– Hi John, it’s a big pleasure for me to ask you some questions for Differentgrooves.com
In the last months you had been very busy – Bedrock 14 compilation, the big anniversary party and the consequent cd and vinyl release – Live In London – obviously it’s a big step and for sure it needs a lot of work behind it – how do you feel when you and your team have to prepare and arrange all these things?
To be honest the Live in London album was not planned at all so this was something that came out of nowhere and we all worked extra hard to turn this around super quick. It was the first time that we have held an event at Fire and I must say I was very impressed and the feedback has all been very positive as well. Line-up wise I think we showcased a great diverse selection of DJs and artists over the 5 rooms and this gave people plenty of choice throughout the night. As for me, getting to play for 8 hours at a Bedrock party is a dream gig! There is so much great music out there, so this extended set time really allowed me to play from the deep sounds at the start of my set to the tougher stuff later on. The mood at the party was pretty special with people travelling from all over the world to come to it, which also makes me feel extra happy that people have made such an effort for me and makes me really want to play out of my skin. After listening through to the recording of the party we decided to release it. We live in a world of Soundcloud, Mixcloud and free DJ mixes on the internet, so for the fans who want something more than an mp3 file hopefully the music and the album packaging will be a nice memory for them. Having an official CD with nice packaging makes it a great collectors piece for the people that were there and an insight for those who could not make it. I know everybody expects music for free these days and we have kept the price to below £10, which for nearly 5 hours of music is pretty good!
– You’re in the business from a long time ago and you earn a lot of experience running on your level a label for more than 10 years. Do there exist any new challenges you encounter in your way or it’s always the same “game”?
Things have changed a lot over the last 10 years with less physical sales and more digital sales, so I have to learn to adapt and keep up with the latest developments while making sure I keep the quality of the each release on Bedrock as high as possible. One advantage of the digital age is that when I’m travelling I can keep my sets updated daily with new tracks that I buy online or get sent from producers over the internet, whereas before you could only update new tracks if you went to a record store when you arrived in a city, which was not always easy. Also, the music that is being made now is outstanding, with plenty of new and exciting producers emerging all the time. Being a DJ was something I wanted to do from the age of 11, so to have been able to realize my dream and turn it into a career for many years is not only down to my hard work and passion, but also a drive to try and be better at what I do year in year out. I never get tired of being in front of a clued-up crowd who want to hear great new music.
– The time passes and the things change – I noticed that during the years that Bedrock, and also your Transitions Radio Show music identity hasn’t been lost but it has evolved – am I wrong or is it true?
Sure – evolve or die – as they say! If I or the label did not keep moving forward with new sounds we would not stay relevant in today’s scene.
– You have released music of many “new” artists like Stelios Vassiloudis, Kurtz & Womber, Henry Saiz, Wehbba, Wiretappeur just to name a few… What do you think about these forthcoming talents coming into the spotlight?
It has always been important for me to keep showcasing new and exciting talent on the label. I am always happy when I start to see someone with genuine talent starting to get recognition for what they do. We only release 12 to 16 singles a year so it’s important that we make sure they are all very good. There is quite a lot of exciting stuff coming up in the New Year on the label with artist albums and some great single releases. You can always check http://soundcloud.com/bedrock_rec for previews of the latest releases.
– Another cool thing that happened in July was the launch of Guy J’s “Lost & Found” label, you always supported him and he always released very interesting songs – what can we expect from him in the future?
I love what Guy does and he has a great ear for music so it’s nice to have him have a sub-label within the Bedrock set-up and be able to showcase his sound plus the music of the people he discovers. You can hear what the label is all about here: http://soundcloud.com/lostandfoundrec
– After these big releases on Bedrock, is there anything forthcoming that you want to tell us about?
At the moment we are still focusing on the “Bedrock 14” album and the new “Live In London” album, but we have got a lot of exciting things happening in 2013 so make sure you stay tuned!
– Thank you for having spent the time to let our readers know more about your music and thoughts!
Interview by Matteo Pitton