Its a good job vinyl is his only addiction. Still only 22, James Zabiela was introduced to the world of acid house through his father who worked in a local record shop and would come home laden with armfuls of early house and techno. The year?1992. A time of innovation, invention and an endless stream of Guerilla releases. James was hooked instantly. Like father like son? The phrase could've been coined for Zabiela's career. " I was only 12 years old but I can still hear the thumping through my bedroom floor!" smiles James, who for now has purposefully avoided the lure of London by remaining in Southampton. My Dad would come home with armfuls of acid house tracks at the weekends, he recalls. It wasn't until I was 15 years of age, when I was to work in the same record shop, that tracks such as Joey Beltram's 'Energy Flash' & 'LFO' made sense to me. As soon as they did I was hooked. It wasn't long until he was offered a job at the shop as a vinyl buyer.
An understanding of Renaissance and Northern Exposure would soon follow, as would spinning in local haunts. At the time it was just a fun thing to do, he nods. It still is and that's what's important but I do take what I do seriously as well. As far as being inspired by other artists, Sasha and Digweed were the first to open my eyes to a new sound. Lee Burridge & Craig Richards had a similar impact a couple of years ago. I like to be inspired by hearing new music and DJs.
Of course, it was full-on vinyl addiction from then on in. Through the shop, James was introduced to various promoters and went on to play for local clubs including Menage a Trois and the infamous High Tide boat parties. But James was interested in a more diverse sound than trance with a capital 'T' and found it hard to play his breakbeat-flavoured beats to local crowds, so as 'a way in' decided to enter Muzik Magazines prestigious Bedroom Bedlam competition - and won. Music has always been a passion ever since I can remember. I never decided. When I was in my last year at school I discovered mixing & DJing and it was just a hobbie then but also potentially something that I could apply my passion for music to & have some practical use career wise. I never dreamt it would go this far.