Q+A: 5 minutes with John Digweed

Since its inception in 1999, John Digweed’s Bedrock Records has grown to become one of the most renowned labels in underground electronic music. From its beginnings as a club night in London, Bedrock’s natural evolution has seen it play an instrumental role in supporting taste-making music and artists alike. In celebration of the label’s milestone 200th digital release, Digweed and studio partner Nick Muir have chosen to put out something that honours Bedrock’s roots. Bedrock 200 features two tracks from the duo’s back catalogue, reworked by Germany’s Jonathan Kasper. We chatted with John Digweed about the journey of Bedrock, and why this is the perfect 200th release for the iconic label.

Download and stream Bedrock 200 here


Hi John! It’s great to chat with you. Firstly, congratulations on the 200th digital release on Bedrock. Have you got anything special planned to mark this milestone?

Likewise and thanks so much. We’ve been very lucky to get the super talented Jonathan Kaspar to do a remix EP for us. Myself and Nick teamed up with Darren Emerson for the 100th release ’Tracer’ and the 150th release by Knives Out had an excellent Sasha remix on it so we wanted to do something special for the 200th release as well.


You’ve tapped Jonathan Kaspar to remix two of your and Nick Muir’s old tracks for this release. What made him the right choice for this?

My ‘Live in London’ recorded at Fabric release from February this year featured a couple of his tracks so we reached out to him and were thrilled that he wanted to remix some tracks from Nick Muir and myself, along with one of the tracks taken from ‘The Traveler’ album Nick and I did with John Twelve Hawks. 


Both of you have rather extensive back catalogues. What made you choose these tracks for this release, respectively? 

When we approached Jonathan, we asked if there was anything from the catalogue that he’d like to remix and his first choice was ‘Live Off The Grid’ from ’The Traveler’ album, which we released in 2014. ’Stand Still’ is a much more recent release but it was great to have him remix two tracks that he really wanted to work on and remix.


Over the years, the Bedrock name has evolved from a club night and now to a record label. Was this always the vision when you set out on this journey all those years ago, or did it organically find its way here?

It’s always been organic the way things have started and developed, and that’s mainly been from being a DJ. The club night and the label have always been entwined really. Having a regular club night in London made it a great way to showcase artists and music from the label. Also getting sent amazing unsigned music to play out, it was just a logical progression to set up the record label to sign off this music as well as having your own imprint to release my productions with Nick Muir and other artists.


Tell us about those original club nights in London. What made Heaven the right venue for these events?

Those nights were just amazing, everything about them from the club setting to the vibe and energy on the dance floor through to the amazing guests and artists we were able to get involved over the years. Even after all of these years I meet people at gigs who still reminisce about how great the nights at Heaven were. I’m always in awe that people used to fly in specially for those nights from all over the world. That always helped build up the anticipation and was the catalyst for an amazing night.


How do you feel about the news that Heaven may potentially have to close its doors? 

It really would be a huge loss to the London club scene. Had some many amazing nights and moments in there, I’d be very sad to see it close. It has been at the forefront of dance music since opening as well as being one of the main clubs for the LGBTQ community in Europe. This venue needs to stay open.


Post-lockdown, what do you think people can do to help the scene and protect venues and artists alike?  

I think the best thing to do is just keep supporting your favourite venues or as the saying goes “use it or lose it”. The UK has had such a colourful nightlife and is a breeding ground for new talent. It’s so important for new artists as well as established artists that the UK’s nightlife remains strong.


Aside from your own music, you have released work from some major players such as Pig&Dan, Monkey Safari, and Stelios Vassiloudis. What do you look out for in emerging artists, and how do you develop this factor once they’re a part of the Bedrock family?

Fundamentally it’s always about the music but it’s great to work with artists and see them develop over multiple releases on the label. The likes of Pig&Dan, Guy J and Stelios Vassiloudis have all done numerous singles/EP releases with us and this has developed into us working on multiple album projects with these artists, which is always great to be a part of.


Has your own experience of building a career as a DJ/producer informed how you approach building those of your artists?

Again this is another organic thing as every DJ or artist is different and has different ideas/goals of where they want to be and how they want to do it. Over the years I’ve been very fortunate to work with some amazing talent and have always aired my thoughts and experiences, if they’ve asked for some direction or advice.


Are there any new artists on your radar right now, who we should know about?

I’m constantly being sent new music by artists for gigs, to sign for Bedrock and for the Transitions show. There are always new artists I’m blown away by and it’s also great when more established artists blow your mind with new music, so there’s always new music and new artists on my radar. Hardest part is finding the time to listen through all of the music I get sent.


While Bedrock is a label that has traditionally focused on prog house, techno, and trance,  you’re not afraid to diversify. Pig&Dan’s Destination Unknown project comes to mind, for example. How would you describe the label’s approach to dance music?

To be honest we’ve always had a very open music policy on the label. 20 years ago we were releasing everything from breaks and downtempo through to main room dance floor tracks and that’s something we’re still doing now. 


What can we expect from the label in the final half of the year? Are you allowed to share the news?

We have some very exciting singles coming up with a couple of classic tracks getting some new remixes along with a couple of album projects we’re just finalising for the end of the year.


Listen to Jonathan Kaspar’s remix of Live Off The Grid by John Digweed & Nick Muir, Ft. Twelve Hawks below.

Follow Bedrock Records:

Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram