In this beat-dropping episode of our podcast, we dive deep into the world of DJ culture with Rob Webster, a.k.a Rob Webster. From his early influences and his journey through hip-hop and rave culture, to becoming a buyer of music and an influential figure in the Nottingham independent record shop scene, we cover it all. We explore the evolution of trance music in the 90s, Rob's step into music production, and how the club scene changed over time. Rob also shares his experiences of mentorship, dealing with ego as a resident DJ, and his transition into offering mentorship for aspiring DJs and producers. Tune in for an electrifying 1 hour 5 minutes of groovy tales and industry insights.


Adam Gow 0:00

So welcome back again to once a DJ. This is the pilot of the video format. Next Mr. Rob Webster, who's with us, multi genre DJ, former resident of one of the UK's biggest club nights, top 10 record producer from when the top 10 mattered and much more. Rob Webster, aka RobJamWeb, aka boy Wonder. Thank you for coming on the podcast.

Unknown Speaker 0:22

You're welcome, Adam. How are you, mate? I'm good.

Adam Gow 0:24

Excellent. Yeah, I'm good. Thank you. So yeah, let's kick it off. I've actually got a bit of research and some questions. That individuals Yeah. So I think the first thing to get into is just looking at where your candle of the music came from. Okay.

Speaker 2 0:39

Right. Well, I was born into music. I literally had no choice. When I was born, my dad named me after Led Zeppelin. So my name is Robert James, which is named after Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. So from the often I was literally born into that my dad was a huge music fan. He was a massive gig goer like is the only people who never saw with the Beatles pretty much and everyone else has seen it was worth seeing in those days. Anyway, so I was surrounded by music, oh them all my childhood and then when I got to the age of seven in 84, my cousin who was few years older than me was 14 came around the house one day with a an electrode tape the tape got electrode crucial. And he was saying no, everyone's dancing to this music this watch this. He taught me how to body pop. I was eight, eight years old. He was 13/14 I had no idea what it was. And we spent the whole weekend dancing in my garden to Elektro crucial so it was tunes like hashey Monet fish, Tyrone Brunson the Smurf, Afrika Bambaataa, wildstyle, all that. And it just literally grabbed me instantly. Even from that young age. I knew, you know, I knew that there was this was something I really enjoyed. And then within that, that space of that year, I went to see Beach Street at the cinema, when we dad, I went see breakdance to the movie with me mom at the cinema, and an ad, you know, I started collecting electro albums, and then it evolved into Public Enemy, Eric B. & Rakim, LL Cool J. Beastie Boys, then it was De La Soul, NWA, and then, you know, Tribe Called Quest, Gangstarr. and on it went, you know, I mean, and then at the same time, of all of that, I was interested in the acid as thing as well, because pop charts were like, inner city, big fun. You know, Derrick May, all that kind of stuff was coming out of Chicago and Detroit. And that was in the pop charts right on time, black box, all those kinds of pop dance records. And then obviously, that was coexisting at the same time as the hip hop movement was. So those two were constantly intertwined as I was growing up, and also as a massive Pet Shop Boys fan, as well as a teenager. So it was kind of either the Pet Shop Boys or the Smiths, you know, I mean, I didn't want to be the Smiths. So push up was a more electronic, which was more geared to what I did, and that's how it evolved. That's how my musical tastes evolved as a teenager. And then when I got to 16, I went to do work experience at bpm records in Derby, and that was in late 92. And the irony was that my English teacher got me that gig got me that week experience because he was friends with David when BPM. Anyway, the funny thing was all my mates ended up doing crappy things like Asda and or going to some factory for a week and I got the London a record show, which was just for me, it was dreamy, especially that aired on the radio, it was nice to the rave club scene was just the rave scene was just petering out. And the club scene was just starting to evolve. So just

Adam Gow 3:25

at that point, then you're kind of journey through hip hop and things was was that with a bunch of mates? Or was that solo that you on your own?

Speaker 2 3:35

It was me pursuing it, because how I would pick up on things would obviously was Top of the Pops. And my dad was friends with a guy called Paul Needham, who used to own a pub in town called the old Nelson, Lord Nelson, which is now I don't know if it's a I think it's a microbrewery. Now, you know, on the corner of it was

Adam Gow 3:54

it was Deez not long ago. It's becoming a burger joint next,

Speaker 2 3:57

right, whatever it is now, but it's originally called the Lord Nelson. And my dad's friend Paul Needham was the landlord law. And they shared a love of jazz together when I was a child growing up in the 80s. And Paul used to run a pirate radio station from the roof of the pub. And him and Russell, Russell Davidson, who later became my boss and mentor through progress. And those guys used to run a pirate radio station up there and used to tune into that around 87/88. And Russell would play, you know, acid acid, early rave and hip hop and whatever. So I'd always tuned into that. I used to tape it, and I was like, 10/11 years old, and I was always looking for music. And my dad used to buy the enemy every week for the good guide. So I always would always see in the enemy pictures or Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, and I'll coach or whoever, whoever was at that time, so it was always about discovering it through all the people around me. I didn't, I didn't pursue it. And I was only a kid. I mean, but I will just pick up what occurred around me. And then obviously used to borrow tape from mates. We got to secondary school, you met older kids. It was you know, I was introduced to endued way by school friends and it was like, you know, gangsta rap as a whole You think and it was like, wow, you know, having no concept of the meaning of the songs, you know, I mean, you know, in Australia content, I had no idea what it meant having no idea what Public Enemies album meant, but I just fell in love with it. You know, I had no idea of the lyrical concept of it until I was an adult. But as a kid, it was just this rebellious, loud noise. I mean, it was to break beats and blah, blah, blah. And it was, it was fun. So it was all through self exploration. But taking from those around, you know, I mean, that were in the know, I suppose.

Adam Gow 5:31

Yeah, cuz I think that's when you can kind of forge your own path, isn't it, you get this lack of originality, because you're not going through just one lineage for musical inspiration. So if we just go back then to the work experience,

Speaker 2 5:45

that was that was amazing. I did a five day run at bpm, and it was in late 92. And I can remember when used to was number one in the in the pop charts with I Will Always Love You, the bodyguard had just come out. So that was we sell the charts in AC so it was they did everything wasn't just independent retailer, they sold the pop charts, they sold Indy house, hip hop, soul, techno, drum and bass, the lot. The covered every aspect of independent music, as well as commercial. So you know, it was it was amazing experience. And then obviously, I went back to school, and finished my School Year that year. And then in the April of 93, I left school. And basically, I wrote to Dave, it BPMs I wrote my letter back in the days when you'd write a letter, you know, and say, remember me from work experience if you've got any jobs, and he rang him up a week later. I've not heard anything for a week so far. I'm just gonna walk in and just ask if he says no, so what? And so yeah, Rob, I've got to reply, sorry, blah, blah, blah, been busy. Yeah, we've got a YTS open and if you want it, which is a YTS. For anyone listening is a youth training scheme programme, which the Tory government created back in the 80s and early 90s, where you basically just like an apprenticeship, basically. But you did you got paid 30 pound a week. And you could claim it was for and that was it, but it didn't matter. The job of my dreams, you know, I mean, I could only you know, I could have been on a building site or some horrible sweaty factory, but you know, because the options were rolling limited unless you created your own. Sim now suppose but so anyway, yeah, I started working for BPM as a youth training scheme apprentice as a retail apprentice. And instantly, you know, within days, it just stayed there could see my enthusiasm and my love for music. It wasn't you know, it wasn't immediately surrounded me with a lot of older people. Some people my age, you know, the customers I'm talking to like, the 18 year old 19 or bedroom DJs club DJs and then there would be the older crowd that came in that were probably in the 30s that had been around since the 70s and 80s that were clients customers and you know, so you learn from them, do you I mean, I started picking up a learn about jazz funk through some of the clients like James Brown, Fred Wesley, that stuff started grabbing my you know, my soul with it. And then I started picking upon the older house stuff that had missed out on you know, the Chicago stuff because I was dealing with reps on the phone importers on the phone who will import stuff from America weekly. And I was like Oh, can you get this on DJ International can you get this off Trax records Yeah, we can get we can get all these pressings and so you know instantly I was just It was Christmas Everyday mate. Did you become a buyer there then got absolutely yeah, not not straightaway obviously have to learn this isn't months down the line, but you the reps would have come in or ring up. So you would have your mainstream reps like EMI Parlophone, Sony Warner's, et cetera, they would come in and give you the chart stuff, pop albums and so on. And then you'd have your independent reps network records, which was I think it was Neil Rushton the guy's own network in altern8 and all those rave bands. In a city, he had a rap for network and they sold all the techno in the house and underground stuff, there was Mo's music, they sold loads of bootlegs, and then there was the dodgy guys that came around selling bootlegs, white label guys from Liverpool, I'll get into that later if you want, but, and then you'd have the independent reps or the other labels that were like a moto, you know, the distributors, there's like distributors, like the Moto pinnacle. Sid, they're all probably folded now. But they were independent distributors for little small labels, you know, so they would come in, and they would skim through the records and you'd give you a pile of stock, you go through five of them, three of them, two of them, they've got to bring it in cash on delivery or put it on the accounts. It was it was just a community, you know, a self sufficient community. Dance music was a club, any sort of independent music retail, and it was it was just everybody contributed to the to the to the cause, you know what I mean? The the guys would make white labels, they would pass them on to the distributor dish, we would go around the record shops around the Midlands or the north. And that's how things got a bad that's how things went viral. You know, it's our tracks when popular, you know what I mean? So yeah, it was it was it was a very, it was Christmas Everyday that's the only way I can put it yeah.

