Judge Jules mix and interview: “you can’t blame anyone for ignoring those rules” | Juno Daily

This is the law!

Drama.  It’s what the world of journalism thrives on.  Dramatic u-turns and Damascene conversations, and the ripping up of accepted conventions, they’re the fuel that the fire of a decent story runs on.

But, there’s one thing even more important than that to us writers, and contrary to what you may have heard, it’s the truth. And the truth is that Judge Jules, who not takes the time to create a 24-track mix for our readers but also share his precious time via a Zoom call to his home in Hampstead, North London to grant us an interview, is operating very much under a banner of ‘business as usual’ rather than Bowie-type personal reinvention.

A season ticket holder at Arsenal’s Emirates ground, he’s even refusing to get swept along by the general new wave of optimism about Arsenal’s chances of returning to league winning ways, despite their position close to the summit of the Premiership.

“It’s early doors” he says, “so I’m not holding out any hopes.”

Mind you, they had just suffered their first defeat of the season – in the Champions League admittedly – the night before we chat. “Why did he put Viera on in place of Saka?” he asks, exasperated, saying of manager Mikel Arteta, “in the main, one understands what his rationale is, but that made no sense to me whatsoever. Our momentum went downhill.”

Nevertheless, he does approve of the new Arsenal anthem ‘North London Forever’.

“I like ‘North London Forever’ although I haven’t investigated the genesis of it, whether it was written specially for the club.  It’s quite unusual to have your own song, because everyone else’s songs are shared, they’re not the personal property of any particular team.  I mean, ‘Free From Desire’ seems to get played everywhere and ‘When The Saints Go Marching In’ is shared by quite a few different teams.”

Moving on to more musical matters. we’d heard that, having been dubbed Judge during his days staging parties while studying law at the London School of Economics, had been concentrating on practicing music law in recent years.  So did the announcement that he’d soon be heading off on a bit tour – the Judge Jules Goes Large tour, no less – indicate that his time ‘at the bar’ was, at the very least, temporarily over.

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“No,” he tells us, “I’m doing both.  I never really stopped DJing.  For some reason some people thought I did when I announced I was going to be a lawyer, but they’re far more connected than you would imagine.  Almost my entire practise is electronic music, DJs and the eco structure of electronic music, they’re really not that dissimilar to one another.

On another level, to succeed as an artist you need a sense of thick skinned-ness, dare I say you need to be a bit selfish.  So it can be really cathartic to totally spin that 180 degrees and concentrate on other people’s concerns for a change.  I didn’t do it for that reason, but I found it very fulfilling for that reason.  But in terms of DJing I’m doing 80-100 gigs a year and have been doing for a while, pandemic notwithstanding.”

Has he noticed a shift in tastes since the re-opening?  “It’s hard to say.  My market is 35 upwards really, it’s not an 18-25 audience which it would have been 20 years ago, so you don’t see loads of mobile phones in the air, but there was a part of summer 2021, when the country had just opened up, I really got the feeling that people had come out to dance rather than just to take mementos.  Generally the vibe post-pandemic has been more about the music as well as hanging out and enjoying the social aspect of clubbing.”

As for the thriving illegal rave scene during the  pandemic, Jules says he has some sympathy, even if his status as a lawyer means he – who started life in the music industry promoting illegal raves – would have had to have turned down any invitations to appear.

“It such a basic human need, the need to be together with other people that you can’t blame anyone for ignoring those rules.”

No such low key manoeuvres are required for his latest and very much above board jaunt, the ongoing ‘Judge Jules Goes Large’ tour.

“The tour is called ‘…Goes Large’ which is obviously a spoof of Kevin & Perry,” he tells us, evidently proud of his involvement in the movie, starring Harry Enfield and Kathy Burke as everyman teenagers Kevin & Perry and the coming-of-age tale of their pilgrimage to Ibiza.

“I was there when they were filming, with someone else I compiled the entire soundtrack together and I wrote the theme song (sings “all I want to do is do it”).  It’s weathered well.  I was a bit unsure about it at the time but in retrospect it could be one of only two or three films that accurately represent the clubbing culture of the time, of the countless ones that were made, most of which missed that mark.”

Well into the fourth decade of his DJ career now, Jules is not content to rest on his laurels, challenging himself in recent years with the formation of a live band.

“There have been quite a few orchestra shows that I’ve been involved with,” he says, “I’ve done some curation, some MCing and some DJing and actually this came out of the orchestra shows.  There’s a definite magic to those shows, but what I wanted is for there to be a lot of ad-libbing.  There are only 10 musicians rather than a whole orchestra of 30, 40 or even 50. This is more about finding some really talented musicians and allowing them to have their moment in the sun. That’s what can’t happen with an orchestra.

“I’ve been doing it about five years although the pandemic obviously got in the way.  We’ve done about 30 shows.

“It’s almost like a live DJ mashup of records that people already know.  You’ll take the vocal of one thing, a topline riff off another and play them together.  I’ll be doing a little bit of MCing or DJing on top of it.  The reaction it gets is incredible, but mainly because of the backline it is quite an expensive thing for promoters to take on.”

It’s the holy grail of live dance music, we suggest – something that represents the spontaneity of the DJ set, tailored on the spot and guided by the audience’s reaction, but contained within completely genuine performance.

“It’s true – I might do the odd gig where I know what the first two or three songs might be, but after that it’s all done on the fly – and always has been.  I don’t see how it could work any other way.  You encounter DJs on the road who have clearly planned out their whole set, but I don’t think anyone really established, with a lot of gigs and a lot of variety in their diary, could ever operate like that.  It simply doesn’t work that way.”

So, it transpires, the real news here is that Judge Jules, despite the success and adulation that can sometimes unnerve or even demotivate a musician, has had the opposite effect on him.

“That buzz, that Friday morning buzz of having it all assembled, knowing what you’re going to play, and thinking you know which one of those new tunes will really go off – but not knowing 100%.  That’s the life force of what we’re about.

“I’ve talked about it with other DJs.  Because we’re musical geeks who enjoy sharing our musical taste with the wider world.  It’s that excitement that all the energy emanates from.”

Ben Willmott


1. Hybrid ft Chrissie Hynde – Kid 2000
2. Fatboy Slim – Love Island (4-4 Mix)
3. Paul Johnson – Get Get Down j.edit
4. Perfect Phase presents Those 2 – Get Wicked.
5. Novy v Eniac- Pumpin (Flickman remix) j.edit
6. Yomanda – Sunshine j.edit
7. Flickman – Sound of Bamboo j.edit
8. Chicane ft Bryan Adams – Don’t Give Up (j.edit)
9. Southside Spinners – Luvstruck (gain boost)
10. Ruff Drivers Pres. Arrola – Dreaming (j.edit)
11. Fragma – Toca’s miracle (j.edit)
12. Arial – A9 normalised
13. Signum ft Scott Mac – Coming On Strong j.edit
14. Mauro Picotto- Lizard (2 x BDs) j.edit
15. Underworld – King of Snake
16. CRW – I feel love j.edit
17. Ayla – Ayla (DJ Taucher Remix) j.edit_PN
18. Skip Raiders – Another Day (normalised)
19. Sunburst – Eyeball j.edit
20. Lange – Follow Me
21. Y Traxx – Mystery Land (normalised)
22. Agnelli & Nelson – Everyday j.edit
23. Phil Pope And Los Lidos – Mi Amor
24. Precocious Brats – Big Girl