You can tell when Nick Warren's on the decks. The music emanating from the DJ booth is that perfect club mix of driving percussion and soaring musicality, bursting out of the speakers, soaking everyone in melody, drenching them in sound.
Warren's impressive career has seen him release the very first Back to Mine, a staggering eight albums for Global Underground, and one for Renaissance and Cream. He is also in control of A&R for record label Hope Recordings, as well as being a member of the highly acclaimed duo Way Out West. Starting as tour DJ with Massive Attack, moving onto a residency at super club Cream and playing at every self-respecting club on the planet, has led him to this natural position as one of the world's most respected DJs.
We caught up for a quick chat ahead of his exclusive classics set at the Cream Reunion on 19th May.
You've had a long history with Cream, how did it all start for you?
I took over from X-Press 2 in the Main Room and it was bloody difficult to be honest! Paul ruled that place for a while but I had some great nights in there and of course many amazing memories.
In your earlier years in particular, you played quite a variety of musical styles in your club sets. Did this stem from your influences or were you still finding your sound?
A bit of both I suppose but also the music back then was alot more diverse and not so pigeon holed as it is today. if a track was big for instance like Josh Winks "Higher state" then everybody would play it.
You later became more progressive edged and along with your Way Out West project soon emerged as one of the most sought after DJ's in the world. How do you reflect on that period in time for you?
It was really an incredible time and I visited so many amazing clubs and places, thankfully things are still going strong!
You became a regular performer for the Global Underground series. How do you approach the albums, do you take the best parts of what you played at the night or is it all pre-planned?
It is all very much pre planned and takes months to put together, around 3 months to source the music, find the location and then organise the event.
As well as Global Underground you also mixed albums for Cream and Renaissance to name a few, which mix gives you most satisfaction?
They all have a special place in my heart but maybe my favourite one was the Back To Mine album I did.
Forming Way Out West played a huge part in your career. When you met Jody in 1994 did you have different styles and tastes or did you gel straight away? Producing the Cream classic 'Ajare' that year would suggest the latter!?
Yeh we gelled straight away, Ajare started off as a drum and bass track but my house influence slowed the whole thing down and we turned it into the anthem it is now.
No not at all. When we released "The Gift" and it hit the top 20 we had to get an album together double quick for the label.
As well as your own productions you've been one of the most in demand remix duo's since you formed. What's your favourite Way Out West production and favourite remix?
I think Domination is my favourite of our tracks, of the remixes I think the WOW mix of James Holden "Horizons" is the best.
Have you had fun sourcing the old material for the Cream Reunion and what can we expect on the night?
God it has been difficult to find them all, but looking forward to taking you right back to the hey day of the Annexe!
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Originally published: 10th May 2012