Jay Haze is the name behind a number of aliases and projects – Fuckpony, Sub Version, The Architect – these are just a few of the guises he uses when fighting his guerilla war against mediocrity on a daily basis. Born in Pennsylvania, Haze has been living in Berlin since the early 00s, in which time he has released records and remixes on some of the hottest dance music labels of the decade: Playhouse, Kitty-Yo, Cocoon, Get Physical, Soma, Karloff, Musik Krause, and Underline.
But of course Haze is also responsible for running several labels himself – TuningSpork, Futuredub, Contexterrior, Junion – sometimes with an iron fist, other times with a white diamond-studded glove and a cane. But in either instance Haze is accustomed to finding dance jams that stretch the genre beyond the limits of the beat and into the territory of lurid nightclub art. An A&R mastermind, Jay has discovered and released names now commonplace in the dance world, such as Troy Pierce, Samim, The Vivianne Project (AKA Hearttthrob), and Matt John.
Haze’s production career began in 1999 on the house-oriented TuningSpork. In the following year he launched Futuredub as a home for downtempo electronic dub, and in 2002 he started the techno- oriented Contexterrior. In 2003, Haze had the novel idea of founding textone.org, an online electronic music magazine and internet label project. This enterprise yielded thousands of downloads, long before any other labels considered giving away music for free, and before digital distribution was commonplace in the DJ community.
By 2004 Haze was fully situated in Berlin and shared a studio with Ricardo Villalobos, leading to their collaboration on a pair of Contexterrior 12”s, all while TuningSpork was becoming one of the major league labels. As the world looked to Berlin for some sick new grooves, Spork was there to offer them. The following year saw Haze’s stock rising even more rapidly. With his first full-length album on Kitty-Yo, Love for a Strange World, as well as remixes on Shitkatapult, Disko B, Soma, and other labels, it was now clear that Haze and his growing empire were here to stay.
Haze launched yet another imprint in 2006, Junion, another jewel in an itchy, heavy crown. This year also saw Haze enjoying some crossover success with teens and parents when he released the massively acclaimed Children of Love album as Fuckpony on Get Physical. For many fans and critics this was one of the best house records of the year, bringing some heat back into an increasingly cold German scene. Haze followed up with the massive “Switch The Lights” (accredited to Fuckaponydelic), an acid-drenched biblical journey into sin, which was picked up by Sven Väth’s label Cocoon for a major re-release.
In 2007 Haze introduced his new project Sub Version, with production contributions from Michal Ho and vocals from Paul St-Hilaire (AKA Tikiman), on the Box of Dub compilation, which was released by London’s prestigious Soul Jazz label. A full-length followed on Jay’s own Futuredub imprint. Meanwhile, the Fuckpony momentum continued when Ellen Allien invited Haze to release the “Lady Judy” single on BPitch Control.
Now, for 2008, the second proper Jay Haze artist album Love & Beyond shows his fragmented personalities converging, mutating, and splitting apart again: the 2xCD version showcases his love for soul and hip-hop, while an alternate tracklist of dancefloor material appears on the 2xLP version.
Known not just as a producer, Jay has improved his DJ sensibility to an unthinkable degree, wowing crowds across the world, most recently South America, Asia, and Australia. He has also established residencies at London’s world-famous Fabric, Tenax in Florence, and Monza in Ibiza.Jay Haze’s tracks (and the those from others on his labels) are a constant feature in the sets of Villalobos, Ivan Smagghe, Anja Schneider, and all DJs who know, the world over. His productions have appeared on countless compilations and mixes from the likes of Richie Hawtin, M.A.N.D.Y., and Miss Kittin. Meanwhile the empire of labels he runs continues to suck in new fans like a vacuum cleaner. The Jay Haze story continues with pace, but it is a timeless and simple one, the tale of a man who makes, releases, and plays the world’s most psychedelic dance music.
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