You never know exactly what you’re going to hear with Jackmaster; the element of glorious surprise is crucial to his sets. From the lost Dance Mania gems he spends his time unearthing to forgotten disco tracks to straight-up house and techno sets, the Numbers cofounder has more options up his sleeve than just about any other DJ out there—and a rare knack for connecting seemingly disparate styles with each other. “I don’t do eclecticism just for eclecticism’s sake,” he states firmly.
What you are guaranteed to get is a master selector’s instinct for creating and riding the energy of a crowd; few can get a dancefloor as hyped as Jackmaster. “I don’t think about music in terms of genre; I think about it in terms of energy levels,” he says. And as his star has risen over the past few years, this has been on perfect display at parties from Glasgow to Berlin to New York, and from superclubs such as Berghain and Fabric to legendary underground warehouse parties.
He’s also proved that populist tendencies can have longevity, if done right: Unbelievably, it’s now 10 years since the Numbers club night was founded, forging a tight-knit and loyal scene in which Jackmaster and like-minded Glaswegians could hone their skills. Now, the world can’t get enough of their sounds. The Numbers influence has spread across clubs and into the mainstream, with names such as Jessie Ware, SBTRKT, Rustie, Hudson Mohawke and Jamie xx all having released material with the label.
At the heart of Jackmaster’s wide-ranging sensibility is a fundamental honesty: he believes in neither following trends nor the concept of guilty pleasures. His commitment to both honesty and energy encapsulates what can make dance culture life-changingly thrilling: It’s about the clubber on the dancefloor reacting instantaneously and truthfully to the music. Few cater to that dancer as effectively as Jackmaster—no mere “crowd-pleaser,” but someone always guaranteed to please the crowd.