[TMN EXCLUSIVE] Interview with John Digweed

John-Digweed
Bedrock Records
Vinyl 4 Soundcloud all tracks mixed

There are a few household names in the EDM world that have been around for over a decade. There are even fewer that are still relevant in the current scene. Even further down the way is the amount of DJs that are experiencing the same popularity as they had years prior. John Digweed is one of those names.

Believe it or not, there are still people who don’t know that Digweed was producing tracks in the early 90′s. He was releasing tracks before some of his fans at his shows today were even a glimmer in their Daddy’s eye. Way before cracked versions of Ableton floated around the internet, giving every kid an opportunity to make his own beats. With such a long and impressive career, it’s easy to understand why we were so excited to have this opportunity to chat with him. Of course we wanted to know what it’s been like to transcend trends in EDM, to travel the world playing every significant venue, and to get his thoughts on the scene for today. And, of course we’re excited to share what John Digweed had to say with you.

TMN: Thank you for taking some time to sit down with us. With such a long and illustrious career, we’re obviously really excited to ask you a few questions. Let’s start off by talking about way back when. You first came onto the scene in 1993 with a residence at Renaissance. Talk to us about what the scene was like back then.

JD: The UK had gone through the whole big acid house rave culture and people where looking for something that was more focused on the quality of music putting the experience back into clubs with cool decor and it was mind-blowing attracting like minded people who wanted to hear cool futuristic music without all the rave gimmicks. The scene constantly changes over the years from every new generation and new styles of music that come and go. This is whats so good about the electronic scene just when you think you have seen it all something new happens the changes everything.

TMN: You have some releases that are older than some fans at your shows these days. Do you ever find yourself having to school youngsters on the origins of EDM?

JD: To be honest, the new generation have so much new music to absorb and I prefer to be playing new music rather than looking back to what I produced years ago that I don`t see it as a problem. if they want to research older tracks that’s fine with me, but not important that they know the history of electronic music.

TMN: Do you find that younger EDM fans have a grasp on how the industry came to fruition and the origins of its rich history?

JD: Again it`s great if they take time to look into some of the origins of how we got to this point, but what’s really important is that they enjoy the music and try to keep discovering different genres of music to broadening their tastes.

TMN: Let’s fast forward a few years to the start of Bedrock. At what point did you decide to create your own label?

JD: When I realized that is was better to be in control of how and when my tracks where released as well as being able to sign new and exciting artists from around the world. It`s a lot of work but also very rewarding.

TMN: Your label has included releases from household names in electronic music including Guy Gerber and Morgan Page. What has your strategy been in discovering new talent for Bedrock throughout the years? What kinds of tools on the internet do you leverage to find new talent?

JD: Sometimes it`s just as simple as someone handing me a cd in a club others come from colleagues who pass on tracks that they think might work for the label and a few come from producers who send me links over the internet. I think the label has a good history and has been pretty constant over the years with good and varied release schedule.

TMN: Alright, let’s talk about your most recent release which came out earlier this month, “Live in Slovenia.” What was the significance behind this show? Was there a particular reason you chose to record live at this event?

JD: The idea behind these “live in” album is that I never know where they are going to come from, I record every gig I do and there is always one gig that just seems to pop that little bit more than some of the others so if the tracklistings look like they wont be too much trouble to clear we crack on reaching out to the labels. We live in a era where people expect free live mixes on soundcloud etc but the artists never see any money from those mixes so at least by releasing legit mixes there is some revenue going to the labels, Also I think that people still like to have a physical CD expecially if they went to the party of are fans building their collection. The party in Slovenia was really good and I think you can feel the energy of the room in this mix and that’s why I decided to release it.

TMN: Speaking of large shows, you’ve played at the largest venues in the world. Do you have any that stand out in your mind?

JD: I have played some amazing parties over theyears but the biggest one that stands out is The Big Beach boutique 2 in Brighton with Fatboyslim when over 250,000 people showed up to a free party on the beach it was incredible.

TMN: Do you notice a difference in the crowds from country to country? Do you feel that certain countries have a higher EDM IQ, so to speak?

JD: I think i have always attracted a pretty clued up crowd in terms of their knowledge of music, I mean I don`t really play any biganthems during my sets so you have t be pretty interested in underground music to come to hear me play, in terms of reactions the argentinian are pretty hard to beat in terms of going crazy to my music.

