In a few weeks at Elrow, Australia will be graced once again with the appearance of one of the world’s most astute and creative DJs; as well as being a long-serving servant of the industry, John Digweed. This year, his and studio partner, Nick Muir’s label, Bedrock celebrated its twentieth year of releases, John was also voted at number 35 in this week’s DJ Magazine Top 100 Alternative DJs (non-EDM), powered by Beatport’s findings over the past few years. He is one of dance music’s more celebrated and influential DJs and this week he found the time for a quick Q and A with Ozclubbers’ reporters Nathan Jones and Jamie Drew.
John, thanks for answering our questions and speaking with Nathan and Jamie from ozclubbers.com.au
N: Of course, Bedrock – yours and your studio comrade Nick Muir’s label – reached its own milestone this year and a big birthday, turning 20 years of releases. For anyone considering starting their own record label in 2018 or onwards – is there any advice you could give, or pointers for releasing your own tracks today?
JD: It’s not an easy world in the music industry - so always prepare yourself for setbacks and disappointments and take every element of success as a stepping stone to build your label’s profile, always try and release music you love and are passionate about as you will find you will work harder to make them succeed.
J: Pete Tong is celebrating 25 years of Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1 having begun in 1993 of which you have featured on it many times. With your radio show "Transitions" reaching 13 years next year do you hope you will reach the 25-year milestone as well?
JD: I try and take each year as it comes as I am incredibly happy with the success of the show, but I am not looking at certain years to celebrate to be honest.
J: Speaking of 25-year celebrations, the relationship between you and Sasha is enduring and actually began in 1993. It is one of the longest DJing relationships in the scene with a loyal fan base that is spread over generations. The fresh progressive sounds you both present to the punters keeps pushing the boundaries and is testament to your dedication and longevity in the scene. Is there any chance of another "Northern Exposure" release or any studio collaboration for that matter between you both?
JD: Never say never, but we are both so busy with our solo projects - I can’t see anything happening anytime soon.
N: Thinking about the future of electronic music, nightclubs and festivals, do you think that in years to come, we can look forward to plenty of events and a healthy following of dance music and clubbing? If so, where in the world are the important places to influence electronic music?
JD: The beauty of electronic music is that it constantly changes and evolves with new sounds, DJs and artists coming through all the time, along with new promoters providing their vision on how they would like to create a party. I think with the Internet there is no main important place of influence, it’s down to the organisers and the crowd to be in sync and create those memorable nights that you never forget.
J: Going back to the era when you played tunes on vinyl at clubs, I am sure you do not miss carting crates of records around - but do you miss the hands on feel and sound that vinyl produced when playing at big club nights? I know that Technics turntables were the industry standard at the time and am wondering (to decide a personal DJ disagreement!) if you spent much time playing on Vestax turntables and which turntable you preferred. Vestax or Technics?
JD: Always Technics
N: With another holiday season forthcoming, you’ll be playing New Year’s Eve at Output in Brooklyn (where one of your Live In… series was recorded), is there a plan for another multi-CD recording from there (or anywhere else)?
JD: There are no plans in the pipeline for the next “Live in” Album as I never ever plan them it’s always been chosen after I have played.
John, thanks again for answering our questions - we hope you enjoy your time in Australia and wish you a happy new year.
Elrow is touring Australia at the end of December. Read more about it here:
Tickets are still available for each city.