The Gallery NYE - Above & Beyond, Danny Howells, Sister Bliss...


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9PM – 7AM




Danny howells interview and ticket news!

The ticket rush continues as all the Saver Tickets have now been SOLD OUT for the forthcoming Gallery NYE party. Early Bird tickets sold out in a week, and the high demand continues with 4 weeks to go until the big night!! Tickets are now priced £45 + booking fee and on sale from or / 08700 600100.



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Who or what has been the biggest influence
The music I was surrounded by as a small child, especially the Stax/Motown/Atlantic records which my mum used to play religiously. There's a photo of me on my MySpace holding a record at, maybe, two years old. I was fascinated by music at such an early age; I'd get records every birthday and Christmas!

What’s the first record you bought?
The first record I bought with my own money was (I think) ‘Somebody to Love’ by Queen. I got it from the Disc Jockey shop in Hastings. I had loads of records already though; they were all ‘hand-me-downs’ from my family, records such as Bowie, Slade, T:Rex - the usual early ‘70’s stuff.

What have been up to lately and what can we expect from you over the next couple of months?
I've been touring all over, mainly to promote my Renaissance CD. I'm launching my Dig Deeper label this year, so a large part of 2008 was spent in the studio, trying to improve my skills and confidence as a producer. I've made nearly 20 tracks, I'll probably release about half of these, and the others will stay with me only. I've got some absolutely amazing mixes from artists such as Matrix & Futurebound and Faze Action, to name just two. The music will reflect the range you can expect me to play in an extended Dig Deeper set. It's one of the most exciting things I've been involved in for years.

Who is your all time musical hero?
I absolutely idolize artists who have stuck to their guns and never delivered what has been expected of them. Someone like Miles Davis not only had a truly fascinating life, but always did what came from his heart. He never gave a shiny s*%t for what people wanted or expected. And in the process he managed to change the course of music three or four times. Neil Young has also had a similar approach to what he does. Also artists like James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and so on. Obviously I love all the classic acts too, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and so on. But I feel a lot of the black pioneers are always underrated, especially compared to the classic rock artists we still see on the cover of Mojo and Uncut every single month.

What's more important. The mix or the next tune?
As far as I'm concerned… neither. It's about how and where you take your crowd, during the time you have with them. The true master for me is Tenaglia. I've witnessed him move from deep house, to techno, to Motown, to rock, to Latin, to Pink Floyd's "On the Run" and even Madonna's "Bedtime Stories". He keeps the crowd totally under his control all the way. It's not about the technology or individual tunes; it's about utilizing your years of experience, knowledge and understanding - not just of contemporary house music, but all music in general.

What's your current take on the dance scene?
I think we're seeing a slight negative effect brought on by the easy availability of digital music and software to be honest. I think there is a small wave of DJs whose knowledge of music in general begins and ends with download sites. DJs who, while they are able to string a set of mp3s together using a copy of Final Scratch or Ableton, may not be able to add anything long lasting to the scene. Despite this, I still maintain that some of the best music we've had in years is out there right now. Not necessarily in the Top 10 charts, but if you dig around and go past the obvious, there's some real gems out there.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Doing the occasional gig; I can't see me ever retiring from it completely, but mainly making music. I've saved quite wisely throughout the years, so hopefully I'll be able to live on a very small income whilst doing something I love. I also want to open a vintage store with my fiancé, selling old clothes and cups of tea, along with all my old records and paisley shirts that I no longer have room for!

What do you think about dj mag’s top100 poll?
Young DJs should focus on bettering themselves, making amazing music and so on. The focus shouldn't be on generating the best "Vote for Me" campaigns. In this sense the poll is harmful. I'm extremely grateful that I spent so long in there as people voted for me without me having to push for it. When I was first in there the entire poll was full of people I knew, whose records I was playing, whose compilations I was buying, people I really looked up to - not the case any more I'm afraid. I think it's not a list of "the best", nor is it a popularity contest; otherwise people like Jeff Mills, Garnier, Kevorkian etc would all be riding high.

Is there an all-time favourite track you wish you'd produced?
Unfinished Sympathy, it’s just one of the most beautiful records ever. I can listen to this every day and I will never get bored of it. And there's music like Bowie's "Low" album - to have been involved in something as monumentally amazing as that would have been incredible, even if it was just handclaps or triangle!

Do you sample, use old records, listen to them, or how does your producing process go?
I love sampling; some of my best ideas come from it. I don't do it as much now, but in the past I would always start a track by literally spending a whole day sampling anything. It could have been old Adam & the Ants records, old disco stabs, rock fills etc, and just mess around until a few of them gelled into a groove; and then build from that. With Dusk Till Dawn, we recorded Erire's vocal to a basic track of kick and bass. I sat on that for months before finding samples that were going to work with it, which basically meant playing her acapella alongside any old disco b-side I could find in my collection! It’s a really fun way of working and really useful if you're stuck for an idea or a direction.

If you could have anyone remix any of your tracks, who would it be and why?
I've already had a few dreams come true with some of my forthcoming tracks. But I would love Weatherall to remix a track of mine; he’s an all time hero to me. Plus Carl Craig, obviously, everything he touches turns to gold!

What is the magic hangover cure?
Don't get pissed the night before!

What’s your best tip for getting money out of dodgy promoters?
Have a good agency!