TMN: What are your thoughts about the recent resurgence in popularity of Deep House and Tech House?

JD: It never went away in my eyes it`s just part of the ever changing trends in dance music where a few cool tracks suddenly start putting more of a focus on a particular sound so it`s great that it`s getting some good attention.

TMN: Alright, let’s change the pace up a little bit. There’s a rumour that your brother is 20 time World Clay Shooting Champion George Digweed. Is that true? If so, how good of a shot are you?

JD: Yes it`s true he is pretty much a living legend in that sport, Last time I shot I got 7/10 so I guess it runs in the family

TMN: Alright, back to music. You’re currently on tour right now supporting “Live in Slovenia.” What are some of your favorite venues here in the states that the tour hits?

JD: Well this is only a short tour as I am heading off to Australia and Hong Kong after the weekend. I have just played Beta in Denver which was great and I have vancouver and LA this weekend, LA always shows me a lot of love at clubs such as The Mayan, Avalon or The Exchange. There is a new club in Brooklyn which is amazing called Output which has a no VIP/Table service and best of all no cameras policy, It was fantastic playing there as people are there just for the music and dancing without any distractions. The Vagabond in Miami is also one of my favourite clubs to play.

TMN: Well, we’ll wrap this up and give you an opportunity to tell our readers and your fans anything else you’d like to say. Thank you so much for the opportunity to have this virtual chat. We’ve been longtime fans, and we’re looking forward to many more years of your music.

JD: Thanks for all the support over the years I love the fact I get to play new and exciting music every week to people who want to escape from the commercial sounds that are out there and if you want to find out more about what I am doing check out www.johndigweed.com

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[Hip-Hop] Rick Ross – Oil Money Gang (Feat. Jadakiss) (Prod. J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League)

Oil Money
Rick Ross
Oil Money Gang ft Jadakiss

It should be pretty evident by now that Maybach Music Group is determined to take over your Monday. As we mentioned earlier today, Rick Ross and company are set to drop the third edition of their Self Made series later this summer. After announcing the new album, Ross has been leaking music from the project throughout the day, with the latest offering being “Oil Money Gang” featuring Jadakiss. While “Poor Decisions” seemed to take Ross out of his comfort zone a bit, this new cut is right up his alley. It’s a silky smooth number that absolutely oozes decadence and luxury. Check out the latest single from Rozay above and be on the lookout for Self Made Vol. 3 when it drops on August 6th.

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[Hip-Hop] Wale – Bad (Remix) (Feat. Rihanna)

Bad (Remix)
Wale
Bad (Remix) feat. Rihanna

Wale wants to make sure you don’t forget his name at all, having already dropped one other single earlier today. His second offering comes in the form of a remix to his hit single, “Bad.” Replacing Tiara Thomas on this updated version is Rihanna, who offers up her talents on the chorus as well as a few bars here and there. Check out the track above and make sure to cop Wale’s The Gifted when it drops on June 25th.

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[Hip-Hop] J. Cole – Crooked Smile (Feat. TLC)

Crooked Smile
J. Cole
Crooked Smile feat. TLC

J. Cole brings back that old school sound as he links up with TLC (T-Boz and Chilli) for the second single off of Born Sinner. Cole takes this opportunity to flaunt his imperfections, while also encouraging others to embrace their own. It’s great seeing him take a stand against the materialism prevalent throughout this country, while proving you can still be successful and loved without altering your appearance. Look out for more positive messages when J. Cole’s Born Sinner hits shelves on June 18th. R.I.P. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.

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[Hip-Hop] Wale – Poor Decisions (Feat. Rick Ross & Lupe Fiasco) (Prod. Jake One)

poordecisions
Wale
Poor Decisions ft Rick Ross & Lupe Fiasco

Rick Ross and his Maybach Music Group are gearing up to release their third ensemble album (in as many years) this summer with Self Made Vol. 3. Becoming a staple of the season now, Ross has churned out these records year after year in order to stay on top of the game. It’s been a brilliant strategy that’s kept him at the forefront of our minds, and it’s also helped make household names out of guys like Meek Mill and Wale.  The first single from the project comes today from the latter who changes things up a bit with “Poor Decisions.” While we’re not used to hearing Rozay on a more conscious tip (maybe he’s changed his ways since that whole “Molly” incident), that happens to be Lupe Fiasco‘s forte, who proves to be a perfect feature for this new track. Check out the Jake One produced cut below and let us hear your thoughts.

