Lose Yourself

6 September 2012 | 12:40 pm | Cyclone Wehner

"I think there's only one band that made it overseas with German lyrics – and that's Rammstein. So we're not conquering the world with German lyric music."

German electro-house DJ/producer Tai Jason has dragged Billy Idol out of pubs and karaoke bars by remixing his '80s evergreen White Wedding – at the request of the punk rocker's management. "It was a big honour to be able to remix Billy Idol," Jason enthuses. "I just made a kind of hard club track out of it. I wasn't sure what Billy Idol is into nowadays (laughs deviously) but, when I sent it over, they really liked it and said they want it just the way it is and wanna release the remix." Jason hints at dropping White Wedding in his upcoming Australian club sets, together with his current dubsteppy single Lose Yourself on Steve Aoki's Dim Mak Records and all-new music.

The Munich resident first toured these parts with 2011's Future Music Festival. "Australia is one of my favourite places," Jason says, alert in the early morning, despite having DJed the night before. "People go pretty mad and I can play hard music." He's impressed Australian radio programs electronic dance music. "At home in Germany it's not like that."

Jason has led a nomadic life, his formative years spent in England and Thailand. Until recently, he was heavily involved in Germany's booming hip hop scene. "You need to YouTube Sido and then you can see the biggest German rapper and hear German rap!," he chortles of the Teutonic Eminem. The language barrier is a problem, he acknowledges. "I think there's only one band that made it overseas with German lyrics – and that's Rammstein. So we're not conquering the world with German lyric music." This isn't wholly true as back in the '80s Nena topped international charts with the novel Cold War anthem 99 Luftballons (99 Red Balloons). "She is still doing music, actually," Jason laughs. "She just did a track with friends of mine that I produced."

In 2009 Jason recast himself as a housecat, presenting Lyposuct with DIM on Boysnoize Records. He'd go on to air Rocking The Set on Laidback Luke's Mixmash. He's even remixed Wiley.

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Jason is communal, collaborating with successive producers, among them the eccentric Chi-towner (and Diddy's go-to-house guy) Felix Da Housecat. They met at a Pacha party in Munich during the winter. Jason was watching the American DJ from the side. "He came over and said, 'Hey, what song would you like to hear?'" Jason suggested Lyposuct. "I kinda said it as a joke." Felix played it and the crowd went "crazy". Jason then bashfully disclosed who he was. The pair chatted outside the venue – and splurged. "It was so cold standing outside, so we sat in a taxi and let the meter run, so it would be warm enough. Basically, we were in the taxi for another hour or something, just in front of the club, watching the people talking and talking to the people." They'd later reconnect for TAIFelix

Jason has other tracks in the can. He's about to finally release another tune with Dutchman Bart B More – Spezi. Then there are collabs with The Crookers, Riton and Tiësto. And Jason is heading into the studio to cut an album track with The Bloody Beetroots. Yet he's unsure about doing an LP himself. "I don't know where these tracks are gonna go. I just like producing the music. I leave it up to managers or whatever to release the stuff." What's more, Jason has no desire to produce US pop acts, following his chum Boys Noize. "Right now I just like doing the club music. It's just more fun for me. Also, I come from producing different artists – I've been doing this for 10 years. Especially now that dance music is becoming so popular in the States, I try to keep it more club-wise and not produce all these big pop acts. I like just doing it for the club and for the people who go to the club and enjoy electronic music, really. I mean, I don't mind pop people doing their thing, but I just like it hard for the clubs right now."

Tai will be playing the following shows:

Friday 7 September - Electric Playground, Brisbane QLD
Saturday 8 September - The Treehouse, Melbourne VIC
Thursday 13 September - The Ox, Bathurst NSW
Friday 14 September - The Playground, Wollongong NSW
Saturday 15 September - Soho, Sydney NSW