As we get closer to our mini festival on 14 August, we bring the next in our artist profiles for North Fest 10 and this man of many guises is respected across the globe and by all generations of underground dance music.
Justin Robertson openly answered our questions and we can’t wait to hear him play on our House stage. So check out the interview below and make sure you get your tickets now directly from the bottom of the page. We have less than a month to go, the parties are now back in full swing and you don’t want to miss this event we have been waiting so long to present! Get involved.
LondonHouseMusic: How did you spend your time during lock down?
Justin Robertson: I tried my very best to embrace the apocalypse and not get crushed by it, but it was heartbreaking trying to find some sort of normality with the constant background hum of death and sickness. When friends are on ventilators, or worse succumb to the disease, its hard to focus on work that seems almost trivial at times. But I came to realise that making stuff and directing the feelings of dislocation into something creative is what would get me through it. People turn to music and art in times of tribulation, it gives them an anchor and a means to travel outside the isolation, to feel connected even when we were all physically separated. Initially i found making music the hardest. You realise that you can make the greatest work of art of all time in the privacy of your studio, but until you share it with people it’s essentially meaningless, so having no spaces to play and share was tough. I had a few remixes to do which got me through the early bit, and then my wife Sofia and I decided the best way to avoid divorce was to start a musical combo, so we started a project called Formerlover. It’s a kind of ‘compass point’ influenced dub disco affair. The enforced isolation also allowed me to finish and edit my debut novel. It’s called ‘The Tangle’, a supernatural tale of mystery, terror and redemption in the unfathomable knot of nature, which is published in November. I had started it well before lockdown, but the general feeling of dystopia unfolding certainly added to the book. I also illustrated it, so spent a lot of time drawing and painting. More prosaically I walked the dogs a lot, covering every nook and cranny of nw10.
LHM: Tell us some of your favourite releases from 2020 you have not been able to play to a dancefloor that we will hear at North Fest 10?
JR: Luckily the lockdown didn’t seem to hamper the flow of great music. It’s pretty hard to pick a list of lockdown faves but if i dig back into my 20220 record box a few numbers pop ou.
1.Andrei Orlov – It’s a nice night for surfing (Great epic end of night business)
2. Das Komplex – Lagos (Murky and sleazy, could for early evening jacking)
3. Glok – Kolkol – Franz Kirmann m25 mix (Pure trance)
4. Brioski – Good Days (Italo arpeggiator goodness)
5. Rina x Benji x- Koshmaro (A list of drugs on top of an acid track, good combo i’d say)
6. Orient Express – Abdullah Dollar – Marwan Hawash edit (From the excellent hard fist team, vigorous arabic psych disco. Might have to pitch it down for the balearic firm. See also Sanza- Sounouh – lion drum edit)
7. Javier Martinez & Undefined Pattern – Distancia – Fabio Me Llamen Soltero remix (Very wonky and very good
8. Kaspar Bjorke – Oceans of time – Bawrut mix (Acid in the 21st century)
9. Bill Brewster – Macumba Espanol (This whole ep on Sprechen is pure joy. Something to raise the spirits of disco)
10. Formerlover – Correction Dub (I know, I know! but I can’t wait to play it out to people)
LHM: We have four stages at North Fest 10, what other artists are you looking forward to seeing if possible?
JR: I’ll be train spotting next to Nick Manasseh and David Hill for sure, but literally everyone! I’m going to try and absorb it all if possible. It’s a great bunch of good friends and excellent folk so it will be a treat, and It’s just around the corner which is a bonus as the Westside doesn’t have enough of these dos. Hopefully this will be the start of something special.
LHM: What are your plans for the year ahead?
JR: Lots of music including a new project with Zoe Devlin and more Formerlover. Preparing for the book launch in November with an multi faceted travelling show of readings, art and music that I’m taking around the country and beyond. I’m also writing the follow up to The Tangle which is well under way. Generally looking forward to seeing humans again and playing music in acid houses, where it’s safe to do so. Oh yes and I’m keen to study pottery. Rave on x