JFB set to spin at Tommy's 

U.K. turntablist sees success in launching videos

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Record maker U.K. DJ JFB will hit the stage at Tommy Africa's on Nov. 9.
  • Photo submitted
  • Record maker U.K. DJ JFB will hit the stage at Tommy Africa's on Nov. 9.

It was, admittedly, a harrowing start to his Western Canadian tour, but British turntablist JFB is now settled at a friend's place in Vancouver.

The opening weekend comprised of shows in Calgary and Nelson, but a delayed flight forced JFB (a.k.a. Jean-Marc Preisler) to miss his connection from Toronto to Calgary on the day of the show.

"My agent, Adam, managed to get another flight sorted just in time, so I was literally off the plane and then stepped onto another one," he recalls. "I had 30 minutes to get picked up and then to the club.

"It was really busy and a really nice crowd. It was awesome."

After playing at Nelson's Bloom Nightclub, designed and booked by the same people that run the Shambhala Music Festival, Preisler made it to Vancouver to catch his breath before his next show at Tommy Africa's on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 9 p.m. He'll also play the Knotty Burl in Squamish the following night.

Preisler explains things have settled down after displaying his hustle to kick off the tour.

"I'm staying at my friend's place until the gig on Thursday," he says. "He's got turntables here so I can practice when I want. There's loads of food and we're going go-karting later so there's loads of fun stuff."

Since he was last in Whistler in 2015, Preisler's approach has changed, as he's gone from creating tracks to producing videos highlighting his talent on the tables.

"I slowed down making the tracks and started doing more scratch routines," he says. "It's been building my online presence. If you go out and release a track, unless it becomes really big, like a one-hit wonder, you're only going to get a certain amount of plays that you get from that.

"When I release a video, some of the videos have been getting millions of views. Some have only been getting 20,000 views, but all of that happens in the space of a day. It's instant gratification, if that makes sense."

The production time is also a major factor. In a video, Preisler displays his showmanship, pulling off impressive moves like a behind-the-back or through-the-legs flip of a switch, which are almost second nature whereas tracks require meticulous planning along with trial and error.

"Making a scratching video, it only takes one day to do it, or a few days, and that includes filming it," he says. Producing a routine of new music, however, takes roughly a month.

That said, Preisler is planning to get back to creating some new tunes in the not-so-distant future.

He credits Facebook for the strong response to his videos, as he's amassed nearly 100,000 fans on the social media site that can stream the content directly from his page.

"When I post a video, it normally does really well," he says.

"People can see that you're doing something and if it looks cool and difficult, they're more likely to react in that way," he says.

The three-time DMC U.K. DJ champion, having claimed victory in 2007, 2011 and 2015, still has items on his musical bucket list, especially as he hopes to create a track that truly smashes. His self-admitted issue is an inability, or an unwillingness, to focus. One of his routines, for example, comprised a classic in "Rock Around the Clock" before moving into hip hop, the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" and The Pink Panther theme before wrapping with Nina Simone's "Feelin' Good" — all in the span of five minutes.

"I'm making big routines. I basically need a one-hit wonder," Preisler says. "The problem with me is I like too many different genres. It's really good for DJing because I think people these days get bored easier, so I think a lot of people like to dance to different genres of music. I've always played multiple genres of music at gigs, so I think I've found the way to blend between them nicely.

"But because I'm into so many genres, I've found it really difficult to establish myself as a producer-artist."

Preisler explains he was breaking into the dubstep scene about seven years ago, putting together remixes for legends like Fatboy Slim and finding his music played in television ads.

"I used to end up being booked for dubstep nights," he says, noting he drew fairly well to them. "But then I stopped making dubstep and just went into scratching a bit more."

While he's had a variety of experiences in Whistler, from a "crazy" night with Mat the Alien to a slower one in his last trip, Preisler is looking forward to his first Tommy Africa's gig.

Tickets are $5 and available at www.myshowpass.com/jfb-3.


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