(played at the Gatecrasher Global Sound System’s third Cyprus party, at Club Cereus in Nicosia on Sat 21st June 2003. View photos from the event here)
The DJs arrived on Saturday afternoon and went straight from the airport to Cereus for a final sound-check. After getting constant updates from the promoters all day on the party preparations, we rushed to meet the Gatecrasher gang at their hotel in downtown Nicosia just as their evening meal was being ordered. We found them all crowded round a huge table in the dining area, taking over the room with their energy and chatter. Considering Nu Nrg’s Italian roots, we thought it was rather appropriate that the most appetising (and ‘quickest’) thing on the menu was pasta!
As soon as the menus were lifted, the Nu Nrg interview began. At that point I personally wished I knew Italian because although the questions and answers were relayed quite quickly with the lovely Irena acting as translator for Andrea and Giuseppe, I couldn’t help feeling that a little of the essence was lost.
How did the two of you meet and decide to work together?
We met in 1999 at a techno party where Andrea was DJ-ing, and decided to make our own project. We’ve been partners ever since.
Do you prefer playing live sets or DJ-sets?
Playing live, because this different experience gives us the opportunity to transmit our love for music and for life to the people. It’s more emotional.
How was the experience of playing at the Love Parade last year?
It was the first time we played something so big and of course it was completely unforgettable!
What are you working on at the moment?
Apart from doing our live shows, we’re getting ready for more productions. We are now signed to Vandit Records and we have many new ideas to work with. They are allowing us to experiment. People asked us if our music will change but we don’t think about that, we just always put energy and feeling into it. We are very grateful for people’s compliments but we will continue to work in the same way.
How do you feel about MP3s and music-sharing?
We don’t support piracy but as a medium, nobody can deny that the internet plays a very important part in making an artist and his music better-known.
What music do you think will be most popular in the future?
Electronica will grow up and become complete. Songs that can make you imagine, feel happy or even cry will be important. Once this happens, dance music will become stronger.
By this time the salads had started arriving. Thankfully Eddie Halliwell isn’t a vegetable lover(!), so he came over and sat with us while everyone else started munching. We had ten minutes until the main course.
Tell us about your style and how you play. Your scratching especially is something that is often commented on…
Well, if I’m playing a main time-slot, I try to interact with the crowd as much as possible because I think it’s important to get that connection with the audience rather than just keep your head down. I find that with scratching, people absolutely prefer to see you doing it; they want to watch your hands and your movements. They get more involved that way and I like to connect with them through it. People say that my scratching is something different but for me it’s just part of the technical side of DJ-ing. It’s not essential but it’s a good skill to have. If you feel that you have to lift the crowd up, you deliver some scratching and once they see that it’s coming from the DJ they get excited again. Their reactions are great to see.
Do you have a particular preference for vinyl as opposed to CDs?
I used to absolutely hate CDs and never go near them. I felt they were too ‘cold’ for me, because you lose that closeness with the crowd. But there have been new developments since then, like the Pioneer CDJ 1000 and the new Denon CD-decks where you can scratch on CD because they are built like turntables. I actually carry a CDJ around with me in my bag. You’ve got to move with technology! It is quite a big thing but it’s a very good tool, a fantastic piece of equipment, because you can do different things there than you could do on a deck. Now that I have that capability, I enjoy playing from CDs although I still prefer vinyl because it’s far better for cutting up and scratching.
Who do you admire musically?
Well, within dance music there are people like Judge Jules, Carl Cox and Jeremy Healy for his charisma behind the decks. But outside the dance industry, I was always heavily into the hip-hop side of things. The Scratch Perverts and Tony Vegas were a big influence for me. I got my first decks around the same time that I used to watch DMC championship videos, and I realised that I’d love to do a similar kind of thing with my DJ-ing. Obviously my music is in a totally different style to that genre, but there are certain things you can bring across. I wanted to learn the technical aspect and adapt it to the particular dance sets that I wanted to play.
What was the highest point of your career so far?
Entering DJ magazine’s Top 100 DJs poll. I couldn’t believe it! (Eddie had the second-highest new entry after New York-based Satoshi Tomiie. It was the highest new entry for a British DJ, straight it at number 35). It was such a shock to me and I was over the moon. It was something I’ve always dreamed of and never thought possible so it was great to be included!
Especially since you’ve only been playing in clubs a relatively short time…
Well, I got my decks when I was 15 or 16 and practiced as much as I could before approaching anyone. A couple of years ago I came into contact with some promoters in Manchester and it all began there.
Do you ever feel like you’re dreaming with the amount of success you’ve had so quickly?
Definitely! There have been many times when I’ve sat back and thought, “Is this real?” It’s sort of a dream for me because I never thought that I would play out. I always loved music and I knew that I wanted to collect and play records but I never thought I would do it in a club. It’s almost unreal.
Where do you think you’ll be in 5 years?
Oh, I’d never say because I don’t want to tempt fate!
Tell us about the Essential Mix you did for Radio One. Was that a turning point for you?
It was a fantastic opportunity but I always stress and worry before doing things like that! Obviously, because it was broadcast live, it was going out to people who weren’t at the club and I felt I had to be more ‘careful’ while I was playing. Like I said before, DJ–ing is very much a visual thing for me. When you’re in the club you get an interaction with the people, you can see it going on and you can judge whether you’re overdoing it. Even if people are listening to the same mix while driving in their cars or sitting at home, it might not come across in the same way. I’ve recorded myself in the past, to listen to what I do, and it really doesn’t have the corresponding feeling that you get from actually watching it being done.
I read somewhere that you don’t like making tapes either.
I hate doing them! It’s a similar sort of principle: people who aren’t in the club and can’t see you are listening to you. I find that making tapes or CDs of sets also makes you change your style slightly. You try to be tidier and may even change the way you mix to keep things neat and clean. Playing in a club you can be raw with what you do and throw things in if you feel they’re necessary. The same thing won’t sound as good when it’s played back on a tape.
What does “Bosh” mean?
(Laughs) Is this in reference to the Mixmag CD? (Eddie mixed a CD for the January 2002 issue of Mixmag, entitled “Bosh”). Well, it’s a name that Mixmag came up with for the CD. I think it’s a term to describe the music on it: energetic and “bangin”.
Random Related Info:
In honour of the hotel menu on that night, here is an easy pasta recipe:
Quick and Easy Tomato Pasta
(2 Portions) Preparation Time: 5 minutes, cooking Time: 20 minutes
3 tbsp olive oil, 1 peeled and finely chopped onion, 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, 1 can chopped plum tomatoes, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tsp dried oregano, 1 tbsp soy sauce
Pasta of your choice, olive oil, salt
1 packet of diced mozarella, 3 tbsp shredded basil leaves, 20g toasted pine nuts, grated Parmesan
Tomato Sauce: Place the olive oil in a large saucepan over a moderate-high heat. Add the onions to the pan and cook them for 3-5 minutes until transparent and soft. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, dried oregano and soy sauce. Leave the sauce to simmer steadily for 15 minutes, stirring it regularly.
Pasta: Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add the pasta to the boiling water, cook the pasta for 5 minutes or until aldente (soft but with a bite). Drain the pasta and stir it into the hot sauce.
To Serve: Stir the basil into the pasta and distribute the pasta into two large bowls. Scatter the mozarella and pine nuts over the top. Serve the pasta with grated Parmesan.
Interview posted on 20th July 2003
Thanks to Very Strawberry Entertainment
Interview by c.Victoria