“It turned into a 3-month labour of love, resulting in the most emotive and personal selection of music I’ve ever put together. ” – DENNEY

DENNEY relocated to West London a couple of years ago to help manage time spent travelling internationally for his exponentially growing career as a globetrotting underground DJ and producer.

Today’s underground music scene is a complex and lucrative business for many deejays and producers who occupy the ultraworld, a parallel universe whereby nightclubs, dancehalls and festivals reverberate to the sometimes dark, sometimes minimal sound of music rarely supported by the mainstream, but revered the world over by people who like to ‘feel’ the resonance of the music they’re dancing and listening to. Therefore, although the music is almost counter-culture in its presentation, it’s absorbed and appreciated by millions.

Having been cutting up a rug for the past 17 years, that is nothing for the Jedi-like protagonists of the underground house and techno scene. Denney has become somewhat of a master of his craft, while still viewed as being at an embryonic stage of his development as an emerging DJ/producer of note. His rise to prominence since being championed by Back To Basics, where he has held a residency for a decade, and clubs such as Sankeys, ANTS and Elrow have given James Denney a platform from which to preach his own nighttime playlist sensibilities.

Therefore when Denney was approached by Global Underground to curate and mix the twelfth instalment of their iconic ‘Nubreed’ mix compilation series, it made perfect sense to him. Although he’s been treading the boards, so to speak, as a DJ since he was 15, he sees the recognition that he has been afforded by GU as an artist, as the perfect opportunity to consolidate his standing as a rising deejay and producer.

Denney said: ‘Everyone I play with on the scene has their own unique sound and style. Mine is somewhat clubby, rave-tinged with melodic touches, while still focusing on the beats and bass flourishes. When I was approached Global Underground to represent Nubreed#12, the opportunity has allowed me to showcase the music that I eat, sleep and rave, and promote. At the same time as showing a new audience what I’m about, It also gives me the opportunity to remove any misconception about who I am, what my sound is about and what music I support.’

‘The album supports some of my favourite artists such as Andy Cato, Danny Howells, Brian Cid, Kerri Chandler, Layo & Bushwacka! as well as new school artists like myself, Catz ‘N Dogz, Audiojack, Franky Rizardo, and Eelke Kleijn. There are also some exclusive tracks on this album, also included on an EP with my own new track ‘Genena’.’

Denney has taken the project very seriously and ‘took 3 months off work’ to complete the album.

‘I’ve been coming at it from every angle, in my quest to create a great listening and dancing experience. Obviously it needed to genuinely represent what I play globally and had to work on every level. I wanted my Nubreed album to be a milestone in the series and a highlight of my career as a DJ. This is harder to achieve than it sounds, especially with a very intense gigging and recording schedule and needed proper focus to bring it into touch. It is an underground music album, so not bound by trends, styles, Beatport top 10s, this week’s promos. However, I also wanted it to reflect the zeitgeist of the times while remaining timeless and that was the part that needed the research and memory digging. A lot of it was based on the feel and flow of my sets; what worked, what gelled, the crescendos, the drops, the steps up, down and sideways; basically a complex journey that can be revisited without losing its appeal.’

‘It turned into a 3-month labour of love, resulting in the most emotive and personal selection of music I’ve ever put together. You’re basically listening to the music that makes the jasmine in my mind flow and the stuff I want to hear when I’m in partying mode. You’re basically invited to my kitchen rave on a rare night off, when I have my mates around’.

Following his sabbatical from deejaying on the global club scene for part of 2018, Denney has also been recording more music and has a plethora of releases due out on some interesting labels. He has been recording on and off since he stopped working in the Back to Basics office in 2010.

‘After I finished working in the Basics office, I spent time recording at home during the week. This was great discipline for me and I was able to channel what I was learning from the productions of other people’s records I played together with the knowledge I gained studying music creation at college in Middlesbrough and at Uni in Leeds. I knew what I wanted to achieve, I just had to be on point and step up to the plate with my presentation. I was able to achieve this with ‘Shake The Club’ on Hot Waves and the follow up, ‘Ultraviolet’ on Hot Creations. I’d managed to ascend my comfort zone and deliver productions that were first rate. I was rewarded with a raft of high profile gigs followed, which is how you run up ladders in the sometimes highly competitive DJ/producer industry.’

‘My new recordings include a single on FFRR called ‘Empire’ being released first week of November and an EP on Moon Harbour – ‘The Woozle EP’ and a track on Alan Fitzpatrick’s label We Are The BraveThere is also the single accompanying my Nubreed#12 album entitled ‘Genena’, which Global Underground are also releasing as a 12 inch.’

Preview and Order Now: https://www.globalunderground.co.uk/music/denney-nubreed-12/

About the author

For the last 20+ years, Damion has been an international touring DJ, promoter, touring agent, label owner, magazine editor and producer. He is currently the Group Editor and Managing Director of Decoded Magazine. Hear more at https://soundcloud.com/damionpell-1