Justin Robertson Biography 2024

Showbiz is fickle game. Fashions change and genres evolve at a dizzying velocity. To stay at the cutting edge as a DJ, music producer, broadcaster, visual artist, & author requires an unshakeable passion and a restless urge to keep evolving. Justin Robertson has occupied that edge in one form or another for 35 years, remaining rapier sharp across all these diverse fields.

Emerging from behind the counter of the legendary Eastern Bloc records in Manchester Justin soon became a recognised figure in the nascent acid house scene of the city. Since his arrival as a wide-eyed philosophy student in 1986, Justin had supplemented his degree with a close study of the city’s famous night spots. Music, always a passion, became an obsession and soon he was DJ’ing at some of the city’s most celebrated spots as well as promoting two of Manchester’s legendary nights, Spice with Greg Fenton and Most Excellent, where the Chemical Brothers found their early inspiration. His refusal to be categorised musically led him to developing a reputation as an open-minded DJ and fledgling remixer. Regular guest spots around the world followed in short order and his production reputation was cemented with a string of remixes for the likes of Erasure, Happy Mondays, Bjork and Talk Talk that were staples in the sets of DJs worldwide.

As the electronic music scene grew and morphed into evermore interesting shapes, so Justin’s music evolved too. Drawing on his love of Dub, Psychedelia and 1960’s film soundtracks he fused these varied influences in his psych hop beat combo Lionrock. Top 40 hits, Top of the Pops, touring with the Cocteau Twins and regular festival appearances make them still one of the most revered British bands of that era.

Never one to stay standing still for too long, Justin called time on the band as the new millennium dawned. Since then he has worked under a number of production guises; Revtone, Gentleman Thief and most recently Deadstock 33s. All fresh, all pushing the sound on.

Nor has his remix work shown any sign of slowing up. The list is ridiculously long, but perhaps Justice, Noel Gallagher, Steve Mason, New Order, Paul Weller, Andrew Weatherall and PBR Streetgang stand out. He has collaborated with Daniel Avery, Brix Smith, Ashley Beedle and Ernest Ranglin to name but a tiny handful and releases new music an impressively steady rate. His next EP for Pamela records is set to be one of the releases of 2024.

Not confining himself to the club, festival or happening, Justin can also be found on the airwaves. He produces and presents two much loved and audience chart topping shows for Soho Radio, alternating monthly between “The Rotating Institute”, which focuses on electronic music for the dancefloor from the past, present & future and “The Temple of Wonders”, a wildly eclectic show of dub, psych, global funk and reggae.

All this would seem achievement enough for one lifetime, but Justin has had some success with other skills. Fan of all things sartorial, perhaps it’s no surprise that he is also a visual artist of some skill, having had sold out exhibitions across the country and into Europe. His work has hung in cities from Stockholm to London, even finding its way to the prestigious Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern and with the Saatchi Gallery. In 2023 Justin collaborated with Verdant brewery and the Tate to produce and name a limited-edition beer incorporating his art which was available during their Hilma Af Klint & Piet Mondrian exhibition. His latest collection of art, ‘Dream in a Dying Sun’ will be on the walls of the Digbeth Art Space in Birmingham in May 2024.

Let’s not forget the written word! Justin’s debut novel, a breathless offering of folk horror and sci-fi, ‘The Tangle’ was published in November 2021 by White Rabbit to great critical acclaim including a Times recommended book of the month. The Tangle has now been optioned as a television series. He continues to perform readings from the book at various literary events and has in recent months debuted a new collaborative work with counter cultural pranksters Stone Club that promises to combine music, readings, and psychedelic projections in an ever-evolving performance. Justin’s next book promises to be the time travelling tale of a cultural vampire, and something of a fictional autobiography called ‘The Trial of Jonah’ will be published by Velocity Press in 2025.

When not engaged in his own work Justin somehow finds time to lend his experience and expertise to other projects. These have included the scoring of short films, soundtracking fashion shows, a music consultant to successful hospitality venues and designing t-shirts which feature his artwork, all of which have quickly sold out. Justin Robertson is a restless polymath always searching for new adventures. Enjoy the trip.

Justin lives with 3 dogs and a vast collection of hats in Greater London.