Body Movement boss and bad man selector Robert James is a well-known face in the Europe circuit. His inclusion as one of Leeds Mint Club valued players and being a usual suspect for the likes of fabric, Panorama Bar, the list goes on. As decorated as Robert’s past is we are much interested in what is happening right now and in the near future.
We caught up with Rob recently to find out how things are going with his Body Movement label and string of parties. For an outfit that is already five years old it Rob explains where it all started, “Well, it all started the year after my 30th Birthday. For my 30th I hired the basement of my mates’ pub – The Star of Kings in London. It was wild and I had loads ace DJ’s come and spin. A few days after I was getting messages saying I should do it again asap or ever year. I decided to do it every year and on a cold December in 2017 for my 31st Body Movement was born.”
Both Body Movement’s releases and parties have become an almost instant hit and its associated artists have found a new musical direction. Robert explains where the musical direction for the label came from, “I started to drift away from Ibiza clubs as everyone was playing the same music and it wasn’t my thing. I went back to playing Vinyl again and I started to really find some amazing music. Put that and going out raving loads and especially to Fabric. I love Fabric when you’ve got a proper mix in each room. That’s why each release has something for everyone. Whether that’s House, breaks, Electro and everything in between.”
This heady mix of music can also be transferred into the makeup of the releases and even extends to tracks you might already have in your collection, “I love it when you go back into records you bought and discover a B2! You probably bought the record for the A1 or B1. That’s my idea for the label.” Staying on the topic of Body Movement’s releases Robert explains how he curates the label, “There isn’t much of a criterion. If someone sends me some music and its mint, I’m gonna put it out. With my own music, it takes a while to finish an EP for the label, as I go through phases of making music. It was Electro for a while now I’m onto some house so it’s difficult trying to find what works with what.”
As the label was born as a direct result of an event we were curious to learn in which order Body Movement would evolve, “As I mentioned it all started from a Birthday party but the label was always something I had in mind. I had always wanted to start a label it was just working out when to do it. I didn’t want to rush into it and I’m still not rushing now. I’ve always preferred quality over quantity.”
Fast forward five years and Robert and his label have just in the last few months celebrated their half decade in the business. This is no mean feat given that several of those years have been spent under the cloud of global pandemic. Robert explains how the situation has panned, “Yeah, it’s been tough as we had so much planned in 2020. There’s some parties that still haven’t been rescheduled. We missed the 4th Birthday but made up for it on the 5th. We hosted two rooms at the Cause and went 18hrs! The label had some delays as many people did, we’ve nearly caught up now.”
With dancefloors falling silent and touring and bookings taking time to get back to what they once were Robert puts the situation in plain terms, “Yeah that was tough as the best place to test tracks is on a dance floor to people. Luckily, I’ve got some good DJ mates for feedback. We only released one EP in 2020 and 2 EP’s in 2021, so the setback was there but also a lot of labels weren’t releasing so it wasn’t too bad for us.”
The UK and much of Europe’s club scene are finally getting back to normal it was key to discuss what plans Robert had for the year, “Yeah, we’re full steam ahead this year with two EP’s already out. My album (Battle of The Planets) is out next on the label in May, for the 7th release. It was made in 2020 during the first lockdown and I took a more electro approach to it. Really excited to get this out as I’ve been sitting on it for far too long.”
With Body Movement going great guns our conversation turns to Robert’s newest EP for rising digital label Outright Records. The bass heavy four tracker has already drawn the attention of dancefloors and DJ’s alike and he gives his the lowdown on the release, “Yes, that’s actually just come out and it’s really doing well! So, this was made when I was back on the dance floor and out of bloody lockdowns. They asked for a track for a VA and then I sent them a few. Then they were like, ok let’s do an EP. So, I wanted to give them four 4/4 club bangers. It’s nice to variety my music so maybe more Electro and breaks next?”
As well as his upcoming album Robert lets us in on what he has cooking in his studio at present, “I’ve got a really nice remix package of the album. 5 different remixers all of whom are ridiculously good at making music! I’m also back in the studio with Jack Michael soon for an EP to follow the remixes.” We are sure by now you know exactly who Robert James and Body Movement is but just make sure you keep tabs on their plans this year as we have a feeling they are going to be just what dancefloors need this summer.
You can next catch Robert James and his crew in action at their favourite pub – The Lion & Lamb.