Adam Gow:

So we've had a couple of people on where we've talked about certain record shops. And I think to do when I started buying records, I didn't really experience this because it was mainly kind of maybe kind of been in gone. But you had those shops where it was sort of almost intimidated to ask for a certain record. Was that sort of culture there?

Speaker 2 10:21

No, not at all. Not in BPM. I mean, some people probably felt intimidated because of that, kind of what's the word look for that that reputation that record shops had, I mean, I myself experience it, you know, when you get to select a disc in Nottingham, they were very much like that they were kind of gatekeepers. Whereas now, if I bought, if I was, if I bought 30 copies of the latest white label, I want to sell those 30 copies of the white label, it's not in my interest to keep the one of the counter, if there was something that came out, that was probably three copies came in, I would probably save those first three copies for myself, Pete from progress, or another DJ that we would use that weekend, and then I would order them another 10. The week after John, I mean, when I could get all of them again, you know, but no way. It wasn't in our interest to withhold stuff and be kind of on the LPU kind of thing it was anyone come in, anyone can always come back in those days, we'll have you know, female DJs come in female bedroom. DJs. And that that started out and they were just you just, you know, they would often be more felt intimidated, because it was mostly in those days, or men's environment, you know, it's completely changed now, which is great. But in those days, were only a handful of women. DJs. So now, in those days, anybody that came in the shop doesn't matter what you are, or how old you were, or what you were who you were, you were a customer, if you were buying we would go right, if you hit this, have you tried that? Have you heard this? Because we'd pick up on what they bring to the counter? Can I listen to these, please? Yeah, of course. Can you look at them? Right? Okay, that's deep house, whatever. Have you tried this track? Then you put some more out and a system that was? That was the enthusiasm for me getting people to hear new stuff, you know, off going, have you heard this truck and the guy I've heard that in a club can have that as well. And it's a sale and that's not sitting on stock? I don't I don't believe that. You know, I never believe that.

Adam Gow:

So when and where did you start DJing then

Speaker 2 12:08

literally, in clubs, the first gig I ever did was in September 93. It was at the warehouse, which is basically what was a mosh.

Adam Gow:

So how old would you have been then just turned 17? How long would you add decks?

Speaker 2 12:20

Oh, about a year. So prior to that? Well, it's no I tell the truth teller, I sorry, in 91, I bought two I bought two MIDI Hi Fi stack high fives, right. And I used to just put them next to each other and just play the record and turn the volume up like this because I have a mixer. And obviously they were connected one at its own speed because they got its own speakers and just used to faff around doing that. And also prior to that I had a twin tape deck. And it's to do tape mixes when I was about 1314. And then I would pause a part of a track like Mega mixes you know, and then record and forward the next bit the tape editing basically, without realising that was what the word was. And just do pause mixes is to call them pause mixers, and then MC mega mix of a tape and just do that but proper deckchair late 92, early 93 I got my first proper DAX and there was like a one was pioneer, not pioneer, so Panasonic belt drive and there was a technics belt drive and the pitch was a little wheel at the front. And you could you could you know if you to mix you could do have to move the wheel like a little like a rotary tiny, tiny wheel has like a half wheel popping out. And used to mix them like that in a realistic Mixer from Tandy, which costs about 30 quid or something like that. And that was my first setup. And yet the way that you know, I used to put a penny on the thing that I've scratched I used to put like 2030 pennies, you know, I mean to make it way down. So yeah, there was all it was all part of the course isn't it? You know, and then first techniques tax I got in late 94 which I had for me at my dad bought me some techniques a lot two techniques twelves for found record. So I mean, I don't know just about a grant and so on.

Adam Gow:

Yeah, the seem to hold the value a lot now. So the kind of backup more expensive than there were when we would have been buying but I know there was a dip around the sort of digital adoption, where I know our good friend Hudson got a couple for I think it was 300 quid for the pair. But yeah, at the moment. Yeah, they're not cheap at all.

Speaker 2 14:16

Yeah, I mean, these two are replacements because as I say, I sold my decks in 2009. I think I got rid of them eventually. I don't know why I did it actually. But again, but yeah, they were my first x but that was my first my first DJ and experience was in late 93 basically Russell did this night called kissing and it was a Friday night at the same venue with progress was out. But it was just a mixture of everything you know, pop house, r&b, indie whatever. And I said Russell please let me do the first two hours let me do the first I was begging him you know, it's not as keen as I thought I was only 1716 And he says right you can do first two hours and then you can do the lights for me after I said sure. Yeah, I'll do anything. I'll do anything just wants to get my foot in that door. You know, I mean I did it and I just loved it and it just kept me on every Friday for for about a year we just did that and then but on the Saturday because I was doing the lights on the Friday I would go to the club on the Saturday in the summer of night three and gradually employed me to do the lights to be his run around I did all sorts of jobs anything I could to be a part of a club scenes I mean,

Adam Gow:

so that first night you were doing where you can multi genre. Yeah. Oh yeah,

Speaker 2 15:25

absolutely. It was hip hop it was r&b it was a bit of dance pop, you know, whatever was right at time. I don't know fleck was like crystal waters and Robin Essen into bloody even stuff like the far side. You know, all that kind of fun hip hop, you know, Tribe Called Quest status, all that sort of stuff. But yeah, it was it was a it wasn't a full on, you know, serious club music. It was it was for Sadie German. Yeah. So when he progress that progress started in December night two at the warehouse, which is washed, obviously, what's not wash anymore, is it but anyway, so it started late 92. And I started going in May 93. So six months in, I started going. And by the end of the LSDj for them, and playing regularly. They're warming up and doing the hotshot one as well, this monthly night at Mansfield every month called hotspot from October 9, three, ran through tonight at five. And our DJ were two rooms. So have DJ there every month as well in the second room. So yeah, that was our got the foot in the door. It was kind of working the record shop meeting Russell developing a relationship with Him. And Pete and then working in the club for him. And you know, yeah, and it just evolves.

