Written By |
Jack Vanstone

For the 9th instalment of the ABYSS Presents mix series and at almost 5 years into our project, we present an integral member of the ABYSS team, our label’s A&R Manager – Alexander James.

Picture a scene; it’s winter 2013 and 3 friends are sat back talking about music at a local Shisha bar. If I’m honest, the ambience in these places generally isn’t great, more ambiguous than anything; still it provided a blank canvas for open conversation and on many occasion we sat there until 3 or 4am just talking.

Our discussions covered many bases but went largely uninformed and unactionable as our collective experience was limited in scope and execution. What was clear though, was that our roles in our now establish project were set in stone from day one.

Clasically trained at a young age, Alexander has always had both a keen interest in music and a deeply engrained sense of artistic value. Even given the ad hoc nature of the early stages of the ABYSS project, it still felt natural to assign him the role of A&R Manager.

Since then his input in label projects has grown exponentially, contributing towards a diverse portfolio of artists and ABYSS creative content, including digital and vinyl releases, project planning and management, our mix catalogs and our extensive network.

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One of his defining moments in his role at ABYSS was when he went solo to Paris back in 2015, to meet with several of our artists including Keikari, Öspiel and Catartsis. Over the next 2 years Alexander visited France another two times before the full team ventured over in early 2017.

Outside of explicit musical knowledge, developing these kinds of connections is where his strengths lie and establishing real world connections with our network of artists and affiliates is a standing principle of ours because of the values Alexander embodies in his role as A&R Manager.

Communication is a big part of what we do and Alexander’s unique skill set has encompassed this since the start. What has always been different, is his ability to recall accurate and relevant information when it is required, bringing as much in general perception as he does in tangible and subjective details.

Over the last 5 years his input into both our digital and vinyl catalogs has helped to shape the labels sound and direction. Selecting music isn’t easy and there’s a lot of good music that goes unreleased; working with this unfortunate problem, Alexander uses the 9th hour of ABYSS Presents to showcase his years of experience in the industry with a powerful mix packed with a selection of tracks the are mostly unknown.

Listen to Alxndr James’ ABYSS Presents mix below.