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Playlist: Judge Jules On What Makes A Classic Dance Track Timeless

Judge Jules shares what makes tracks like Robert Miles "Children" or Mj Cole "Sincere" such timeless classics.
Judge Jules

Judge Jules’ career has seen one that has run the gamut of music. He has seen the highest heights of DJ stardom in the 1990s, hosted his own residency on BBC Radio one for nearly 20 years and with a law degree he has entered a new period of his career working behind the scenes helping others on their career. Through this all, he has produced music. Now he is launching a new live show concept where he will perform classic dance tracks with a band.

Dubbed "This Is Judge Jules: Live," the producer has complete creative free reign, curating every element of the show. He will tour with a ten-piece band, with brass, percussion, drums, bass guitar, lead guitar, keyboard, singers, and Judge Jules himself. The show will last 90 minutes.

With the concert getting ready to tour England this spring, we asked Judge Jules to pick five dance classics and tell us what makes them such iconic tracks that have stood the test of time.

See the list and check out Judge Jules website for tickets and dates that kick off in London at the Scala on April 12.

Art of Noise – ‘Moments In Love’

If you’ve followed the evolution of synthesizers and keyboards, this was one of the original records. When they invented what was almost a synthesizer, they discovered how to put a sample of a human voice into a keyboard pattern and play chords across it. It’s an original chill-out record and one of the best ever made. Tear jerking in fact.

MJ Cole – ‘Sincere’

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Whilst I’m far from being garage DJ, this is by far the best garage track. The vocal is absolutely incredible, the song is fantastic and the keyboards are played by somebody who can properly play, with raw talent in abundance. Even more importantly, it’s got the most incredible vibe. It’s interesting though, I don’t play it in my sets very often, but if you play it in the southeast, it goes down really well. However, less so the further north you play it. There seems to be less of a garage legacy further north.

DJ Misjah & DJ Tim – ‘Access’

This is an old school, hard dance/acid record done in the early-mid-90’s, during a period when the Roland TB303 “acid box”, started reappearing on producers’ records. Artists like Hardfloor started reusing it for the first time since the late 80s, but at a much faster BPM. There are only a handful of records from such a long time ago that I vividly remember playing. I did a gig by the River Seine in Paris, on the steps at the Museum of Modern Art. It was open-air during the summer time, with the Eiffel Tower in the background, with about 3,000 people going absolutely ballistic. It’s got such amazingly powerful breakdowns and build-ups. What a tune.

Robert Miles – ‘Children’

One of the biggest dance hits of all time. The story behind this was that I spotted “Children” quite early whilst in A&R for Universal, but initially we would only sign it for the sort of money Robert Miles wanted if he would come to our office and play a live rendition in front of us, which in retrospect was quite an unreasonable request of ours. Another label, who didn’t make such ridiculous demands, signed it and it went on to be number 1 in about 50 countries. We all tire of hearing the same record time and time again, but for me, I could never get bored of hearing “Children.” It has got so much complexity and mood. It picks you up, drops you down and picks you up again. A true roller coaster journey.

Hi-Gate – ‘Caned and Unable’

I’ve made loads of records, but this is hands-down my favorite because it is so simple, yet has a magical impact on dance floors. Every time. Sometimes, when it comes to music, you can’t quite put your finger of what’s so good about a certain track. There’s just a certain “magic factor.” "Caned & Unable" has a simple infectious bass, a couple of top line riffs, a really heavy kick and absolutely rocks the dance floor every time. Memorably at Gatecrasher in Sheffield and my Judgement residency at Eden in Ibiza. 

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