James Zabiela steps into the house with a mesmerizing mix

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James Zabiela steps into the house with a mesmerizing mix

If your taste for electronic music runs to “sophisticated urban house,” then head out to the W Seoul Hotel tomorrow night for James Zabiela, who will be performing live for the fourth installment of the Pure Session series created by party organizer Riskei.
While Riskei’s well-known Deep Session and Forces of Nature series offer deep house and convention-scale parties respectively, the Pure Session is closer to lounge music and has brought three world-famous DJs, Towa Tei, Felix The House Cat and Studio Apartment, to Korea, since it kicked off in Nov. 2005.
Up next this weekend is James Zabiela, aka Jay-Z, who hails from London. A native of Southampton, Zabiela, 27, grew up listening to early techno and trance music, which his father, who owned a local record shop, brought with him to play at home. The precocious teenager was hooked, and his early inspiration came from Sasha and Digweed. To make his mark on the electronic music scene, he decided to enter the prestigious Bedroom Bedlam competition organized by Muzik Magazine in 2000 ― and won. He was 21.
As prominent DJs and promoters noticed his musical talent, Zabiela’s career only prospered. His prodigious techniques in scratching, looping, and making variations are no secret; he can liberally cross the genres of techno house, progressive house and break beat, making the mix heady and danceable. Zabiela is currently a big draw among a slew of globetrotting superstar DJs, such as Sasha, Steve Lawler and Sander Kleinberg. His original productions include “Utility EP” (2005) and “Weird Science” (2006) by the Renaissance label.
Tomorrow night, Zabiela will be joined by a Korean DJ, Kuma, best-known for techy, funky breakbeat. Kuma started his career in the now legendary Club M.I. near Hongik University in 2001, which is a lifetime ago in the evolution of techno music. In 2003, he won Korea’s first international DJ competition, “MTV Motoalert DJ Challenge Finals.” He has recently started his own party production company, Breakbakery, spreading his influence in the industry.

The Woobar is located in the W Seoul Hotel in eastern Seoul. Door is open from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. the next day. Admission is 30,000 won ($33). For inquiries, visit the Web site, www.riskei.co.kr.

by Ines Cho
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