13.04.2017 | Words by: Mathis Neuhaus.
Transdisciplinarity is a contemporary approach for contemporary problems and can make for surprising and fruitful connections. Though not exclusively tied to the academic sector, it is a principle often fostered by schools which try to look beyond traditional and separated disciplines. Strictly speaking, De School is not considered an educational institution anymore, but still operates in varied spheres unified by a transdisciplinary approach to present and mediate cultural matter.
Trevor Jackson, who is playing together with Interstellar Funk and Young Marco next weekend, is an artist working his way through, and therefore being true to the literal meaning of the aforementioned term, nightlife culture in all its facets. Graphic designer, DJ, producer, curator, label owner – you name it. Trevor Jackson’s career spans thirty 30 years and almost as many professions. And they are all connected by an uncompromised approach only a true artist possesses. An example of his holistic approach? How about the aptly-titled LP Format from 2015 that came out as, amongst others, a 12”, a CD, a cassette tape, a minidisc and even as a VHS.
Never shy of speaking out and defending his values, Jackson’s ethos in regards to the electronic music scene resembles the situation Greek’s king Sisyphus found himself him: rolling a boulder up a hill, only to watch it come back, again and again, repeating the task for eternity. There is one crucial difference though: while Sisyphus’ work is regarded to be futile, Trevor Jackson adds something to the discourse every time he does something.
While pursuing a determined artistic vision, another one of Jackson’s strength lies in his ability and willingness to cooperate. The list of artists he worked for (read: remixed) and collaborators he worked with is long, ranging from Soulwax to Four Tet to Yello and evntually leading to the coauthored musical project Playgroup. With Playgroup, Jackson put out music that was as eclectic as it gets and that possessed a distinctive crossover pop appeal. Check the track Number One for reference – it’s a hit!
In an interview with Mixmag, Trevor Jackson speaks out about DJ culture and what’s wrong with it these days. “The best clubs I ever went to where the ones where you never even saw the DJ.” Another thing he says is this: “When I play I can be pretty bloody good. But…I can be bad as well.” Accepting failure as a creative opportunity is something that does not come by default, you have to feel at ease with the risk and embrace it. Experience, too, has a lot do with it and that is something Trevor Jackson has plenty of.