Full Circle: How The Legal Life Suits Trance Legend Judge Jules

One of the king’s of Ibiza’s early trance scene, Judge Jules still flits between home and ‘the island’ dropping records and exploring newcomers to a scene he helped create. These days, though, DJing’s for the weekend: he’s a specialist lawyer, too.

Judge Jules was always a tongue in cheek name; a nod to the trance-scene mainstay’s decision to set aside his law degree and head for the hedonism of the 90’s most notorious dance scene. These days, though, his life’s gone full circle.

Listening to Jules describe his manic schedule is enough to make your average person wilt: long weeks as “probably the only person in my field with real-life experience at the top end of the music industry;” weekends on the decks.

Jules spent fifteen years as one of the main DJs at Radio One, and his passion for what he does still shines, not least through his syndicated radio show Global Warm Up, now more than 700 episodes old.

“It’s a background thing, but it’s syndicated to lots of radio stations, so I think of it a bit like the radio,” he says, recalling his time on BBC Radio One. “I’ve nothing negative to say about Radio One, it was an amazing experience and everything runs its course. This is a great way to showcase stuff I like.”

“DJing for radio and DJing live are similar in name only really. Of course, you’re playing records, but there’s no immediacy from radio. You might be aware that you’re playing to lots of people, but there’s not that live immediacy to react to. That always influences you.”

Live, Jules does different types of sets these days: those in the style of his 90s heyday, a loving throwback to the highs of 25 years ago, which he calls an “exhibitions,” and those with more of a modern tinge. With the latter, he’s come to view the world in a distinctly modern light. The exhibitions “focus on 30 years of music, and they’re always mad. It’s important to push onto new stuff, though, not just to stand still.”