James Holden is just twenty-two years of age, but despite his tender years has produced a number of astounding progressive house tracks and remixes, and has signed a major deal with sony offshoot direction. Having been classically trained in both violin and piano and with a maths degree from oxford university, the impact which james holden's music has had can best be described by the reactions of other key players on the scene:
"James Holden is absolutely amazing!"
With his earlier work surfacing on silver planet during the trancetastic year of 1999, james has quickly developed his skills and polished his production talent into a stunningly deep and gorgeous house sound. he has been credited by pete tong as having defined a new sub-genre all of his own, a sound described as "pixie-trance" and shared by the likes of sander kleinenberg and labelmate and collaborator main element, and whose influence can be heard in the work of numerous emerging producers. He has gained recognition from the cream of the big progressive djs, such as nick warren, who first picked up on horizons, John Digweed, who signed James Holden collaboration project mainline to his Bedrock label, and Sasha, with whom james has collaborated on a track for Sasha's new album, and James has also appeared on numerous mix albums by the likes of Anthony Pappa, Dave seaman and Pete Tong. His work incorporates the deep progressive clubby elements loved by these djs with a dubby, abstract and melodic edge, attesting the leftfield influences of bands such as labradford, mogwai, and fridge.
James Holden's early work included a 12" under the guise of pulse state and a couple of pulse state remixes for the silver planet label in 1999. But it was his next 12" that really caught everybody's attention. his biggest success to date, the critically acclaimed Horizons, was picked up early by Way Out West DJ Nick Warren on cdr who championed it for the next three months. It was not long before Pete Tong and Timo Maas were also championing the record which was made essential new tune by Pete Tong at the end of January. Silver Planet then licensed James' Horizons to Sony offshoot incredible (now direction) for the UK and Europe and Horizons was re-released in October by INCredible. The track was recently came in at number 93 in the chart of the top 100 tunes of all time, as vote for by Mixmag readers.
James's follow-up to horizons, one for you was released earlier this year, to widespread critical acclaim, and features on an array of compilations such as Pete Tong's clubbers bible. his follow-up is already in the bag, a track entitled solstice which is already recieving heavy support from Nick Warren, Pete Tong, John Digweed and John Graham.
The success of Horizons made James one of the most sought after remixers in the industry and James has remixed records for labels such as Ministry of Sound Offshoot Data, Positiva, React, Nu-life and Hooj offshoot lost language. James has used these remixes to develop his own distinctive sound, and he has established a reputation as both a remixer extraordinaire and a cutting-edge producer whose sound is continuously evolving. His latest remix project was a remix of new new order track someone like you, forthcoming on london. Now he plans to take a break from remixing to channel his creative energies into tracks for his own artist album for Silver Planet / direction.
After Horizons James began a new project under the name of Ariane for Hope Recordings and Ariane's single Eternity was also released in 2000. His collaboration with friend Hywel Dunn-Davies (aka Souldriver, Chimera) as mainline was picked up by John Digweed and released on his Bedrock label in the same year. a new track from the mainline boys is due soon.
James has also recently started his own label, Easyaccess, in conjunction with Silver Planet, and featured as half of Ogenki Clinic on the label's first critically acclaimed release first light, a remix of one of his original tracks by friend Gwill Morris. The label has releases from several up-and-coming producers lined up, demonstrating james' commitment to breaking underground dance music and new sounds.
Having been a guest dj on oxygen fm in oxford and in various clubs around the oxford area, james began to be in demand for dj-ing as his reputation grew. He has djed at the berlin love parade, the notting hill carnival, the extrema festival in holland, the limelight in new york, Bedrock in london, Stern radio in Berlin, Stalker in Amsterdam, code in tokyo, the roxy in prague and a host of other clubs throughout Britain. He is currently a monthly resident at in oxford, and a fortnightly resident at passion in coalville, who also took him to Ibiza this summer for several dates at the Coastline Cafe. James also plays regularly at Elements in london, and at slide in oxford, his former residency. His forthcoming excursions before the end of the year include trips to Moscow, Istanbul, and Amsterdam.
James has recently combined these dj-ing skills with his studio mastery on silver planet's new label compilation fear of a silver planet, which he was released in October. The album is a cut above most dj mix albums as it takes full advantage of exclusive edits, dub effects and all the possibilities available to the studio wizard, and provides a perfect showcase for james' unique sound. His talents have also been recognised by John Digweed and Pete Tong, having been asked to do a guest mix for John Digweed's Kiss FM show, and an essential mix for Radio One.
On the production front he now has plans to finish his own album for direction and his track with sasha. he also promises us he has several other as-yet-secret projects and collaborations up his sleeve. You'll be hearing a lot more from James Holden in the future...