TF Archives

Darren Emerson- 'The internet is all fucking good'

Author: Jonty Adderley
Tuesday, December 25, 2001
Club culture's first teen prodigy DJ has certainly come a long way since he first hooked up with the likes of Nicky Holloway and Andy Weatherall, during the acid house days of 1988. Quitting his mega-successful crossover band Underworld last year to concentrate on his first love of DJing, the former stock exchange dealer has subsequently consolidated his status as one of the world's true superstar DJs, touring the world constantly with his melodic, relatively slow pace of funky house and techno.

His latest mix compilation 'Global Underground- Singapore', released in June this year, reflected this style explicitly. including cuts from Slam, Laurent Garnier, Circulation and Inland Knights (GU called his style a "fresh sound" for their previously trance dominated releases). Skrufff's Jonty Adderley chatted to Darren as he tinkered with his new G4 and prepared to jet off to the States to DJ alongside Fatboy Slim.

Skrufff: The compilation was mixed for both Australia and the UK, how much have you actively considered international audiences-

Darren Emerson: "I always have done because I've been travelling as a DJ since the early 90s, and have long been aware of scenes outside the UK. I remember going to places in the middle of nowhere in Italy with the old Tomato Records lot, for example, and I've seen how dance music has got bigger everywhere- especially Australia. Carl (Cox) has been going there for years to get his name going and it's a beautiful place - I love Australia. I played the Big Day Out festival there after Singapore and spent a month there this January."

Skrufff: DJs are often called the 'new rock stars', having been a rock star with Underworld then leaving last year, has life changed much-

Darren Emerson: "It hasn't changed at all; I always treated Underworld as a DJ set anyway, especially if we were playing live. Of course, there are some differences but Underworld were trying to do it like a DJ set, in a way."

Skrufff: A Daily Telegraph writer recently accused DJs of not being proper celebrities because they don't appear in Hello magazine..-

Darren Emerson: "Ah, I don't bother with all that stuff. These are the same people who said dance music was going to be a fad; that it was going to disappear in 1988. Look at it now; it's worldwide; just as big as rock music, and if you listen to Radio 1 it's full of dance music. It's just developed, also in technological terms. I still love a lot of guitar music, such as Jeff Buckley, but dance music is my thing."

Skrufff: How big an impact has the internet had on dance music-

Darren Emerson: "It's made the world a lot smaller. I was talking to the Avalanches the other day, Darren phoned me up because we've become very good friends, and they want me to go down there and support some of their shows before they come to England in August, which would be great. Then we started talking about the internet and we're looking at working together over the net. There are so many ways of collaborating over the net, especially with ever faster connections like ADSL (broadband). The internet is all fucking good."

Skrufff: Are you using the net day-to-day-

Darren Emerson: "I'm such a gadget freak, I first had a modem when I still had an Omega computer and the baud rate (connection speed) was 9600 (bits per second). This was even before the (world wide) web existed- I used to log onto a system called CIX. I've always been interested in computers and that's why it was easy for me to learn programming music. I was up until 4am last night playing with my new G4 (Macintosh computer) trying to get it all polished and loaded up with my software."

Skrufff: Given that you're travelling frequently, how do you stay on top of new records-

Darren Emerson: "I find it very difficult, it's one of my biggest problems. I'm getting more and more records sent to me, because more people are making music, but for the last two weeks I've been in my studio writing my new albu