Mutant house and techno, direct from Los Angeles.
Jason James, better known as Force Placement, is a DJ-producer based in Los Angeles, and a bastion of the local electronic music community. He is a founding member of The Black Lodge, an intimate monthly event based upon the exploration of esoteric electronic music. As a resident DJ, James has become known for his versatile and energetic performances that run the gamut from soulful and cerebral house to mind-bending acid techno. The platform has become a label, though James has released the majority of his music on labels like 100% Silk, Private Selection, and Lost Soul Enterprises.
James’ journey into music began at the age of 12 when he started collecting CDs and tapes after hearing the otherworldly sounds of Aphex Twin and The Chemical Brothers on the radio. A few years later, he began attending drum & bass raves and bought his first pair of decks and taught himself how to mix. Around this time, he also started making beats on FruityLoops, inspired by Dieselboy, Plaid, Boards of Canada, and Photek. The Black Lodge, founded in 2015, was a platform for him to meet like-minded people and simply play out his favorite records.
For this week’s XLR8R podcast, James has delivered a studio mix full of his favorite mutant strains of electronic music, coming from the likes of Ben Pest, Sons of Slough, and Arsonist Recorder. (There’s also a taste of his own upcoming EP on EVAR Records.) It’s meticulously created but also free-wheeling and hard-hitting, which is perhaps a reflection of his own love for punk music. Press play for just over an hour or future funk, kinetic acid, and stuttered kicks from one of the best in the game.
01. What have you been up to recently?
I’ve been staying busy with gigs and trying to finish some new music. I just started a new DJ residency with a local crew called Into the Woods, and I’m excited about it! I’m also juggling a few side projects right now. I play drums in a couple of hardcore punk bands and I have a harsh noise project called Nu Sire.
02. What have you been listening to recently?
Lots of ’80s hardcore punk and death metal. I’ve also been jamming to Quelle Chris a lot lately.
03. How did your first releases come about?
My first vinyl release came about after I met Jay Caston (a.k.a Aschof Mal) at a Black Lodge party sometime in 2016. I was already a huge fan of his label, Material Image. I sent him some rough ideas for tracks and a year later he released my Sometimes It Seems Like EP.
04. When and where did you record this mix?
I recorded this mix in early July 2022 after spending a month or so gathering material. It was recorded in my kitchen on two CDJ 2000s and a DJM 900 mixer.
05. How did you go about choosing the tracks you’ve included?
Lots of late-night digging sessions on Discogs and Bandcamp!
06. How does it compare to what we might hear you play out live?
The vibe of the mix is pretty close to what I normally play at gigs. It’s a snapshot of what you might expect to hear during one of my sets.
07. What’s next on your horizon?
I have a new EP dropping soon on EVAR Records. I’ve also got some fun gigs planned for winter. Other than that, I’m just working on finishing new music!
XLR8R has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to XLR8R+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.
Full XLR8R+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
01. Force Placement “Lycanthrope” (Private Selection)
02. L.F.T. “Red Pyramid” (Mechatronica)
03. Sons of Slough “I Can’t Hear The Stereo” (Sprüngcartellwachs)
04. Alonzo “Animal Control” (Cultivated Electronics)
05. Fleck E.S.C. “Hot Bath” (Science Cult)
06. Keith Tucker “Other Worlds” (Mechatronica)
07. Rise Black “El Clarinete De Gitano” (Science Cult)
08. Die Essenz “Du Magst Das Nicht” (Alma Electronica)
09. Thousand Order “Entry Code” (International Chrome)
10. D. Strange “Drapetomania” (Subsonic Ebonics)
11. Arsonist Recorder “Heat Seak” (Science Cult)
12. Go Hiyama “Unchance Operation” (Mord)
13. Shun “Bizarre” (CPU Records)
14. Ben Pest “The Team” (Dionysian Mysteries)
15. Steve Allman “Master Future” (Avoidant)
16. Psyk “Down” (Non Series)
17. Michael Claus “Paranoia” (Unreleased)
18. Force Placement “Upsetter” (EVAR Records)