Q: You are well known for being diverse in your production style, blurring boundaries between breaks, house & techno, and Your latest LP “Revamped” has a strong breakbeat vibe to it but on a few of the tracks you have mashed the breaks up with dubstep which worked really well, can we hope to hear more of this in the future?
A: Yes I expect so, I've always had really broad tastes and I’ve made a conscious decision to create a lot of breaks tracks from both my own sets and the Revamped album, which has lead to me really extending my musical palette. People are *far* too judgmental about music and what is and isn't 'allowed', and I have no time for that whatsoever, I'd much rather dwell on the positive, and that's what the album was all about ... just doing music I liked regardless of what the self-appointed tastemakers say. It seemed to work pretty well and I was especially pleased that the dubsteppy stuff went over as well as it did.
Q: What styles are you playing most in the clubs at the moment? Or does it change from club to club / country to country?
A: Absolutely it does yes, although for me personally probably not as much as it used to. Most of the tracks I play in my sets are re-edits, remixes and mash-ups, and increasingly those are what people are coming to see me play, so I'm leaning more towards setting the agenda musically rather than pandering too much to stereotypes (within reason of course!).
Q: Does the fact you are known for different styles of music complicate things when it comes to choosing what to play at your gigs?
It does a little, yeah, but I kind of like that. I spend a good deal of time before every set analysing my tunes, looking for new runs of tunes especially for that night, working new bits into the sets and looking at the context of the night I'm playing at.
Q: In the breaks, dubstep and d&b scenes there seems to be a lot of short dj sets being played where as house and techno djs normally play longer, why do you think this is and which do you prefer?
I don't really get the short set things - for me it has a detrimental effect on the dynamics of a night (everyone tunes up and smashes it with the BIGGEST, LOUDEST tracks they have) and that effect ripples out into the production process, especially in those genres mentioned, where every track has to be bigger & badder than everything that's gone before. It also moves producers away from developing any real depth or craft to their sound, so I would personally take a 3-hour set over an hour set any day of the week, as long as I'm not playing at a MEGARAVE where people's attention spans are somewhat limited!
Q: As a dj do you play records, cds or are you computer based?
These days it's CDs and has been for at least 4-5 years now. With the flexibility that editing software gives us now, I kind of see most tracks I buy or get sent as raw material to be manipulated into something that's custom-made for my sets ... I am looking at possibly doing something with a laptop at the heart on some of my forthcoming DJ sets, although the main reason for that would be the syncing with Visuals rather than anything else.
Q: If you were going to have a night off and go out to a club which artist / dj would you like to hear?
Honestly? I wouldn't go near a club on a night off, but when I do get a chance to check out other DJs at festivals and WMC, I tend to go for people like James Zabiela, Ben Sims, Marco Bailey, Laurent Garnier ... technically brilliant and just passionate about the music they play. I really enjoyed seeing Sven Vath a few times on tour in
a while ago - inspired track selections and just compulsive to watch. Australia
Q: What projects / releases are you working on at the moment?
I've just finished a remix for Vandal which will be coming out on his 'Benefit' Recordings in June and a couple of Zodiac Cartel remixes for A.G.Trio and I have a double remix pack coming out of my 'Law of Life' track which will be dropping in two parts, featuring remixes from Miki Litvak & Ido Ophir, Access Denied, The Loops of Fury, Zodiac Cartel, Nom de Strip and Mike Hulme. The singles will be out on U&A in June and will also feature the bonus track 'Feel The Pain'.
Next thing for me is preparing a whole new round of re-edits and mashups for the summer festivals (I'm playing around 10 of them I think). I'm also very close to committing to a *massive* video game scoring project, which if it comes off would lock me down for a few months.
Q: Do you get time to listen to other music and if so what music do you take inspiration from? What else in life gives you inspiration to make music?
Aside from big guns like Underworld and The Chemical Brothers who still set the bar for me both in terms of live sets and quality albums, if I do listen to music outside of electronic stuff, then it's usually quite a long way removed ... recently been loving the Dead Weather stuff, but I'm as likely to listen to minimal classical as I am to System of a Down.
Q: How does your production process work?
Start with beats, move onto bass garnish with toplines / vocals, arrange, mix, Bosh, Done.... Except the reality is usually a shedload of technical issues, program crashes, software glitches, interruptions on phone / email / label business, lack of clear focus on the endgame. What I have learnt to do over the years is to work through the shit and once I'm in the middle of doing a track, I really have to finish it before I can focus on other stuff.
Q: Do you use any hardware in your production or is it all made on computer?
A mix of the two. In-the-box alone just doesn't do it for me, especially given the fact that most soft-synths just don't give you the hand-on 'vibe' that you get from hardware (and that includes real mixers with real faders as well as synths).
Q: What makes a good party for you?
An open-minded and up-for-it crowd, which usually stems from having great residents who understand how to build a night (rather than kicking your face off from the minute the doors open). Great sound & lights aren't a bad idea too, but really it comes down to the people.