The 113th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Che Armstrong.
1. If you had to pick one track which solidified your love for electronic music early on what would it be?
That’s a really hard one to answer, and I don’t think I could honestly pick just one track. I think I can maybe relate it back to a couple of compilations though. I remember getting ‘Essential Mix Vol. 2’ back in 1996 and I instantly loved the undernground sounds on it. I also remember Ministry of Sound’s ‘Dance Nation 3’ not long after in 1997 and was also a massive fan of that. I think those were definitely turning points for me.
2. What was your first and last DJ gig?
I think it might have been in a pub, around 1999 or 2000. They had a weekly ‘event’ on a Sunday where they gave a number of local DJs a chance to play. I ended up playing fairly regularly while it ran.
3. What was the first and last record you purchased?
I remember when I first bought some records and many of them were white labels. I’ve still got no idea what they were called too. However, I think one of my very first was something like ‘Nightmare’ by Brainbug or ‘Not Over Yet’ by Grace.
As for the last record I bought… If were still talking vinyl, it was way back in around 2005. At one point I listed everything on Discogs for reference, and some of my most recent purchases were ‘Wooden Swordz’ by Viton & Stel, Unconditional / Mar Del Plata by Benz & MD and Twelve by Tilt.
4. What would you say is the highlight of your career thus far?
Definitely having the opportunity to warm-up for the legends Eric Prydz and Jeremy Olander, here in Newcastle, back in 2011. A close second would be one of the two occasions I warmed up for Paul van Dyk too.
5. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I really can’t think of anything that interesting! haha
I have a lovely little dog though and he’s called Digweed, after one of my favourite DJs and biggest inspirations. 🙂
6. Who are some of the best undiscovered talents in your eyes?
Definitely some of the guys on my Axon label.
It’s already great to see names like Anthony Yarranton, Scotty.A and TR20 (which Withakay is half of) making a nice name for themselves. However, guys like Frank Maris, Chris Johnson, Onkakmir and Mescaline always make superb stuff. I hope they also get more recognition – And I’m sure they will.
7. Which producers consistently inspire you?
Again, the guys that I’m working with on Axon are a big inspiration. For example, working on collabs with Chris Johnson has been really inspiring. It’s really great to get an idea down, then fire a message over Facebook for some feedback. I regularly take about stuff and share ideas with Anthony, Chris, Scotty and Frank.
As for bigger names though. I really love Maceo Plex’s stuff right now – Amazing! Also, people like Guy Gerber, Ten Walls and other with a similar sound.
8. What artist or track would you love to remix? and who would you love to be remixed by?
I always wanted to remix Satoshi Tomiie’s 2001 classic ‘Love in Traffic’. However, Mike Griego already did an amazing job of bringing it back up-to-date, so I’m not so sure now. I did hear an old track on the radio that i might try and remix though, I won’t say what it is just yet though! 😉
As for someone to remix me – Maceo Plex would be amazing, and maybe someone like Guy J. I would also love for someone like Alan Fitzpatrick or Sam Paganini to turn in a pounding techno version.
9. Record labels are a dime a dozen these days, which ones if any standout for you?
I tend to follow artist more than labels of I’m honest. However, you can generally count on big labels like Bedrock, Innervisions, Minus and Suara. There’s some great labels under the Proton banner too.
10. What would you say is the best mix compilation of all time?
Again, for me, this is a hard one to answer. The first one that comes to mind is Sasha’s ‘Global Underground 013: Ibiza’. I remember being quite blown away by that.
11. Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Food: BBQ / burgers.
Drink: Brooklyn Lager or dark rum.
Animal: Dog (we just got a new one but he hasn’t got a name yet).
TV Show: Just finished watching the Leftovers, but also enjoying Boardwalk Empire right now.
Movie: Not sure.
Video Game: Don’t play them.
Album: Not really an album but really enjoyed Danny Tenaglia’s ‘Balance 025’ compilation.
Track / Song: ‘After Dark‘ by &ME has been a big one for me lately.
Producer / Band: Maceo Plex.
Record Label: You mean apart from Axon? 😛
Nightclub: Warehouse 34, the home of Shindig.
DJ: John Digweed.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
This one’s hard too! The tracks that come to mind first are ‘Skydive’ by Freefall, ‘Heaven Scent’ by Bedrock or ‘Xpander’ by Sasha. They’re obvious ones but it would probably be one of those. They’re classics and still inspire me a lot. Of course, if I had a week to think about it, I’ll probably change my mind a few times first. 🙂
‘n.w.o.’ is out now on Axon, you can purchase the release: here