of One Love will define his output as opposed to simply bolstering his career as he continues in his new direction. "Yes it's a challenge when it's a track like One Love because it's all about the sample. I didn't have to do much."
While he feels that in essence his success has come off the back of the irrepressible Bob Marley original, he is nonetheless happy to revel in the extra attention the track has brought to his musical outings. When probed further about his response to his ride away success, he laughs, "Oh I love it," before admitting, "it brought a whole new audience to my sound which is what I wanted to do. Granted, the concept of One Love was easy cause almost everyone loves Bob Marley but overall my sound has always revolved around simple concepts and having fun."
Though he earlier admitted to change in sonic direction within his first three years of production for public consumption, it has taken this phenomenally successful outing to really feed his ambition. With TJR stating "it makes me hungrier", it seems a logical progression to move our conversation from past successes to current ambitions. When asked what other tricks he still has up his sleeve, the jovial muso jokes, "I tend to wear t-shirts a lot so it's difficult to hide," before winking his way into a more serious frame of mind, "but I have lots of new jams coming out in near future."
"Most of my remixes tend to sound like originals as I barely ever use anything but the vocal sample and I love making originals." Having reached acclaim for his musical reworkings, TJR is apparently aware of the risk he takes as a musician when he is better known for his masterful reworkings than his originals. "It's easy to get caught up in remixes too so you have to make sure you schedule originals or you'll always be known as a remixer."
However, he is quick to point out that as an artist best known for his clever sampling, he is following in the footsteps of many a musical luminary. With regards his ultimate goal, he immediately pays homage to one of his musical heroes. Without a moment's hesitation, he states his ultimate goal as being, "To follow in the footsteps of people like Fatboy Slim. Create great music, don't take yourself too seriously and have fun!"
With TJR currently in demand for his DJing services around the world, he will be making a pit stop at Melbourne's own Wah Wah. While he may now have found his feet as a producer, he seems to be revelling in the attention he is now receiving for his primary craft. "I started off as a DJ where most people today start off as producers." However like many of his contemporaries TJR is no longer able to really pick a preferred mode, though he is able to distinguish the different appeals. "It's a tough one though cause I like to be alone when I produce but when I DJ I want a million people to be there. Producing is more of an art for me whereas DJing is my outlet or my release."
Given that we have heavily focused on his recorded form, it seems only right to turn our attention to his live demeanour. The light-hearted musician finds it difficult to define expectancies of his live set. He simply smiles as he states, "Depends how many vodka crans I've had but usually lots and lots of energy." However he offers this pointer for his potential punters, "And most likely I'm having a good set when I fuck up cause that means I'm going for it."
"I don't plan my sets per se, I just let the night dictate what I do. However I do know some tunes that go good with others and so I have little routines remembered (old habits from DJ battles)." While he no longer spends hours piecing together a perfect set, he is aware that his live outings offer him the perfect opportunity to draw attention to his latest materials. He admits, "Lately I've been playing my California Love remix," but he also likes to seek out tracks he believes in and wishes to draw attention to, "besides that Tauras & Vaggeli I'll Be coming out on Rising Music. Definition of a big room jackin' house track."
BY JEREMEY WILLIAMS
TJR [USA] plays Wah Wah Lounge on Monday October 31.