It hasn't even been a year since Palms Trax released his first EP. The fact that that record, the widely acclaimed Equation EP, was in fact his very first offering is itself hard to fathom, with each track on the 12" sounding like the work of one of Chicago or Detroit's legendary producers.
Jay Donaldson, AKA Palms Trax, is in fact a young producer from London, who now calls Berlin home. His follow up record, the Forever EP, was released last month complete with a lovely brooding remix from Galcher Lustwerk and is every bit as tasty as Equation, providing Jimmy Asquith’s remarkable Lobster Theremin imprint with yet another hit in the label’s similarly short history. Most good house and techno pundits would have one eye firmly on Palms Trax by now, but for those yet to enjoy the experience, this gritty and at times stomping selection provides another great reason for joining us on board the Palms Trax express.
You moved from London to Berlin last year right? Tell us a bit about that transition and where you’ve based yourself in the city..
Yeah it was just over a year ago now, but it’s only been for the past two months or so that i’ve found myself with a real setup having been through about a dozen sublets. I guess that made everything pretty tricky from a practical point of view but to be honest I can probably attribute having any social life at all to the fact that for a 3 week period a trip home could entail a run in with my housemates rifle-yielding brother. I now live three minutes down the road from what is to my knowledge Berlin’s only highland cow.
Can you give us a brief history of how you came into contact with Jimmy Asquith from Streets Of Beige and the Lobster Theremin label? Were you DJing in London with those guys for a while before coming up with the tracks for the Equation EP?
I somehow ended up being a resident for the night after he got in touch upon hearing something I’d made. I’d not DJed before though so I owe any early success entirely to Traktor’s sync function, and then I guess I made that bunch of tracks about two years later. The night had a pretty good run in the meantime with Italo Johnson, Fred P, Genius Of Time etc, and he’s doing the Find Me In The Dark parties at Corsica now which are cool.
I read that you were working at Phonica before you moved, how long were you working there and what did you take away from your time at that job (besides a bucket load of records)?
A tendency to address everyone as ‘pal’ and a regrettable loss of finances at the mercy of the M&S food hall across the road. I also got sold a copy of a Global Communication record which to this day is still listed on Discogs for 65p.
Your second EP for Lobster Theremin just came out, which feels like quite a natural follow up to the first record. What else have you been working on since settling in to your new place, have you had a chance to collaborate with other artists over there as yet?
One of the tracks from that was written a very long time ago, and the other in a similar period to my first record so they weren’t actually made since I’ve been in Berlin, and to be honest I found it hard to get into the habit of making anything in the first eight months or so of being here due to not feeling settled at all. The last few weeks have been good though and I’ve pretty much finished off my next one now. As for collaborations, it’s something I’d be into and I’m inspired by a lot of what goes on here but for the moment I’m just focusing on getting a few more ideas of my own down.
What was the idea behind this mix? Who are some of the artists that feature?
Well I have this show on Berlin Community Radio that started a few months ago and with that I’m getting through a lot of records, half of which probably wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, be played in a club. So for this one I thought I’d do something a bit harder, and it has an unusually large amount of new bits in it so there’s something from the recent LNRDCROY cassette, the Max D and Jordan GCZ collaboration as ZSA Gang, an Uzuri release, couple of Dekmantel things, and an old Callisto track, amongst others.
Where can people catch you playing next, what else do you have coming up?
Really excited to be playing both the Twisted Pepper and Dance Tunnel before the years out, then should be two more records a couple of remixes.