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[TMN PREMIERE] A.J. Crew – Graduated With The Cords

GWTCArtwork
A.J. Crew
Graduated With The Cords [Pusha T Remix]

Graduation. It’s one of the most monumental experiences of your life, and yet one of the most indescribable as well. For those of you who’ve already gone through the process, just try and think back to the cavalcade of emotions running through you at the time: pride, nostalgia, accomplishment, triumph, hope, and relief represent just a modicum of the countless sentiments bubbling up inside. It’s one of the few occasions that people both celebrate and feel anguish towards at the same time. because it marks both the conclusion of four of the greatest years of your life, and yet it also signals a new path for you to embark on.

What does this all have to do with A.J. Crew? Well, the Toledo-to-Chicago import just recently graduated from Roosevelt University and decided to share his achievement with the world by releasing a new anthem for the Class of 2013. While “Graduated With The Cords” isn’t set to replace “Pomp & Circumstance” at your next commencement, I’d definitely be proud to rock it as a recent graduate. Serving as a remix of Pusha T‘s “Numbers On The Board,” A.J. manages to accomplish what few emcees rarely can when jumping on someone else’s instrumental; he makes it his own.  While I won’t concede that he bests Pusha’s original, he definitely captures its essence and murks the Kanye West production in his very own way.

Grab the free download above, and make sure to check out more from A.J. Crew, including the accompanying music video below, as well as A.J.’s new mixtape, The Reality of It All, after the jump.


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[MP3 Playlist] The Chill Dojo #38

chill dojo

June is finally upon us and with it comes months of guaranteed chill Summer tunage. That’s not to say that the colder months left us in any short supply, but there’s something about this season that elevates this music to another level.

Our first track is the prime example as Snakehips goes next level with an edit to his upbeat hit  ‘On & On’. Just when you thought the original couldn’t get any better, the UK beatmaker adds a fresh touch which shines with pure happiness. We’re not done with this track yet though, because Kaytranada has also lent his skills to his own remix with an infectious deep sound and old-school hip hop beat. And as if to set a trend, Le Youth also revisited his own material with a slowed-down, sexed-up version of ‘C O O L’ which just oozes that classic R&B flavour. It’s the first of many baby-making Summer specials to come, that’s for sure.  Another certain thing about the Chill Dojo in the months ahead is that it’ll definitely feature plenty of Goldroom, with all the tropical stylings we can’t get enough of. TMN already covered the producer’s latest remix of Owl Eyes, but we’re throwing another one into the mix with a tropical-infused edit of his original ‘Angeles’ courtesy of the appropriately named Palm & Trees. And we couldn’t let this write-up end without bringing to light a remix from yet another dojo favourite in Shook, who recently released his downright funky take on Jamiroquai. It’s been two years sitting on this absolute gem, but we’re stoked it’s finally out for free download, and at the perfect time too!

It’s another edition loaded with those feel-good sensations, and this is only the beginning. We’re set for some of the most exciting weeks to come. Peace out!

Chill Dojo #38 zip

On & On (Snakehips Edit)
Snakehips
On & On (Kaytranada Remix)
Le Youth
C O O L (R&B Edit)
Goldroom
Angeles (Palm & Trees ReTropicalize)
Owl Eyes
Jewels & Sapphires (Goldroom Remix)
Jamiroquai
Lifeline (Shook Remix)
When Its Hot feat. Djemba Djemba & Mr. Carmack
Disclosure
You & Me ft. Eliza Doolittle (Toro y Moi remix)
Naughty Boy
La La La ft. Sam Smith (Pále Remix)
Cocktail Skies (Coming Soon On Love Not Money)
Somethin Bout You
Amel Larrieux
For Real (IAMNOBODI RMX)
Wale Ft. Tiara Thomas
Bad (Yarin Lidor Remix)
On Your Side ft How To Dress Well (Radio Edit)
Gabrielle Aplin
Panic Cord (Hucci Remix)
Sizzlebird
Falling into Daydream
Tranquility (Forthcoming on Avis Nocturna)
Rhye
Open (Keeno Remix)
Phaeleh
Whistling in the Dark feat. Augustus Ghost.mp3
Ryan Hemsworth
(。◕‿◕。) (or, I Want To Stare At Your Face Until I Die)
Ryan Hemsworth
Perfectly
Ryan Hemsworth
Empty Thoughts Over A Shallow Ocean
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