Adam Gow:

Yeah, we'll get into how big progress became. But what was it like in those early days? What was it like musically,

Speaker 2 16:41

musically, it was it was extremely experimental, experimental, it's a wrong word to use, but extremely diverse. Like we became so commercial in the end, because everything became commercial by the end of the 90s. It was exhausted itself but 92 night three, night four, night five, those three years. You would we would book say for example, follow jetmaster funk one week, Marshall Jeff's in the next week, which these guys are icons. At that point, even then, then the week after we would have say least allowed or smoking Joe though to female DJs that were running the circuit back in those days. Then we would have Jeremy Healy, who was a big puller, he was the biggest DJ in the country at that time. Then Pete Tong, but then we would have Andy whether or Jeremy would book on whoever or and he came twice. So we had this one week, someone playing real handbag house, hands in the air, and then the week later, Weatherall come along to do some obscure techno sort of set, but it worked. It just worked. People were a bit more open minded progress was this kind of in the warehouse because it was gonna get 300 in there. It was this kind of exclusive club at that time. The other clubs had the Samer Ritz's coconut, the commercial places, and the music we played in there was a lot there was some commercial stuff being played. But it was before it was commercial. You know, I mean, it was the promos of k classes, like single or, you know, it was a lot more underground, some DJs would play tribal house, you know, Junior vascular style stuff, and then other people would play more bangin sort of trancy stuff, you know, kind of early, early trance kind of progressive, melodic trance,

Adam Gow:

was it quite an exclusive sort of crowd.

Speaker 2 18:19

It was a family based crowd, it was a very family based everybody knew everybody the core crowd that when that'd be probably the 300 the probably 150 Children that were every week. And those would come from Birmingham, Northampton, you know, Stoke, some people's come from London, you know, it would be people would travel to it. And then there were those that dipped in and then dipped out, didn't like it, you know, whatever button that when you got in there, the atmosphere was so intense, like, good, good intensity, and its meaning that you could just, it was just placed with just like Saudi into the tent. It was just, it was mental people literally would climb into the rafters sometimes and it would place the walls would sweat. It was amazing. You know, he was an amazing, amazing vibe. And there is there is a video from 1990, early 93 of Russell Broadus being filmed at the warehouse, which came out in a TV show called be poor BPM, which was run by Dave Terrell and it disappeared off YouTube I don't know where it's gone but it just shows you the atmosphere of what it was in those days. But yeah, it was it was electric.

Adam Gow:

So from there you were doing the record shot by day then and progress at night and Russell's of the night. Did you just stay with those are we trying to push the DJ now outside of

Speaker 2 19:32

I I wasn't trying to push anything it was coming to me Yeah, because of the positioning of the shop picks up basically promoters would come in and they'll go on putting this night unable to want to play next month and ago yeah and ago Aki put a poster for us and it was kind of like a trade off you know, put some posts up flip promote the nightfalls in the shop, give people flyers and and they'll get a gig out of it. Not that that was the intention. But that was just how it evolved and more promoters came in. He got to know more promoters and That's where I met John Beckley. And he he who I'm still working for, funnily enough, and he would do nights at the club across the road called the low club with a dial. It's not it's not there anymore. And we'd put events on there as well. So in that time in Darby it was it was a soup club Mecca, because you had protests on the Friday, you had shopping John, back last night at the local of the dial across the road, and behind there, you had renascence renascence rear for a year and a half. And we thought we were going to, you know, lose out or any signs but it turned out the opposite way, they ended up losing that to us. But basically, Darby had three really good club nights within a half a mile radius, a quarter of a mile radius of each other. And all three were busy in on heard of these days, you know, type one, club nine in the anywhere now, you know, that's sustainable. But yeah, that was the work would the work would just come to me, based on my position, I suppose, in a sense, not to say that I wasn't deserving of these games, or I was good and was good enough. It was just that I was central to the scene at that time I worked in the record shop, I was on site every day. And that's that's, you know, that's probably one of the main reasons why I grew quickly at a young age.

Adam Gow:

Yeah, did that pull you in a specific musical direction, then?

Speaker 2 21:13

No, I was always I've always been open and open sort of genre sort of DJ my, my set set progress would be mostly house depending on what site time was on, it was warming up from nine to 10. I would play garage, US garage mostly. And then if I was doing the one to two slot or something after the guest, it will be full on harder stuff, you know, big bands in the air tracks. And then at the hot to trot gigs in Mansfield on a monthly basis, that would be the downstairs room. So then I will do the hip hop, the scratch DJ in all the sort of, you know, DMC style stuff with some disco of some funk. That would be for that room, because it'll be in the chat room there. So the main room was called Cox was Paul Oakenfold. It was John, the policewoman, whoever. So we kept it different downstairs, you say? So that would be that I always had this. And that's the same today, I will always have an open genre. Sort of I was like a bar DJ before bar DJs existed. Yeah, in the chat rooms. And I'll do the funk and hip hop and blah, blah, blah. But House wise it would I would be varied. I would never stick to one thing I think has been a bit of a gift and a curse for me, because I can, I've never stuck to one genre I get so bored. Even now producing music, I will never stick to one genre. It's got I've got to change all the time, that some producers will develop one sound, which is the ideal thing to do. But for me, I've I've just got this, you know, I can't sit still I can't. So I need to. I'm always changing and chopping and changing. So DJ wise, yeah, it's an open book pretty much for me.

Adam Gow:

Yeah. And I think how much do you just want to keep replicating and replicate in your best and, and a lot of creative people. So your profile was kind of growing as the perception of the DJ was changing. So you were getting pulled along, your trajectory was up and all of a sudden, were you becoming kind of the limelight and the focal point for people?

Speaker 2 22:59

As a resident DJ progress? Yeah, definitely. And then, as the mid 90s, developed, I started doing regular slots in Leicester and Nottingham, Mansfield, you know, all over and then I would do these tours and get roped into these tours. From progress, like we did a Malibu tour was sponsored by Malabo to go and do 20 days across the UK for three months or whatever it was. And it was just, you know, so you would end up going off and developing your name out into these other clubs, but most of them were just dives you know, they were just but that was that to develop your name, in that sense was like a bit different because you were kind of fly by night, you know, you weren't, you couldn't really develop your name unless you were honest, on the similar circuit over and over again. So for example, the club scene then Mani pan is progress. Gate and NOT gate Crusher, but renascence stoke gold and all those kinds of clubs, hacienda, all of those would have a similar circuit DJs play rotate. So that's how they develop their names. Whereas me I kind of stayed more more regional. Lester, I was got I got a bit of a name and lasted for a while. And then Darby Mansfield. So I didn't really I didn't really develop I was more the centre in Darby. Yeah, than anywhere else. Because this was my home base, it was kind of there was so much going on in Derby. I didn't really venture out unless I was pushed out by progress to do at all, because I didn't need to because the incentives universe was here. You know, the progress was getting in 1000 people a week by this point, you know, place was going off? Why go anywhere else? You know, I mean, but obviously we did do we toured all over, you know, on a Friday night, I would go to, I mean, gotta been all over the country. DJing you know, as far as you know, Newcastle way, and then all the way down to Southampton. I've been all over, but they were on progress tours where we would all go together. But that'd be a Friday night. And then we'd come back and then there's progress on the SACD and that's where, you know, they say the central central point was so with

Adam Gow:

all this happening when you were quite young, did you manage to keep your ego in check? Because I'm I like in Darby. It's a small city. I came down in 2000. And is somewhere where you'll just walk into people that you know. And I'd imagine people to treat you as a bit of a big deal at that point.

