If I had to think my top five favorite DJ’s…One that immediately comes to mind is James Holden. The founder of Border Community (Records UK) tore through the first decade of the new millenium. His dropping clouds of joy was seamless and sonically beautiful, like watching a flower bloom, implode, and then rise from the ashes once again.
It’s interesting that electronic music has become so popular in the last few years, and if you look at that with your James Holden glasses, he is an underground cult artist. His type of music, especially the direction he is heading now does not fit in well with the new “EDM” fans. Now that’s a broad generalization, and I know it’s not pervasively so, but even I am not “getting” his latest “Live” sets. Holden’s sets these days are also a bit erratic in the sense that he gets you in an amazing groove, and then shifts to a different gear but it’s intentionally not fluid…best described as jarring. Then you forget the speed bump because James gets you into another groove and then bam…jumped the tracks again.
Everyone who has followed Holden at some point realizes, whether or not they are a fans of his music, that he is an awkward genius. So with all that said in the previous paragraph his non radio friendly process and style does not settle well with the newly acquired masses to “EDM”. Like a lot of the best DJ’s in the world you have to dig deeper and understand that the best do not give you instant gratification. I think that’s the whole problem with EDM is because it’s instant gratification for an attentively hyperactive generation. Again a broad stroke but Holden is not just building a set like a good DJ does, he’s creating live chaotic sonic fractals. So not easy to digest especially for the pop listener….even a longtime listener.
So in this thread I will be posting some of my favorite mixes and live sets from James…for now they’ll be just Youtube embeds but over time I will add to this page the best quality streams of all the video mixes. James Holden has almost no full live sets with live video…which has been frustrating, maybe he wants to stay under the radar while dance culture mangles itself. Once the the destruction of the art is complete out from the bunker will come James Holden to save us all.
With that said I recently found a complete extended live video set from 2013 that is stunning. These will be posted in the next post “James Holden Appreciation Thread #2” Anyway enjoy these and check back as this post continues to evolve.
Thanks for reading and happy listening. Remember This post continues to evolve!
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