JFB brings a taste of Battlejamming 

British DJ on a 10-date tour of Canada

click to enlarge Up to Scratch
  • Up to Scratch

On his sixth tour of Canada, things are going well for Brighton's own JFB — AKA Jean-Marc Preisler — not least because he is tucking into his first-ever, "amazing-looking" Japadog somewhere in downtown Vancouver.

Travelling with his mixer and his laptop, the British DJ looks to the kindness of strangers to supply turntables and to teach him about local customs and cuisine.

"Amazing cheeseburgers, lovely people. I just like Canada, full stop. A friend of mine has been showing me around Vancouver and we just went in a flight simulator. Flyover Canada... it's quite cheesy but I was impressed with how good it was," he says.

Fresh on the coast after scratching to 500-plus people in Calgary, JFB opened his 10-date tour in Squamish last week.

"I've been to Squamish a few times because a friend of mine lives there. I've played in Whistler before and had a stopover there so I would have a gig (in Squamish), too. Very small, intimate gig. Really nice setting," JFB says, estimating around 150 people went.

"Calgary was a sell-out show, really good sound system. Crazy Canadians going mental... brilliant."

He brings his show to the Garibaldi Lift Company in Whistler on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 9:30p.m. with special guest Vinyl Ritchie. This is the "third or fourth time" he's played here.

JFB is described by Ritchie as "the Bruce Lee of DJing" and by fellow Brighton DJ Fatboy Slim as "the thinking man's Grandmaster Flash." It's easy to imagine a pretty energetic performance, and as the U.K.'s DMC Champ on two occasions, he is also used to those European nights with crowds of tens of thousands.

His career ramped up after being named best British DJ in 2007 and 2011. He has also just become a resident DJ on BBC Radio One, the top music station in the country, making monthly mini-mixes.

"I was already DJing a lot but when I won it all the promoters booked me so I was gigging loads for ages. It gave me a little bit of an international profile, too. People don't know much about the DMCs but when you've got the words 'U.K. champion' behind your name, it really helps," he says.

JFB says he likes to play both big crowds and small.

"Intimate crowds are great because they can see the turntables properly and see what I'm doing. Bigger crowds are a bigger buzz," he says.

In terms of his Whistler set, JFB says the crowd will hear "everything except for House."

"Because I'm a scratch DJ and do a lot of turn-tabling, so most of it is music with strong break-beats in it. Nothing commercial, a lot of funky music... a lot of drum 'n' bass, a lot of hip hop, party breaks and ghetto funk," he says.

His recent performance work has been in the form of a freestyle Battlejam, seeking ever more complicated ways to make his music, something he started in 2006 but stopped because he was too busy.

He says: "When we started, we realized people in clubs were too drunk to follow what we were doing. So we started doing it online. Recently, we were contacted to start it up again and we've been doing a show out of YouTube and Google's offices in London. There's millions of pounds' worth of equipment and proper techies helping us out

"The other week we had a test run to see if it worked. It's funny, we only got it working five minutes before we started and we ended up making it up as we went along. Two thousand people watched it online and there were 30 or 40 in the crowd turning up expecting it to be like a party and it wasn't. So we made them do really silly things, video-sampling them and things like that."

When JFB gets back to London in December they will test it out again, with the aim of setting up a YouTube TV show.

"It will be like an in-studio TV comedy, with lots of pre-edited, pre-recorded things," he says. "We've got a lot of facilities at our disposal. It will be brilliant."

Speaking of Garibaldi Lift Co. (GLC)

Related Locations

Interactive Map

Today's COVID-19 cases in Canada

Click each province to see the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths, recovered patients, and tests administered...more.

Latest in Music

More by Cathryn Atkinson

© 1994-2020 Pique Publishing Inc., Glacier Community Media

- Website powered by Foundation