Jake Fairley, aka Fairmont, is an electronic music producer, live performer and DJ from Toronto, Canada. He began his career in the early 2000s making records under his own name for labels such as Kompakt, Sender and Cocoon. However, it was his 2005 smash-hit ‘Gazebo’ under his Fairmont pseudonym that solidified him as a heavyweight in the global underground scene. Released on James Holden’s Border Community label, ‘Gazebo’ sold over 20,000 vinyl copies and made Fairmont a household name. ‘Gazebo’ has just seen a fresh set of remixes from ANNA, Patrice Baumel, Moscoman, Jacques, and more which we will discuss later. Besides ‘Gazebo’ Fairmont has released two albums and several EPs that have hit al the right notes with fans of his incredible music. Recent releases such as Carthage (MFRR 2016) Shadows Of Mine (Suara 2017) and Brothers Keeper (Bedrock 2018) have been big club hits, getting played by the usual suspects. Decoded Magazine caught up with Fairmont for a chat about what he has planned for 2019, and of course that superb remix pack of ‘Gazebo’ that has just hit the usual download locations…
When I spoke to Fairmont he was kicking back and catching up with some paperwork whilst Toronto was experiencing some rather horrible weather… “Today’s been pretty chill so far. Toronto got hit with hail this morning, which has now turned into freezing rain. The city is literally covered in ice, so everyone’s kind of taking the day off. I’m taking the chance to get caught up on all the things I’ve been neglecting over the weekend. Interviews for example.”
I last spoke to Fairmont in 2014 for Decoded Magazine and since then there is no doubt that his music productions have gone from strength to strength. I asked him what some of his highlights had been over the last four years… “The highlight has definitely been becoming a dad, but there has been lots going on with music as well. I moved back home to Canada and in the process greatly reduced my gear collection. Working with less has definitely been good for me. I still love synths, but I don’t really care to collect things any more. I get more done when things are streamlined and I’m less distracted from the actual writing process.”
Fairmont has had a number of releases on Bedrock over the years and has built a strong relationship with John Digweed. I think we can all agree that John Digweed does not just allow any old producer on his label! I asked Fairmont about how the relationship with John first came about… “I think what really got us chatting was a remix exchange we did a few years ago. We might have already emailed a few times, but that was when we got friendlier and eventually met up etc. Doing the ‘Brothers Keeper’ EP with Bedrock was a really good experience and I’d definitely do it again.” If you have not heard the track, check it out below:
Whilst still on the topic of productions I spoke to Fairmont about the re-release of the superb track ‘Gazebo’ that was of course first released on James Holden’s Border Community label back in the day. That track was a huge success for Fairmont and really put him on the map as an electronic music producer. I decided to ask Fairmont why the re-release, and why now… “It’s something I’d been thinking about for a while. It was such a big song, but only got a couple remixes and most people don’t even know those. So getting some fresh interpretations really made sense to me. My manager Loic mentioned it to his good friend Agoria, who runs Sapiens and it all came together from there. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m excited to see how it’s received.” The release features remixes by some of the best producers around at present. I asked Fairmont how he chose the remixers… “From the star,t Loic, myself, and Agoria all agreed that we wanted a diverse group of producers.”
“Gazebo is one of those songs that bridges different genres and scenes, so we wanted the remixes to do the same.”
Fairmont went on to add… “Patrice Baumel is a good buddy of mine and one of my favourite remixers, so we started there. When that came back to us we knew the project was a go, because it was so brilliant. Then we thought to get a big techno version and ANNA was the top name for all of us and luckily she said yes. Similar story with Moscoman. His is crazy good. Super thoughtful. Agoria thought to ask Jacques, which was an awesome choice. His is so fun and special. There’s also a super cute one from Stefan Smith. Then there are 2 from me. It’s a big list which normally I’d be nervous about, but they’re all so different that it really makes for an amazing package. I’m super happy with the whole thing.” For the Fairmont fans out there (like me) I am overjoyed that this track has been given a new lease of life (and that ANNA mix not only blows the doors off but NUKES them off), even though, I must admit, the original still sounds as good as ever which is a sign of quality. OK, that is enough ass kissing from me for now!!!
Whilst talking about great producers I asked Fairmont who are some of his go-to producers are, and he named some artists to watch… “Rigopolar, Terr, Damon Jee, Raxon.”
I thought I would be a little cheeky and ask the man if we could expect an album anytime in the near future… “Probably not, I’m afraid. The last one took too much out of me. I get too focussed when I do big projects and something that should be fun becomes stressful. I mean, I could always piece together one from the heaps of tracks I have floating around, but I’ve never been a fan of making albums that way. I think you should always attack it properly and the fact is I don’t get enough studio time for that any more.” Sad news for us Fairmont fans for now but I wouldn’t rule it out for one day on the future… fingers crossed!
Fairmont is a producer that has ticked many boxes over the years in terms of productions so I asked him if there was one thing he would love to work on in terms of music projects above all else… “I’d love to do more with live instruments like I was doing with my band Bishop Morocco a few years back. I really miss writing pop songs and playing around with friends. I always have ideas popping around in my head, but again there just never seems to be time these days.”
In this day and age access to the music production game is easier than it has ever been, and some may argue that is a great thing. Some, however, may feel it is quite the opposite including myself who often finds that average is the norm more often than not. I asked Fairmont if he feels there is an uninspiring flood of music in the scene at present… He agreed and added… “I don’t think it would be a problem if it was the only change to occur thanks to the internet age. But, when combined with how music is absorbed now and a move from things building organically to a situation where marketing has taken over makes for some pretty weird shit. I’m not someone who thinks the world is a better place with the advent of the internet.” I would have to agree with the Fairmont in this case!!! I went on to ask him about his thoughts on the electronic music scene at present… “I think the music itself is great. I’ve lived through a period where things were much less inspiring that’s for sure. The move from clubs to festivals is very scary though. Not just because I prefer clubs to festivals, but because it makes things very fragile.”
“Clubs were much more often run with passion and could withstand hard times, because the owners weren’t just looking to get paid. When our venues become real businesses with investors etc it means we are at the mercy of the bottom line.”
Before I left Fairmont to get back to producing and life and Toronto I asked him what advice he could give to the new artists out there looking to break into the scene and he gave some simple but important advice… “Try not to compromise who you work with. Be patient and you’ll make better decisions.”
Fairmont kindly composed a playlist to listen to and we here at Decoded Magazine have been playing this for the last couple of days on repeat… We hope you enjoy the interview and hope you enjoy the playlist.