After two decades behind the decks, John Digweed is still one of the top DJs in the world. Tomorrow, he plays in Taipei at Myst Nightclub.
Back in the early 1990s, Digweed partnered with Sasha, real-name Alexander Paul Coe, and the pair embarked on a global journey that would help popularize an underground scene.
But at the beginning, when raves were illegal and DJs played eight-hour sets, the future of electronic dance music was far from assured.
“I was lucky to have been there at the start and see the scene grow to where it is now,” said Digweed in an interview with the Taipei Times. “There was always a sense that the party was going to get stopped so it always added that extra bit of excitement to the party. The parties these days have better production, sound and lighting, so people really do get an amazing experience.”
“We never thought it would last,” he said. “So we were just enjoying each party as if it was going to be the last. I don’t really miss anything as the roller-coaster ride I started with is still going round.”
Digweed spent 10 years in the top 10 of DJ Mag’s top 100 DJ list, and has been featured on various illustrious mix compilations like Renaissance and Global Underground.
But he is not just a DJ. His own record label, Bedrock, is home to many high-profile producers and puts on what has become a staple club night on the party circuit in the UK.
Although he began by playing trance and acid house on two turntables, his sound has developed into progressive house and techno. However, he doesn’t want to be pigeonholed.
“I think I have progressed and moved forward as the music has. If people see you just playing the same sound all the time your career will not move forward and you will not attract any new fans,” he said.
He’s also upgraded his set-up. “I still miss vinyl and still buy it and we release tracks on Bedrock, but you have to move forward and use the technology to improve the way you play. I love the new CD players and being able to have my set on an SD card.”
Though Digweed is a veteran, tomorrow’s set won’t be a throwback to the salad days of dance music.
“I tend to try and play the big club tracks from the future as I get more of a buzz from seeing people go crazy to music they have not heard before, rather than play the hits that people already know,” said Digweed.
John Digweed plays tomorrow at Myst Nightclub, which opened in October, on the 9th floor of the ATT 4 FUN building. Tickets are NT$1,300 in advance, available from 7-Eleven ibon kiosks, and NT$1,600 at the door.
The 4,000-person capacity Myst boasts two rooms, two bars and a two-story indoor waterfall. Although you can expect the same hustle and bustle as at any other busy venue, lining up is worth it if you like state-of-the-art clubbing.
The main room features hip-hop and pop fused with a touch of electro, and is open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with a NT$700 cover charge. Ladies are admitted free on Wednesdays. The adjacent lounge caters to the hip-hop and electronic crowd and is open every night of the week with no cover charge on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
In the near future, organizers plan to open a balcony and alfresco bar and swimming pool.
Myst is located at 9F, 12, Songshou Rd, Taipei City (台北市松壽路12號9F). Call (02) 7737-9997 for reservations. For English-language inquiries, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.