Border Community label boss and enigmatic DJ James Holden, who came up as a progressive house DJ in the early 00's alongside Sasha and other big names and is now known for some epic mixtures of house and techno with an indie, electronica vibe, is making one of three US tour stops (and his only one on the West Coast) at legendary Hollywood EDM venue King King tomorrow night for Incognito's 6 year anniversary party.
"Incognito has always stood for amazing, cutting-edge house and techno the last six years. That is the reason why more than half of our 300+ events involve bringing in DJs for their first LA appearance. Some call it risky, we call it pushing the envelope of dance music in Los Angeles. And a perfect example of that is Border Community head James Holden. His music and DJ sets are just so different from most everyone, and he takes risks while taking us on musical journeys like no one else, marrying shoegaze, electronica, psychedelic techno and more into one set. That's what we call amazing cutting edge dance music," said Incognito co-founder Alan Agbayani.
Aside from another fabulous ticket contest that could land you and a lucky friend on the guestlist for tomorrow night's event, we caught up with Mr. Holden as he was embarking to Los Angeles and had him answer a few off-beat questions about travel and touring that should give you some insight into the man who makes Britney Spears worth listening to with his remix talents.
Do you have a favorite airline?
British Airways - because when you get on the plane it feels like being back home in the UK. Everything: the ambiance, the politeness/passive-aggression, the accents. It's soothing.
Are there any airlines you won’t fly?
At the moment I'm carrying prototypes of a new DJ controller in my hand baggage, so I only fly airlines that won't make me check it in. Plus, never ever Air France. I like French people A LOT, but they're not cut out for service industry work..
Do you make a right or left when get on a plane?
Usually coach, unless I've been given an upgrade!
What’s your drink of choice?
On the plane: Tomato juice. Worcester sauce. Lemon. No ice.
What items do you always take with you on the road?
A small woolly monkey. If space is tight, I'll sacrifice clean clothes before I think of leaving him. He reminds me of home...
Do you read books on the road? What are you reading right now?
On and off—if I start something that doesn't make good hangover reading (Deleuze and Guattari, I am looking at you), then I get stuck and go back to playing GTA III on my phone. But, just finished Geoff Dyer's "Out of Sheer Rage," which was pure joy, everyone should read it.
What have you learned about yourself from being on the road and touring?
It's changed me, for sure. The battle is to make sure it changes you in a good way; touring can make you zen (cf. Tiga's Twitter) or destroy your soul...(I would love to give examples here too but...).
Which do you prefer, a smoky, low-lit club or a big stage with bright lights and colored gels?
Smoky, low-lit club. Preferably with the DJ at the same height as the crowd. The less lights the better. Do i really need to explain? I got into this music because of small dark club rooms. That and standing on a big stage is pretty embarrassing.
If you were the biggest musician in the world, what would be on your Rider?
Loan of a dog.
Do you have an adventurous palette?
I'm vegetarian, so food on tour is less of an adventure and more of a trial. The last three times I've eaten in France I've been sick straight after. Three in a row. Seriously. What's French for "now please wash your hands?" On the other hand, when the first course is deep-fried grasshopper, it's nice to have a good excuse ready.
You probably shake a lot of hands on the road, if people were really to listen after you shook their hand for the first time, what would you say to them?
Does anyone have any hand sanitiser?
Coming out on Monday on Border Community is Nathan Fake's LP "Steam Days," about which Holden says "If someone likes me, they'll like this."
We're excited for a night of eclectic EDM in the way only James Holden can bring it. And in case you were wondering, it's "Maintenant, s'il vous plaît se laver les mains."
See you on the dancefloor, Angelenos.