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Go Back"I feel I have to maintain a contemporary approach" - Digweed discusses TRANSITION 2.

Posted: 8/2/07 18:18

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 Listening to Digweed's latest  mix, it's readily apparent he's keeping abreast of the latest developments on electronic dance music's frontier. As usual.

What's particularly satisfying about it is the truly "transitional" place he's found between the current minimal craze and his roots as a pioneer of the progressive house scene.

The Digweed of old sound on Transitions 2 is made up of new melodic techno, tranced up electro and shimmering, deep and proggy house by the likes of Kompakt favourite Guy Gerber, Abyss, a couple remixes from Germany's Treibstoff label, Robert Babicz, the atmospheric Boul de Nerf by David K, and four of Diggers' own custom edits. It stands out as one John´s best mix CDs.

John, of course, has a strong track record of forward-thinking ideas. He's one half of Bedrock, alongside production partner Nick Muir, who have scored many of the club hits.
So big, in fact, that John had to expand Bedrock's namesake into a club night and record label that's become home to many more big names in dance music.


While there are many pivotal, "transitional" moments in life, are there any that stick out as a defining ones in terms of your career?

My residencies stick out: Rage at Heaven in London, Renaissance in Mansfield and, of course, Twilo in New York. These have all had a major impact on my career. Returning to Heaven, I can't leave out my Bedrock parties –  we're doing another there on April 5 before Good Friday, which has become a bit of a tradition now. Last year's party was fantastic. I am really looking forward to it.

What does the latest Transitions mix represent for you?
Transitions basically allows me to deliver two CDs a year to the fans and clubbers whilst keeping things current. There are so many competing compilations out there right now that it makes distinguishing two-disc projects very difficult – you always end up struggling to find enough suitable records.

"It's very difficult for professional DJs to be as upfront as they once were in the digital age, But I do feel I have to maintain a contemporary approach and expose new material."

The dance scene so often puts an emphasis on the latest new thing, but do you think it ever does so at the expense of the old, or perhaps even the scene's sense of history?
I think it's good to reflect sometimes, but in this scene you need to keep moving things forward. It's very difficult for professional DJs to be as upfront as they once were in the digital age, which is no bad thing. But I do feel I have to maintain a contemporary approach and expose new material. Between my radio show and full touring schedule, I'm still probably being sent more tracks than most, so it would be a bit of waste to turn up and devote time, out of what is usually a three-hour set, toward old-school classics.

That said, what's the one track you're currently playing that's stuck around in your record bag the longest?
Leftfield's 'Song for Life.' It's timeless.

Tell us about your track "Warung Beach."
It's a fantastic club on the beach in Brazil. Everyone should go there and then write a record about it!

You've been hosting radio shows for a few years now. Do you ever compare notes on doing so with the likes of Pete Tong?
I do speak with Pete quite a lot, but not about radio shows. When it comes to radio shows, he sets the standard. I think my radio shows are a lot better now than when I started. As with anything, you get better with practice.

You're headed out on a North American tour called Diamonds in March with Canadian electro act MSTRKRFT. That sounds like it will be an interesting contrast of styles.
I think it's a fantastic idea to bring us both together for this tour. MSTRKRFT is really taking off at the moment. When both our management teams started talking about the idea, everything seemed to click and the subsequent reaction has been great. I haven't done a full, arena-based coach tour of America since Delta Heavy three years ago, so I'm really looking forward to getting back on the road. I normally see the interim parts of America from the air in between gigs, so it's a great opportunity to really explore the country.

According to Wikipedia, you're working on music for the film adaptation of Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy. Your first track with Nick Muir as Bedrock, For What You Dream Of, really broke through to mainstream audiences thanks to its inclusion in another Welsh adaptation, 1996's Trainspotting. Can you talk about how Trainspotting changed things for you?
Several people have asked me about this project. As far as I know, no one has approached either of us to do the music for Ecstasy. As for Trainspotting, well it was one of those very fortunate situations where the track had already been out for nearly five years.

Its inclusion on the soundtrack gave us another bite of the cherry and exposed the record to a whole new market and generation. These things don't happen very often, but when they do, so long as the associated project is right, they're most welcome.

You've worked in film before, creating scores to movies like Stark Raving Mad. What's your film experience been like overall?
You approach it in a different way. Making club music is all about trying to fill a dancefloor, but in movies you have to create a scene. It isn't just about 4/4 beats ranging from 125-130 bpm.

Stark Raving Mad was a clubbing film, which is why we were approached, I guess. But that's not to say it was any easier. Ironically, it made it even more difficult – we had to create scenes and good club music!


What have you got planned for 2007?
I will be hosting my regular Bedrock party at the Pawn Shop on March 20th as well as a big show with Sasha – check
johndigweed.com for more info on that one …

Anything specific planned for Ibiza this year?
So far, I will be playing the opening of Space and then back again later in the season for Carl Cox's night. I am sure there will be other dates dropping, though. Once again, keep an eye on my website for updated information.

Your brother is a champion clay shooter and you're a champion DJ. Have you ever tried teaching one another your respective expertise? Can your brother dance any better than you?
My brother can cut a rug on the dancefloor and I can smoke a few clays when needed, but I think it best we both stick to our chosen professions!




Words by Yuri