When I accidentaly got to Roxy a month ago, while the festival Zen was on I had to change my opinion about the party mentioned as I got to experience something really incredible.
The music was so great that I just couldn’t leave the dance floor. Really energetic and groovy and the whole Roxy was just Shaking. DJ Joel was playing.?Joel is from Chicago and has been here for four years. Recently, as a DJ he has become a resident of Roxy. Here are some more things about him as well as his opinions about music and club scene.
Think: How would you define the style you play?
Joel: Well, it’s everything from lounge/breakbeat to progressive house. The bases are house music but it’s a bit harder, very groovy and atmospheric. In general, it’s progressive house. But at Roxy (Zen) I am usually building a set starting with tech/progressive house and moving into progressive trance.
Think: Where else do you play?
Joel: I have played most clubs in Prague. London, Austria, Portugal, Russia. I am playing in Ibiza, USA and Argentina later in the summer.
Think: What in djing is important for you?
Joel: It’s a release… it gives me energy, something to do… It’s like a church, actually it is bringing people together no matter what they wear or what they do. They come to the club where they can lose all social pretentions and be as one. Enjoying the same thing. It’s the only place like that.
Think: Is it more a job or fun?
Joel: It’s definitely a job, but one that I choose, and I have a great time doing it. I take it very seriously. I prepare for my sets. I receive about 300 new records every month so I have a lot of listening to do. I adapt the set to the atmosphere and the time when I play. If I play from 12 – 2 I play slower and more groovy. Later after 2 it’s more twisted.
Think: How do you feel when you play a set?
Joel: Very happy (it’s actually visible as he smiles a lot), it’s a spiritual thing, I feel sort of refreshed…
Think: What was the best set of your life?
Joel: It was in January 2001 at Zen. It was unbelievable – completely full, all people had hands up on every drum. It was full of energy. I have never seen anything like that.
Think: Has it happened to you that you did not feel well and you had to play anyway?
Joel: Yes, sometimes I get a headache from the sound – it’s too loud…
Think: And was it like when you have an average job and you pray for 5 p.m.?
Joel: No, it’s never that bad.
Think: What was your biggest success?
Joel: Finishing my 1st track North Pole in October 2000. I worked on it with Jan Klenik from Ohm Square.
Think: Have you ever played at massive parties?
Joel: The largest was for over 10,000 people after Paul Van Dyk, last year in Prague
Think: And how what do you think about them?
Joel: It’s something completely different from clubs, it’s OK once a while… but I prefer clubs.
Think: What would you change about the club scene?
Joel: Nothing. It’s fine.
Think: Don’t you think it’s getting too commercial?
Joel: Well, that’s capitalism, money has to be there… mmm capitalism is sometimes messed up…
Think: Can you say if there is some difference between the Czech club scene and clubs abroad.
Joel: The Czech scene is becoming stale… It’s all the same music all the time. The problem is that the DJs here focus on one style, and don’t have access to all the music. The best DJs play a large variation of music. What makes you a good DJ is to feel the crowd and fit into the atmosphere. It’s his job to create the atmosphere and make people enjoy the music. I have to say the crowds here are definitely better than in Russia or England. Roxy is definitely one of the best clubs I have seen in this world. It’s got a great atmosphere, it’s got the vibe!!!
Think: What about the future?
Joel: I’ve finished up a few new tracks in the past month. I’ll be in the Channel Islands mixing these tracks in early June. There, together with Ian Ossia from Renaissance, we will finish up another new tune. Rylow and I are also in the midst of a project. I make music at home; I have a studio there. Also, we’re preparing ZEN compilation CD for the July ZEN where Sasha will be playing.
Think Magazine interview with Chicago House DJ Joel in Prague.