DJ James Jive
I’ve been a DJ for almost 20 years and have played on a wide variety of stages, from Herrmanns Strandbar in Vienna to the Bregenz City Festival, from the Graz „Tuntenball“ to a strawberryfield in Carinthia. As a teenager I started to take over the music system at parties (whenever possible). I love to find the perfect background music for every moment. As a child I was musically socialized with Chuck Berry, Rolling Stones, Queen, Beatles or The Doors and Pink Floyd. After a short chaotic phase – where the Smurfs Compilations (!) also played an important role – I found myself in German indie rock by Tocotronic, Die Sterne or Sportfreunde Stiller during puberty. I later played as a drummer in a pop-punk band (Los Finitos – rock on!), which brought groups like Green Day, Blink 182 or Die Ärzte into focus. Even heavier guitar sounds a lá Nirvana, Korn or Limp Bizkit (how often did he say „Fuck“ in the song „Hot Dog“?) found their way into my ear canals. As a 90’s teenager, the so-called 90’s trash (Lou Bega, Spice Girls, Mr. President, Scooter etc.) naturally also left its mark on my musical vita. The turn of the millennium brought a strong shift towards (first German-speaking) HipHop and Dancehall and Die Beginner, Schönheitsfehler, Seeed or Sean Paul showed me the advantages of these beat-heavy and very danceable music styles. These could also be mixed perfectly with break beats from Fatboy Slim or the Chemical Brothers. Shantel, Dunkelbunt or Fanfare Ciocarlia revealed to me that it was also possible to dance to Balkan beats in German-speaking countries. Always curious about new things, House, Drum’n’Bass and later EDM with its varieties from Dubstep to Electro House were able to warm my heart. As the drummer in my band General Hatzenbichler & The Apologists of Groove and Seduction, I also delved deep into the roots of blues-rock and renewed my interest in old heroes like Bob Dylan, Tom Waits or Muddy Waters.
In the 2010’s Electro Swing slowly but surely crept more and more into my musical focus and after the first vintage wedding it became a specialty on my part. In addition, in the mid-2010’s I became part of the Salzburg electro swing collective Cirque De La Nuit, which together with my colleagues such as Troy Savoy, Mr. Harvey Miller and Schinowatz became a cornerstone of the Austrian electro swing party culture. Since then, this now very diverse form of electronic dance music has never let me go. So today I am washed with almost all musical waters and still love to play on the big and small stages and make people laugh and their hips swing!
DJ and live music, does that work together?
As a trained drummer, I can also play live with the music on request to give it more of a live feeling. I also work with other musicians such as saxophonists, which makes my DJ set a special act!
Wedding-/Event-DJ vs. Club-DJ?
DJs can be roughly classified into two broad categories: event and club DJs. What does this distinction mean and what is the difference?
A club DJ is mostly specialized in a certain genre, a certain style of music and is booked by clubs and bars to present this music and his style. An (good) event DJ impresses with a very large musical range and always plays with the aim of finding the perfect musical accompaniment for the respective audience and the respective mood. Event DJs (including wedding DJs, of course) are often viewed rather disparagingly by club DJs, as they are less artists than service providers and are often less technically experienced. At the same time, a club DJ can be completely out of place at a wedding or celebration if his genre and style are not in demand. If you can’t musically adapt to the audience and the mood, technical sophistication on the turntables doesn’t help either. At the end of the day, these are just two different approaches to DJing, none of which is worse or better. When booking a DJ, however, it is important to know to which approach the desired DJ is closer to.
And what about James Jive?
As so often, I prefer to find myself between chairs. I started out as a party DJ and thanks to my wide-ranging musical socialization, I was always open to new music and styles. Since I’ve immersed myself in the electro swing scene, clean transitions and live mashups / remixes have become more and more important. And so today I love to come up with a cool set for an Electro Swing / Vintage Beats gig and give it the best, as well as to improvise through the evening at a wedding or a company event and always react to the respective situation. At the end of the day, the goal is always the same: smiling faces and swinging hips!
Looking for an individual mixtape?
Would you like a mixtape with your own favorite songs or as a gift for someone special? If you wish, I would be happy to create individual mixtapes according to your ideas. Contact me for details!
Quarantine? Then just DJ from home!
2020 was a difficult year for all DJs, but also a year that required creative solutions. First, Dominik from our Cirque De La Nuit collective organized weekly zoom parties. Later I opened my personal „Online Beach Bar“ and streamed out into the world once a week from my secure apartment. My electronic drums are also conveniently located there, so that I could play live to the music in between. Here is the „Opening“ session, on my YouTube channel you can also find other streams and ready-made mixtapes.