45 Live Lowdown #1 - Jstar
19th June 2017
45 Live Lowdown #1
The first in a series of interviews with all the worldwide members of the 45 Live crew, kicking off with one of the masters of reggae and dub, the highly respected Jstar.
1. Where are you based?
I hover between London and Berlin
2. Why 45s?
My label has released 45s since it’s inception in 2002, and I’ve been DJing with 45s since I first took them to a party when I was 9 years old. They are always easy to carry around to play music, and keep you on your toes when DJing. 3 minutes of goodness
3. Your inspiration/mentor/hero?
Lots of DJs whose names we will never know, selecting on sound systems at blues dances in houses or minicab firms back rooms, with suitcases of records and great knowledge. Unsung heroes
For buying music in my locality, where I was brought up, is Daddy Vigo (rip, first UK selector for Count Suckle) who ran People's Sound record store, Lepke from Dread Broadcasting Corporation, who I had my first job at a London radio station with for Grove Carnival FM - a well pattered musical wheeler-dealer with strong community roots. Oh, and Jah Leveller from Rye in Kent who sold me heaps from his private collection and educated me with stories
4. Your most elusive 45, what is it and how long have you been looking?
I still can’t find my Lennie Hibbert ‘Creation’ album in my own house, its been missing for 4 years
5. Best ever dig?
I'm really happy with 'Black Queens Beads' by Bob Crowe Generation that I found for a few quid.
I’ve also a lovely original of Delroy Wilson ‘Run Run’ on first press Coxsone, though it's not that rare.
6. All originals pressings?
You're joking right? I'm not that much of a snob, though I like the 45s to be loud and clear. I’ve quite a few crackly Jamaican represses bought in the early 90s, when I should have been putting more of my money in just a few originals, judging by the prices now. A Duke Reid 45 only cost you £2 then
7. Do you hoard or buy and sell?
Hoard them nuggets!
8. How many 45s have you got and how do you catalogue/store them?
Sleeve colours for reggae splits ska/rocksteady (yellow), dancehall & rubadub (red), roots & dub (green) with a few variations. Funk, Soul, Northern will have brown card, maybe reinforced sleeves. Often I keep the original sleeve as it helps me recognise them in the box.
9. Cover up or share the love?
Share, never been one for covering up.
10. What're your top 3 LPs tracks that you wish had been pressed onto 7”?
'Do It Til You're Satisfied' - Harold Butler
'I Love Music' - Harold Butler
'Mighty' - Lennie Hibbert
11. Biggest disaster whilst DJing?!
Probably yet to come.