British superstar DJ John Digweed hit Gryphon in the Seminole Hard Rock complex over the recent Labor Day weekend. It was a rare chance to catch a true legend in action – whether you remember Digweed’s groundbreaking “Northern Exposure” collaborations with frequent partner Sasha in the late ’90s, his works on the Global Underground and Bedrock labels, his epic Delta Heavy tour with Sasha or his new double-CD “Structures Two,” it’s all top-notch stuff. Digweed talked to Miami.com about the show, which marked his first visit to South Florida since Winter Music Conference in March.
Are you excited to get back to Miami?
Yeah, you know, I’ve played at Gryphon before and had a fantastic time, and that’s the reason I’m back.
What can we expect from your set?
I play just good quality electronic house music and techno – I’m not one of these DJs where you’re gonna hear stuff that’s on the radio or the commercial stuff. I’m trying to play the stuff you haven’t heard but wanna find out what it is. I try and play a good balance of good, cool underground music that makes you wanna dance.
How about from “Structures Two” or “Bedrock”?
Yeah, obviously there’ll be a few tracks from there and there’s some new stuff coming out on the label that I’ll be road-testing and previewing as well. I like to mix it up between stuff from the labels and albums, but also new artists that I’m championing at the time.
You’ve displayed many styles within electronic music, from progressive to tech house to minimalism. Where’s your sound at today?
Probably a bit of everything, because I don’t wanna be pigeonholed as just playing one style of music. So if there’s a deep house record that comes in that I really like, I try my best to fit it into a set if it’s appropriate. And likewise if there’s a hard techno record that I like I wanna champion it as well. There’s nothing worse than going to hear a DJ and he just plays the same style of music from start to finish. I try to mix it up a little bit within genres throughout my set.
How’s your radio show “Transitions” on Sirius doing?
We’re in about 45 to 47 countries worldwide now, with about 14 million people a week listening to the show, so it’s been a strength. Being a DJ these days, it’s not all about just being in the clubs and on the radio – you need to be promoting as well. You need to have your fingers in quite a lot of pies. You know, my show’s in Australia or Argentina, and I don’t play those countries but once a year, but people there can listen to what I’m playing on a weekly basis, and I think it’s really important to have that presence in countries around the world. If you’ve got fan bases there, keep them informed of what you’re doing.
[Check out www.johndigweed.com for more details on the radio show].
What kind of contact do you have with Sasha these days, and do you think you’ll ever collaborate again?
At the moment, he’s been kind of working on his own projects and I’ve been working on mine, so we’ve both been focusing on that. I mean, I don’t know what the future holds in terms of collaboration – we haven’t done an album together since 2001 anyway. I think the whole mix album concept has changed so much over the years, with downloading and things like SoundCloud and Mixcloud. It’s a different marketplace than when we first started. I think a mix album these days is kind of like a business card.
The ever-reliable Wikipedia claims that you started DJing when you were 4. That can’t be true, right?
No, that’s completely false [laughs]. But I leave it up there because I love the amount of journalists who say to me, “Did you DJ when you were 4?” And I go, “No.” But I can’t be bothered to go in there and correct it.