Jumping Jack: One out of the box
DJ Jumping Jack has earned a reputation as one of the true stayers within the Australian dance music scene. Having spent his formative years as a punter and then turning to DJ’ing at underground raves and festivals throughout the country, JJ has more than earned himself a reputation as one of the country’s finest trance, house and techno DJ’s. His skills as a DJ have seen him billed alongside many visiting international DJ’s at a diverse range of festivals including; Carl Cox, Sasha, Grooverider and CJ Bolland as well as holding residencies at Australia’s best clubs. Add to this the fact that he has also had a number of mix CD’s and production projects released and you’ll see why there is so much hype about Jumping Jack.
Paul Fernandez started out DJ’ing in his late teens and early on decided that ‘Paul” just wasn’t a very happening DJ name. One of his favourite records on rotation at the time was by ‘Jumping Jack Perez’ so his friends aptly began nicknaming him ‘Jumping Jack Fernandez’. JJ grew up going to a club in town called the ‘Spanish Club’. Each Saturday his parents would take him to the underage part of the club, whilst they would go their own section. After he turned 14, JJ had his first turn behind the decks, which is where his love for dance music started. By the age of 17 he had discovered other parties and events; such as those held at the Hordern Pavilion. “I fell in love with these events and knew DJ’ing was for me” recalls JJ of his early days in the scene.
In his excess of ten years of DJ’ing, JJ has held some very impressive residencies as well as supporting many international DJ’s. His first residency was at the Daily Planet back in 1991. After that he took over residency at club night ‘Flow” at Mars every Friday night, which he shared with Sugar Ray. Two years later JJ ran a small club in the Cross called Charlie’s Underground every Friday. Three years later, Voodoo started at Sublime. Recounting these experiences JJ says: “I have the best memories from the earlier days but its all been amazing. There are too many fond memories and too many memorable events. Events like Psychosis, Love, Christmas Eve at Bondi Beach, Beyond and Prodigy to name a few.
Having being involved in the scene for quite some time now, JJ has watched the scene change in a number of ways. In the early 90’s dance music was still so new and exciting to most punters. JJ recalls: “Production back then was incredible. The sound systems and lighting rigs were amazing. Promoters used to spend a lot more on production. There seemed to be a lot more large scale events too. There was a period where a lot of the events were held in warehouses illegally and a lot of the time they’d get closed down. Today there are a lot more people in the scene and the events are always legal as well as being held at the same venues. I think the club scene is much healthier these days too”.
Not only has JJ established himself in the scene as a DJ but has also leant his hands to production and remix work. His mix tapes back in the early nineties generated a cult like following amongst his loyal supporters and to add to this, JJ has over ten mix CD’s to his credit. Along with this, JJ also has a number of notable production projects to his name. At the moment, he is focused on setting up and decking out his new studio ‘Midi-Evil’. On the technical side of production, JJ has sold a lot of his existing outboard gear from his studio and replaced it with a more computer centric set up. JJ says “I’m becoming more computer based. I think it’s the way of the future. Having a big outboard studio is good if you can afford it, but the computer based programs like Pro-Tools, Reason and Cubase SX or Logic with a nice mother keyboard can do so much these days and cost much less”.
JJ is known for his thumping blend of diverse genres including house, techno and trance in all their forms. Although these are his preferred style of genres to listen to and enjoy, his taste is a lot broader then that. On a musical note, JJ says “I respect anything that’s well written. I don’t really listen to much music outside of DJ’ing but I like a good tune in any style. I like a good breaks tune when I hear one. I even like some main stream bands like Powder Finger”. JJ has his own unique sound and style, his favorite tune selections at the present moment released through artists such as Tiesto, Ferry Corsten, Mario Piu, Joy Kitikonti and Ray Clarke. In regards to records, JJ has his preferred labels at the moment: “I really like what the Dutch are doing at the moment. Labels like Silicon, ID + T. Some of the Italian labels like BXR, Stik Trance (Blue), Spectra. English labels: Green Nukleuz, Tsunami and German labels, Headline and Hardware Files.
With residencies at the countries top clubs as well as numerous CD’s and productions already tucked firmly behind his belt, the sky is surely the limit for JJ. “The next thing for me is to concentrate in getting out a CD for Christmas. Production is also high on my agenda, I’m setting up my studio at the moment” he says.
The CD will no doubt explore the genres of house, trance and techno in all their forms and showcase his unique sound and impeccable mixing talents; be sure to look out for it around the Christmas period.
Jumping Jack plays Sublime’s Halloween Special this Friday, October 31.