MONDAY | MAY 30
There are few artists carving out a legacy for themselves like Dax J is right now. The British DJ and producer from London has gone from pirate radio to magazine covers; from the backroom parties to headlining raves at every major techno institution the world over, all whilst staying true to the underground with an individual style all of his own. His technical skill, pure selection as a DJ and attention to high-end sound production has placed him at the forefront of a global scene, and established him as a singular presence within modern dance music.
Recent accolades for his unswerving devotion to his sound have included places in the top 100 DJs polls published by Resident Advisor, DJ Mag and Groove Magazine. Over the years, he’s also received nominations as Best Techno DJ, Best Breakthrough DJ and Best British DJ from Mixmag, DJ Mag and the DJ Awards. He's renowned for playing mammoth closing sets at monumental parties including 10-hour marathon sets in the world’s most notorious techno clubs, Berghain and Bassiani.
Also known as a prolific producer and successful record label boss, his trademark sound remains in constant rotation among the most respected DJs in dance music. It’s a style that has evolved over many years, but which was first fully recognised on his highly acclaimed 2015 album, "Shades of Black". Upon its initial release on his own Monnom Black label, Mixmag named it "Album of the Month", Hardwax described it as “brilliantly banging” and it also took the coveted No.1 spot on Juno Records. 2018 saw Dax release his multi-faceted second solo album “Offending Public Morality”. The record won support across the board, including that of BBC Radio 1 who picked it as their “Biggest Record of the Week”. By the end of 2018, “Offending Public Morality” also featured in the “Top 50 Albums of the Year” lists for DJ Mag, Tsugi and Apocalypse Mag. Two more events that crowned a year of great success were his enrolment into the BBC hall of fame with the release of his debut Radio 1 Essential Mix, and Be.At.TV’s choice of his 4-hour closing set at NeoPop Festival for their “Best DJ set of the year”.
The Evolution of an Artist
Dax grew up in the UK as an avid fan of jungle, drum’n’bass and garage. He was heavily influenced by early innovators such as Goldie, Andy C and Bad Company, and his love for this simmering underground resulted in him starting to DJ on pirate radio whilst he was still at school. He became an avid vinyl collector, buying his music from London’s famous "Black Market Records" on a weekly basis. Not content just to play the music of others though, he also started producing music on his Playstation and so started the early manifestations of his sound.
His first appearances on vinyl came while still at university, both on Aphrodite & Mickey Finn’s classic jungle label, "Urban Takeover", and his own imprint, "Xplicit Sound". By the age of 19 he had forced his foot into London’s storied drum’n’bass scene, initially playing the small rooms at major raves for legendary promoters such as United Dance, One Nation and Movement. He took to the airwaves too and held residencies on pirate radio stations Origin FM 95.2 and Time FM 104.6.
After Dax graduated from university with a degree in Sound Engineering, he took a year out to go traveling, a decision that would completely change his musical career. Dax discovered techno and instantly developed a new passion for cutting-edge 4/4 beats that would give him a new direction, merging the pulsating energies of European techno with the uncompromising, rough attitude of his musical upbringing. It was this experience that set in motion what has become the foundation of Dax’s unique sound, a blend of rough and sleek hedonistic night music for abandoned warehouses.
It’s hard to see what else the young British artist can achieve given how he’s already established himself as a techno DJ, producer, record label head and promoter at the highest levels. What’s clear though is that his passion for the music and his commitment to driving it forward in new and unexpected ways remains stronger than ever, and he remains at the front of the pack for those who celebrate how diverse and deep electronic music can be.