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Steve Lawler - The Superstar DJ Race is Over

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Friday, October 26, 2007
"All record sales have dropped massively in the last five years, but that shouldn't stop us doing what we do; we did this at the start for very little money, because we love what we do, so why should that change now-"

Kicking off promo for the first in his new series of mix compilations Viva, Steve Lawler is the first to admit club culture the DJ businessis changing with compilations and the benefits they bring as adversely affected financially as every other area.

"I'm not even sure they are a big marketing tool anymore, unless you give them away on a magazine," Steve speculates, "But the way I feel personally is that mix compilations are great and worth buying if
they are quality. There are still some great mix compilations out there that are way better than any radio mix or club recording download," he insists,

"You're buying a piece of merchandise of someone that you are into, or in this case, also a place that you
have been to - Viva Harlem Nights."

The mix he's referring to (Viva Harlem Nights) is a double CD including cuts from Martin Eyerer, Bushwacka and Gel Abril and is intended to represent the monthly parties he's presented at London's the End for the last 5 years. Though the CD's is presented around the party more than himself, The Birmingham born DJ remains supremely confident, with upcoming DJs and producers failing to knock his equilibrium, he insists.

"I don't want to sound arrogant, but they don't affect me at all," says Steve. "And anyway, it's not about maintaining your 'status' anymore! The f**king race of super star DJs and super clubs is over, thank God. It's about playing house music, and good house music, to
people that feel the same about it that you do. The club scene gone back to what we were all lured in by, in the first place; well the scene I like to think I am a part of has, anyway," he says.

You've done more than a few compilations in recent years, how much do you now have a tried and tested system- Do they get easier over time-
"They have obviously become easier now with the use of Ableton live, because you can structure things, try mixes out, loop and layer sounds better, than what you ever could do with the old vinyl way of doing mix tapes. The process you go through to find the music is now much harder, as there is much, much more music around these days. Putting a mix compilation together can be easy and can be tough it just really depends how you're feeling and what music is around at the time. Music tends to go through stages where sometimes you get loads of shit through the post, and there's not a great deal out there to find, and other times there is shit loads of amazing music around."

Danny Howells was talking recently about there being far less compilations released generally: how much has the compilation game changed (now that so many DJ mixes are available free over the internet-)
"Of course it's changed massively, which is why I think the whole thing should be more productive, more of a package, this is the reason why I have decided to do this album series, this isn't just another mix comp for the sake of it, this is a mix compilation designed to reflect a residency. Over the years we have had thousands and thousands of people through the door at Viva Harlem Nights at The End. This isn't a CD series with a city name on it for the sake of it; this is a CD for fans of Viva Harlem Nights. I'm not inventing something here, it's been done before; it's been done a million times in Ibiza I'm sure. But a DJ mix CD needs to reflect something more that just a DJ mix, this is merchandise for the night it self. And that's just the way I see it now."

Seems like celeb culture gets evermore vicious- now that everyone has camera phones and with the net do you feel more conscious of having to moderate behaviour when you're out and about- Have you ever been snapped in any compromising positions-
"Ha ha ha, yeah, and trust me, I ai