As a DJ, Robertson wears several hats besides the daggy one on his head. Regulars to London nights Bugged Out and Together will be familiar with his mixture of ravey acid techno and electronic house while those who frequent Gay Mod and Sunday Best will know him for his eclectic sets of reggae, northern soul and pop.
In the studio, Robertson has reworked Bjork, Felix Da Housecat, Chicken Lips and Kiki & Silversurfer. In the nineties he was part of big beat act Lionrock but later released a solo album of primitive house and new wave disco 'Justin Robertson presents Revtone' (2001) on Nuphonic. Robertson also penned 'Push and Shove' the gospel-tinged song on Fatboy Slim album 'Palookaville'.
RA followed Justin Robertson to his home in London and forced him to reveal his secret weapons. Even though he was under pressure, he managed to sneak in some blatant promotion, listing three productions of his own and two others by good friends Tom Middleton and The Chemical Brothers.
The Chemical Brothers - Battle Weapon 8 [CD-R]
Justin: "Ed gave me this on CD. It's just full on, crazy, absolutely loopy. I think it's still a demo so it's not quite finished at the moment. It's a devastating record and it's been a highlight the last few weeks when I've played it out. It's very dancefloor, very energetic but quite different from the other ones in the series. It's a step forward. It's got this kind of weird noise in it - maybe a guitar or something. I can imagine it fitting into their live show."
Kidscience - The Lights [CD-R]
Justin: "I'm currently singing in a band called Thee Earls. Gerard Dewar is the guy who I do the music with and we decided to do some club tracks together. This is the first one of our new project. It's kind of a jacking, acidy record with a some unusual sounds in it and quite unusual arrangements - wonky bits. I'm quite pleased with it but we're just road-testing it at the moment. We're just doing some fairly visceral club records. It's got a little bit of a vocal on it but it's more like a sort of muttering. I'd like to think it's a floorkiller as it's designed to be like that. It's quite low in subtlety and high in energy."
Heidi vs Riton - Vejer [Get Physical]
Justin: "I like both of them. I shop in Phonica all the time so I see Heidi quite a lot and I love Henry's music. Obviously it works because they go out together but I really like it because it pushes all the buttons for me. It sounds quite modern and unusual but it also has a few sort of classic ravey bits in it. I always have a laugh with Heidi in the shop about rave because that's how I describe the music I like. I say, "Have you got some good rave music?" So it definitely hits the spot in that respect."
Tommy Four Seven - Eat Me (Justin Robertson Remix) [Brique Rouge]
Justin: "This one again is an absolute plug but I might as well cos I don't often get the chance to do it. It's actually a mix I've done that will probably come out on Brique Rouge but I'm waiting to hear back from Dave. I only finished it two days ago. I like the original because it's got quite a quirky vocal that reminds me of a Freaks record. The mix I've done has got a kind of mid-eighties protohouse sound to it. I did a remix of Chicken Lips a couple of years ago and it's in the same sort of vein as that. It has a kind of acidy bassline with some melodic stabs and a lot of counterpointing rhythms. It's got quite an old skool feel but with a few contemporary production jiggly bits in there."
In Flagranti - It's All Rubbish [Codek]
Justin: "It's been around a while. I don't know anything about this band at all. I bought it quite a few weeks ago and I'd almost forgotten about it. I was sifting through my records and I thought "What the hell's this?". It's got a nice track on the B-side which I play all the time and it's just really driving and has an almost punk funky feel to it, like a really live, looping wah guitar thing in it. It sounds like a DFA thing or The Rapture but it's instrumental. I like it because along with playing programmed acid house records I quite enjoy playing those Serge Santiago kind of records which are a bit more live-sounding."
Tom Middleton - One More Tune [CD-R]
Justin: "Me and Tom went on a flight to Ibiza and we had this conversation where he was trying to get this mental compilation together. He wanted to know what DJs' "one more tune" would be, what that last record of the night would be, and what the last piece of music you would want to hear before you die. I couldn't answer that one but I did tell him my one more tune was Rhythim Is Rhythim 'The Dance', an old Transmat record from 1986. And he said, "Strangely enough I've just done a rework of that." So this is what this tune is. He sent it to me as 'One More Tune' and it's like a little rework of that record. It's very Detroity but very sort of Tom as well. It just goes and goes and goes but it's also got these crazy dropdowns unlike the original which is kind of relentless."
Robbie Williams - Lovelight (Soulwax Ravelight Dub) [CD-R]
Justin: "I got this thrust into my hand at a festival last weekend and it's fucking amazing. I had to look on the Internet because there wasn't anything on the CD except 'Lovelight (Soulwax Dub)'. Unless you're an expert on Robbie Williams voice I don't think you would know it's him. Basically it's a Soulwax record but it's really really good. It's got an insane noisy breakdown at the end. It's like the long lost art of remixing that says you should allow the remixer to put their own touch to it and do whatever they want. And Soulwax seem to have done that."
Jim Masters - Hammer and Tong [CD-R]
Justin: "I can't say much about it as Jim just gave this to me last night. But it's insane. It has that kind of swinging sort of European sound but it's pretty much hammer and tong. It's mad. It's hard, not in like techno hard, but it's noisy. There's this kind of throbbing incessant bassline and this crazy sort of drumroll. But yeah, it's a stomping one. It's not one for lighter moments."
Justin Robertson - Pylon Theory [Never Work]
Justin: "This is a track on a vinyl-only label I've started up called Never Work. The track itself is sort of primitive sounding with a little lush keyboard sequence and some quite old school sounds, like a Steve Poindexter hi-hat pattern. Tom Middleton, Dave Duriez, Paul Woolford and a few other people are quite into it. I probably can't retire on it but it's okay.¨
Lutzenkirchen - Ultra Shift [White]
Justin: "It's electrohouse but a little bit more subtle than Lutzenkirchen's other releases. I like his stuff for its good rave-up quality but this one is a bit more techy-sounding. It's not a million miles away from that Get Physical sound but it's just a little more techy. I don't know much about Lutzenkirchen. I just happened to come across him on MySpace. I've put in a friend request but I'm not sure if he's seen it yet."
Justin Robertson plays Together at Turnmills this Saturday, September 30, 2006