Cesar Jauregui began his music career as a drummer before translating those seven years of experience into production under the alias, Jace Mek. It’s proven to be a good choice, as within the past two years, the Los Angeles-based producer has imparted his unique take on bass-heavy house and tech through a number of reputable imprints including Main Course, Mad Decent, Dim Mak, and CONFESSION, the latter of which Jace appears to feel most at home with. At the end of July, Jace Mek will be returning to Tchami’s label to release his collaboration with the white hot Frenchman known as Habstrakt (his first single since “Chicken Soup”), so we asked him to take over the MiniMix this week and answer some Qs about the upcoming record, working with the industrious CONFESSION crew, the wonky state of SoundCloud, and more. Listen in to Jace Mek’s NEST HQ MiniMix and read on for the interview below.
Jace! Cheers for taking over this week’s mix. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you so far this summer, music-related or otherwise?
Thank you for the opportunity to do so! The best thing that has happened to me this summer has to be performing at EDC Las Vegas. I’ve been dreaming about the day where I’d finally receive the opportunity to perform at EDC for many years and it finally happened. Thank you to Insomniac for the opportunity.
So you just dropped “Conjunct” on Mad Decent, which has some techy elements to it. What kind of house music do you mainly listen to when you’re not making your own?
When I’m not making my own music, I tend to listen to a a lot of Mr. Oizo, Crookers, Boys Noize, Fake Blood, Justice, etc. There’s something about the early 2000’s house music that cannot be duplicated and it’s something I immensely respect about those artists more than anything.
What kind of stuff is on your non-EDM playlists?
On my non-EDM playlists, you’ll find Mumford & Sons, Johnny Cash, The Beatles, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Mos Def, Mac Miller, and a bunch of other Folk/Rock/Hip Hop/Rap music. I listen to those genres all the time, when I’m not listening to something Electronic Dance Music related.
You have another big record coming out with Habstrakt on Confession later this month. Can you talk a bit about that track and what it means to be back on Confession for it after the success of “Whales” over there?
First off, I’d like to thank DJ Snake & Tchami because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been on Confession. After releasing ‘Whales’, I received so many opportunities, musically, and I believe that ‘Whales’ definitely showcased what my future projects would incorporate in terms of weirdness, ambience, and funkiness. I was lucky enough to release 3 more tracks on Confession after ‘Whales’ and I’m more than happy to be back again with my buddy Habstrakt.
A few months ago, we linked up via Twitter and talked about working on a track together. I had been such a huge fan of his sound design so I was super ecstatic to work with him. After a few months, we finally got something down and we met up in LA to finish up the track. The track 100% incorporates weirdness, darkness, and funkiness and its exactly what we were trying to go for. We felt like Confession would be the perfect fit for this track and thankfully, Confession made a release possible. At this point, Confession is my home and I love everything Tchami and the Confession team is doing so being back on the label is the best feeling.
The French folks are really on a roll right now. As you’ve worked closely with Habstrakt and the Confession squad, what do you think it is about the crew that keeps quality so high?
Something I’ve come to notice about French producers is that they have such a strong work ethic and that they know what they want. I’ve noticed they like to stay busy. They care about authenticity and it’s the one thing I relate to the most. There’s so much to be said about French producers. They have all of my respect and I’m extremely grateful I’m able to be working alongside some of them.
Do you have any thoughts on all of the SoundCloud drama that’s been circulating the past week or so?
I don’t want to SoundCloud to go away. SoundCloud has provided so many artists, big or small, with a platform to share their music on. I’m aware that many producers really don’t like SoundCloud because they can’t share their bootlegs, or unofficial remixes freely, without them receiving a copyright strike. It’s sad that many artists have lost their accounts due to this. I do feel that the company has been heading downhill, and needs to make a complete turn and reevaluate what Soundcloud is all about, sharing music with the world without any limits.
Finally, tell us about the minimix you’ve put together for us here. Any new/unreleased goodies to keep an ear out for?
This mix is one of my favorite mixes that I’ve made. While recording, I thought about tracks that inspire me to be different and weird and I made sure they were going to be in the mix. I played a few old released tracks, fairly new tracks, unreleased collabs, and some unreleased singles somewhere in the mix that hopefully, people will enjoy listening to and spot them out.
Tracklist: 1. Bad Computer – Static Abyss 2. BS1 – Mists of Time 3. Pilo – Ghettocoder 4. Deapmash & Raito – Stop (Strip Steve Remix) 5. Etnik – Celcius 6. Baytek – FWYT (Prismism Remix) 7. ID – ID 8. Habstrakt & Jace Mek – ID 9. GTA – Little Bit of This feat. Vince Staples (Jace Mek Remix) 10. Jace Mek – Understand 11. Jace Mek Understand (Blansh Bootleg) 12. Van Toth – Chuck Testa 13. ID – ID 14. ID – ID 15. Jace Mek – It Said 16. NT89 – Voices 17. Jace Mek – Whales 18. Jace Mek – Conjunct 19. Dilligas vs. Born Dirty – Pinball x Mum’s Money (Jakwob Remix) [Sweater Disco Edit] 20. The Black Seeds – What We Need (Crookers Remix)