Speaker 2 25:14

I don't look, looking back, we were all arrogant in that point. I was definitely, I was definitely not arrogant in the sense that I thought I was something special because the houses play records. I was it, but it was kind of like, everybody knew my face. That would be that would be it. Anybody that would circuit I mean, I used to, you know, where we still hang around subrogate strand, that end of town. You know, people got to know who I was. But they were only people in the same bucket as me, you know what I mean? And that was kind of like, and we all knew everyone I knew all the clothes shop owners. I mean, I know who all the regulars work progress, I got to know them. Or they got to know me, it was you know, I knew all the bilag but the bad eggs were I know, you know, who not to cross and who you're not. I mean, it was, you got to know who everyone was, it was one big melting pot of people. But no, you got I mean, we'll we'll probably, at some point in our lives get, you know, a bit cocky. And that's, and that's true. A lot of it is kind of alcohol related as well, you know, and things like that. But I had a core set of friends. In those days. And funnily enough, I've still got a couple of those friends who are still in that core circle. You know, a lot of people have passed through the tapestry of life. But you know, in terms of being an ego, ego, and I don't know, I didn't, I didn't seek out the limelight or anything like that. I mean, I could easily have done. But no, definitely not. There was there was there were some people I worked with that have that had massive actually problem. I'm not going to name but still. Anyway, my friends are watching this will know I mean, so anyway, yeah, that was it. But yeah, no, not really. Yes, I know, I suppose. You know, when you're 18. And you, you feel like you're on top of the world. It's like you're floating on a cloud at home. But it was a cloud. That was really, you know, that lasted a long time. It was great.

Adam Gow:

So you mentioned about Russell, Russell Davidson. And you mentioned that he was a mentor to you. Could you tell us a bit more about that?

Speaker 2 27:15

Russell was tenure is 10 years older than me. So by the time I came along, in 93, he was 26. And he'd already been putting nights on since the mid 80s. It did. Derby is just one of the country's first Acid House nights in 87 at the Blue Note, and he's DJ with Green Park, who was a Hacienda DJ. And Terry forgot his name. The guy that used to be the presenter on the word channel for TV show Chris Terry Christian to Chris used to be a DJ at Radio Darby. So him Russell Green Park used to put knights on the blue note in the 80s. So Russell, who have done all this stuff before I'd even met him. I mean, obviously, it's listen to his pirate radio station and late 80s. And so anyway, he was just like, he took me on board, he saw in me the raw talent, and they saw the enthusiasm. And he saw that I was playing music way beyond my years. You know, I was playing music from the 70s and stuff. He saw all that and he kind of just took me under his wing and just made me his, you know, is protege or whatever you want to call it. A bit of a potential for me. But you know, he made me his kind of developed me, you know, to mean in a sense, I mean, he can't DJ for toffee, Russell, quite right, in terms of mixing right is around overnight, from the Caribbean. He lives in the Caribbean. And he texts me every night with a voice message. Rob, I've discovered Pioneer DJ, and it's changed my life. I've reborn again, it's, I can mix now. And as you press the sync button, Iris. So anyway, but back in the day, he wasn't about mixing, he was a selector. And he would he would just put on the right tunes at the end of the night. Where so we didn't teach me anything, you know, in terms of DJing skills or out, he just, he just knew how to market me and promote me and give me the right gigs. Do you? I mean, he knew when he in and he would educate me on music without a doubt I say, this track, have you heard that? Blah, blah, blah stuff I missed out on. But no, in terms of technical ability, that was all on me. But he knew how to develop me and encourage me, he gave me massive amount of encouragement, which I lacked in my life. You know, my dad was a massive encouragement on the private side of that no one had no influence. There's my dad and Russell and that was, I think you

Adam Gow:

see this you know, time and time again, that you get people that are really good at a certain thing or even multiple things. But they just don't have the kind of focused knuckle down, or they might not know how to market themselves or just do business deal with people. And then they never fully realised the potential. So I mean, they they are all sorts of really important things. And so what was next in the ascendancy of progress then from this point?

Speaker 2 29:49

Well, as we basically were at the warehouse from 92 to Late Night Well, New Year's Eve 94. And then what happened is renascence moved out of the Conservatory, which was becaming Unit One and unit two. Remember those names? Yes, the board knows it now. But Rene since moved out of there in around the same time so we know that was 1000 capacity venue so we could double our, our attendance figures. So we jumped ship from the warehouse to the Renaissance as the club's team was growing, this was a 95 all through 95. All through until the summer of 95. Frank, we were flying we were rammed every week and then all of a sudden there was a huge bust. Politics got in the way basically bitterness got in the way of certain people. And the club got raided and shut down and there was a lot of trouble with licencing and stuff. And then unfortunately, there was a young girl that passed away from she attended the club and passed away some hours later at home. So they blame tried to blame it on the club itself rather than the problem on in society. So then we had a few rocky months there and then we moved to Mansfield venue 44 for a while and then after that we moved to the eclipse on badminton lane and Derby which was Ritz's for that huge corporate European leisure community commercial club which was a big risk because it was all shiny brass staircases and gentlemen it was that that that carpet you get into casinos it was just naff, but the size was like 12 1300 capacity and it were balconies and it was it was a great room. Yeah, but it had just been tackled up over the years because it was Ritz's. But the scene was growing so so big at that point, everything in the pop charts over them Britpop was becoming dance music, it became acceptable. You don't mean what was once dirty culture and, you know, kids raving and fields had become commercially acceptable. So Russell fought right we've got to do this, we got to do it. If it fails, it fails. We did it and it just immediately just exploded and they became a decimal became a superclub. And that's when we took out full spread pages in mixed magazine adverts and Pete Tongo was on the same boat as Boy George in one night, it was just massive, Roger Sanchez was in town, everyone played. And it got that was 96 to 97 to 98. And in those two years, the music started to change from 96 Internet seven speed garage exploded. And that just became massive throughout the whole of 97. And then after that, that for a few months, or that everyone got tired of the speakers vibe. And then internet eight was kind of like it was flying still, but it was kind of a bit of a grey area. And then all of a sudden, trance music started to come in very Causton and that kind of European hard euphoric trance and started to develop. And then the audience kind of changed the earlier crowd kind of act, we're probably starting to enough having kids now we're growing out of it because 9394 You have 2324 year olds by the end of the 90s there were nearly 30 And the whole new generation came along that were probably born in 1980 started to come through and they were full of gusto. And so the music landscape started to change for us. And while I was still playing warmup sets, it clips I was blue in like some guarantee stuff at the start of the night. But by the end of the night, it was full on bangin on 30 540 BPM trance, and then we moved from there to time in Mansfield road which was next a roller world and if your way it's an Indian restaurant now then that's where it peaked. And then 98 to 2001 we were there. And that whole era was just mega soup club massive rammed every week. Very cost and played you know all the big trance DJs played Armin van Buuren played everyone that's a massive name now that are on 3040 Put grant a gig now played for his then flat file record or whatever. Yeah. So yeah, that's how it evolved. Those days kind of timezone centre time periods.

Adam Gow:

And as well as this kind of boom in progress. You were kind of peaking with your music production, won't you? So can you just tell us a bit about how you got into the production?

Speaker 2 33:58

Well, as I say, I've always had always wanted always dreamed of having a studio as a kid. So I've always had samplers, keyboards, drum machines, I've always had loads of bits and bobs. My first studio setup was an Casio SK five sampler, which has this little tiny keyboard, you get like three seconds of sample time anything. And then a Fostex four track tape recorder at that, and a Yamaha drum machine I could kids type drum machine. That was what I had, and then evolved into buying an Akai sampler an s 950. And then it evolved into getting a notorious T with that. And then it evolved into Windows PC. I've moved with every kind of step. But by the end of the night is I had a PC or proper Windows PC and was sampling and learning how to do things properly. And it just evolved. I mean, I've got boxes of demos of stuff that you know, have never released or never finished or crap demos that I made when I was 17 I thought we were amazing at the time and listen to him and I just cringe But that's the the learning of it, you know, and by the end of the decade, I hit the jackpot. But people go, I literally made a hit record. It wasn't wasn't just a job. It was six years of hard work. Six years of failure after failure after rejection after rejection. I sent out countless demos to labels never heard nothing back, got some letters back. It's not for us. It's not those. But it gradually, you know, I stumbled upon a jackpot. So yeah, that's how that evolved, really?

