Joshua Iz


Joshua Iz is a dj, producer, designer and writer based in Chicago. Although known and respected

worldwide in the house music community, Joshua listens to, produces and djs a wide range of

music: from house, disco, hip-hop, jazz, funk, and rock, to brazilian, dub, techno and everything in

between. He has been djing for 24 years and has over 200 production credits to his name for

well respected labels including Prescription, Balance, Classic, Junior Boys Own, OM and

Guidance, Sony, and Six Degrees. Joshua's music has been played and charted by Giles Peterson, Mark Farina,

François K, Derrick Carter, King Britt and Jason Bentley to name a few. Recording under many pseudonyms

including: Joshua, Circulation, J-Boom, C++, Free Energy, Stereo People, Dubwise and as Iz of Iz & Diz, his music

and djing have brought him around the world, with residencies at Fabric (London), Bionic (San Francisco) and

regular gigs all over the US, Canada, Europe and the far east. Joshua runs his own label Vizual Records which

launched in 2009 and his debut album 'It Iz What It Iz' was released in early 2011 to widespread critical acclaim.

With well over 200 releases bearing his name, Joshua’s production and remix work is respected and in demand

worldwide. Operating under many guises, including Stereo People, Free Energy, C++, Dubwise, and J-Boom,

Joshua has drawn on his many musical influences to create a sound all his own, yet never formulaic. Recently he

has recorded projects and remixes for labels such as Columbia/Sony, Junior Boys Own, Ubiquity, OM, Classic,

Developed, Nightshift, Seasons and NRK as well as original material for his own Vizual Records imprint. Check out

Joshua’s extensive discography here:

As Iz & Diz, Joshua and Diz have developed their own signature sound and playing style. Their studio sessions can

only be described as magic, culminating in the release of seminal cuts like “Mouth” (Classic) and

“Magnificent” (OM), as well as the recently released “Juventated” on Vizual Records. While djing, the duo

complement each other perfectly, with each adding their own flavor to the mix.

Joshua’s dj philosophy is simple: play amazing music and make people dance. And he does this in a unique way -

mixing house, techno, dub and disco to create a perfect blend of the organic and electronic that always rocks the



Music came naturally to Joshua and he began taking piano lessons at age five. At age ten, his family moved to San Jose,

California and Joshua started buying records and getting into punk. Once in high school, he formed a ska/reggae/funk/

punk band influenced by the ska revival bands like The Specials and The Selecter, as well as California natives Fishbone

and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Featuring a full horn section, including a pre-dj Doc Martin on trumpet, the band toured

the state, playing a San Diego show with No Doubt in 1986. While still in high school Joshua’s dj career was born as he

secured a weekly radio show on KSCU, the Santa Clara University college radio station.

After high school, the band went its separate ways, with Joshua off to study architecture at UC Berkeley. Joshua started

djing parties around Berkeley, finally landing a weekly playing hip-hop at the infamous Nickies. He and New York native

schoolmate Dedan started a weekly called the Beehive in Oakland in 1989 at a pimped-out velvet wallpaper lounge,

owned by a former Oakland Raider. The format was across the spectrum, featuring hip-hop, dancehall reggae, soul,

house and everything in between. At the time he was listening to Tony Humphries’ radio show tapes sent out religiously by

Dedan’s sister in New York, as well as checking out the now bustling bay area music scene.

Visiting Chicago to see relatives and buy records, Joshua was shopping at Imports, Etc and was told to go to a store

called Gramophone and ask for Derrick Carter. The two hit it off and Joshua would return twice a year to stay at the now

famous Red Nail encampment on Green Street, just across the way from the Warehouse and DJ International Records.

Upon graduating, Joshua procured some midi gear and started making his own tracks. After sending out demos to Derrick

and Chez Damier in Chicago, he was invited to come to Chicago and make music. This also the time when he met and

started working with Diz (the other half of Iz & Diz), recording their first track at the legendary KMS studios in Detroit.

Giving up a full time job opportunity at Wired Magazine and forgoing further higher education, Joshua decided to go to

house music graduate school, moving in with the Red Nail posse (Derrick, Mark Farina, G-Most and Chris Nazuka), with

the illusionary Chez being another semi-permanent resident. He began making music for Blue Cucaracha, Prescription

and its offshoot Balance, as well as spinning regularly at seminal Chicago venues Red Dog and Shelter. He also worked

as design director at Cajual Records with Cajmere, Rob and Ivan (who went on to start Guidance Recordings), designing

most of the labels and cover art during the glory days of 1995-96.

After the breakup of Prescription and Balance in 1996, Joshua decided to return to the Bay Area where he took what he

learned in Chicago and continued to develop his signature sound. Back in San Francisco, Joshua started working and

recording for Tweekin’ Records and was a co-founder of the now infamous Bionic sunday nights at The Top in San

Francisco with fellow dj Solar, Mark E Quark and Nikola Baytala. After six great years in the Lower Haight, two and a half

years at Pink, and now at the 222 Club, Bionic is the longest running house weekly in the city, featuring unannounced

guest spots by the likes of Kenny Hawkes, Jef K, Honey Dijon, John Tejada, Diz (among many others), as well as up and

coming local talent.

In 2003, he started AMP Collective LLC: a digital distribution company that has worked with a slew of labels including

Classic, Silver Network, Dialect Recordings, Flat & Round and Tweekin’ to all the major and minor download outlets

including iTunes, Beatport, Juno, Stompy and What People Play. With the house music community as the foundation,

AMP Collective strives to bring quality music to the digital generation and beyond.

In addition to Joshua’s djing, production and remix work, he also had a position teaching a DJ class with TheDJProject, a

non-profit community outreach program based in San Francisco. Teaching two full sessions, Joshua developed his own

step-by-step course to teach motivated Bay Area youth the necessary skills to start expressing themselves through the

art of djing.

In 2009, Joshua returned to Chicago permanently to work on music with Diz and to start his label Vizual Records.

Currently on it’s 14th release, Vizual Records has garnered wide support from DJs and music lovers alike including Mark

Farina, Jimpster, DJ T, DJ Sneak, Laurent Garnier and many more. Joshua’s debut full length album ‘It Iz What It Iz’ featured

collaborations with Chez Damier, Diz and Jamalski. For more info on Vizual Records:

Other career highlights:
Original Mushroom Jazz dj with Mark Farina
Residency at Fabric (with Diz)

First release on many labels, including Guidance, Tweekin’

URB mag 100 to watch


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