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The best kept secret in music


"The Electronic Beat"

The Seattle DJ/production duo Jacob London (AKA Dave Pezzner and Bob Hansen) are celebrating the release of their "Casual Bingo" 12-inch on Derrick Carter and Luke Solomon's esteemed Classic Music label by throwing a party at Chop Suey this Friday with Freaks' Justin Harris. Jacob London have built a reputation for producing quirky, funky electrified beats influenced by techno, house, and hiphop, with an irreverent approach akin to Mr. Scruff's Andy Carthy. On the eve of their big party, I e-mailed with Jacob London (who, in interviews, sometimes speak as one) about the big event.
How did you get hooked up with Classic?

I exploited the mighty Jacob London industry pull in order to schmooze with Derrick Carter, or De'Rock, as he likes me to refer to him now.

(Wait a minute! There's "Jacob London industry pull"? Great--we're always the last to hear about these kinds of things. Maybe now we won't have to pay cover at our own release party!)

[Viva Recordings'] Rick Preston had heard some of our newer material and made a comment that he thought Classic Records would buy the tracks. We said, "No way!" but then he bet Bob $20 that they would. Two weeks later, Dave called [Rick] to inform him that he was the proud owner of $20.

Seriously, though, I think this is a positive acknowledgment of the Seattle electronic/dance scene. What are your thoughts on our scene? And please don't give me that "It was so much better 50 years ago in our super-secret underground warehouse with our nine-year-old raver friends" shit!

It's a fairly small scene, but it's a tight one. It's loads of fun, as long as you know which of the one or two clubs in the city people actually go to on a regular basis. On a more output-based level, Seattle is really going to leave a mark over the next few years. We've been seeing a lot of really passionate and talented people trying to spread the Seattle love lately: Tilted, LawnChair Generals, Ryan Frondozo, Mat Anderson, Viva, Matt Corwine, etc, etc.

Bob, your Busta Rhymes bootleg was quite tasty... have you guys received any calls from 50 Cent or Norah Jones for remixes yet?

We have gotten some calls from Norah Jones, but not for remixes. Something about a "restraining order" or some such nonsense.

Jacob London Release Party w/Justin Harris, Fri April 11 at Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000, 9pm-2 am, 21+, $10.

nicolae@thestranger.com - The Stranger

"Beat Seeking Missives"


House-music purists take their genre with a piety that demands for somebody to give it a wedgie. That's where Seattle's Jacob London (Dave Pezzner and Bob Hansen) barge in. Injecting vats of quirky sounds and ribald rhythms into their funnily funky tracks, Jacob London provoke much-needed chuckles in the Church of House Music. Anyone who samples Bling-Bling from the Bumfights DVD, episodes of Harvey Birdman, and farm-animal noises deserves respect.

The duo's 12-year musical odyssey has culminated in 2003 with their signing to Luke Solomon and Derrick Carter's untouchable Classic label; it's almost akin to the Three Stooges getting into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Jacob London's new Classic EP, Brown Alert, takes house's lubricious grooves to slapstick-comedy heaven.

With so much house mired in formula, I wonder if Jacob London are on a mission to shake up the genre's status quo?

"Well, of course our first mission is to totally kick ass," the duo answers collectively. "Shaking things up follows closely behind that. Ninety-nine percent of the house music being released these days bores the underpants off of us. The bar has been set so low that house is dying of apathy. If we can contribute to the cause of bringing it back to life in even the smallest capacity, we'll be happy."

Are Seattle house fans feelin' Jacob London's unconventional, irreverent brand of the music?

"There's always been a really supportive group of people in the house scene here," they say. "Our music is all about having fun, and people like to have fun."

There's a fine line between humor and wackiness in music. When the latter enters into a track, it's usually disastrous. How do JL gauge what's funny as opposed to clownish? Where do they draw the line, if anywhere?