Adam Gow:

And what was the song called again, it's just

Speaker 2 35:32

everybody by an under the name, the boy wonder which I do regret using that. At the time, basically, the Boy Wonder name was a joke. I was called boy chunder amongst the progress staff, because in 94, I think it was, oh, night three night four, I was dead Young. Me and Russell had this bet that I could make an entire kind of red stripe in one for 20 quid, and he didn't think I could do it. And these were like pint sized cans. And I said, Let's do it. And I went for it. And I nicked it all the way back. And I literally polished it off. And as I finished the last go, and he saw it go and do want to give me 20 quid, so it picks me up. squeezed me is totally six foot rustlings, pick me up and squeeze me. And I just project out all over the club was empty at this point is that three in the morning but clear, and was having enough to drink and the whole of that entire canvas came out on the dance floor. And that was it chunda we became a name. So it was boy turned off. And then we got into the 90s it was we need a name. We need name school, it was really stupid fancy names like 65 or whatever, some crappy techno resort name. And then we just say let's call it the Boy Wonder for a laugh, you know, for art. Fair enough. That would do. And it just kind of worked then but obviously. I can't call myself that now. Man wonder. I mean, you know, it's not a name you could carry on. Whereas say for example, I didn't know you know, that's the thing with me, I have so many chopping and changing didn't mean. So but no. That's how that name evolved anyway, yeah.

Adam Gow:

And the song contains a replay of Madonna rather than sample, right?

Speaker 2 37:04

Yeah, class as a cover version. So we replayed it in. And then the original sample in that film. Sorry, in that song is from the movie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, where there's a guy talking about his wife, and he's getting really irate. I'm not talking about one thing. I'm talking about everybody, and then took that bit everybody. And that's when he says everybody in the truck that's from the movie, cook his nest. And we thought we'd get away with that. Anyway, sorry, why that Warner Brothers book, we used it. Anyway. So we the speech we couldn't use obviously, because it would have been too much hassle clearing it. So we rewrote it, and then I re recorded it myself. And I did this rant and uh, took snippets of the original speech and put my own words to it. So it was original. Listening to it now. It's just it's not very good. It was kind of a rush job. Well, I don't know. I mean, I'm about the speech, not about the track the tracks, fine. It's the speech that I do. But could have done that a lot better. But still, we had to get it done. And yeah, that was that was insane. That was that whole period, it was kind of like we've got to 1999 I was DJing, four nights a week. You know, we're used to record shop then. Now I quit. Then I quit BPM in early 97. I went over it from 93 to 97. By 97. I was DJing, three nights a week. And it was starting to affect work in the week because I was at three nights I was in Leicester, Mansfield, Darby, whatever I'll do on Sundays as well. I used to run a Sunday night with a guy called John Slater at boom Club, which is on Saturday. It's a strip club. And we still are not in there on a Sunday night and they're called delirious and we run that from 96 to o toe, packed solid every Sunday night. Without fail, literally without fail. We get to 300 people in every Sunday night on earth now. So that there will be deejaying that night and it was a really successful night for years. Just started to I was getting up for work late, you know what I mean? I wasn't getting auto. So I quit the record shop. But 1999 When that record was produced, it was around around this time around may not you know, and I made it on my Windows 98 PC, and then I lost it. In those days when you lost your work. You didn't have a backup, you know, so I lost all this work. And then my mate came around Chris, and I said I've just made the trek where I've just lost it all. It's wicked. We're really into it. We'll make it again then it took me half an hour to build it back up. And it was so good. So then I took it on a MiniDisc The following night to progress on probably on as my last song in the warm upset. But I didn't mix it I just played through the media through the mixer. And just George was about to go on after me, and he was already one at a time he was big noise at the time. And he's like What's this get me this get me a copy of this and Russell was like pound signs right? Okay. All right, we'll print up Rob. Let's go in the studio. remake it let's get it masters get it fixed up and we'll we'll send it we'll print 10 copies off. So we went over to Nottingham literally it was it was just like Bang Bang Bang went straight. It's not going to the pressing plant. got Chris King who ran the pressing plant them days who recently passed away. Great guy was. And Chris, can you press up 10 Records pen test presses. Yeah, sure, no problem, blah blah blah. So with those 10 test questions, I kept one record at one moment. We sent once Pete Tong wants jewels. And the rest we kept ourselves literally a week later. I'm with me mate. It was a Friday night. And we nipped at the shop in his car, and when it came back, my phone was ringing. I didn't have a mobile then you know there was all landlines and the landline was ringing and I picked up Hello It was a Frenchman just here's your song on Radio One that track your play that you want honest because you chose to just play down like what and then an hour later Pete Tong plays it literally bangs it on played it off vinyl I was like oh my god and it was just it just week after that it was everybody wants to copies we went straight back to Nottingham to the 500 copies please Kresna the funds copies distributed them out if rang up a few distributors I knew from the record shop days they bang them out we were gone got any more around we got him I got him more than before you know it was sold 3000 copies on white label within two months. So then a bidding war ensued after that with all the labels and that's that it literally blew up last just like that. It was incredible. Like when there's one off you know, gambling wins.

Adam Gow:

So who made the final column label them with that Russell Are you

Speaker 2 41:21

it was me and Russell really we just basically at cut in some respects. The way things turned out at the time I wished I had not signed to the label I did. But that was then but I'm glad I did now because I'm among some pretty legendary names now. But basically Ministry of Sound wants to EMI wanted it. Sony wanted it a few of advance labels. I can't think of the names now. manifesto wants to do, which was George George's. George George was a scout for manifesto, which was owned by Universal mercury. So and we thought George George Bush this record, he broke it. He spent the whole summer playing in IP phone Creamfields and all that. And he kind of pioneered it for us. So we kind of thought let's go to manifesto that just had a huge hit with Dave morale is the face Josh wink was on there. All these bands are on there. Let's go to manifesto. It's a cooler label, but ministry could have we could have gone to ministry as well. So it was kind of longer than I bargained ministry. So anyway, we signed the manifesto. And but yeah, we just decided because we wanted to keep the family vibe sort of thing, just users, our regular guests at the club. So we kind of knew him and we kind of developed relationships with him. And it would just worked, it worked and the whole thing did work. And then six months later when we make the follow up, the whole thing came crashing down because of massive attack. The band banned me from doing a version of their song and because we covered on for a sympathy with Angie Brown from bizarre Rincon, the whole thing just fell apart and nothing in and that was because I was wanting to pressure to make another hit record. And I didn't I didn't want to felt the pressure. The fun went straight out the window. I lost interest in all of it and massive interest in it. And everyday was like going to the factory it was like this is this sucks so I went off made a phone call album with a mate and just cut ties with all of it. I said I'm done with this I'm not doing any more. But yeah, that was that was that but that summer was just pure electric. And that was that

Adam Gow:

and just to clarify for listeners then you got to number seven in the top 10 Which at the time was a pretty big deal.

Speaker 2 43:27

At the time when I was up against Cliff Richard and Craig David meet yeah yeah, definitely. Yeah, number seven you could tell us he went to number one in the club charts which in them days we had an official club chart before the records came on the pop charts. So Record Mirror which was Music Week, which is the official kind of promo chart if you like so it went straight from one in there straight and one it makes my number one DJ my blah blah blah. But yeah, number seven Atlantida now that came out at Christmas so had it come out in the summer it would have gone straight to number one based on the volumes it sold but at Christmas more records sell so what they did that and what about what about records CDs and cassettes. So Cliff Richard was released in his Millennium prayer is there's more grantees out there than rock club was you know I mean so there was no doubt we were going to not get to number one against Cliff Richard but and the midweek chart where they give you a ballpark figure you hit number five I thought bloody hell Wow. But then it landed at seven and I think at number eight fairy costume was there with his Adagio for Strings trance track and then at number two was Craig David the Artful Dodger with rewind. I think I remember if I remember rightly and and it's think it was sold out Westlife are in the pop charts as well. So when but yeah, you're never that time of the year you sell more units. But you'd stay you don't get to the number one spot.

