“There must’ve been something in the water down there,” Jamie Thinnes says of growing up in Dallas, Texas. Not the most obvious breeding ground for DJs who would later lay the foundation of the West Coast underground. His contemporaries such as JT Donaldson, Lance DeSardi, Brett Johnson, Demarkus Lewis and countless others also hail from the state not to be messed with.
In 1990, Jamie Thinnes relocated from Texas to California and spent the next decade sowing the seeds of love and music in Orange County. The foundation had already been laid. The soundtrack of his childhood was written by seminal electronic bands like New Order and Depeche Mode. His first DJ gig was in 1992 and since then, Jamie has traveled the world over. In 1996, Earthtones Recordings was born and morphed into Seasons Recordings in 2000. A year or two later, sister label Seasons Limited dispensed its first record. 200 releases later and these imprints and the man who founded them are still going strong.
Anyone worth his salt in the SoCal scene will say that Thinnes is a key piece of the puzzle. It is where he truly found house music during the early years of the legendary Doc Martin and the Flammable parties. “The instrumental side of house was stripped down in dark and minimal LA clubs,” Jamie says. “I think the pureness of those parties really inspired me and influenced my style and love for the more minimal, deep side of house.” While soulful house and vocals also impacted his sound and are featured heavily in the Seasons’ catalog, Jamie’s DJ sets trend deeper. Like middle of the Pacific Ocean deep. “I like it raw, but well-produced,” he continues. “Dirty and underground. Thick basslines. Minimal.” Enough said.
His set at Futurehouse on June 10th will no doubt be special. “Like-minded people like Leonard are 100% why I enjoy playing in Los Angeles,” says Thinnes about Donjuan, co-founder of Futurehouse. “He is and always has done it for the love of the music and the art. We don’t need to talk or stay in touch every day. We walk into the party and just play music. It’s a language you just know.” While others think they know, only a select few understand this dialect. These guys can teach a master class.
In recent years, Jamie has been back and forth touring in South Africa. He has also been refocusing the label 100% on vinyl releases with a few new records dropping in the coming weeks and months. Next up is “Yesterday (I’ll Never Change)” by Steal Vybe featuring Alexis Simmons and “Under the Water” by Jose Carretas featuring Consuela Ivy, both on Seasons Limited. While he has personally stepped back from production of late to focus on his Seasons Sportfishing business, which he started 10 years ago to pay the bills, it hasn’t slowed his labels’ output. Thinnes also recently relaunched the Seasons clothing brand.
It’s not often in life that a person has no regrets or would repeat things in exactly the same way. Jamie would. “In a heartbeat,” he says. “I can’t wait for the next 20 years.” Neither can we.
HOUSE MUSIC ALL NIGHT LONG