Q. 20 years ago you were working as a journalist for Mixmag, at a time when the only way to receive that kind of information really was through radio, V and print. Since then the internet has come along; just from information stance how has how much we know about music changed?
A. I don’t think we’ve truly grasped yet just how much the internet has changed everything. Not just music. And I think we’re still only at the early stages of the digital revolution. Back when I was in charge of Mixmag, we didn’t even put the magazine together on a computer. I used to cut and paste with a scalpel and glue to make up the template from which the printer then made the magazine. Imagine that! Nowadays, there’s no air of mystique to music anymore. Everybody has access to the same information literally at their fingertips. It’s made for an instant gratification culture. And I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing.
Q. And whilst we’re on the matter, the music itself? There’s definitely more of it available, and the barriers of entry are lower. But is this a good thing?
A. No. The combination of diminishing expectations and lack of any quality control has turned into real burden for the scene. Everything is so disposable now. We drowning in a sea of so much stuff lacking in either imagination or technical ability or even worse, both! There is still good music out there of course but you have to be an excavation expert with immeasurable patience to find it!
Q. Where do you see the format of mix compilation going? As someone who has been at the forefront of the glory years of its previous days, both with Renaissance and Global underground, where does the modern compilation sit now?
A. For me it doesn’t change, a compilation should still be much more than just a bunch of tracks segued together. It should be an audio collage. A piece of art that will last for years. I spend weeks crafting my albums and although nothing like the glory years of the nineties, still do good numbers. How long the physical format of the CD will last remains to be seen but I’d still approach it the same way if it were to go digital only.
Q. Tell us about your new Masters compilation. How pleased are you to be working with renaissance again and can you describe what you’ve tried to achieve with the release?
A. It’s so good to have them back. For a while there was a big Renaissance sized hole in clubland. And it’s fitting that they’re back up and running in time to celebrate their 20th anniversary next year. As for the album, like I just said, there was a lot of care and attention to detail went into making it. It had to be something that which captured where I’m at in 2011 but will stand the test of time and which is befitting of the Renaissance brand. I hope all that has been realised.
Q. And you’re playing a launch party in Shoreditch for the album at the Village Underground. What can we expect from the gig and your set?
A. I shall be attempting to seamlessly segue from one track to the next without the aid of a safety net whilst simultaneously creating a atmosphere of enlightened rapture on the dance floor 😉
Q. Henry Saiz is playing alongside you. Are you a fan of his music?
A. A big fan yes. I thought his Balance compilation was fantastic and we played together with great success earlier this year in Buenos Aires. He’s one of the most exciting new DJ/Producers out there.
Q. Speaking of fans, we’ve also heard you’re a follower of Leeds United, a shared curse! How has their topsy-turvy trajectory dovetailed with your DJing career?
A. I’d never really thought about it but I suppose you could draw some parallels between what was going on in clubland at the turn of the millennium and Leeds United’s own trajectory. A period of success that turned into excess that culminated in a spectacular fall from grace. Just like Leeds though, we’re rebuilding for the future and things are looking up!
Q. And finally, dream situation time. You can go back to any period in clubland history, and play at any club. Who would you have playing alongside you and what record would you drop that would define the evening? Or have you been lucky enough to have had this moment properly?
A. It would have to be at the Hacienda in 1988 but with Fabric’s current sound system playing alongside Graeme Park & Sasha and I’d drop ‘I Feel Love’ by Donna Summer for the very first time ever in a club having had a Back To The Future moment and gone back and stolen it from 1977!! Orgasmic