Thursday, 8 May 2008

Interview - John Digweed - L8R Magazine

“I’ve always had a great time in Bournemouth. It’s been a while since I was last here so I am really looking forward to coming back.”

In anticipation of his return to the clubbing capital of the South last month, John Digweed couldn’t have been happier.

Yet John’s DJ-ing roots all began in another coastal town, the very English town of Hastings, where at the age of fifteen he first started to get into mixing and the music scene.

“I was really into the electronic bands of the mid / late 80’s. Groups such as Heaven 17 were a huge influence. From there was just a small step to the early house records and emerging club scene that was developing.”

Now over a decade later, the globally renowned DJ has a lot to show for his impressive work ethic, including his radio show on Kiss FM, which attracts over two million listeners. John is refreshingly sincere and appreciative of all his proud achievements:

“I am fortunate enough to say there has been more than one. I’d have to highlight the release of The Mix Collection; my first single ‘For What You Dream Of’ and the beginning of my relationship with Nick Muir; the Bedrock label itself and, of course, my Transitions album series.”

John’s ‘Transitions’ series is an aspect of his career that has helped establish him not only as a DJ, but also as something of a music connoisseur.

“Transitions 4 is a response to the fact live club sets are ten-a-penny these days; be it Podcasts or illegally recorded downloads, clubbers have more access to traditional club sets than ever before. As a result, compilations have to raise their game and offer something completely different.”

With his latest album, Transitions Vol 4., released in April this year, John explains just how he decides which tracks will go towards making the prominent genre-skipping compilations:

“I’ve pretty much been in album mode for the best part of 2 years, always looking for suitable tracks. Some immediately leap out at you; others may not be immediate, but come to life and demand your attention when played out for the first time in a club environment.”

Demonstrative of his entrepreneur-like abilities, another big project of John’s is ‘Bedrock’. Kicking off in 1997, it is effectively a promotions and studio production company. It also functions as a record label, renowned for propelling the careers of the likes of Danny Howells and Chris Fortier. John reassures us there are a lot more new talents at Bedrock to look out for.

With so many projects on the go, it’s hard to believe the dance superpower has any time to him. Yet, in the same way most of us put off revision by watching the entire series of Lost and comfort eating, John really isn’t much different.

“Because of the touring I tend to catch-up with TV via box sets of my favourite programmes. I also like eating-out and mountain biking, so I tend to end up burning off a load of calories only to then go out and put them all back on!”

If you missed John Digweed at Crank last month, don’t kick yourself, as he will be returning. And if you’re still curious, check out his latest Transitions Vol. 4.

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