Fresh from completing another summer as resident at We Love… Space, Ibiza, Jem Haynes is an artist completely at the pinnacle of his powers. Playing weekly inside the Discoteca (Space’s famed ‘Room of Doom’) and on the Terraza and Sunset Terrace rooms, has enabled Jem to consistently rub shoulders with the great and the good of the global dance music community. He played a magical set for Carl Craig and his superlative 20 Years of Planet E showcase, whilst also contributing to the musical tapestry alongside Slam, Caribou, Joris Voorn, 2ManyDJs, James Zabiela and many more.
This autumn he launches his brand new record label Colour Series, where the focus is on the differing shades of music thrown together during Jem’s dancefloor assaults. Based on the rare condition of synaesthesia that Jem experiences (he sees music in colours and shades with every component of the music broken down), each release will be colour coded. Bolder more hedonistic tracks carry a primary colour whereas the deeper tracks will be signified by a gentler palette, an exact representation of his understanding and experiences of music.
He’s also lit up other imprints, with 1Trax, Mad Hatter recordings, Vitalik, Loop Recordings and Milkn2Sugars among the imprints that have been blessed by Jem’s beats. His sound now wholly reflective of a man with 15 years of experience behind him but still yet to reach his best, Colour Series is the next stage in taking his own unique interpretation of music deeper inside the dancefloor.
It’s the ability to see music in shades and textures, rather than just standalone tracks, which has made Jem such hot property in dance music, a DJ who understands the bigger picture and the acumen of building and nurturing his sets. Kaleidoscopic as well as eclectic, you only have to look at Jem’s past to see his dexterity across genres and his ability to see beyond genre classifications and lazy pigeonholing.
His passion first took shape as a precocious teenager, when spurned on from the Warehouse spirit that was taking place in London he started mixing under the pseudonym DJ Search. He quickly became fascinated with the drum n bass music that sprung out of jungle and hardcore and set about instilling himself further within the scene.
The results were immediate. He released his first collaborative track in 1995 on The Leaf Label "Pass Agent" which became an underground classic played by the late, great John Peel on Radio 1. His devotion to music has seen him do everything from playing weekly Drum & Bass radio shows such as Don FM and Flex FM in the early 90s to setting up his own record stall in South London.
Hosting his own show on Groovetech Internet radio for two years and guest appearances on Kiss F.M and Ministry of Sound radio meant he quickly secured gigs in some of the best clubs and festivals in the world. He produced and DJed for two of the genre’s brand leaders in Renegade Hardware and Trouble on Vinyl, becoming a firm favourite with the mainstays of the scene such as Andy C, Grooverider, Goldie and Roni Size.
The next stage in his artistic development would come in the shape of his involvement with the Precision Cuts collective. Like a breakbeat X-Men, the group became a formidable live and production outfit and took their sound to Glastonbury, Glade and a flurry of festivals across Europe, China and Australia. All the while Jem was the tour DJ, bringing the same trickery and funk from his drum n bass days to the forefront for his new sound.
But Jem never stopped listening to other forms of music. His love for the rave spirit from the 90s in less genre restricted times meant he was still listening to plenty of house and techno, and eventually became tired of the preconceptions that he would stick to one genre. In 2007 he went solo and began pushing a more expansive and mature sound, that raided exciting music across the spectrum of four to the floor grooves, combined with the same gung-ho spirit that had categorised his previous musical manifesto.
It then led to the hook-up with We Love, where intermittent performances in their smaller rooms have seen a logical progression to weekly resident in the Discoteca where he has opened and closed with consummate ease. Jem defines his role as first and foremost being a DJ and the myriad of roles that come with this only supplant this driving force. And you don’t get many better places to showcase this passion than in the flagship event for the world’s most famous club on the island where everyone goes to party.
Gigs at the UK’s finest establishments have included Manchester’s Warehouse Project and Sankeys, Leeds’ unrivalled house music soiree BacktoBasics and the internationally renowned Ministry of Sound in London, with global turns in China, Croatia, Hungary, Switzerland, Slovenia, the US and many more. Every dancefloor has been ridiculously responsive to the Haynes trademark sound, where house and techno collide in a furious frenzy.
With dance music being an active involvement since his early teens, and influences from Balearic to breakbeat, drum n bass to disco all part of his historical grounding, Jem has soaked everything up to inform his constantly evolving palette. His productions now more than ever reflect his varied personality and dancefloors continue to be dominated by his dynamic displays. Primed to take the step into the next level, Jem has the world at his feet.