What are the top five most listened to tracks/songs on your iPod?
My iPod is full – 160G of mainly non-electronic music. But the artist I probably go back to most is Bowie. I listen to all his albums from Man Who Sold the World, right through to Scary Monsters. The only ones I don't play much are Lodger and Pin Ups. But everything he made from say, 1970 to 1980, is untouchable. I also cane my Marvin Gaye collection, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin etc. I've got about 80 Fela Kuti albums on there too! Plus about 2G of late ‘60’s/early ‘70’s James Brown. When I've got tinnitus from a heavy gig, I often listen to the Russell Brand podcast (or at least I did until the Daily Mail launched their ridiculous crusade!)

If you had to do something different what do you think you would end up doing?
I'd go back to my old job, psychiatric nursing. I miss that part of my life in some ways. DJs and producers make people happy with music, but there's something so rewarding about really helping people whose lives have been torn apart by something which, sadly, is still quite taboo.

Next up in The Gallery NYE interview stakes is our super resident and the 1st lady of house music, Mrs Faithless herself.... SISTER BLISS.

How did you first get into dance music, and who was your inspiration?
I used to go to a mad gay bar in Kings Cross in 1987 where I first heard jackin’ Chicago house. The DJ mixed it up with 12inch mixes of Prince, Eric B &Rakim, Madonna and various pop hits of the time. I had never heard anything so uncompromising and different and just tried to find the parties that played house whenever I could - luckily my gay hairdresser friends were in the know and took me to Troll at Soundshaft and Pyramid at Heaven and that was it... I was smitten! I guess the DJs on that scene at that time were my very first experience of 'proper' DJs and an early inspiration - Mark Moore was one that stands out. I used to go regularly to a club called 'Solaris' where Choci, Harvey and the Tonka Soundsystem played. They also introduced me to a whole new world of fantastic house music, which was deeply inspiring, and cos it was on a Sunday the atmosphere was totally insane!

Many DJs dislike defining their music style within a specific genre. So how would you define your style?
I like to play the best house has to offer, whether its tech-house, bit proggy, bit electro, fidgit, tribal or any other sub-genre, as long as the music has a great vibe and a mood then I like to play it! Though it’s a bit of a cliche I do like to take a musical 'journey' during my sets - I try to build my sets up from a deeper house sound, and can go all the way through to techno (if I'm playing long enough). Playing the midnight sets at The Gallery allows me to do that almost perfectly. I like to coax people onto the dance floor without bludgeoning them over the head, and then build the intensity up from there! That also allows me to play more interesting and experimental records along the way which I think is important to keep my sound fresh, and not too obvious. I also like to be quite musical when I'm mixing, I don't have horrible clashing keys all over the place - that allows the set to flow and become more hypnotic in places, which is one of the qualities I have always loved about house music.

With NYE representing the climax of the year, looking back at 2008, how has the past 12 months been for you?
I've had a truly great 12 months - really can’t complain! Been very creative in the studio, the results of which everyone will get to hear in the New Year, done some fantastic gigs across the world, and I’m having a wonderful time at home playing with my amazing little boy. On the downside; been awful to see so many record labels and distribution companies go under. They are the lifeblood of the dance music world and many of my friends have had a really rough ride. Also very sad to say goodbye to my favourite club in the world Turnmills (but at least did it in style!), and welcomed in a new era at Ministry which despite my reservations, has been an absolute blinder every time I've played. They say every cloud has a silver lining!

What has been the best gig you’ve played this year?
Really tough one that... the other week at Ministry with Sander van Doorn was just awesome! So was Summadayze in Perth, Melbourne and Gold Coast, SW4 was fantastic, Panama in Amsterdam & Pacha, Ibiza were rocking. And of course the final Gallery at Turnmills was very, very special... oh, and my mate's wedding was a blinder too!!!! So too hard to choose I'm afraid!

What is your most memorable moment of 2008?
Watching my boy finally getting the hang of swimming without going under and swallowing loads of water - quite a milestone!

And your most memorable ‘Gallery’ moment of 2008?
Probably playing 'God is a DJ' at the final Gallery - it was the first place I ever played it when we had just made it, and the last place I played it this year.

If you weren’t a DJ, what would you otherwise be doing on NYE?
I would be in bed up to my eyeballs in Nurofen, with a hangover as it is my birthday the day before, and I generally feel very rough on NYE!

Have you got anything special lined up for NYE gallery goers?
I have invited Father Christmas to hang out in the DJ booth but he hasn't got back to me yet!

Looking ahead, what are your ambitions for 2009 and beyond?
I am hoping we will finish our new Faithless album in the New Year, and that 2009 will be another great year for dance music.

Will you be setting yourself any new year’s resolutions? Go on, be honest...
I'm looking to get my head round Traktor Pro as it looks amazing, but I’m still a bit unsure whether to go down the laptop DJing route yet! I'm still a vinyl junkie!
Set times
10.00-11.30 Anil Chawla
11.30-01.00 Sister Bliss
01.00-04.00 Danny Howells
04.00-06.00 Above & Beyond
06.00-07.00 The Viceroy

09.00-10.30 Gareth Harding
10.30-01.30 Gavyn Mytchel
01.30-03.00 Graeme Lloyd
03.00-04.30 Tall Paul
04.30-06.00 Tania von Pear