cart and soul

British DJ JOHN DIGWEED is putting a difficult year behind him and taking America by storm. Words: Rory Weller

In a world where DJs get paid thousands for playing other people‘s records and extravagant hyperbole is the norm. it is heartening to find someone as down- to-earth and committed as John Digweed.

A DJ for a decade. Digweed now rates alongside his regular DJ partner and one time mentor Sasha in the platinum DJ stakes. Digweed started out at fifteen years old doing birthday parties and weddings at a local Hastings hotel. It was only comparatively recently that Renaissance promoter Geoff Oakes pulled his mix tape out of a box of hopefuls and gave the man a slot at his seminal superclub. That led to the first Renaissance mix CD selling in excess of 100.000 copies. and to nights like Babelicious and Northern Exposure.

All this does not come without its toll. Last year. Digweed was hit hard by continued touring and a negative feeling in the industry towards him stirred up. he says. by promoters who could not book him. He admits things are looking a lot rosier this year he has hardly played in this country. preferring to break new ground.

‘When I stop to think. the pressure can get to me.‘ he says. ‘I still get nervous before I go on. but once I'm DJing l‘m relaxed. It’s good to be nervous because it shows you care.‘

The best reviews are coming in from his dates in America. especially his monthly residency at New York’s Twilo club. The Americans lap up anything from the UK with a repetitive beat after the British Prodigy/Chemicals invasion. Bulletin boards on the


88 THE llST 12 Sep—ZS Sep 1997

'I still get nervous before I go on, but once I'm DJing I'm relaxed. It's good to be nervous because it shows you care.’ John


John Digweed 100% all the way

Internet buzz. with reviews of his nights. ‘Digweed is the real deal'. they say. 'Twilo was off the hook. man‘ and ‘Digweed was phat last night‘.

Digweed laughs: ‘Hopefully they're not referring to my weight'. He is bemused by the sheer vibrancy of the young American scene. ‘lt's almost like starting again.‘ he says. ‘People in New York knew who we (he and Sasha) were. but [we were] not household names. Now the Twilo night has built up and there's a regular crowd and the owners say it’s one of their best nights.‘

America's licensing laws fit his progressive trance style better than the L’K's. he reckons. it is not unusual for him to play from llpm to 8am in the States. giving him the chance to be more

Club news

The gossip from Glasgow and Edinburgh's clubs scene.

EVER THINK IT is impossible to get something for nothing? A new Thursday night at the Arches

; starting in October aims to change

that by giving you something for

. less than nothing. Simply take proof of your bank balance along and the bigger the overdraft, the more you

get free. If your overdraft is over £100, you get two for one entry; if it's more than £200 you get one free admission, while an overdraft of

more than £500 will get you in free

and they'll buy you a drink. Get spending now.

CHECK OUT RADIO Scotland's new dance music show Electronica,

. hosted by Mark Percival. It features

: new releases, from drum 'n' bass to

happy hardcore and ambient to

house, plus sets and interviews from top Scottish club DJs. The

' programme airs every Sunday night

between 6-7pm.

CATWALK AT THE top of Edinburgh's Broughton Street has DJs playing in

the downstairs area seven nights a

week. Entry is free and the pub is open until 1am. While you're there, check out that glass floor.

SOLEFUSION RESIDENT CRAIG SMITH seems to be joining Michael Kilkie, Zammo and Craig Burger Queen in the ranks of local DJs who are getting out and about. He's off to Switzerland with London’s

Garage City team. Meanwhile, In

Demand Records, for which Smith has recorded, has just licensed Cevin Fisher’s ’Music Saved My Life' track.

L The new doublepack will feature 3

experimental. in UK clubs -

you are lucky to get five hours guest DJs fly in to play a frantic two hours and breeze out to play another couple of dates that night.

Digweed. who is soon to play at The Arches. prefers to work the whole night. ‘With my kind of music it wouldn't make sense any other way.‘ he says.

He gives the same commitment to his production work under the title Bedrock. as he does to his DJing. Since the re-release of ‘For What You Dream Of‘. which charted in the Top 30 after being used in Trainspotting last year. he hasn't really had a chance to get back into the studio to make any more tracks of his own that would demand a full week away from DJing duties.

remix from Smith and another from Ashley Beedle.

LA BELLE ANGELE, Edinburgh, has a few new nights on the horizon. Homeless, fortnightly on Thursdays, brings cutting edge beats and breaks on a Propellerheads/Roni Size/Mr Scruff tip, while Soundclash, monthly on Fridays, brings swing, hip hop and

dance'nall to the fore. Other

forthcoming events at La Belle include the relaunch of Manga with DJ SS and a three hour live broadcast on Radio

One's One In The Jungle show and

There is another mix CD out at the end of

September and a remix of the Guerrilla Records' ‘lntoxication‘ soon. but Digweed‘s own writing will have to wait. ‘I do want to get back into it. but with travelling so much. there isn‘t time. I can't just run into the studio. bang out a track and run out again. It just has to be l()()‘7r all the way.‘

John Digweed DJs at Colours, The Arches, Glasgow, Sat 13 Sep. See listings.

Animated, a monthly Thursday night ‘tech-house' slot hosted by London's finest underground spinners. (Rory eller and Jim Byers) ,. .. t