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DJ Magazine's Number 1 DJ: The Nature of John Digweed's

Author: Angie Ng
Monday, November 19, 2001
Topping DJ magazine's Top 100 DJs poll this year for the first time in his career, is a major achievement for Bedrock head honcho John Digweed. His success is all the more impressive, given the fact that he remains one of the least flamboyant characters on the international DJ block, gaining far less hype than the likes of Danny Tenaglia and his great mate Sasha. Skrufff's Angie Ng caught up with John earlier this year in Kuala Lumpur and chatted about his life as one of the world's top DJs.

Skrufff : "Over the last few years you've become one of the world's most popular DJs ; how much has it increased the pressure you feel before you DJ-

John Digweed: "I always thought the bigger you get the easier it gets but it's actually a lot harder. Obviously there are increased expectations but I'm always one of those DJs who tries to play better every time and to have that pressure keeps you on your toes. So, it's good to have that pressure. It goes with the territory."

Skrufff : How much were you driven to become a globe trotting DJ-

John Digweed: " I evolved with the scene so it wasn't the case that as I was growing up I was thinking, 'Oh I wanna go and be a DJ because they're travelling all over the world' because DJs weren't doing that back then. I started playing abroad when everyone else started travelling as well. Back then, I might get a phone call for a gig and I'd be like "What- You want me to play in Australia- I've never even been there before-" (laughing). Then suddenly you get more calls asking, "Do you want to play in Germany, Norway, Ibiza…". These odd trips start bouncing on one off the other and suddenly six months have passed and you've spent hardly any time in England. You're just constantly at Heathrow airport. BUT one of the things I wanted to do if I didn't make it as a DJ was to travel, so I've managed to combine both."

Skrufff: DJing aside, I understand your brother is a champion clay pigeon shooter, have you ever tried it-

John Digweed: "He only let me do it once and I got 7 out of 10 points. My brother's a machine. I've never seen anyone like him. He can just hold the gun from the hip…(starting to demonstrate various aiming positions with imaginary gun) AND not miss! Or he'll hold it upside down, swap arms, he's just incredible, he seems to hit every time. It (shooting) was something I never really followed. I was concentrating on music."


Rowan Blades on Deep Fried Crabs and Skinning Cats Alive (interview)

UK progressive house producer Rowan Blades is still better known as one half of Breeder, many of whose tracks have been championed by Sasha and Digweed. He also runs his own label Rhythm Syndicate Records and spends significant chunks of his time touring the world DJing. Skrufff's Angie Ng met up with him in Kuala Lumpur recently, as he stopped off, on his way to Australia.

Skrufff (Angie): You seem to spend a lot of time in Asia…

Rowan: "I've been quite fortunate with some gigs in Asia. I've been to Hong Kong 4 or 5 times and China but it's more of a good luck thing. It's been really good here in Malaysia, with a really good crowd and it's been an enjoyable place to visit. Even on past occasions whenever I've been in Asia, I've been so well looked after. It's like, 'Don't do anything, don't walk, don't buy a drink, don't worry we'll take care of it'. You'd be surprised how unfriendly some places are, though. I went to Germany once for someone's birthday party and I was the odd one out, sitting there alone, not knowing what to say, and just feeling really uncomfortable. So, Asia's been really good."

Skrufff: How much is the UK now the same as everywhere else -

Rowan: "I think in the UK it's become such a big national market that a lot of it is based on what people read or see in magazines. Whereas abroad, people tend to base the scen on what they hear. I remember going to one of the early raves years ago and if you<