Under the Transitions umbrella with John Digweed

From being the first dj to mix a proper compilation along with Sasha, released on Renaissance, to becoming the first British dj to hold a residency in NYC at Twilo, also with Sasha, John Digweed is one of the pioneers of modern dance music and one of its trend-setters. As a DJ his "first time" facts inventory is probably to big to be listed here. As a producer he has remixed tracks by Danny Tenaglia, Underworld and New Order, to name a few, and his Bedrock singles together with Nick Muir are anthems.

His popularity as both a dj and a person seems to have no limits, but his efforts transcend dj'ing alone, he is as much a producer and promoter. "Bedrock" is a connotation for three things: a record label, a promotions company and a studio production partnership (with Nick Muir). Digweed's management and creative direction for the Bedrock label has helped launch the careers of Danny Howells (with Dick Trevor as Science Department), Jimmy Van M, Chris Fortier and Phil Thompson (Moonface).

From the nights he has either created or been a part of (Bedrock, Northern Exposure, Renaissance) to his world renowned mix cd's (Renaissance, Global Underground, Northern Exposure, Communicate and Bedrock) he has consistently produced characteristic products that stay in demand, himself included.

John Digweed weekly show on Kiss100 London called Transitions is highly listened worldwide and the Transitions umbrella allows him do a lot to get this across by combining the radio show, releases, podcasts via his website johndigweed.com and also a Transitions mix CD due out in June on Renaissance.

Beat Factor has recently managed to discuss with John a few aspects of his career, his label, radio show and other various things regarding the dance industry.

You should really make your sound your own and play records that you're genuinely interested in. That doesn't mean going off in a weird direction but it does mean you have to think about it and not be pressured by what's popular at that moment.
BeatFactor: The Sasha & Digweed 'Delta Heavy' Tour was released in February as a DVD documentary. What's the story behind it?

John Digweed: Jimmy Van M originally came up with the concept of doing a tour across the US, taking in loads of venues and towns and reaching out to small cities and not just the bigger places we'd played in the past. We decided to really make the scale big and do it like a rock gig, touring on buses and taking all the set and crew with us over 2 months. The DVD is really a behind the scenes look of what it takes to do that.

BF: The Transitions and Kiss100 radio shows are some of the most popular dance music shows world wide and probably any up & coming dj wishes to be featured as a guest. Can you name some of the decisive factors that a dj should consider before submitting?

JD: You should really make your sound your own and play records that you're genuinely interested in. That doesn't mean going off in a weird direction but it does mean you have to think about it and not be pressured by what's popular at that moment.

I really felt that in my Transitions CD that's being released on Renaissance. It's about working hard to see what works together and doing it in your own way. The Transitions umbrella lets me do a lot to get this across by combining the radio show, releases, podcasts via my website johndigweed.com you can really spread what you're doing and let a lot of people hear the latest and freshest music out there.

BF: You have recently compiled an album released on AOL Music & INgrooves that was distributed exclusively online. Is there any difference to mix a digital album to one released on CD? What do you think of the initiative that AOL Music and INgrooves had, to explore the full potential of the digital music world?

JD: There's no difference between this and a physical release in terms of how I go about it. This mix is actually all Bedrock Records material and AOL was certainly amongst the first to look into this online only application. It'll be interesting to see how that develops over the next few months.

BF: Tell us about your latest Bedrock single 'Santiago' together with your studio partner Nick Muir. How did the collaboration with Parallel Sound come about?

JD: The Parallel Sound guys actually did a remix on spec as we'd already commissioned a Guy Gerber mix who has been doing great things for the Bedrock label. Parallel Sound nailed what I asked of them though. I want something that really caught the summer vibe and they did that perfectly.

BF: What's cooking at Bedrock headquarters at the moment? Any new hot & spicy projects to be released in the next months?

JD: We're just lining up some great new singles. A track from Terry Grant who has previously released on the label, a John Digweed 12" called Warung Beach with remixes from Mashtronix, Kiki and Lutzenkirchen which appears on my Transitions album, a Guy Gerber record and much more. The new releases are fantastic at the moment.

Features Archive


Under the Transitions umbrella with John Digweed

May 1, 2006 at 10:54 PM CEST


Beat Factor

BF: It looks like the launch of the new MK3 series puts another bold front on the vinyl. How much longer do you predict that the vinyl will still be manufactured?

JD: I hope vinyl is always around even if it's for the really die-hard fans. But I think as the staple of the music world maybe another year.

BF: Last year in March you mixed Choice: A Collection of Classics on Azuli. What memories did the tracks on the album brought back on your life?

JD: That album brought back a lot of forgotten and fantastic memories. I tried to do something a bit different with it and not make my choices too obvious. I'm still really happy with how it turned out.

BF: What technical gimmicks do you fold into your sets at the moment? Did you get a hold on Xone:3D?

JD: I think the software for the Xone 3D is still being finalized. Looking forward to this though.

BF: The 21st Winter Music Conference has closed its doors. Is this an event that you still are excited about every year or has it became somewhat of an ordinary event?

JD: Personally I still really enjoy the WMC. It's past now, but we did another great Bedrock: Transitions party and my gigs with Sasha were good fun as ever. It's different to how it used to be but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

BF: What impact do you think the conference has on the global dance music evolution from year to year?

JD: It's a good thing for labels to make a noise about what they've got coming up and new individual tracks to circulate and rise up. If something gonna be big it's got a chance of rearing it's head here. Other than that it's just a great week of parties.

BF: Being a highly busy individual, what methods do you have to keep an eye on the global scene? Printed media, radio or online news sources?

JD: I'm on the internet a lot and spend a lot of time on planes – that's my best time to catch up but you can't beat the interweb for staying in touch with people really and on top of things.

BF: In February this year you had another appearance in Bucharest which succeeded in a club (Kristal Glam Club) filled till the last drop. What impressions did the Romanian club scene give you, in conjunction with the UK scene?

JD: All good really – The scene in Eastern Europe is bright and I love going over there to play as I get such an amazing reception. The scene in the UK is very good right now too. I can play similar music in both places and expect a similar reaction.

BF: What made you decide to change your hair style?

JD: Nothing really – it just grew and I kept it. Now it seems to be the biggest point of discussion on the internet relating too music!

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