Adam Gow:

So yeah, I guess if at the time just one of those three tracks had been around then you may would have got more sales with one enough for it to go to number one Um,

Speaker 2 45:00

yeah, definitely. But it was. You see, the thing is, the truth is about the pop charts in the 90s. Right? People think politics are corrupt. Now, let me tell you the pop charts was so corrupt in those days, because we used to work in the record shop reps from the major labels, EMI Warner's Sony, Polydor, they would come around and give you free records, right. So for example, they're trying to promote the new band, they will give you 10 copies on 1210 copies on cassette 10 copies on CD single, that would give them for free, bang them out at night and ampie. Right. But every day scan two of these through the machine in those days before the internet, you had a scanning pen that was directly linked to the phone line. And it went to a machine called Gallery in London, which collected chart data. So every one that was scanned accounted to as a sale. So that's how these records got the charts by the end of the week. But obviously the record which was so corrupt that we would be asked in order to get the free stock, we scanned a few records through on the side not even sold them just scan through and put it back on the shelf. And that's how so many records got high up in the charts you say? But it was a different kind of kettle of fish in the end of it Christmas time because people bought more records at Christmas was gifts and things like that, you know, not to say that any of mine weren't corrupt. I'm pretty sure there was plenty of work but Jamie and Cliff Richard did not get to number one on pure merit. Nobody got an award on pure merit even records that were destined sellout Oasis, you will be scanning them through the racism blurb. Remember the Oasis and blue bow. I remember that specifically because I worked in the shop and we had EMI ringers scan a couple of blurs through for us and then you add Croatia creation and Sony put few ices through you know, if the whole thing is rigged, made, everything's red. So what you know, as I say sales were healthy regardless, and you know, paychecks were wealthy, healthy as well. Not like now you know,

Adam Gow:

so we're getting into about sort of 2000 2001 is that were the kind of clubs in start to decline. The 90s

Speaker 2 46:57

superclub era started to to to patter out without a shadow of a doubt. Yeah, I think basically what happened was a generation of kids that grew up in the 80s, and 70s and 80s, under Thatcher and Tories had grown up under all of that oppression, not pressure. It's a ridiculous word to use. But I grew up under all of that crap. And then when the 90s evolved, the irony was that we were still under a Tory government for many years until 97. So we had all these generation of kids raving and raving throughout the whole of the 90s Labour takeover night seven. And then by the end of the decade, the millennium, the club's became so greedy that the Millennium part is progress money panties were charged 200 quid to get in or something like 100 pound a ticket, for a normal average clubnight DJs were charging five grand for a gig than when they would normally charge a grand, everyone just became bloated and greedy. I think one DJ had a helicopter to fly him to free venues across the UK at one night. So we could coin in 15k for three gigs. It everyone got greedy. And then everyone the customer, the bottom end realise that I'd rather stay at home and have a party with my mates get the deck set open. And that's what a lot of people did. I know a lot of people did that. And so you had a whole generation of people that have kind of been spending all their money on clubbing and going out and fashion and music. And they got to the end of the decade, and a lot of them kind of hit 30, late 20s 30 and just thought I've had enough now I want to take a break and have a family and move on. So when we got over 2000 2001 like chill out music became really popular. It's almost like the calm down to the 90s You know, I mean, that in retrospect, you know, people don't listen to Dido for God. So you know, I mean, and it's like 07 And you know, bands like lemon jelly, and that started to come through with great music. But if you look at it, if you think about it, everyone got sick and tired of the all the time and they wanted a bit of chill. So chill out music became very popular very commercial movies album became huge and all that kind of thing became kind of levelled out the scene. So a generation moved on watch the generation took over, which was the Gatecrasher kids. And the hot house sort of scene really boomed out at that point gate Crusher and suddenly essential and all that sort of stuff, tidy tracks. That stuff went full on for a few years. So it kind of like just changed hands. I mean, with our generation I was still doing it without a doubt I was doing bar gigs. I was doing progress still on the odd occasion but that faded in 2002 and then another took over called blend, but it was all funky house by then everything kind of came a bit more funky house. It was chilled out a bit. You know what I mean? That's what I'm trying to say. But yeah, that's what happened. 2000 2001 It was the big calm down. I think

Adam Gow:

and were you still DJing and doing residencies and stuff.

Speaker 2 49:46

I was still DJing I did progress still and then it started doing me Oh nice. A couple of bits and bobs here and there. And then blend came along Scott Lorimer he was a DJ in Darby, Good lad. He sent out called blends who start playing for and regularly, I was also living off royalties, which were quite healthy at that time. And then I set up my own little record label. So I was making money doing that. And I was still doing a few gigs here. And there, I was doing remixes for some labels. So I was kind of still ticking over. And then I got a little job in a record shop, actually, funnily enough again, and did that for a while. And then my son was born in 2003. And that just changed everything. Because I've been doing it for 10 years by this point, even I was only 27. And then I invested a load of money into secondhand vinyl at the time and bought loads of vinyl. And that's when eBay started kind of taking off in the UK. And I set up an eBay shop. And I lasted three years doing that. So by that time, my son was a toddler, the whole thing had passed, you know, I mean, but I was just starting to Bollwerk, then for Russell Sumi, little, little things like that. So I kind of put DJ in, though, in the 2000s DJing, for me became a part time. extra cash, I mean, bar work, bar gigs, which were fun. But it wasn't the fall on them. They had an ism had gone, gentlemen.

Adam Gow:

Yeah, and I think we've discussed this a few times on the podcast is it's a difficult thing. And it's like a bit of a gift in a way if DJ is not your bread and butter, because then you can have a little bit more kind of control over the sort of gigs that you take. Whereas if it's your full time thing, then sometimes you can just be like, Oh, I ended up DJ in this sort of place. It's

Speaker 2 51:26

chill. I may have done so many gigs where I've done it because I've needed the money sometimes. I mean, I've felt in our times was probably wrong. There have been times when I've needed to do the gigs. And I've done gigs, where I'm literally at my soul has just completely fell out. You know, I'm just like, Oh my God, why am I doing this for I will never ever do a bargain again, never. I've done so many of them for five hour sets. And it's like, it's so soul crushing because the last one I did was pre pandemic. So it was kind of like 2016 to 2018 a two year running at a bar in town, which was really well paid. But it was just soulless. It was horrible. The clientele were constant, it's a revolving door. He ended up playing the same track three times in the night to keep the current clientele happy. And after stuff I was playing was just like, horrible, mechanised rubbish because that's what the management wanted. And it developed it started off being clear what you want, do what you want, do you think soulful, as funky as groovy hip hop to, it's got to be Capital FM, Jermaine. And it was. And in the end, I was scouring the internet to find tunes to play weekly that were a good remix of a crappy pop record. And that was my own fault. I kind of could have just walked away. But the money was so tasty at the time, I became more bothered about the money than the gig. And I'd vowed then when I ended that into physics and vowed never to do a bargain again. And I've never I've done I will never touch the bars again. But now if I do a gig now, it's got to be something that I really enjoy. I don't do many and last one. The last really good one I did was at the bunker for guy Shipley. And you know, those guys know via the Broncos vines and the roof in the loft today. It's like a little boiler room set. It was brilliant. And I did like an acid technically sort of breakbeat II kind of disco thing there which was you know, a mixed acid as with say, techno has a disco house that's kind of edgy, with acid stuff. And it was a full on set with the crowd. I was honoured to be all that that they were all like 1920 year old kids who's made 46 banging out these tunes, you know, and they look at me like some sort of alien. I'm like, no worry about that, you know? But yeah, that was that that then is it gigs now I've got to be worth doing for me, Jimmy, I don't need the money anymore. So I'm over that I don't need to worry about all I've got to do this for my image, or I've got to be still out there. It's got to be worth doing. For me, because I've had the glory days, I've had all that. I don't need that anymore. I don't seek that anymore. I just if I do a gig, it's just got to be worth doing. I mean, it's got to be something I can select the music properly without having to think oh, I've got to satisfy that audience. I've got to satisfy that audience when the bar gigs. I've got to please them got pleased them. God bless them and it's life.