"The as-of-yet untold secret formula to the Jacob London sound is that we draw no lines. We are perfectly willing to do anything it takes to crack ourselves up in the studio. Also, we have always been huge fans of novelty records, and we [believe] that if you're going to do something, you might as well do it all the way. Our tracks regularly feature both humor and wackiness--when done right, you can pull off either one with stunning results. As with most comedic entertainment, timing is everything."

How has JL's life changed since signing with Classic, and what are their goals following that great achievement?

"We had been getting some good attention before the Classic records, but obviously once those hit the shelves, it really kicked things up a notch. We've been spending the past five months on all the remix offers we got, and now we're ready to start back in on some original material. We're a bit tired of making records exclusively for the 'club scene,' and we'd really like to put together an album of material that explores some other avenues. Of course, we'll still always make dance records, but we'd love to focus on simply making music that people genuinely enjoy listening to outside of the club setting.

"Along with that, we're going to put together a live act with real musicians and as few laptops as possible. In the meantime, though, we're working on some international DJ gigs where we will be spreading the message of the trees to all the people of the world. Oh, and we're probably going to play in Cleveland soon, too." DAVE SEGAL

More info at www.jacoblondon.com, www.classicmusiccompany.com, and www.squid-records.com.

segal@thestranger.com - The Stranger

"Record Reviews - Jacob London "Whoa, This is Fun!""

Hopefully, after this many years, there are some of you out there who trust my judgment when it comes to buying dance records. Here's another one of my super hot extremely underground picks, the way my Kitsune and Dubsided ones used to be.

Though many of you may not recognize Jacob London's name, their discography is huge, dating back to their first release in 1998, with tracks on Ministry of Sound, Classic, and Om. Here, on the relatively new and always sizzling Movim imprint, they come at us with some crazy futuristic bumping shit (just as, or even more crazy than Dubsided stuff) we were hearing all over Miami at this year's conference. I played a few songs off this one last Friday to a crazy response.

Unfortunately, so much insane shit drops in and out of these tracks, the audio clips are not gonna do the tracks justice, but they will give you some idea...

"When The Shit Hits The Fan(1)" is my pick on here, full of acid, bumping house beats and the weirdest effects, sounds and samples. Next up, "30 minute song(2)" is a short downtempo track with old school trip hop flavor. On the flip, "Five Minutes of Veal(3)" is again, totally slamming, with a retarded bassline, some breakbeats and hip hop samples thrown in. I even hear some beatboxing going on. Last up, "This Train is for Cockfosters(4)" sounds like someone seriously wasted on acid made it, but I mean that in only the best way. The Sound Republic killed this track on their WMC mix this year, everyone asking what the fuck it was. These are the kind of tracks that are too hard to describe as they are so crazy and futuristic- just listen… loud!!!

-Alison Tara - Turntable Lab Online + NYC + LA

"Jacob London: Confusion On The Dancefloor, Fall 1999"

By eli Huntington and Nathan “Kenobi” Ursch
“I’m not feeling good about carrying around a bunch of expensive gear when there are going to be guaranteed riots in the streets,” claim Jacob London of their upcoming New Year’s eve 1999 performance. “When we are making tracks, we gauge them on how bad of a trip we think somebody would experience if they were really high on the dancefloor,” schemes Dave. The two playful mad scientists responsible for Jacob London’s dark minimal tech-house grooves are not out to hurt anyone, though. Both of them admit that inspiring people to dance is the most important goal of their music…But if there aren’t riots in the streets already on New Year’s, there may be after Jacob London is done on stage.
Confusion and mayhem are part of this Seattle duo’s legacy. Jacob London’s members, known only as Bob and Dave, both profess to drawing inspiration from such artists as LFO, Coil, Meat Beat Manifesto, and Skinny Puppy. With these industrial influences, Bob and Dave’s desire to simultaneously confuse and excite the dancefloor makes a bit more sense. “I like people to dance, but at the same time, I want them to have a hard time figuring out what they are dancing to,” admits Dave. After seven years of making music, however, Jacob London’s first vinyl outing had dancers knowing exactly what to do--go off!

