As one of the biggest underground DJs for the past 25 plus years, John Digweed has been the forward driving force in the progression of quality dance music, one of the few figures that regularly matches substance with style.
Digweed has always crafted incredible mix CDs, his Global Underground offerings for instance remain fresh, meticulously mixed and carefully crafted to really take the listener on an adventurous, distinctive journey. We look back at one of his finest moments - his Structures double release from back in July 2010.
Starting off with a lush, entrancing synth lead intro, the first CD kicks off on a slower tempo house aesthetic, with John Daly’s remix of Alex Dolby & Santos’ 'Babylon' kickstarting the mood. With Digweed using Ableton 8 to create Structures, the sequencing and correlation between each track is mesmerizing, with the mix showcasing a deft, hypnotic style of mixing that has become his signature.
Records like Dirty Mongrel's 'Cream' provide a groove laden, warm and atmospheric discernment that Digweed returns to time and again, creating emotional, blissful connections combined with deeply sporadic use of intoxicating basslines. The melodies gradually begin to really shine through, Christian Varela’s 'Colmedream' showing off a distinct eight bar melodic loop which ebbs in and out, which is both subtle and immediate.
Long time Digweed favourite Quivver arrives to take things on a darker tech house tip, with the occasional glockenspiel providing respite from the swirling growling synths. King Unique's '20000 dub' showcases a staccatoed melodic turn, whilst Digweed and long time collaborator Nick Muir's version of the same track sends things fierce again, just before the CD closes with a lighter, almost euphoric cut, again from Quivver, bringing the mix back down to earth fora smooth, well rounded landing.
CD two though is where the action lies. Starting on a much darker tip through fellow Global underground favourite Nick Warren, the action goes subterranean instantly, with almost jazz like notes quietly in the background bouncing off bassline surrounded by unnerving cut off vocal snippets.
From then on Digweed really showcases the breadth of his vision, with elements of minimal techno giving way to the progressive chord stabs of Ian O'Donovan's 'Aurora Borealis' followed by the chaotic carnivalesque driving rhythm of Digweed and Muir's remix of Marco Bailey's 'Jungle Laps'. From here on in, all bets are off, and Digweed cranks up the pressure.
Marc Marzenit's beautiful 'Neo Glaxy' comes shimmering in, complete with screaming modulated single note synth lines that instantly send things stellar. Christian Smith's 'Flyertalk' lightens the mood somewhat, whilst Psycatron's remix of Mutant Clan's 'Persuader' soon drags things back into the shadows.
Tech house banger 'Collusion' by Erphun & Thee-O drives things into the final straight, with sounds crumbling and collapsing in wicked fashion as the broken beat of Sistema's remix of Esperanza by Guy J brings things to a close in cinematic fashion.
The entire release highlights that when it comes to the much talked about DJing journey, Digweed remains the master, with each repeated listen revealing hidden subtleties, deft touches, and downright technical genius.
We've got a number of gigs coming up where you can catch Digweed headlining to great effect, with dates at Fire London on Thursday April 17th, Freeze Liverpool with Ellen Allien on Saturday 26th, and Manchester's Gorilla Club on 2nd of May.
Click the links for your tickets: