Q&A – Danny J Lewis

Ahead of Danny J Lewis’s headline set at the next Catch The Feeling on Sat 30th March at The Paradise, W10 we caught up with the legendary House and Garage producer to find out more about the man behind some absolute classics. He’s also done a quality guest mix using some of his exclusive re-rubs and reversions – hit play, read on and enjoy!

Could you give us one interesting fact no one knows about Spend The Night?

The original version had a vocal sample from a time and space cd that I thought was safe to use. It wasn’t!

Danny J Lewis – Spend The Night – A UK Top 40 hit in 1998

Spend the Night was released in 1997, how do you feel the scene has changed since then?

Actually it was first released in 1993.. took a few years to gain momentum! The scene now seems to be very much looking back but with a new attitude and I love it – great to see young talent doing the business.

Do you remember the first House or Garage tune you heard that blew your mind and/or got you into producing?

So many tunes blew my mind but the jams that really got me were the MAW dubs in the early 90s.. even their first, the Debbie Gibson One Step Ahead remix, which now sounds pretty dated (that’s why I’ve got a brand new beefed up version to play at the gig!)

What is your studio set up now compared to how it was back in the day? Special mention for any favourite synths… hardware and software?

I have a very modest setup now that is totally in the box, whether it’s Ableton, Logic or Cubase as DAW. I love my Push 2 and Maschine – both are important for beat programming to me. I use NI plugins, Korg Legacy and a handful of others. It’s a huge contrast to how I used to make music as in the 90s that was using hardware samplers such as the Roland W30, S750 or Emu 6400 plugged into a Soundcraft Ghost and a few bits of outboard.

Tell us about your record collection. Any cherished items? Do you still have or buy vinyl or is it all digital now?

I still have lots of vinyl and would say my Kerri Chandler and MAW dubs are the most cherished alongside all of my own vinyl releases.

Proudest moment DJ / Production wise?

Being in the Box at The Ministry Of Sound and hearing Kenny Carpenter dropping the track we made that was released on MAW records.

Craziest moment DJ / Production wise?

Craziest DJ moment was in Edinburgh at a night called Departure Lounge when I was in Spiritual South. We were down the far end of an archway and behind the decks I was busting for the toilet. I saw a door behind me and went in there, entering what looked like some kind of Indiana Jones crypt. It’s fair to say I pee’d as fast as I could and got back out before any rolling rocks flattened me! Production wise the track I mentioned above – Kenny Carpenter brought along a song “Time Of The Season” by the Zombies, a sixties band, to sample and I was like WTF? in reality it was genius and the track ended up slammin’.

Which producer(s) were you inspired by when you first began making music?

Todd Terry, CJ Macintosh, Roger Sanchez, Louie Vega, Kenny Dope, Kerri Chandler.

Which acts/producers are you excited about right now?

Jeremy Sylvester (still), Lombard Street, Cinthie, Byron the Aquarius, Intr0beatz.

What are your musical plans/goals for 2019?

This gig has been a catalyst for getting me back into the Garage/House vibe properly so my plan is to get more music out this year with that vibe.

What is your Top Ten favourite B sides/dubs/forgotten gems?

You’ll have to come to the gig – you’ll hear them there. I’ve got some goodies that no one else has 😉

Danny will be DJing at Catch the Feeling on Saturday 30th March.