“Hydrogenated Funk” was co-written by Florida DJ Drazil, and featured a remix by San Francisco legend, DJ Garth. However, those looking for similar sounds on future Jacob London releases won’t find the same funky-filtered disco house sound that made “Hydrogenated Funk” a dancefloor success. Bob and Dave assert that “we never go back, I don’t think we have ever done a remix of an old song. We may use an old sample, but we never try to expand on an idea [by remixing].” In keeping with the foundations of electronic music, Jacob London focus on gaining inspiration from the future while utilizing the past.

The future brings Jacob London fans a new three song EP humorously titled “Chickens Love Trucks.” Currently, the most accurate representation of Jacob London’s sound is the deep and dark roller “Chili Sauce,” on their EP of the same name. You can also find Jacob London remixed by Brian Beck (from Seattle’s 107.7 The End) on the Risk records compilation, The Torchbearers.

It seems that after their many years of making music (with a good portion of those rockin’ local parties with their stunning live PA), Jacob London are ready for some time in the x-ray (ahem, I mean spotlight). As they munched on cold, two-day-old pizza, Bob and Dave rested from their photo shoot (which including pictures of them feeding a candy bar to lawn sculpture), and mused playfully on our questions.

Where do you see electronic music going in the future?
Dave: 80’s music is making a huge impact on electronic music right now.
Bob: That new Richie Hawtin record on m_nus that is built entirely out of samples from Yello’s “Oh Yeah.”

Do you hope to influence the scene?
Bob: There are small pockets of the Seattle scene that are really cool…
Dave: It’s not like you have a choice of what to do here…there are only a few options.
Bob: I’m not really sure where [the Seattle community] is going, but we can sure try to influence it!

Where do you go to collect your thoughts?
Dave: We don’t…
Bob: We’re too busy--we just turn the volume up! - eli Huntington and Nathan “Kenobi” Ursch

"Jacob London Pure House Music Interview"

Jacob London are a US-based production/DJ duo consisting of Dave Pezzner and Bob Hansen. They’re all about having fun and not taking themselves too seriously, and this attitude is transferred into the distinguished cut-up, funk-laden music that they produce. Dave kindly took a time out from writing love-letters to answer some aquestions.

First off, although there may not be any sense to be made of your off-kilter track names (some examples being ‘monkeys love ice cream’, and ‘this train is for cockfosters’), is there a story behind your production name 'Jacob London'?

Yes. But unfortunately there is not much of a story behind our name. When we got our first record deal in 1998, the label wanted to ‘own’ our name. Basically anything we put out under that name, they wanted a cut, but we were eager to get that first record out. So we decided to come up with a fresh new and expendable name. After flipping through our local paper ‘The Stranger’, we found an ad for a local music attorney – “Jacob London Attorney At Law” and decided that was going to be the one. Luckily the label went out of business before we ever signed any contracts so we decided to stick with the name.

A quick look at your somewhat self-defacing website, as well as the aforementioned zany naming of your tracks, indicates that you guys don’t take things too seriously. Are you able to apply this happy-go-lucky attitude into all aspects of the electronic music business, or are there times when you need to ditch the ‘fuck the system’ motto to develop working relationships with record labels and/or touring agents?

Hmm…well yeah. We’re definitely all about doing things differently. Getting noticed in this corner of the music business is very tricky business. Everyone is so serious all the time and 50% of everyone looks like they are trying too hard to be cool. I’d like to say that it’s effective to be crazy and do things like submitting music to record labels stuffed in pizza boxes; or sending greeting cards, love letters and flowers to agents in hopes that they’ll add you to their roster. God knows we’ve actually tried these things. But in the end, all they care about is if your music, or your show, is going to work for them, and ultimately, if you are going to make them money.

