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Renaissance presents James Zabiela - Utilities

Author: Stomp
Monday, June 27, 2005
James Zabiela continues to prove he is at the forefront of DJing with this eagerly anticipated follow-up to 'ALiVE', devoting one disc to the much publicised Ableton technology, mixed entirely off computer; whilst he goes totally live on the second, using 3 CD decks, samplers and EFX units...

Includes James' incredible debut single 'Robophobia' plus cuts and remixes from Aphex Twin, Infusion, Buick Project, Trentemoller, Montero and many more...

A debate is raging within the world of dance music - what is the future of DJing- 3 partisan camps have emerged: vinyl, CD and totally digital, using computer technology. In short, the modern DJ has more options as to how to mix than ever before. Quite remarkable when you consider but 5 short years ago 3 decks were considered a novelty. Along the way there have been defining moments in this development; an outstanding example was 2004's 'ALiVE' album by James Zabiela, the compilation being the first to truly highlight just what can be done using 3 CDJs (the CD equivalent of a turntable) and an EFX unit. It even came with a short CD-Rom film demonstrating the totally live trickery that was employed.
A year on and James Zabiela once again joins forces with Renaissance for the follow-up. Given his well-documented love and support of the CDJ, you'd think that a further homage to the joys of CD mixology would be in order, but, in part, you'd be wrong. James explains, "Since 'ALiVE' there has been a huge leap in computer software. Things are continuing to move forward at a rapid speed. I therefore felt it was really important I made of use of all these technologies - or utilities (hence the name) - available." Aware of the long-running debate over formats, James hit upon his own unique idea to separate the technologies and let people draw their own conclusions. 'Utilities' 2 discs therefore come as 'Computed' and 'Recorded'. As the names suggest, one uses the much publicised Ableton technology and has been recorded entirely on computer, whilst the other makes a welcome return to last years format of CDJs, samplers and an EFX unit. "With this format on the album I've employed all the utilities as I wanted to," elaborates James, "But it's also allowed me to lay down what is essentially a musical debate. For the first time on one album, by comparing both discs, people can draw their own conclusions as to what system they prefer."

But lets not forget that, beyond the mixing techniques, James distinct musical style remains at the heart of the album. In a further move to distinguish the follow-up he also chose 'Utilities' to be the platform to showcase his very first foray into the world of original production. The result is two incredible cuts - 'Robophobia' and 'EyeAMComputer', which are currently causing mayhem on dancefloors round the world (soon-to-be available separately as a gatefold EP, which contains a further track 'Skanksuary' and, in true JZ style, a side of samples and sounds taken from all 3 tunes). Beyond his own productions James draws on a host of current talent, including the previously unavailable Kriece remix of Aphex Twin's 'Windowlicker' and tracks and remixes from Infusion, Buick Project, Trentemoller, Lee Coombs, Montero and many more.

Renaissance presents James Zabiela - Utilities
Out 11 July via EQ Recordings

Disc 1

1."Quantum Realities" (Intro) - James Zabiela & Nick Boulton
2."Atlantic View" - Decomposed Subsonics
3."Your Soul For Access" - The Consumer
4."Android" (Original Mix) - Wyatt Earp & Little Mike
5."Windowlicker" - Aphex Twin
6."This Is Sick" - Solid Groove
7."EyeAmComputer" - James Zabiela
8."On/Off" - Soundex
9."Outta My Mind" (Breaks Mix) - Lee Coombs
10."Outta My Mind" (House Mix) - Lee Coombs
11."Mbira" (Infusion Remix) - Will Saul
12."Robophobia" - James Zabiela
13."Future Love" - Abysm
14."Theme From Silvertone" - Nicolas Vallee presente Silvertone