BnB Interview: Nick Warren

To say that Nick Warren is one of the most familiar faces in modern day dance music would be an understatement. Ever since the sound we know as electronic dance music first surfaced, Nick’s at the forefront of both musical diversity and performance technology with a staggering number of releases under his belt. As one of the leading names in house and progressive, Nick has been mixing no less than eight Global Underground installments as well as having dropped the very first edition in the acclaimed Back To Mine series in 1999. But we also know Nick as one of the forces behind the Way Out West outfit -a project he started with his long term musical partner Jody Wisternoff- and the A&R for Hope Recordings.     

Nick played a pivotal role in the global popularity of progressive house music back in the early 2000s, but that’s just a random pick out of his many musical efforts till date. Sure, the sound of progressive is still present in his recent outings, but it has evolved into something more organic, a bit grittier even, as proved by his recently released mix for the Balance series. We teamed up with Nick to talk his Balance mix and how it came about, Way Out West, and his future plans…  

Nick Warren : Buenos Aires (Edit) – Forthcoming on Hope Recordings by djnickwarren

1. Hi Nick, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. How’s life? What have you been up to the last couple of months?
All is good with me. Busy as always with gigs and also in the studio. I have a new single “Flowers” out now on Danny Howells’ Dig Deeper label and in May I have another release “Buenos Aires” coming out as the 100th release on Hope Recordings. Plus I will be working with Jody on some new Way Out West material and enjoying the spring weather!

2. Your long awaited mix for Balance is about to hit the streets. What has been your goal during the creation of this mix?
My goal was to create a mix that as well as being a statement of my sound right now, it will stand the test of time and sound relevant in years to come. For me that is the magic of a compilation album

3. The mix lines up both established as lesser known names. How did you handle track selection and which tracks just had to be in it?
It takes a bloody long time to be honest and is a difficult process. I may choose tracks which i am sure will go on the album in the early stages only to find that they just don’t fit in the final mix. Some tracks really stood out for me, The Flord track and Eelke’s were two such tracks  

4. How long did you work on the compilation? How did you experience the production process?
The process takes around 3 months from start to finish. Firstly it is the day after day listening to music. I got sent around a thousand compositions. The mixing is then done in Ableton Live.

5. You’ve used Ableton Live and the Akai MPC-40 to create the mix. What is it that made you decide to use this particular gear? What do you consider are its main advantages?
I use this set up for my DJing  now and i love it. It does mean a lot of prep work at home but the multi mixing and effect options it gives me means that i can produce unique sets every time.

6. The Balance mix series is renowned for its daring and innovative compilations. Do you have a personal favorite Balance mix? And why is it your favorite?
I loved the James Holden release and it still sounds amazing!

Freeze – Nick Warren 16/04/2010 by freezeliverpool1

7. Next to DJing and producing, you’re the A&R for Hope Recordings. What is it you find most interesting about this job?
Getting to hear so much amazing music from young up and coming producers is a joy, there is so much amazing stuff out there.

8. Apart from your solo work you’re also a member of Way Out West together with Jody Wisternoff. What can we expect from WOW in the near future?

Jody and I are working on some new material this year. We are heading into a more underground vibe with maybe some ambient/chillout stuff as well.

9. Production wise, does a WOW track require a different approach than a ‘Nick Warren track?’ If so, what are these differences?

It does really, obviously Jody and I respect each other’s input so it’s two heads rather than one.

10. Can you reveal how you work with Jody in the studio? What do you consider to be each other’s strong points?
We both start separate ideas and come into the studio to work on them together, bouncing ideas back and forth which is great fun.

11. In your opinion, who are today’s most exciting producers? Any ‘ones to watch’?
Max Cooper is in my opinion the most exciting dance producer out there right now. The guy is amazing.

12. A random pick from your artistic past: You’ve been behind the decks for two decades, have released no less than eight great albums on the Global Underground label, and still continue to play across the globe every week. What would be the ultimate goal for Nick Warren in terms of the artistic?

I really want to go into the studio soon for maybe 4 days solid, press record at the start and see what comes out, using musicians and vocalists as well.

13. What kind of music apart from electronic do you listen to? Any tips on the band side of things?
The new Foo Fighters album is great and I love the new Artic Monkeys single!

14. What more can we expect from you in the near future? Any special projects you’re working on?

My New single “Buenos Aires” comes out next month on Hope Recordings. I have also just finished a remix for Vapour Recordings and Jody and I will work on some new Way Out West material soon.

15. In between music duties, what do you do to relax?
I am a avid fly fisherman and love to spend time with my family.

16. It’s kind of a cheesy question, but we’re asking anyway: what is it you’re most proud of in your life?
My daughter Esme and my partner Petra

17. Any last words of wisdom to our readers… anything goes!
Enjoy life and always be ready to smile!