You’re sound is quite unique when compared to other artists bunched into the underground deep house genre. However, you’re sound seems like it was influenced by artists such as Akufen, Mossa and even Aphex Twin. Unlike these artists though, you seem to keep your sound much more accessible – there’s always a prominent feeling of straight-up funk in your records. Is there a conscious decision on your part to keep your productions fairly accessible?

We like to think our sound is more of a hybrid of the things that interest us rather than what’s more “accessible”. Question is - are we pulling influences from IDM (intelligent dance music) and minimal techno into house music or are we bringing funk and house to IDM and experimental electronica? Who knows?

I remember when I first got into electronic music one of the records that really grabbed my attention was your track 'Regular Absorbency'. It has a fairly basic arrangement, but is still a very vibrant track. How do you approach making electronic music and, perhaps contrary to your free-spirited natures, do you have any formulas or structure for the way you got about producing?

Yeah we do and we don’t. I can go on about how we like to chop up our samples, and all our technical whatsits and how-to’s of Jacob London’s music machine. But it might be a lengthy answer that would leave you and many of your readers scratching their heads. In short, there are some things that we always do for every song without fail.

How does your approach to production vary, if at all, in regards to working with different labels? For example, do you simply sit down in the studio and ‘produce’, then sift through what you’ve come up with and see which stuff would suit which label. Or do you discuss specific ideas prior to getting in the studio?

At first it was like, “hey we have a whole bunch of house songs, let’s send them all out to different labels and see who bites!” Although, the more we started to learn the styles of all the labels, the more we started to hone in on which labels would work best for us. I’d say the perfect match for us was the U-Freqs imprint. They seem to have the same crazy vision that we have with music. I mean, what other label would let us make a Halloween themed record? Now we are finding ourselves trying to butter up labels like Si Begg’s Noodles label, Front Room, Dot.Bleep, Grand Petrol, and Gomma. Will you see our songs/remixes on these labels? We can’t really say, but we love them, and this the direction we are pushing towards.

You guys were fairly prominent artists on the Classic Records label, a fairly forward-thinking and boundary-pushing house label run by Derrick Carter and Luke Solomo - Pure House Music.net

"New Years Eve - Jacob London + Truckasaurus + SunTzu Sound vs. Kid Hops + Fourthcity DJs + Shameless Afterhours"

Jacob London + Truckasaurus + SunTzu Sound vs. Kid Hops + Fourthcity DJs + Shameless Afterhours

While there are always a ton of New Year's Eve options in Seattle, we bet this will be the only party where the headliners play a sock monkey. Yes, Dave Pezzner (along with Bob Hansen, the duo that goes by another man's name) has transformed a red-heel sock monkey into a vocoder of sorts—one with glowing red eyes that alters Pezzner's voice when he sings into its ass. (Type "Jacob London Monkey" into YouTube for proof). As the latest mutation of a partnership that's existed since "1992," Jacob London's funky-monkey house is sure to be the sound of "2007."

RACHEL SHIMP Lo-Fi Performance Gallery, 9 p.m. $15 adv./$20 - Seattle Weekly

"Mossa / Jacob London - 12? Complot 005 - “Father’s Milk” / “Touch the dingle” EP"

Lisa Sim Review 12-22-06
Mossa / Jacob London - 12? Complot 005 - “Father’s Milk” / “Touch the dingle” EP

This is a pretty cool concept for an EP; many artists have some tracks that have been sitting in their archives waiting to be completed. This EP features Mossa aka. Jeremy Petrus manager and founder of Complot Records and Seattle’s Jacob London finishing each other’s cuts.
On Side A” Father’s Milk” starts off with funky basslines that blend together which gives it a proficient sound , It’s busy in the beginning, but gradually progresses .The track then drops and kicks back in with a deeper bassline and intricately sliced up samples accompanied by a 4/4 beat . On side B “Touch the Dingle” ’s edits are precise Jacob London and Mossa continue to show us good shuffling and chopped up sample arrangements alongside sample sounds that were twitchy and thoughtful .We are starting to get used to clean sounds coming from both Mossa and Jacob London. Yet again another EP to help sustain the Montreal minimal scene. - Kick Magazine


