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DT875 – AJ Christou

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AJ Christou established himself in the underground long ago but is now deep into the next phase.

More skilled, more mature and more free to create the music he wants, he’s making the best beats of his life. “If the drums ain’t right, I’m scrapping it,” he says of this new era, which builds on his signature low ends with fresh vocals and richer synths. It’s a mix of crisp early noughties tech house and the irresistible swing of New York with his own percussive flair, distinctive congas and wigging basslines. 

AJ‘s latest sounds are more developed and musical than ever before. Many years of studio dedication mean he has the skills to push further and bring all new influences: he now jams in the studio rather than arranging on a screen, and that’s brought all-new creative freedom. The drums remain at the heart of what he does, but rather than being aimed all out at the club, he’s broadening his output with real songwriting and original vocals. No longer is AJ caught in the familiar trap of chasing labels and main room plays, instead he’s following the music, embellishing the grooves with proper chords and conveying a wide range of emotions through his machines. 

AJ’s long and fruitful relationships with Cuttin’ Headz – home to his breakout What You Think EP in 2017 and kinetic cuts like his kinetic Star Struck EP – as well as Jesse Calosso’s Boogeyman label continue. The latter is a platform that’s allowed AJ to flourish and he’s now a core part of that family who has headlined label events everywhere from Canada to Costa Rica, Hi Ibiza to Printworks in London, all while serving up essential tunes from the tight drum funk of ‘Contagious’ to the steamy and horn-led Latin sound of ‘Gory Love’.

AJ remains a passionate collector of music. That love of sharing what he unearths is what still motivates him and means you never quite know what you’re going to get. He likes to play with tempo, use volume as a weapon and mix up the vibes to keep the flow guessing whether playing a sun-kissed rooftop or a sweaty back room. As the AJ Christou story continues to unfold, each new chapter gets ever more essential.

Today, he returns to the podcast again. Listen to it below, on Mixcloud or iTunes here.

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Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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