Interview and guest mix!
Chiffvone: Hi Johnny, first off important one – where in the world do you reside and is there where you grew up?
Johnny: Hi Chiffvone, thanks for having me! I grew up around High Wycombe, just outside of North West London but currently I am residing down Berlin ways, Germany.
Chiffvone: Straight to it…. I hear you are in the final stages of setting up your own record label (congratulations), please do tell me more?
Johnny: Sure thing, the label is called ‘Ecke Records’ – aiming at releasing tracks across the genres yet leaning slightly towards the broken beat/electronica side.
Chiffvone: What is your main aim for the label and what made you start a label?
Johnny: I wanted to start ‘Ecke’ to push the talents of the wicked up and coming producers around me who I have appreciated for a long time – each of them bringing a unique style to the table.
Chiffvone: (I look forward to hearing the releases) So as well as a label owner, you are a DJ and Producer – which came first DJ’in or producing and who is your biggest inspiration?
Johnny: My biggest inspirations come from my brothers James & Chris, who brought me up on UK Breakbeat, Garage and Trance elements from an early age which you hear a lot in my selections today.
From 2007 Fabric nightclub had a massive role to play also, firstly the Friday night parties where I got heavily involved in Drum & Bass raving. After that I spent 4 years whilst at college in Birmingham getting involved in promotion for a couple of events there and then going on to run my own small party for 18 months which were mixed genres (House, Bass, Drum & Bass and Techno).
From this and an inevitable trip to Fabric on a Saturday (stop the press), I found a whole other side of Electronic music that offered the rugged upfront breaks from D&B, blended with deeper Techno and House flavours I grew to love! Whole new door opened from then on.
I only started dabbling in production a couple of years ago, it’s a hard road but I am definitely getting there – myself and the other label manager Xantrax are aiming to release the second EP on ‘Ecke’ soon!
Chiffvone: Oh nice and what can we expect from you this year – more gig, more releases?
Johnny: At least 3 releases from ‘Ecke’ this year starting around April and yeah a couple of gigs lined up in UK and Europe this half of the year with more in the works, looking to be a goodun!!
We ae going to be throwing a label launch party in Berlin around May time so will link you up when that is incoming!
Chiffvone: I look forward to it 🙂 So Johnny, are there any DJs or Producers to watch out for this year who are coming through the ranks?
Johnny: Firstly, DJ wise – Dan Beaven, Enchanted Rhythms & David Cooper (DC Ops) I would defo throw in as DJs to watch this year and if I can back track, I would also place them as inspirations to me personally like these guys dig tunes like no others and always surprise me with their selections.
Producers I would have to say Xantrax, that guy has a mind like no-one I have met and his tunes always jump out & slap me in the face. Also Nollern head honcho Eff_el – I predict some glitchy minimal filth this year I can’t wait!
Chiffvone: I’m going to throw you right off now, name me your top DJs who you would love to put on a line-up together and why?
Johnny: That’s a hard one, probably all the guys I mentioned above in the last question! Or are you asking for bigger names?
Too many to choose from but I’d probs go for Luke Vibert, Djrum & Lukas Wigflex. Luke Vibert & Djrum are my fave producers and Lukas Wigflex has a wild selection in his sets.
Chiffvone: 2018, are there any clubs or parties that you would like to play at?
Johnny: All the good ones….? And maybe the sh*t ones too?
Chiffvone: Ha Ha Ha. Berlin, which is your top club and why?
Johnny: At the moment I’d say Griessmeulher. They got a lot of time for what various crews around me are doing which is wicked to see!
Chiffvone: Oh nice! Lastly, I notice a lot of musicians find it hard to switch off and have little balance often leading to depression and loneliness, how do you relax & unwind away from the music?
Johnny: I’m not at the stage with gigs yet that I am facing these problems although depression in the scene is definitely one to watch. It goes for any art form, no matter what you do, you will always criticise your own work. I surround myself with music in my circles and right now wouldn’t have it any other way.
I have moved my attention away from going to parties unnecessarily and focusing that time on production, I think finding the balance between having fun and pushing/practising your creative endeavours (in no matter what art form) is crucial. Also a massive thing to remember, don’t take yourself to seriously, keep it fun!!
Chiffvone: Thank you Johnny for joining me for the chat 🙂
Johnny: Thanks I had a blast!