You curated the Rizla tent at Lovebox this year, is it exciting to see so many great artists playing music you helped to create?
I admire all these DJs that took my early thoughts and manifested it to a point where it’s a world wide accepted type of music, and at the same time these festivals have grown to the point where all these people want to hear so im only happy about it.
When you were first working on cutting did you have an idea how it would sound before you did it?
I came up with this science because of the frustration I have seeing people play music. I would say to myself: “Why is this freaking part that seems to be the most energetic, the smallest? Why is it only 10 or 20 seconds? It was just a matter of being able to find that one area where the drummer gets a chance to play alone and connecting all these genres together.
So how big is your record collection?
I’ve had to build a house for them. I had to put my records somewhere, so some went in the living room, the kids’ bedrooms, some went here and there and then eventually I built a house half the size of mine next to where I live and that’s where the records live. I have specially built in fans. It’s two floors and it’s like a huge barn.
How does it smell?
Well I go in there quite a bit and check it. Sometimes I go in to just hear things from the past to influence me with things im doing right now so that’s where some of my greatest ideas come from, songs of the past.
Do you have a system for organising your records or is it more like organised chaos?
If you don’t work a lot your collection probably just sits their and it’s very neat. But I can tell if a DJ is working ‘cause I can look at his collection and say ‘hey, its all over the place’ ‘cause you’re constantly pulling things out and putting it back. So, organised chaos would be the definition.
Does your mind ever switch off or is it part of the enjoyment?
It’s part of the enjoyment. I’m saying ‘ok this doesn’t go with that’. I’m a scientist so modern technology has come up with this term, stretching, so you can take a song that’s 96 beats per minute and you could take a song that’s 110 beats per minute and the computer will make both BPM’s lock. Back in the day, you couldn’t do that. Modern technology also pays a major party in some of the great production of some of these DJs.
You sound in favour of the new mixing technology
It’s what I’ve always done
Do you think the computer programmes that allow people to beat match without even knowing the technique is a positive thing?
I mean anybody could play records but it’s an art to DJ. Not anybody can do this, I don’t think so. Anybody can play a record and mix one to the next but not everybody could set the musical atmosphere to peak them and them bring them down.
It’s the end of the world and you’ve got time for 3 records left. What would you play?
Oh my god! Big, big records, I don’t even know cause I travel the world man.
So it’s different in different places?
When you’ve done it for long as I have, I kind of empathise with the audience and say ‘Ok, this is the audience that wants to hear this, this is the audience that wants to hear that” so for the first 5 minutes or so I am blind until I find it. I’m looking and searching. I am a servant, that’s how I look at myself. Its like, how can I serve you?
Do you think you’re a good reader of people?
I think I’m probably a better reader of people at a party than maybe in my personal life. I made a bit of a mess there! But maybe with people at a party I could come in, the first 5, 10 minutes and if I don’t get them in the first 10 minutes I’m struggling.
So it’s kind of a group thing really rather than a personal one?