Profile - Cajmere
- David Pollock
- 8 May 2008
Also known as Green Velvet, Curtis Jones (his real name), many others.
Occupation Godfather of what broadly, briefly, became the electroclash sound, alongside Felix Da Housecat, Fischerspooner, Larry Tee, etc. Recently rediscovered Christianity.
Where did he come from? The home of techno, Detroit, Michigan. Born in 1968, Jones studied chemical engineering at the University of Illinois and then went on to a post-grad at Berkeley. Amusingly, this was some kind of strange rebellion, because he didn’t want to get the same job as his dad, a sometime mobile disco DJ. These were the late 80s and early 90s, though, and he did go to raves ‘just for the babes and the good music’. What he got was a subconscious masterclass from some of Detroit’s greats.
What’s he done since? Played an instrumental part in developing techno’s darker, more imaginative edges. His first release was the ‘Underground Goodies’ EP in 1991, as Cajmere (ie Curtis A Jones). By the end of the decade he had evolved into Green Velvet – green foam hairstyle and all – and written some of the darkest, sexiest, most straight-facedly amusing dance music to come out of the 90s. ‘Flash’ and ‘Answering Machine’ are classics, but no techno track ever had a funnier or more fearsome lyric than ‘The Stalker’: ‘I wanted to get you roses, but they were all out/so I got you daisies instead, and dyed them with my blood’.
Christianity, you say? ‘On my page you will sometimes see pictures of me at a time when I was in darkness,’ says his MySpace blog. ‘I allow these images to be posted to let people know that God will turn things around for you, if you let Him.’ Wonder what he thinks of ‘La La Land’ now?
Cajmere plays Return to Mono at the Sub Club, Glasgow, Fri 9 May.