John Digweed’s Bedrock is back with a bang, and next up is Esperanza, the debut artist album from fast-rising Israeli star Guy J…
“I realised he had a great ear for making club tracks, but with this project he has really pushed himself further musically, delivering an album full of diversity with a warm, melodic, contemporary sound.” So says John Digweed, a man who knows a thing or two about good music. He’s talking about the latest signing to his newly revived Bedrock label, the Israeli producer Guy J. Along with the likes of Guy Gerber, Shlomi Aber, Chaim and Gel Abril, he’s been instrumental in putting Israel back on the music map, releasing tracks on the Azuli and Whoop before hooking up with Digweed’s Bedrock.
Now he’s ready to drop his artist album Esperanza, an impressive debut by anyone’s standards. Tracks on there include Under Pressure, Geko and Mirko, a trio of tunes that have won him fans such as Sasha, Tiga and Hernan Cattanneo. Digweed also reckons Guy is “getting better and better with every production”, so EQ decided to track down Mr J before conquers the entire world…
What’s the thinking behind Esperanza?
My overall approach was to deliver a project that gives the listener a clue about my sound and my thoughts and my point of view about music. The album says a lot about who I am and what my sound is – it’s meant to pleasure the ears.
Bedrock holds a legendary status in house music. How does it feel having your debut released on the label?
It’s a huge honour since Bedrock has always been a massive inspiration for me as a producer. To actually be part of the huge list of artists who release their music on Bedrock is a real big deal to me.
How would you describe the sound of the album?
It’s very warm. There a lot of melodies and depth – it’s not just a dance album. It also includes new versions for Geko, Under Pressure and Save Me.
Is it a good reflection of what you do as a DJ?
Yes. You can hear lots of different styles of house music in my DJ sets, but it’s all connected by the same sound, and that’s what’s happening in the album – each track is very different, but they are all connected and it flows. It’s still consistent. I tried to make each track very different, but also grab elements from some tracks and incorporate them into other tracks.
A lot of DJs and producers have emerged from Israel in recent years, such as Guy Gerber, Chaim, Shlomi Aber. Would you say there’s a signature sound that can be associated with Israeli producers?
I don’t think our sounds are similar at all. There is lots of music coming out of Israel but sound wise we are quite different. It’s just coincidence that we all started to get noticed around the same time. I don’t think our sounds are dictated by our postcodes. But I really like Chaim and Guy Gerber and think they are great at what they do.
What do you feel about the house scene at the moment in terms of quality?
I really hope it makes a bit of a U-turn and goes back to some great house, more melodic and more tracks that are memorable. I really feel the scene lost that ‘big’ track feel this year and people have missed that. I say bring the melody back.