There are some who say he's cheesier than your local deli, but Radio 1's JUDGE JULES knows how to get the party jumping. Words: Rory Weller
Judge Jules has got more fingers in more pics than Billy Bunter. The 32-year-old former law student from Crouch End in London shouts out to millions of clubbers getting up for it at the weekend on his two Radio I shows; he’s founder and head of A&R at Manifesto records; he has his own DJ management agency. Serious Artist. run by his brother Sam; he‘s responsible for almost l0() remixes: and his club DJing itinerary is. quite frankly. mental.
What's most important. though. is that he still loves the music. When he's playing. he likes to come in early before his set and sticks about after to hear what the other DJs are spinning. During a set. he‘s giving it as much as his audience. cheering them along. jumping about the booth and lining up the next track with a cheeky anticipant grin.
‘l’m 51% a Clubber and 49% a muso.’ says the guy who was at Kiss during its pirate years and defected to Radio 1 last year. 'The atmosphere that’s generated in a club is of fundamental importance to me. that intimate relationship between the DJ and the crowd. keeping them on tenterhooks at all times.‘
Jules (real name Julius O'Riordan) starting off DJing when he was sixteen with school mate Rollo from Faithless. He got into the rare groove and London warehouse party scene right from the start with the likes of Jazzie B and Norman Jay. Travelling to New York to buy records, he was entrapped by the house sound of the Paradise Garage, where the late Larry Levan was resident. and went back a dozen times before it closed.
in England he saw house turn to acid and rode the crest of the rave wave. playing out at Energy. Back To The Future and Sunrise. Since being invited to set up dance label Manifesto by Polygram four years ago with Eddie Gordon (Pete Tong’s DJ manager). his A&R skills have ensured that 35 of the imprint’s 40 or so releases have charted. which is a success rate second only to Motown, he reckons.
Despite. and possibly because of. his achievements he’s considered to be a little cheesy. ‘l
70 THE UST 16-30 Apr 1998
‘If you’re on Radio 1, people will have a perception of you being commercial.’ Judge Jules
I'll be the Judge of that: Jules comes to town
don’t lose a lot of sleep concerning myself with it.‘ he says. ‘If you're on Radio 1. people will have a perception of you being commercial. The records I play are accessible. but once something reaches a certain degree of popularity. with every other DJ playing it. then I‘ll drop it. One man‘s commercial is another man’s underground. really.‘
With radio sewn up. he’s setting his sights on the box. with plans formulating for a dance music/youth culture show. When he was at Kiss. Jules had a low budget satellite show called ‘Judge And The Jury'. which he obviously had to forsake when he went to the BBC.
‘That‘s where my ambition lies.‘ he admits. ‘but if you were to thrust some spotty studio heads on to TV. it just wouldn‘t work. I’m more interested in doing something that is more aimed at the dance generation without necessarily being a slave to a lot of music presentation.’
If anyone is right to tackle it. then Jules is more than likely your man.
Judge Jules DJs at Cream at the Tunnel and at The Vaults, both on Sat 25 Apr. His Radio 1 shows are Fridays 9-11pm and Saturdays 5-7pm.
ANYONE NOTICE this issue's club star Judge Jules playing at a certain, ahem, 'commercial' city centre club night at the end of April. Us neither, until Jules mentioned the gig and said he didn't want to talk about it seeing it as a bit of a mistake. The club? Sauchiehall Street, opposite McDonald's and specialists in buffet dancing. What's next, Paul Oakenfold at Clatty Pats? We'll just wait and see.
OUTRAGEOUS OUTPOURING of emotion at the final night of Slam last issue, especially dropping 'Positive Education' as their last track before the encores. Explosive? Not half. Back to Basic’s Dave Beer was still up on Sunday stoatin' about the Arches with Soma's Dave Clark. Do hope they have actually left the place since Friday.
BORED WITH EDINBURGH? Bored with Glasgow? Want to go somewhere different? Why not try the Room At The Top in Bathgate. Although this purpose-bui|t venue (£35m, 2,600 capacity, 50k sound, four rooms) got off to a slow start, its profile is currently on the up. Respected Birmingham club Sundissential has just started a monthly residency there. DJ booking agency DJs Unlimited also has a monthly rseidency too, regularly importing big names like Nigel Benn and Jon Pleased Wimmin. Room At The Top, which is aiming to inhabit the same league as Cream, Renaissance and Ministry, is situated halfway between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Phone 01506 635707 for more.
Jon Pleased Wimmin