12" Releases
1997. Jacob London - Chili Sauce EP (eatHouse)
2001. Jacob London vs. Jacob London (squid:records)
2002. Jacob London - Slom Time (squid:records)
2002. Jacob London - Don't Fear the Peepi (Free the Funk)
2002. Jacob London - Gataeu de Poisson (Stay True)
2002. Jacob London - Gutterballs (squid-records)
2002. Jacob London - Wokka Wokka (U-Freqs)
2003. Jacob London - Casual Bingo (Classic)
2003. Jacob London & Big Hair - Escape from Horror House (U-Freqs)
2004. Jacob London - No Cream In The Monkey Fort (Doubledown)
2004. Jacob London - Brown Alert (Classic)
2006. Jacob London - Whoa! This is Fun! (Movim)
2006. Jacob London & Mossa - Fathers Milk/Touch the Dingle (Complot)
2006. Jacob London - SPLAT! (Titbit Recordings)
2007. Jacob London - Interest Rates Just Fell Again, Nao Obrigado (Dot.Bleep)
2007. Jacob London - Droppin Squirrels (Utensil Recordings)

2003. DJ Ali - You Don't Know (Classic)
2004. Rithma - Everyone is Sleeping Today (Om Records)
2004. Moodlex - Just One Look (Jamayka)
2004. Grey - N(ua)ghty Glances (Harmonious Discord)
2004. Alexander East - The Art of Touch (Amfibi_Us)
2004. James Brennan - Space and Time (Loopjunkie)
2004. Spettro - Smokestack (Markethouse Meats)
2004. Dirty Sole - Coldtime Jazz (Carioca)
2005. Johnny Fiasco - Salsanova - (Viva!)
2005. Justin Martin and Sammy D - Cats and Dogs (Classic)
2005. Rithma - We Rock and Roll (Utensil)
2005. Lick - The Frog (U-Freqs)
2005. Big Hair - Trou Noir (U-Freqs)
2005. Jake Childs - Superbowl Sunday (Uniform Recordings)
2005. Mr. Leisure - No Scene (U-Freqs)
2006. Mercir - Grace
2006. Swiss T (Tony Senghore) - Why (Ploff Music)
2006. Don Tinsley - Save The 88's (Good Family Recordings)
2006. Fan Erhalder - Samantha Fox (Kvadrat Produkt)
2007. Ben Mono (Featuring Capitol A) Beatbox
2007. Si Begg - Non Stop Cut and Paste (Noodles)
2007. Mat Anderson - Not Boyfriend Material (Deepfunk Recordings)
2007. Optimus Rhyme - Who Me?

Tracks Appear on these Compilations
2003. House Sessions 2XCD (Ministry Of Sound Australia)
2004. Derrick Carter and Mark Farina Live at Om (Om Records)
2006. Om Winter Sessions Mixed By Johnny Fiasco (Om Records)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Dave Pezzner, a nice guy who puts the "Jacob" in Jacob London, was not a session player on key electric-period Miles Davis recordings, nor did he cut his chops as a touring keyboardist with Katrina and the Waves. Bob Hansen, a graphic designer who prefers Amsterdam over London, didn't learn studio technology as a tape operator on Michael Jackson's 1982 smash "Thriller," and he spent no time in the music industry as an A&R representative for Columbia Records. Together they make Jacob London.

After 13 years of countless live performances, world tours, several band name changes, idealistic decisions to "stop producing (insert techno subgenre here)", and powerful releases/remixes on Om Records (San Francisco), Stay True (Paris), Doubledown (San Diego), U-Freqs (UK), and Derrick Carter & Luke Solomon’s enormously popular Classic Records (UK) imprint, "Jacob London" has become a household name for house and techno dj's all over the planet.