Utah Jazz interview

The mighty, MIGHTY Utah Jazz is down Swerve next Wednesday for what promises to be a ridiculously hot, murky and sticky night in one of the best clubs in the universe. It’s mid-summer ffs and it’s Swerve! You simply cannot miss this.

We caught up, talked things post the fantastic UJ album ‘Vintage’, talked Jonny L (check link at end of piece if you want, it’s a tribute mix), travel and of course… sheep’s head soup.

Yes. It’s all about a sheep’s head. In a pot.

Just don’t scroll down or read post if vegetarian/sensitive etc ok?

Damian Bennett: Hi Luke, the last time we spoke was around the time of ‘Vintage’… how’s it gone since then? What news, you been on the road?

Utah Jazz: Very good thanks mate! ‘Vintage’ took me on the road far more than I even expected and I was away out of the UK pretty much every weekend for 6 months.

I also cooked up some sheep’s head soup at Palais De Jazz recently. Not for the faint hearted!

DB: Hold up, ha ha!!! Jesus! I know there’s Texan-related cooking which involves mammals’ heads submerged in coals underground or something but…! What’s that like??!! (and do you discard the head later or use bits of it?)

UJ: Yeah you basically cook the soup with the head in it for 3 hours for the flavour but then you discard most of it.

The cheeks, neck & tongue are the main tasty bits so they’re broken off and added to the soup (+ mint & peas etc) at the end.

DB: You basically Fried It’s Little Brain.


UJ: …all in all the touring was tough at times but still a wicked experience.

DB: You must have some new stuff in the pipeline

UJ: That’s right. I’ve been working on a new album during the first half of 2011 and that’s going really well. One of the tracks, ‘Circa 96’ is currently an exclusive download as part of the Drum&BassArena ‘Summer Selection’ LP and has had support from Bukem, Fabio & Bryan Gee.

It’s here:

DB: Damn! That just rolls! Amazing flow.

UJ: I’m still out DJ-ing most weekends and enjoying it. My sets have been a combination of old & new tracks from myself plus some harder bits and a few classics thrown in too. The usual really.

DB: So to reflect, how’s 2011 been for you?

UJ: 2011 is basically just trying to get this new album done by the end of the year, really, and squeezing my gigs in between.

I’ll be at Swerve and then at Mode Club in Worcester next week followed by a two week tour of Australia. Then it’s straight on to Romania and Hungary three days after I’m back from that.

DB: Can I come?

UJ: August is looking less busy though which’ll give me a chance to get back in the studio and crack on with the LP project.

DB: You mentioned a collab with Jonny L to me once, that it may be ongoing. Considering you’ve done collabs with DRS as well, and N Type… well, please name the collabs you’ve been involved with and ones you’d love to be.

UJ: Jonny’s taking a break at the moment but yes: we’ve talked about some new music together and that will be ongoing. Imagine my samples with his drums & unique production approach. How can it go wrong?

DB: Unbeatable really.

UJ: Other than that, I’ve got some really big collabs lined up for the next album but probably best to keep them under wraps until I know which ones will come off. In the past, I’ve worked with people like Chelonis R Jones from Royyksop, DRS, The Ragga Twins, Atlantic Connection and over the last few years I’ve remixed for Wiley, Roni Size, Lethal Bizzle, Tricky & Yo Majesty.

I also did a track with Danny Byrd a while back which was great but didn’t see the light of day… so I’m hoping we might be able to get it back up-to-date and work out some kind of release for it!

DB: I have stuff of yours such as ‘Back In Time’ as one of my (all time) faves…

… so tell me about some picks of yours over time for people that are new to your sound.

UJ: The early Liquid V tracks all did really well. I think it was just the timing as much as anything else. Tracks like ‘Runaway’, ‘Feeling Inside’ & ‘Back In Time’ etc all fitted that whole summer liquid vibe perfectly!

My style hasn’t really changed since then… I’m just carrying on doing my thing and it’s nice to still get the recognition.

DB: I am stationed in Birmingham for now and know you and Fabio played here recently… seems like a good vibe?

UJ: Yes that’s right. I’ve got a little thing going on up at The Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath) in Birmingham where I go up and play a few times per year with a couple of other guests. The promoter Ric (Reaction) knows his stuff. It’s a great venue and amazing vibe. I think the next one is 25th November and I’ll be up there with Bukem & Conrad. We’re all doing Fabric the same night too so I’ll be playing at one while they’re at the other and we’ll pass each other on the motorway.

DB: Ha ha! Gotta love that late nite M1 vibe.

UJ: I’m really looking to Swerve on June 29 (at Cable) and amazingly, it’ll be my first London show in nearly a year!

I’m going to be doing a ‘History of Liquid Funk’ set covering all the bases from the late 90s to the present day.

DB: KILLER. I will do the M1 thing myself and rep! Thanks man, off to get some soup on…

Utah Jazz joins Chris Intaface and Fabio, down Swerve at Cable nr London Bridge on the 29th.

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