Although Cactus Jackson was born in Australia, he has spent almost half his life living abroad; a stint in the UK, with most his time spent in Asia. However it was in Australia where Cactus first followed his musical call.
An avid 12” vinyl collector in the 80’s, Cactus was lured into a radio-show arrangement with his partner in vinyl-crime, JYZ. JYZ’s calling was most definitely around the technical aspects of the music business and was involved in the designing of a community radio station in Fremantle, Western Australia - 100.1FM. The boys were all of 14 years old when launching their first live show over the airwaves. It was this same radio station that was to be a platform for Cactus’ endeavors many years later.
But the show was more JYZ’s passion and time eventually saw Cactus moving on to follow his passion of surfing, which eventually became his key focus taking him on some travels to some of the best surf destinations around - even to the point of moving to live near the bigger breaks when out of college. Cactus’ surfing peaked with a tour of several months throughout the islands of Indonesia early 1991. The return of which saw the reinvention of Cactus’ musical career, timed with a very real evolution within the music industry itself.
Returning back to his home city, Cactus was exposed to a new style of underground music, mostly out of the United Kingdom. It was everything he had been searching for over the years of collecting vinyl and so much more. It was as though all aspects of what was good in dance and what was at the time referred to as Rap music into one. Rhythmic beats, spine-tingling melodies coated with dreamy vocals; it all flowed together seamlessly. And all those that were involved over the 2 or 3 years that followed integrated into the scene seamlessly. It was a period of time that only those who were involved can truly represent. And that representation can only truly be shared among themselves - to this day.
Moving back into his family home, Cactus quickly set himself up with a modest DJ mixing arrangement in a one of the spare rooms. This became the engine room of many Cactus Jackson mixes - preparation for gigs and weekly spots on his soon to be revived radio show. As a good friend of Cactus put it, “a classroom, a training ground, a sacred place that created inspiration and good vibes by way of a committed raver and lover of life and tunes, 2 technics, some fuck off speakers and a healthy appetite for a brand new type of music that was way ahead of it's time.... A small but mighty room in a family home in a friendly neighborhood in a time in our lives where we considered it the centre of the universe; where a magical transformation occurred to our way of life forever..and now, as I understand it...a vehicle that carries that whole vibe forward once more and helps keep it very much alive... God Bless u Cactus.”. And so the VibeRoom was born.
Not one to go out of his way to promote himself, Cactus picked up a few slots at some dance parties here and there though it was his reacquaintance with the same radio station he played so many years before that proved to be his core platform for sharing tunes. The show, named Looney Tunes, consisted of minimal advertising and interruption, and maximum track-time. It was actually one of the first radio shows to mix sets live on air at that time. In time, Looney Tunes whipped up a faithful following and was moved from late night to prime time hours. Several evolutions later and after teaming up with a younger underground DJ named Soren, Looney tunes was past onto another DJ duo under another name. After 2 and a half years, Looney Tunes was off air.
And it was the end of Looney Tunes that signaled the end of an era, as it was only a matter of months before Cactus left the shores of Australia. A decision that to this day led to him living abroad ever since.
After a couple of years in the UK, Cactus stored the vinyl and set off in search of a career in a different field. And although finding a career very separate to that of a DJ’ing lifestyle, it was only a matter of 4 or 5 years before the music bug was upon him again. Cactus started to build a home studio and tackle music from a completely different angle; as producer and engineer. With digital becoming such an integral part of the production field, Cactus took courses to quickly get up to speed with the industry. Piece by piece, he built his home studio and with it new sounds recognizing current trends, though maintaining key analogue influences from the early 90’s. After a couple of low-key album releases, Cactus has been battling the demands of full time work and family to lay down some tracks for a 3rd album - the first track of which is due for release in January 2012.
The VibeRoom is now fully revived. “A vehicle that carries that whole vibe forward once more and helps keep it very much alive.. God Bless u Cactus"