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Darren Christian - 'I'd Go Back to Israel Anytime'

Author: Skruff
Saturday, December 9, 2000
He's Tall Paul's regular stand-in at the Gallery (`and founding resident jock) and 6 years after launching his DJ career he's just moved into production, having signed with Duty Free, home of Tall Paul, Lottie and Fergie. Mezzmusic caught up with him at Turnmills recently, to discuss the new record, the Gallery and his unusual (certainly for Brit DJs) willingness to return to Israel, despite the intafada.

Mezzmusic: Uni-Fiction is your debut release, how did you decide the track's style-

Darren Christian: "The whole idea was to make a track that was a reflection of the music I usually play, then get a good remix, which we did with Colin Dalek, one of the biggest new German producers. One of the most difficult things to take on board is what's gone before - the likes of Oliver Lieb, (Tall) Paul, Baby Doc, these are guys that have been in the music industry and all of a sudden, I'm not up there, but I'm around these guys. That can only benefit me, to see how these guys work. I tried to do something that was different from everybody else but would appeal to me if I found it in a record shop. There's no point making music just for yourself though, you've got to make it for what you think people like at the moment. It would be pointless me doing a track that's going totally in a trance direction, for example, because at the moment that sound isn't 'doing it' in clubs."

Mezz: How did you first get into DJing-

Darren Christian: "I've always been interested in DJing, and loved the music and I was very fortunate to know Tall Paul from an early age when Paul was going through the stage I'm at now. I got an opportunity to play at the club some years ago (ie at Turnmills, owned by Tall Paul's Dad) at the Gallery on Friday nights, when it wasn't a big night. I came down, played, got on well with Danny(Paul's brother, Danny Newman) and things developed from there. I've always been keen to be not too greedy. I know DJs at the moment are on a par with professional footballers, in the sense of how people think of them in public terms, but I've always tried to concentrate on the music side. I want to be known more for my music."

Mezz: Your press release describes you as 'fine-tuning your DJing skills alongside some of the world's finest', what tricks have you picked up specifically-

Darren Christian: "I've been fortunate that I've been able to see different DJs for the last 5 years at the Gallery, every DJ is different, but being noticeably different means that when people leave a club it's that name they talk about. Anyone can go into a DJ box and play 20 records, back to back, but when you listen to someone like Paul, they'll use different tracks, they'll use different sounds in the mix and they'll try and make the whole 2 hour set unique, in terms of production. Anyone can buy 20 good tunes and play but, to be honest, it's a little more detailed than that."

Mezz: Are you using sound effects boxes much-

Darren Christian: "Not too much, but they'll be different records you can buy, maybe using vocals from one over a particularly long break for example. The breakdown might sound boring on its own, but when you put something behind it, it builds the atmosphere. It's things like that, that you don't notice when you're a punter on the dance floor, but when you're in the DJ box seeing them do it, you pick up on it and try and do it yourself."

Mezz : Where do you stand on hard house-

Darren Christian: "I don't dislike hard house, it's very much targeted to younger clubbers, you wouldn't find an older crowd turning up at many hard house nights. I went to a night at Passion in the Midlands when Fergie was playing recently and the crowd was very young, with that kind of Gatecrasher image. That's not a bad thing, that's what they like and they're paying their money but personally I think it's a fashion thing right now. Hard house isn't goin