Understanding “Soul Electronica” with Guy J!



The man behind numerous sound styles and surreal sonic soundscapes, Guy J, has consistently showed an avant garde approach to musical production. Credited to be one of the very few artists in the Dance Music realm who can freely amalgamate varying genres and elements of house, progressive, techno and trance, into one consolidated journey of many emotions and experiences, his sound style has evolved over the years with his increasing musical prowess and hunger for creativity and innovation. However his penchant for transformation of the dancefloor vibe, has left him an undisputed champion of his unique production style. Interweaving elements of progressive electronica, trance, techno and that occasional big-room bassline, Guy J has curated a free-form mold for himself where he fits sounds he deems best that construct his vision. Best describing it himself, he calls his music “soulful electronica“, and given the euphoric effects it has on its listeners, we can’t disagree. On the eve of his upcoming India tour as part of the sLick Turns 3 celebrations, we take a look at this Israeli maestro’s illustrious portfolio and decode his musical style – soul electronica.


Growing up listening to the Northern Exposure and Transitions mixes from Bedrock boss John Digweed, Guy J was intrigued by the melodic structure of his DJ mixes and how the mixes transcended any other typical DJ mix, by re-editing and re-constructing each track so that everything flows beautifully together in a mix as well-suited for relaxing ambiance as well as the dance floor. When he heard the iconic Love Parade through a radion in Tel-Aviv, he knew what he wanted to do! From an early start, Guy J introduced a production style that was unique and free from categorization. Yet it invoked a deep emotional charm, as can be seen in his early EPs of ‘Never Say No‘ and ‘Save Me‘. A host of soulful releases in 2007, saw Guy J steadily climb the ranks of peak hour specialists, as his ‘Self Love‘, ‘Fade‘ and ‘Fall Star‘ EPs revolutionized the notion of clubbers of what an afterhours set could invoke. But it was his glistening debut album in 2008 that put Guy J amidst the Dance Music elite. ‘Esperenza’ quickly became every DJs go-to library as he put together years of music and a visionary approach to music production to the fore, weaving a journey through the album rather than putting out standalone tracks.


Guy J continued his steady rise to superstardom as he put out release after another on a string of labels such as Bedrock, Sudbeat, Azuli before launching his own visionary label Lost & Found. His ‘Fixation‘ & ‘1000 words‘ EP became the inspiration for many producers to explore the deeper emotive shades of electronic music. In the last few years, many of the Underground music scene’s most prolific artists have signed up with Lost & Found, consistently delivering some of the best in emotive electronica following suit with Guy J‘s emphatic production guidelines. His compilation album last year titled ‘Balance‘ was perhaps the ultimate gamechanger as he fused with a strong sense for emotion and melody, progressive house, techno, and trance styles to craft a narrative, that perhaps mirrors the early works of Digweed that inspired him in the first place.


Perhaps, what makes his DJ sets really stand out is the fact that he’s almost completely ditched the conventional style of mixing using DJ mixers or turntables. Instead he uses Ableton and the live-mixing features to construct infinite loops on the go, to make his set more unpredictable and organic. Immersed into his laptop while performing, Guy constantly keep experimenting on the go, curating sounds and progressions as he see fits! A truly gifted artist! In 2014, his recent essential cuts like his ‘Lamur’ single on Bedrock, the ‘Pleasurety EP’ on Sudbeat, ‘Shaman’ for Turbo records and a string of tantalizing remixes for the likes of Global Underground and more, its almost time for Guy’s second artist album, which is currently in the works. Following an exhaustive summer of performances at the biggest clubs and festivals around the globe, Guy J is now ready to bring his soulful shades to India. This is one journey you wouldn’t want to miss! Click here for details about his India tour!


Reference: Decoded Magazine & Earmilk


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