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Justin Long has been abusing sound systems as a DJ around the world for nearly two decades. Born in Chicago, July 8th, at 8:08 a.m. could possibly signify the reason he was drawn to the sound of the beats and bass at such an early age. He credits the Roland 808 drum machine as one of the most important tools in electronic music.
Justin first came across the sounds of Chicago dance music when he was sitting shotgun in his mother’s car at an early age. Upon fiddling with the radio, he found himself paralyzed as “Can’t Stop the House” flowed through the WBMX airwaves into his young ears…He did not realize at the time that this sound was actually a symbiotic organism that was bonding with him!
Justin credits his earliest musical influences to television and his mother. Justin recalls being mesmerized, watching the Sex Pistol’s Johnny Rotten belt out “Anarchy in the U.K.” in addition to Adam Ant on a show about rock and roll. His mom then gave him her copies of the Sex Pistol’s Never Mind the Bollocks and The Clash’s London Calling.
At that moment, a journey into the vortex of punk rock music was set for exploration! His later musical influences were drawn from Joy Division, Green Velvet, Derrick Carter, Talking Heads, Nitzer Ebb and anything else that defied the norm.
Justin spent most of his childhood in Chicago’s urban concrete jungle skateboarding, buying punk records, reading comic books and riding the trains around the city, admiring the once colorfully graffitied Chicago transit system.
About the age of 14, Justin and his friends made Medussa’s, the popular all ages juice bar, a weekly Saturday night pilgrimage, where a mixture of punk, new wave, industrial, acid house, hip house and techno was played. His growing thirst for electronic music was satiated by the decision to purchase a pair of belt drive turntables as there was no other venue to hear these sounds, unless he brought the party into his own home.
Justin started exploring loft parties around the city and spending almost every day and every dollar at the famous Gramaphone Records, where he eventually found himself employed. Shortly after selling his own mix tapes, he was asked to DJ at underground parties, guest and resident club spots around Chicago and beyond, alongside DJs he had respected and befriended in the scene.
Justin was the founding resident DJ on Q101 FM’s Sonic Boom Radio and made regular guest appearances on Northwestern University’s WNUR FM. However, it was his performances at the Metro along the likes of Daft Punk, Carl Cox, Little Louie Vega and Dave Clark that caught the ear of Chicago music mogul, Joe Shanahan. This shortly led to his current exclusive residency at the legendary Smartbar, also birthplace of the .dotbleep laboratory!
About 2002, a mysterious CD mix made its way to the home of Dave Beer of Back to Basics, in Leeds, England, by care of Back to Basics resident jock, DJ Huggy of 2020 Vision, whom Justin befriended through their love of the same music. Unable to decipher the way Justin tagged his name in graffiti on the cover, the CD was simply dubbed the Sunday CD, as it was regularly played at Dave’s home in company of friends on Sundays, after a long night out.
Months lapsed and word traveled back to Dave that Justin was the maestro behind the mix. Dave requested Justin’s presence to perform at Back to Basics, home of acid house, where names as Derrick Carter, Sneak, Ralph Lawson and Andrew Weatheral were regular conductors behind the wheels of steel. The reactions were so mighty that he was summoned right back on a plane, across the ocean, to DJ at the Sub Club in Glasgow just three weeks later. Soon after, Justin returned to play most of the U.K.’s top venues including Fabric, Shindig, Circus, Scuba and Sankey’s Soap.
Ralph Lawson of 2020 Vision had taken notice to Justin’s increasing popularity in the U.K., in addition to his bent ideals of house and techno. Several talks helped Justin birth his very own monstrous Frankenstein that is known today as .dotbleep! The label has released notorious names as Derrick Carter, Jacob London, Oliver $, No Ears Dub and Sawtooth Sucka, and has gained much support from DJs across the board of the musical spectrum.
Justin’s past collaborations include working with Erik Sativa as the Beat Smugglers, as well as with Dan X under the moniker, No Assembly Firm which produced releases on Cajual, Classic, Junior Boys Own, Robsoul, and Luke Solomon & Derrick Carter’s Music for Freaks.
Currently in the studio, Justin is working solo and alongside Mazi Namvar to create a new audio vision they call Wasted Chicago Youth (W.C.Y.) Established in 2008, W.C.Y. has already released and is soon set to release further projects on Fresh Meat, Tuning Spork and .dotbleep with multiple upcoming tracks on Farris Wheel. W.C.Y. has since been sighted causing organized chaos on 4 turntables at nightlife watering holes around the planet!
Justin’s unique vibe behind the decks has likened him to a flailing live wire on the ground with exorbitant current pumping through it. His aggressive energy has been compared to Ian Curtis, Kurt Kobain and Joe Strummer. His first mix CD project for Tuning Spork is slated for Fall, 2009. You can catch him monthly at Smartbar Chicago’s .dotbleep or around the world with dates already set for Los Angeles, San Francisco, Canada, U.K., New Zealand and Australia.