Digweed in 2014
1 January 1967 |
|Genres||House, progressive house, tech house, techno, progressive trance|
Record Label Owner
|1989 - present|
|Sasha & John Digweed, Bedrock|
Digweed began DJing at the age of 15, and made a name for himself in his home town of Hastings, where he put on successful club nights, the most famous of which were his successful raves on Hastings Pier, where the likes of Carl Cox and The Prodigy performed. His breakthrough came in 1993, when he sent a mixtape demo to Geoff Oakes, founder of the Renaissance nightclub in Mansfield, who played it to fellow DJ Alexander Coe (aka Sasha). The two DJs struck up a long-term friendship and working relationship, despite Sasha twice failing to turn up for gigs that Digweed had booked him for in Hastings.
In partnership with Sasha, Digweed is known for promoting progressive house and notable for producing the first commercial compilation for a nightclub, when they released their 1994 compilation of mixes from Renaissance entitled Renaissance: The Mix Collection. Until then, mixtapes from clubs had only been circulated by DJs on an amateur basis. The Renaissance CD was the first time that a compilation CD had been planned strategically for marketing, from artwork to promotion. The two DJs famously followed this up with their Northern Exposure compilations and those on Global Underground.
Digweed then started the record label Bedrock Records to further promote the music that he was playing at the time. He and his friend Nick Muir went on to produce under the Bedrock alias, getting their big break when their first track "For What You Dream Of" was used in the film Trainspotting. The Bedrock duo also produced the soundtrack for the MTV adult cartoon drama Spider-Man in 2003. In his sets, Digweed is noted for adopting tracks with new and different styles.
Between 2000 and 2005, Digweed promoted his "Bedrock" sound with monthly club nights for club members and newcomers to the electronic music scene. He played on Thursday nights at Heaven in London, and on Friday nights in a smaller club night at The Beach in Brighton. These nights featured numerous guest DJs, including Danny Howells, Phil Thompson, Hernan Cattaneo and Chris Fortier. As Digweed's international schedule increased, these events drew to a close, although occasional reunions have been held at Heaven since. He celebrated ten years of his Bedrock club night on 10 October 2008 at Matter in London, with a near on ten-hour set.
Digweed has enjoyed popularity throughout North America as well as Europe. He and Sasha established a monthly residency at the now defunct New York club Twilo, which proved a key location for the American electronic music scene. The residency began in 1997 with a lukewarm reception, but grew into one of the most popular club nights in New York City by the end of its run in 2001. Sasha and Digweed played at Twilo on the last Friday of every month, playing sets that lasted between eight and twelve hours. In early 2001, Sasha suffered an ear injury and was unable to play for their last four dates before Twilo was closed by the New York City authorities. Digweed continued to play the time-slot by himself until 6 May 2001, when Twilo was raided by the NYPD and subsequently forced to close down.
In early 2002, Digweed along with Sasha and Jimmy Van M undertook a six-week countrywide tour of the United States called Delta Heavy. The tour was promoted by Clear Channel and attendance reached 85,000. It took place in a variety of venues but was completely self-reliant from a technical point of view; sound, lights, and visual setups were brought along to every gig of the tour. Also in 2002, Digweed curated and compiled the soundtrack to the film Stark Raving Mad.
From September 2000 to January 2011, Digweed hosted a weekly two-hour radio show on Kiss 100 in the UK, in which he played the first hour of music and a guest DJ played the second hour. Beginning in September 2006, his show was available on all three Kiss radio stations. By that time, the show's name had become Transitions, which was also the name of a four-volume series of mix albums by Digweed that was released every six months during 2006-2008. In January 2011, Transitions aired for the last time on Kiss 100, but the show continues to be broadcast online.
2008 saw Digweed and Sasha reuniting for a Spring Club Tour that once again featured performances all over North America. In 2011, Digweed's music was featured in the film movie adaptation of Irvine Welsh's best-selling novel Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy.
He featured among the top ten artists from 1998-2008 and was voted DJ Mag's number 1 one DJ won in 2001. In 2010, he was voted number 29 in DJ Mag's annual Top 100 DJs vote. In 2013, Digweed was ranked the number 17 best DJ in the world in Resident Advisor's top 100 DJ charts; he currently is number 43 as of June 2016.