Adam Gow:

Yeah, it's a tricky one. You know, there's so many different ways to exist as a DJ. And we talked in particular to Santero was on he used to be based in Nottingham about how he had a Ministry of Sound residency and then he had to keep all these are the kind of bargains and things of a secret because that kind of diminished the brand or endangered the brand. So yeah, that that is super tricky to manage. But yeah, just just going back to your timeline and Rob So you kept producing all this time, right? Absolutely.

Speaker 2 54:47

I mean, I had a couple of spells I mean 2003 When my son was born, I had a full recording studio which are put on hold and everything and a Fender Rhodes I had big desk the lot and I moved all into the home into the spare bedroom in the home of the spare living room at the home, where I lived at the time with my son's mom and then I put it on hold for a while because I've worked in this business or selling these records and then at that time when I started doing little bar work, Sumi was like a bar gig but it was it was a cool bar and it was It wasn't like full of idiots coming in drunk and you know headquarters and all that crap Yeah, it was basically assuming means progress in Japanese. So that was Russell's next phase, the club scene a lot of the club promoters from the 90s ended up opening bars in the early 2000s You see that was the next phase late bars so that's why our clips in the we had died because why pay 1012 quid to get in the club and dance to three and we get to a late bar and dance the similar sort of music for free you know, so it was a no brainer so those when I started DJing again after my son was born six months later I started getting into the getting into DJing again for Russell I would play off CD J started using CD j's and the those the CD J's came out but there's the with the silver one that came out I can't remember which model it was no no pioneer the Pioneer CDJs that came out early 2000s early there was like a the acted like a you know the one with the for the first goodwill on the actually proper scratch with it. It was like they were really cool. And I started putting loads of stuff onto CD bang and loads of CDs together so I could get whole foot in tracks on one disk. Why am I carrying two bags or records breaking my neck when I could do this why buy five pounds six pound reco when I can download it off the internet bla bla which we all did offline wire and all that Napster and all that and then days so I started moving and CDJs very very quickly. And before you know I had a little tiny wallet like this with about 2000 records in one it was like come on, this is no brainer. I'm looking at miracles in the house and the cupboards for there's a garage fall is just 1000s and I'm just like, do I really need these anymore? This is the way forward. So I started gradually with my eBay business selling secondhand records I started selling my own off. massive mistake now. Because so many records are worth hundreds and hundreds. I sold all my Britpop all my away sister for at all original pressings I've sold them Smashing Pumpkins album that was worth about 600 quid now for that 100 quid. There's one of 10,000 summer, but all the stuff I've collected just as a collector in the 90s like stuff that wasn't dance related. I sold all that. And then I started selling my house off and my hip hop, because I thought I'm gonna burn it all to CD. And I still got it. And this is before YouTube existed. So it's just when YouTube started so you you weren't sure that you were gonna hear this music again. You know, you didn't realise that Napster was going to become iTunes and all that. So I sell it on my Viola for Sony. I'm making good money at the time from it and putting it away and storing it. So I sold everything. I sold everything and I went pure CD J. J, and for years for 10 years at least. I regret it now, obviously. But that's just been Ostalgie. But even if I didn't record now, I'd be like, Why have I still got this, you know, it's learning to let someone go you wish you had it. So anyway, I'm building up a massive collection of CDJs CDRs. And I've got a box in the garage full of all my CDs from that I've burned over the years, and there's just stacks of them. And they're often in the scratch now, you know, because many copies aren't. They're all knackered and they've got no no nostalgic value whatsoever. Whereas Morocco's have, because you remember buying it, remember put it on the sleeve, the artwork, the smell of it, whereas I've got stacks of CDs in the in the garbage. I'm just like, but I'm not going to bin places a revival, you know, or something, or there's something on there that I've lost some track that I can't find online, whatever. But from 2003 for I went CDJ pretty much fully. And that was a year. So and then I'm going around about 10 years ago, I started just buying a couple of records again, I got I went on Jr. One day, there was a record I wanted, I couldn't find it anywhere on mp3 or out or so I just bought the vinyl. And it felt good again, as it all got a rock free post and then gradually I started buying records again and again and then when locked down up and I just went into complete overdrive and postman was coming every day. Because I was bored at home on Discogs you know, like what I was gonna do. And since then I've not stopped my records and I've done I've got decks again, I've bought some techniques again. And I've built this I've just bought this in the week the town deeds I wish I bought that years ago that's absolute, but it's got a problem with selling vinyl. Yeah, slip mounted there and everything. And it acts like the deck is this a dual layer deck. So it's two decks and one that's got two outputs. You've got deck a and b. So it's two CDJs in one. It's absolutely brilliant. So that's given me a massive boost at the minute so that now has got me thinking tomorrow to stop by record more. It's going around a circle again. I've just bought a batch of records yesterday and I bought a batch of records last week and I'm keep buying but this thing is going to stop me from spending so much money environment started going on track source a lot more downloading, you know, some waves again, and you've

Adam Gow:

had some quite successful digital releases as well, haven't you? Yeah,

Speaker 2 1:00:10

I've had want, it's probably through I've been involved in for number ones over the last 10 years online. I've had a number one in the 90s in the dance charts with everybody. I had a number one Remix in 2002 with the rhythm Masters on radio ones, Pete tongs, essential selection, whoever it was the essential Canada. And then I had a number one in 2015 with a track called bionic love, which is like a disco. I did I did. That was number one in judo. And then in 2021, I had a number one on an album that was part of this album that went straight to number one in judo as well. So I've had a number one and each of the last death before decades, if you like 90s 2000 2000 10s and 20s.

Adam Gow:

So you are likely for it should have it.

Speaker 2 1:00:58

The Millennium prayer May, all the way through me. So the millennium bug. So yeah, I've I've had I've been involved in some form of number one, no matter how minor, they might be some people, you know, chart means nothing to anyone other than the disco DJs. But nevertheless, it's you know, I've still I'm still involved, you're still doing it. I mean, and that's the thing, and that's why I still invest in equipment. And, you know, I still love it. You know, I

Adam Gow:

love it. You know? And you're offering mentoring for DJs aren't Yeah,

Speaker 2 1:01:25

not so much DJs producers. I don't do DJ mentoring, I do production, mentoring. So basically my business waxer I teach people online one to one one on one production. So if someone will come to me, they want to make disco house, they don't know where to start. Or they know where to start with. They don't know how to finish tracks. Or they want to learn to play chords or they want to, they don't know how to put the right sounds together. So they want to hear a track by x y Zed artist, how does he make that? Let me show you. And then I'll teach them and build, build their confidence up like that, and then get them to be releasing because I've set people up that have gone from zero to having a record label. And other people up that just want to learn how to do edits, or they want to learn how to remix or they want to learn how to just play the keys or whatever I teach the whole nine yards. Yeah, it's mostly those got to be discussed. Funky house deep house Lo Fi. Some hip hop beats as opposed not hip hop itself, not rapping, but the B side of things production side of things. But yeah, all that kind of thing. keyboards, pianos, that's what I do. Yeah, with that. I love it. I love doing that. It's great. It's hard work sometimes. But you know, like any job and it gets a slog at some point. DJing was a slog when it was a passion, and then you go through waves, but at the moment, I'm enjoying it. I'm doing YouTube videos regularly, I've got a good little community around me, I've got people that are coming forward and be emailing me saying, if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be releasing music. Your videos have helped me and that's nice to get you know me great. And also I'm just putting together trying to put together an album at the minute of all unsigned artists on my label, because I've got my record label as well. And I'm trying to get a group of people to release their music that wouldn't dare normally come forward. I'm trying to bring out I mean million people privately in that I've taught in the past. Let me release one of your tracks. Because I want to get people to you know, to believe that that you can release your music, you know, and because so many people will fear release chucks. I know people that will make tracks, they've got loads stacked away, but they'll never

Adam Gow:

release them. And the barrier to entry is so low for releasing.

