Ground Level 007: Infinite Jess

As You Like It · AYLI Ground Level 007: Infinite Jess

Jessica Borja AKA Infinite Jess brings a subtleness not often found in dance music. Whether you’re having a one on one conversation about the intricacies of her favorite label, discussing the history of Bay Area dance music and it’s relationship to the local political and cultural climate, one should never be too surprised at the knowledge or detail that she’ll drop. 

Over the last several years, Jess’ involvement and community building has only matured. She partnered with Noctuary SF to produce and curate female and non-binary forward panels at Vinyl Dreams. Just pre-Covid, Jess co-founded Soft Rendezvous at Underground SF that continued through Twitch, championing the diverse Bay Area community. She’s continued her involvement with Vinyl Dreams and her monthly “Saturday Morning Comedown” radio show on Sutrofm through Covid, keeping Bay Area underground dance music culture connected, as we all seek out the music that draws us together. 

Jess defines the “Ground Level” ethos. She’s making things happen both behind the scenes and in front of the decks. Pay attention, though. Jess gets deep and we’re all in for a treat. Take a moment and read her interview and listen to her podcast.

AYLI: Tell us about who you are as a DJ. 

IJ: As far as what kind of DJ I am— ahh, I guess I’m the DJ that works a local record store. While I enjoy a good hole-in-the-wall spot as much as the next raver, the best times I have are talking shop and nerding out with other DJs and enthusiasts on technique, style, and music history.

AYLI: What kind of music do you play and what was your inspiration behind the mix?

IJ: I try not to be to genre-specific. My sound is largely mood based and cinematic– with lots of contemplative chord progressions, romantic or cheeky vocals, and bass-submerged interludes to punctuate whatever narrative I want to push in my mix. In this one, I’ve been feeling a lot of guarded relief in the week after the election. I’m not celebrating but I’m ready to exhale, dance it out a bit, and look back at our volatile Summer.

AYLI: What local projects (events, crews, labels, and beyond) are you involved with?

IJ: Hahaha well, ah— let’s see. I work at and am a resident at dance music record store Vinyl Dreams, I am also part of a UGSF party and streaming crew Soft Rendezvous, and at community radio station SutroFM: I am the host of my show The Saturday Morning Comedown and also core team member helping in operations.

AYLI: What makes your local community special?

IJ: We have a rich history of partying in the Bay, as well as being a warm pool for record stores to thrive in— San Francisco for all its faults still has an underground, and while it grows and shrinks with each wave of capital boom, it’s still here. That’s a testament of love by its members. One thing I see at the shop is just how comparatively easy to other underground towns to come here and start something— most would think that’s a detriment, but if you come correct, you can find yourself a mentor and a crew to foster you. Well, that’s how it was, anyway. We’re entering a new phase of the underground with COVID— but in it I see how this community has really pulled together for each other via mutual aid efforts. I remain hopeful in our underground’s newest iteration.

AYLI: With the Covid-19 virus impacting society, an activated social justice movement, and the economy in tatters, there’s so much uncertainty in the air. What do you hope to see happen going forward?

IJ: Damn, now that’s a question. Well, there’s no diplomatic way about it— you’re either for The Reset™️ or against it. With the The Reset: there’s a call for accountability, a move away from capital interests, and a decentralization of power from the larger venues. While it’s hard to remain independent and paying high rent in this town, we’ve allowed the fear of losing spaces to shape our underground culture in its current iteration. What I hope to see going forward is stronger ties to grassroots organizations and mutual aid with our parties and crews— I believe that activism and raving go hand-in-hand and should be prioritized. Gone are the days of catering to the techno tourist. I want to see a fostering of local talent and serious investment instead of feeding into the US to EU pipeline. I want to see more Black, Brown, and Indigenous talent rise from our scene — I want more welcome queer participation in all spaces rather than the shallow poster speaking to the idea of a “safe” space instead of actively creating one. I think this is the time to reckon with our motives as an underground scene, and I believe that we will become better for it. If we do it, then I’m excited for the future.

AYLI: Would you mind sharing the tracklist for your mix?

  1. P. Lion – Happy Children (L.S.B. Edit) [LSB Edits Inc]
  2. Brother In Arms – Hot 4 U [Whiskey Disco]
  3. Llewellyn – Synergy Bar [Running Back]
  4. Mother Tongue – Message Of Love [Furious Fish Records]
  5. Spaceghost – Time To Dance (Together Mix) [Tartelet Records]
  6. Curses! – The Deep End (Holy Ghost! Day School Dub) [Institubes]
  7. Fran-Key – Summer Into Winter [Public Release]
  8. DJ Autopay – Keep Talking Shit [Sublminate Records]
  9. Methusalem – Robotism [Obscure & Obsolete]
  10. Don Ray – Standing In The Rain (L.S.B. Edit)  [LSB Edits Inc]
  11. Ghost Town DJs – My Boo (LLE Remix) [Loves Last Episode]
  12. Russell E. L. Butler – Blah Blah [Mister Saturday Night Records]
  13. Gideon Jackson – Taj-Mahal [Love International]
  14. Gino Soccio – Remember (L.S.B. Edit) [LSB Edits Inc]
  15. Roy of the Ravers – Go Skiing [Acid Waxa]
  16. Sleep D – Freak Of… [Butter Sessions]

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