James Zabiela at Beta

One of the first things mentioned in James Zabiela's official bio is his love of all things sci-fi, and boy, does it ever show in his music. Robotic gurgles, deliciously damaged synthesizer tones and freak-out soundscapes decorate and drive his meticulously compiled progressive/tech mixes and his own productions. He's remixed Sasha, Royskopp and Depeche Mode, released the appropriately titled "Robophobia" and "Weird Science" singles, and generally made himself out to be a mad scientist of the dance floor. His future is simultaneously gritty and glamorous, sexy and a little scary, and perfect for dancing the night away in a sweaty, strobe-lit club. Fittingly, that version of the future has been embraced not only by the icons of future past — Sasha signed him to his label — but also by the influential DJ magazine, which voted him the U.K.'s best DJ in 2007. If Zabiela (due at Beta on Thursday, November 6) represents the shape of things to come, then dance-music aficionados have no reason to fight the future.


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