John Digweed will return to London with his Bedrock club night and residency, set to take place at XOYO on the first Thursday of every month.
A name that has since become perhaps the most prominent in progressive house, Bedrock first made an appearance as a club night at Heaven in London back in 1998. This time around, the night will take place at the smaller and more intimate London venue, XOYO. Each event will give Digweed a chance to stretch out for an extended time slot, with guests kept to a minimum and largely going unannounced. Bedrock's only other resident is jozif, the London-based house producer who's put music to wax for imprints like Foundation Records, Wolf + Lamb and InFine Music.
The first comeback event is set to take place on February 2nd, with Digweed in control of XOYO's main room and jozif taking care of the second. We caught up with the Bedrock boss to find out more about the night's history and its future.
Tell me a bit about the history of Bedrock. How did it start, and why bring it back now?
Bedrock was the night that I launched when I first started DJing to help get myself gigs. When you start out, people don't want to book you that often, so I booked people like Carl Cox, Grooverider, LTJ Bukem, and I'd put my name on the flyer, so I'd promote myself as a DJ.
It started out at Heaven in 1998. We were at Heaven pretty much every month for six years, then we moved to just birthdays and Easter. The concept of what we're doing now is different. It's at a smaller venue, XOYO, and is much more built around me playing longer sets, doing what I want to do for the whole night pretty much.
Why did the original Bedrock end?
In 2001, a lot of clubs in London took a bit of a dip. There were big nights and quieter nights. It made more sense rather than doing it every month to do special events: Easter, the birthday, we were still doing four or five Bedrocks every year, but not every month. That would have been commercial suicide, the market didn't want it.
I imagine that for someone as jetset as you it's important to have a familiar place to play every month.
Well, I love the fact that what I do every week is a challenge, or that it's a place I've been many times so there's familiarity. Part of why this is on a Thursday is so I still get my weekends, so I can keep globe-trotting. I've always had residencies, whether it was Twilo or the early Bedrock parties, I've always had something where I play at the same place every month, and until now that was missing. But I looked at the venue, and it's perfect for what I want to do.
What about the venue makes it right for you?
There are two rooms, the upstairs room is where jozif will be playing, the downstairs room is dark, pretty low ceiling, rectangle shape, DJ booth set up on a small stage. It's a nice little dark room, which is what I want to play in. The sound system is decent. Basically I didn't want to do something with a lot of pressure every month, you know, "we've gotta get 2,000 people in the door, we gotta get guests," etc. I just want it to be fun, something to do every month and connect with a small crowd. I love those gigs, and I still get to do those gigs—on Friday I played in Hong Kong for about 500 people in a small room—but this will allow me to do it on a regular basis.
Tell us about jozif. Why was he your pick as a resident?
He played last Easter for us when we did Arcadia. I loved the stuff he played, I think he's the perfect resident for room two. It's different, he's got his own groove, his own following, I'm really happy to have him on board.
Do you have any other guests in mind?
At the moment it's just me and jozif, and then when people pop up, we'll announce it on Facbeook and Twitter and stuff like that, but really the idea is for me to play for four or five hours by myself. If I have a friend in London and they feel up for it they can come down and play and it would be a surprise for the crowd. I want it to have that feeling about it, rather than, "we've gotta go out and sell this and put 2000 people through the door." I want something low key but with that excitement factor about it.