INTRODUCING JUSTIN MILLER – Head of DEUS RECORDS
Justin Miller is an Orange County, California native who fresh-faced from high school began cutting his teeth behind the well-worn counter of his favourite LA record store.
Before long he could be found moonlighting as resident DJ at LA’s finest dive bars anointing nocturnal patrons with the ooze lifting from his ever growing collection of obscure post/punk 45’s & 12” singles. However, just as the congo line began to snake around the block he softly dropped the needle in the lock groove and made his way east to New York.
It was here the real education started. Like a cat jumping from a comfort chair Miller landed on his feet finding a new home in the office of iconic record label DFA—Home of genre bending giants LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture, The Juan MacLean and many more. As the sole employee for seven years Miller was the blue in the labels purple period of productivity and international acclaim.
These days however Miller writes his own pay cheque, dividing his time between the responsibilities of running his own personal imprint HAKT(Have A Killer Time), ongoing international DJ commitments and now as the architect of Deus Records; the latest facet shaping the Deus Ex Machina stone.
“ The state of the music landscape has changed dramatically during my involvement in the last 10 years. It seems the planetary cycles of vinyl, cassette, CD’s through to digital are all returning to their origin. Wax sales are up globally across the board, people want the digital convenience but the legitimacy of vinyl as the perfect tangible keepsake. Nothing sounds better than dropping a needle and hearing the warmth reverberate out of your speakers. Upon inception we decided the 7 inch record as a foundation was the preferred medium, it signifies punk and packages nicely as an art contribution to the music.
My personal imprint Have A Killer Time / HAKT is primarily house, disco and electronic, though my deep-seeded affections will always lie with rock, punk and everything the Deus lifestyle encapsulates.
Over a Commodore burger in Brooklyn and multiple Pina colada’s later, I was riffing with Omar from Deus over the importance of process-driven activities and how they seemed more relevant than ever. People are coming back to the craft, tinkering on a motorbike, hand shaping surfboards and pressing vinyl. Kids and adults alike want to understand the art of the activity, rather than just the ease of buying the product.
With my background at DFA Records I’ve always been fixated with the process, Omar shared this bright-eyed enthusiasm so we decided Deus Records was a legitimate extension of the craft focused nature of Deus. Motorbikes, surfboards, clothing, restaurants, What about the fucking soundtrack!? I said. I floated the idea to Dare when he was next in New York whom I knew shared an affinity for vinyl records and music. I was also aware in a previous life Dare was a founder of an iconic Sydney independent record shop and soon after label Phantom Records that made obscure releases available in late 70’s Australia. I’ve always saw my time at DFA as a sort of modern equivalent and as it turned out Dare and I were able to connect musically straight away. Next thing I knew I flew out to Bali to seal the deal and Deus Records was born.”