Speaker 2 1:03:29

It is is it's massively I mean, there is so much crap out there. I mean, there's 120,000 songs a day come out on Spotify, or on the internet in general, roughly. And to even for me, I mean, I don't I don't push myself massively because I've got so many things going on. I don't push my musical releases. As much as I should, if I focus solely on that, I would, but I don't I like to dip into all sorts of areas. But the barrier for releasing is easy. I mean, I've put blog posts and videos out showing people how to set their own record label up in 10 easy steps. You don't need any money. You just need time. You just need to you know you can get your music distributed like that. It's so easy now and there is no I mean before the internet you know you're the gatekeepers were your record labels EMI and and if you wanted to do it independently which you could you pressed up fires and white labels, distribute them around record shops, anybody could do that. And in a lot of people did, but obviously it still cost 500 to 1000 pound back in his days to release a white label up to or from you know, and now it's zero. So the software is free. You can download a digital workstation for free you can download plugins for free. You can use samples, you can sample packs, whatever, you can make a track image, you don't need phone as you know. So, now there are so many people doing it but I'm trying to say many people will still fear doing it, you know are worried about what he's going to say or what I've released records that I'm absolutely am Shambles are looking Oh god, that's why did I do that? The baseline is too low on that. This is rubbish on that. That sounds right. A man was critic, I listened to something I believe 10 years ago oh my god, gotta get a pull it, but I don't I just leave it just whatever it's lost in the mind. I mean it's lost in the

Adam Gow:

end. It's the same with DJing though as well like people just worry about taking that first step thing I can't mix or I'm not good enough or I'm not done eight years or whatever and like none of that stuff should like put you off going out really because it's ultimately just get yourself out there experienced experienced that boasts? Exactly,

Speaker 2 1:05:35

exactly. It's like, you know, like I say, I enjoy doing sometimes I do tick tock lives and stuff. videos in that and but you know, I just enjoy DJ, I'm gonna do little videos online and it still gives me a buzz, which I mean, but I'm not actively seeking going out and doing gigs every week, you know, I don't need to, I don't want to. But when they are good comes up, I'll go and do it gladly do it. I mean, and when I do it, I'll put all my effort into it, you know, I mean, but people that are terrified of God don't want to go on DJ or do do it and it's birthday party or something. But that's it, it's like, then that's all you ever will do. You know, you've got to step out your comfort zone. And I mean, I'm I'm just I'm terrible for staying in my comfort zone. I mean, if I spent time I could really turn that turntable inside out and do some really crazy stuff. But I'm actually just doing the bare minimum on it the basics what I can do on it. But yeah, people need to step out of comfort zone. But I mean, I stepped out of my comfort zone years ago. And I've done everything I needed to do. In that sense. Nowadays, I mean, some brilliant DJs out there, you know, musically it's not my kind of thing. But have you seen James hype DJ, is obviously a bangin commercial house DJ. But what he does on the technique on the turntable is not technic. So the Pioneer CDJs is incredible. There's about four and the guy when he's, you know, he's like, it's brilliant. A step towards comfort zone. You know, it's, it stands out is what I'm saying. I mean,

Adam Gow:

yeah, and I think a really kind of important life lesson as well is to be prepared to step out of your comfort zone. I mean, I do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and I'm quite a part timer. And I'm not great if I'm honest. But I've done a couple of competitions. And I've just found the most nerve wracking thing to do. But once you've done it, win, lose or draw, you know, you come away and you've got that person that satisfaction that you've done it. And it's the same with DJ and particularly if you're doing battling, or the first few times you play out, you know, your hands are absolutely shaking, trying to get the needle on and it's it's so kind of character building and so good for you. And like I guess that if you've kind of done that in the 90s, you know, going out your comfort zone and been in front of everyone then, you know, now you've not got to prove yourself to anyone anymore. Now,

Speaker 2 1:07:47

I mean, fully Laufer. But when was it about eight years ago, I did a finished music degree. I did a music degree. I started 110 years ago because I wanted to become a teacher. Anyway, at the end of the music degree, it was a popular music production degree. We had to do a live performance at the Playhouse in Darby. And it's on the internet somewhere still the video and we did this funk sort of band Me and a couple others bearing in mind I'm I wanted to be the lads dad's on the degree that was playing keyboards. And it was a live audience. There's probably only 50 people there. And I was on stage in the spotlight. And I was playing keywords we did a colour version of no diggity BLACKstreet we did funked it up. And honestly, I'm dripping with sweat. And I understand I've stood in front of 1000s of people DJ and over the years I've played countless part is more ever but performing a keyboard on stage for the first time in in years I don't ever ever perform live in our keyboard probably three or four times in my life in bands. One was an acoustic band which was chilled out so it was alright but I was like sweating. But you know if I had a stuck to that, it's just sticking to it. Do it every week, once a week whatever you get over it, you become it becomes normal, doesn't it? But that I know what you mean that first. Once I hit that first chord, I was sweating. Don't do anything clever. Don't even clever me. I just play the generic stuff. Within a couple of minutes. I got over it and just yeah, it's

Adam Gow:

just getting that adrenaline dump out the way really, isn't it? Just mindful of time do you think there's anything that we've not covered?

Speaker 2 1:09:18

Not at the minute rarely make no as I say all I'm doing at the minute is just you know, getting back into a setup my arrangement and my strategy. You can see I've got a Live rig, they've got an acid machine there three or three. I've got a sampler behind the witch can't see what the rolling keyboard which is a four track sequencer, which is all synced to that. And then I've got this den on CD that we've bought here, which is absolutely amazing. And my vinyl deck so I'm going to make an A hybrid and putting all this together to do some new sets on live sets online. I'm going to try and get out I want to try and get some some sort of recognition on there and do that and get people to see me doing that so that I can probably get some more work out you know, doing that. If I'm going to go out and DJ again. I want do that, I want to take that with me, I want to do something new rather than go out and DJing, which I will do, but take a rig with me, and live jam on top of DJ. And that's my next thing that sets you apart. It's like Carl Cox has just started performing live techno sets with all his equipment is kind of given up just DJing is he's bought all the equipment to the table and his drum machines. And he's since I want to do that now. You know, for myself, I don't need to just DJ, I want to add another string to the bone. I mean, so that's that's what rollouts were. That's my next phase, really, I suppose is live hybrid DJ performance. That's my next thing. Like,

Adam Gow:

that's great. I think it never fully disappears does it?

Speaker 2 1:10:41

Now Oh, my, I tell you, I've had months where I hated it. And I've looked at records and things I'm touching you again, I don't want anything to do with it. I'm done with clubs, I'm done with DJ, I'm done when it's done with music. It will go through it. And then you just just if you gravitate back to it you stuck a magnet you just can't stop. It's a force. Yeah, it's within Siva with the I know people that have been bedroom DJs or tight try DJ and I've done a bit of it and they've walked away, and then now got secure jobs and they've done with it. You know. Whereas for me music is just simple blood I can't help like spider the spins is webmail. I just don't know what else to do. You just gotta just keep, I just keep gravitating towards it no matter what. And it's music is the only constant in my life. I've either you know, all through my life. Music is the only thing that's ever given me full on true comfort, you know, in dark periods or whatever you know. And that's, that's what it is. I think I could happily sit with my records on my own for hours on end. And be happy doing that. When I was a teenager, I was happy listening to my records in my bedroom or seven inches on the tapes, and taping radio stations on my own even though I used to be out with my mates all the time as well. When I got home at night, I've gone off into my own little world and make little tape covers and just all stuff you do as a teenager I mean, and yeah, music is the only constant and it will always be there until I breathed my last breath me

Adam Gow:

amazing. Just one last question then before we go, is there any one particular person you'd like to see on this podcast? And if so, why?

Speaker 2 1:12:13

I think you should get at jazz on this podcast because he's an absolute legend as a local legend. He's got so many releases under his belt so many accolades is massively revered. Is the top of his tree is a good friend of mine. We go way back. Yeah, I think it would be a very good road.

Adam Gow:

Webster, thanks very much for your time. Best of luck with everything

Unknown Speaker:

you welcome out and thank you for having me. My take care bye bye