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Nick Warren Interview

Author: Mark Burton
Thursday, 6 October 2005
Nick Warren is one of the true pioneers in the dance music world, having scored his first residency in 1990 at Vision in Bristol, before accompanying Massive Attack as their tour DJ for a trip to the States. He's since hooked up with Jody Wisternoff to form the group Way Out West, as well as maintaining a hectic global touring schedule in his own right. He's back on mixing duties for a record sixth time with the latest release on the Global Underground imprint, #028 from Shanghai.

Nick's enjoyed a busy summer, including several trips to Ibiza. "It's really strong this year actually. Packed out. Really good parties, great crowds, so yeah the whole scene seems to be strong. I'm as busy as ever. It's all these new markets that have opened up now. Eastern Europe has got really strong, Greece and Turkey, places like that have great parties, so that's all really positive."

The vibe continues through to his latest mix for the Global boys. "Well, weirdly it's been positive!" he confesses. "Normally I have a mixture. I have some really good responses and then people who aren't impressed, and then some people who absolutely fucking hate it, but this time it's all been really positive. I do think it's my best one so far. It was a pleasure sourcing all those tracks and finding them."

This took in some serious research! "It was about three and a half thousand tracks that I listened to which was tough" confesses Nick. "I had days where every single track I listened to was like 'no, no, no, no' and then the next day there'd be six or seven that were like 'wow, that's exactly what I'm looking'. In the end I think I found what I was after. I wanted a mixture of styles, a mixture of unknown producers as a whole. I wanted to promote these young producers that are struggling to get record deals. So people like Peter Martin in Texas, Mercurio down in Buenos Aries. It was easier for me back in the day when I started because there was more money in music, and dance music especially. There was no free downloading so the risks for record labels were a lot less. Whereas now it's very, very difficult for a young record producer to be actually paid any money for making music which is such a shame."

In spite of over a decade at the top, he still loves the touring. "I love it to death! I fly round the world and play music to people; can you tell me a better job than that- No-! That's why I love it! I can't understand anybody that complains about it. They moan about sitting on a plane to Australia. Someone's paying you to go to Australia to play records and you're moaning about it- Get the fuck out of my face!" He's also not afraid to let loose when discussing the way dance music seems to be heading. "Well it's the responsibility of the people involved, and the DJs. And I don't understand why... well I do understand but then it frustrates me that the biggest DJs on the planet aren't pushing forward thinking experimental music. If you think of a DJ who is so big that they're playing to ten or twenty thousand people each show they could easily slip in half an hour of really forward thinking music even though they're playing their cheesy trance all around it. Yet they're playing safe all the time and that's always been something that I've not really agreed with. I don't think it's our job to play safe."

Nick Warren plays Godskitchen Saturday 8th of October
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