TF Archives

Digweed's Collection Of Classic's

Author: Terry Goldfain
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Everyone knows that the REAL reason a DJ becomes a promoter, and puts on parties, is because it's the only way of ensuring they score at least one residency! Similarly, if you're a DJ and start your own label, surely you'd be first in line for easy publicity by mixing the labels compilations- Well then, why is John Digweed mixing just about every compilation being put out on labels other then his own, Bedrock Records- Meanwhile, he's handed over the responsibility to his new 'Bedrock Original Series' to virtual unknowns, Desyn Masiello and Jonathan Lisle. However, he has reaped the rewards from this unselfish attitude with the recent Bedrock compilations judged by many as the best and most innovative new dance music series. Similarly, his own recent compilations, 'Choice: A Collection of Classics' on the Azuli label and Fabric 20 have been met with critical acclaim.

"I'm very happy with Desyn and Jonathan's albums," Digweed states. "They do what I had hoped and reflect their unique talents in a club. The next in the series is from Luke Fair who I'm currently touring with in the US."

It appears we won't be hearing Bedrock's main man, responsible with Sasha for what many consider dance music's seminal compilation's 'Northern Exposure' and 'Renaissance: The Mix Collection', behind a Bedrock mix any time soon. "The Bedrock label has been kept busy with great album from Deysn Masiello, Jonathan Lisle, and our first artist album from Pole Folder which is about to drop, so not likely," he replies. "You'll have to watch this space though as to whether there's one on it's way."

While not willing to expand on this answer or the tantalising prospect of a long overdue Australian tour which he brushes off with, "hopefully very soon, it's been too long," Digweed is happy to expand on Pole Folder's impending LP which will be the first artist album released on Bedrock. "This is out in April and is getting brilliant reactions. It's a very varied album, not just club tracks but great music for the car, or home chilling out. Anywhere really."

If anyone knows that the dance music compilation market has reached saturation point it is Digweed. Perhaps he even feels partly responsible as 'Renaissance: The Mix Collection', having recently celebrated it's 10th anniversary, is regarded as the first real, commercially available dance music compilation. However, he holds no fear of his most recent effort 'Choice: A Collection of Classics', being lost amidst the sea of mundanity. Previous releases in the Choice series are presented by a varied collection of dance music's most influential figures including Jeff Mills, Derrick Carter, Danny Tenaglia and Frankie Knuckles. Digweed's selection, over two CDs combines little known rareties, club classics and songs not traditionally associated with dance music such as A Forest by The Cure. This is not John Digweed the DJ we have come to know over the last ten years, but instead John Digweed the music lover. One description of the series is a 'musical interview' as it tells the story of the DJs musical life and it's a description that Digweed considers to be apt. "I think that's a good way of looking at the 'Choice' series. To me, it's about revealing a little more of where you've come from to the people that follow you so they can get a clearer picture. I guess my favourite in the 'Choice' series would have to be Jeff Mills"

From the past to the present, overall he is excited about the direction dance music is heading in. "I think now we're in a period where the music is better and more varied then in years past," contemplates an optimistic Digweed. "If I look at what I'm playing, it comes from breaks, house, techno, all over and it's all combining really well. Things have gone underground again, which is good for dance music. As it disappears off the mainstream radar though, people often shout 'it's dead!' It just means that it's ejecting the crap element from it all and the strong stuff survi