Music And Wine – alternative musician and DJ Jay Denes, known as Blue Six – Brief Article
Byline: Lily Moayeri
“I stay out of the billion little competitions and everyone trying to out-hip each other; it’s more than I can keep up with,” says Jay Denes, aka Blue Six, about the DJ medium. As both an artist and a founding partner of the too-hip-for-words Naked Music label (
www.naked-music.com Denes understands both sides of the business.
Denes’ initial dealings with the music world were from the standpoint of being part of a band. Left hanging due to contract complications, he hooked up with New York-based musician David Boonshoft, thereby gaining access to Boonshoft’s studio during off-hours. At the time, Denes sustained himself by making garage-oriented 12-inches. “I was never really into club music,” he says. “I was into soul, jazz and English pop. If you were going to do a club format, garage made sense. Making club records was a really pragmatic move because it’s what you can do by yourself – or with one other person, in the middle of the night – that you can actually sell.”
Realizing that they had the means and reputation to start a label, Denes and Boonshoft established their own production company, Naked Music NYC. In 1998, they put out an album on OM Records titled What’s on Your Mind?, which was re-released in 2001. But Denes was still not satisfied creatively. A conversation with Francois Kevorkian inspired him to make music from his heart; thus, Blue Six and Naked Music Recordings, as it’s known today, were born, with Kevorkian’s Wave Music imprint releasing the first Blue Six EP, Do You Like It?
Best known for the deep-house Nude Dimensions compilations, Blue Six’s debut full-length, Beautiful Tomorrow (Naked Music/Astralwerks, 2002), is Naked Music’s first artist album. Denes calls it “chill-out music for people who don’t like club music.” The album features three older tracks – “Sweeter Love,” “Music and Wine” and “Pure” – as well as new material with vocal collaborations by Lisa Shaw, Monique Bingham, Catherine Russell and Lysa.
Leaning toward analog instruments, Denes makes a point of recording through tubes to add warmth. Copies of Moogs and Oberheims from Studio Electronics, along with Kurzweils, have figured heavily into his creations, though Denes is courting computer-based samplers for convenience, efficiency and editing simplicity. He uses Emagic Logic Audio with Digidesign Pro Tools hardware and an Apogee converter; his Sony R100 mixing desk, complete with touch screen, is a miniature version of the Oxford board.
“I’ve taken special pains to make stuff sound a little more real-world,” he explains. “It’s a blend of hi-fi and lo-fi. If you work on multitrack machines, every time you play tape, you lose a little bit of the high end from the beginning of the session to the end of making a record. The high-end character changes completely. The good thing is, once you get it right, computers maintain the integrity of what you nailed.”
Despite the organic feel of Beautiful Tomorrow, Denes has not made plans to translate it live, nor does he DJ. “The amount of musicians I use on the records and the way that they’re done, to re-create that [live] and not have it suck would be a big deal. I’m not sure I want to do that. I always viewed myself as a more Brian Eno character than a performing guy. I live in the studio. I’m on to the next thing as soon as I’m done with one thing.”
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