Jack of all trades
David Pollock talks to one of Glasgow’s busiest rising stars and record label impresario Jackmaster
Jack Revill has had a good idea of what he’s wanted to do for a living since an early age. At least, in fact, since he was 14 years old and managed to score quite possibly the greatest work experience placement from school. ‘I went to work at the Rubadub record shop in Glasgow city centre,’ he recalls, ‘and I was christened with the name The Jackmaster by the people who worked there. So the first DJ gig where I needed to put my name on a flyer, I used that one.’
It was a couple of weeks well spent, because the 23-year-old’s career has kicked on apace from there. ‘By day I still work for Rubadub,’ he says, ‘in the wholesale department distributing vinyl 12-inches around the world. From there it was a natural progression for me to start up my own record labels – I run two at the moment, Wireblock and Dress2Sweat – and by night I do a lot of DJing. I ran a night called Seismic at Ad Lib when I was 17, and since I was 17 I’ve co-promoted the club Numbers, which runs monthly in the Sub Club and various other venues around Glasgow.’
He makes them sound like hobbies (and most of them still are in financial terms, he concedes), but all of these details add up to a highly impressive CV. Numbers was placed at number two in a recent Mixmag run-down of the nation’s best clubs, and has steadily built to the point where it’s achieved equal billing with Optimo as Scotland’s most adventurous and exciting club night. Meanwhile the club and various signees of Revill’s labels, most notably Hudson Mohawke and Rustie, are name-dropped frequently by London-based style and music mags. Despite the city’s undying reputation as a guitar band production line, Revill and his friends and colleagues are actually responsible for by far the most exciting and challenging music being made in Glasgow right now.
Revill runs Wireblock with his fellow Numbers organisers Calum Morton, who works in London for Warp Records, and Morton’s brother Neil. Dress2Sweat, meanwhile, is his own baby, a result of his desire to see many of the booty bass, B-more and dubstep white labels he was being sent – and particularly Rustie’s merging of the three genres, ‘Click Clack’ – get a release. Both labels will fold this autumn, however, as they merge with Stuff Records (run by Numbers collaborator Richard Chater) to form Numbers Records. ‘We’re all best pals,’ says Revill, ‘so it doesn’t make sense to keep working on separate ideas. That’ll go live in November, and the aim is to create a label with a “buy-on-sight” reputation like Hyperdub and Hessle Audio.’
Other ambitions include taking Numbers on the road (autumn dates have been lined up in Berlin, Bristol and London) and for Revill to start producing his own tracks when he can find the time. ‘It’s dubstep that’s doing it for me at the moment,’ he says. ‘A lot of what people call minimal techno these days is absolute pish, and it’s the prosaic, identikit copies of Richie Hawtin out there which made me dig harder to find music which was really breaking boundaries in the first place.’
Jackmaster plays Mixed Bizness at the School of Art, Glasgow, Thu 13 Aug; White Label at the Arches, Glasgow, Sat 29 Aug; SOLUTe at the V Club, Glasgow, Sat 5 Sep.