Making the move from a hip hop listening skateboarder in New York city to a house music producer in the creative arts mecca of Asheville, North Carolina may seem a stretch to some. For J-Hecht, born Jason Hecht, it’s just a natural progression in his..
Making the move from a hip hop listening skateboarder in New York city to a house music producer in the creative arts mecca of Asheville, North Carolina may seem a stretch to some. For J-Hecht, born Jason Hecht, it’s just a natural progression in his musical journey, taking him not only to new places geographically, but also to varied genres, styles, and sounds. Jason first took notice of music as a teenage Black Sabbath fan which, with help from his skateboarding buddies, progressed into the worlds of EPMD, Big Daddy Kane, and Public Enemy. It was in the early nineties that Jason noticed some of his fellow skateboarders mixing records on turntables as well as attending New York’s earliest rave parties. Fascinated, Jason was soon hooked on acid house and techno and became an enthusiastic supporter of the city’s flourishing electronic music culture.
Repeated nights of constant, obsessive raving can take its toll, so Jason eventually decided to take a break and wind things down a bit. However, he still wanted to be involved with the electronic music scene even if not as an active party-goer. This inspired Jason to get behind the decks himself as well as learn the basic ropes of audio production. His long-time friendship with Electrik Soul's Onionz, who he often accompanied on record shopping excursions, shaped Jason's taste as a DJ and a music producer. House and breakbeat records were his mixing specialty, and J-Hecht had arrived.
J-Hecht quickly made his name in the area’s DJ scene and played many parties and hotspots in New York and Long Island. Soon he was inspired to start his own weekly party, Theory, which ran successfully for three years. He acted as warm up to many prominent DJs including Donald Glaude, Sunshine Jones, Reid Speed, and Kimball Collins, giving J-Hecht valuable experience alongside the ‘masters.’ Meanwhile, Jason was active on the industry side, working as operations managers for the Ortofon turntable cartridge company, a house music buyer at Common Ground Records, and reviewing tunes for Yahoo Music.
After more than a decade of slugging it out in New York’s house music scene, J-Hecht found himself in need of an inspiration re-injection. This unexpectedly came from a move to Asheville, North Carolina a few years back. With no intention to stay immersed in dance music, Jason was soon mingling with local artists, musicians, and DJs and caught the bug once again. “I guess the music found me,” he jokes. Reinvigorated, J-Hecht took to the decks once again. Though he remembers his New York days fondly Jason remarks, “Some of the best parties that I’ve played were actually here in Asheville.”
J-Hecht has also reemerged with a new focus on production work. Working a style that evenly fuses tech-house and minimal sounds but with a funky influence (probably taken from his past love of breaks records) J-Hecht has been knocking out club-primed tracks. In addition to releasing tracks on Electrik Soul, the label of Jason’s old record shopping friend Onionz, J-Hecht has hooked up with the innovative Release Musiq imprint. Based in Asheville, this new label draws upon the creative vibe of the city, issuing music meant to resonate within the clubs in unique ways. Recently he has joined up with the U.K. label, Now Then Records, and Kushtee Deep, out of Spain. He also has released tracks with Luis Armando on Fierce Animal Recordings(SF) and has a much anticipated release coming out on Night Child Records (NYC). Perfect next steps in J-Hecht’s history, and a sign that his best dancefloor moments are yet to come.
Selected discography J-Hecht
J-Hecht, Luis Armando Animal Sounds Electrik Soul Recordings; J-Hecht Funk by the Tracks Release Musiq; Luis Armando I See You (J-Hecht Deep Seduction Mix) Release Musiq; J-Hecht Deeppartmentalized Release Musiq; J-Hecht, Luis Armando Critters Fierce Animal Recordings; J-Hecht, Luis Armando The Bond Fierce Animal Recordings; J-Hecht, Luis Armando Discadet Fierce Animal Recordings; J-Hecht Realized Release Musiq; J-Hecht, Luis Armando Occupy the Gruv; J-Hecht Horse Shoe Kushtee Deep