Well, here we have him, British Jody Wisternoff, one half of Way Out West (the other being Nick Warren). These blokes have been around since the dawn of times, or at least since the dawn of the early 90s. Way Out West released their forth studio album ‘We Love Machine’ at the end of last year, a long anticipated album, and followed up with a remix compilation ‘We Love Machine – The Remixes’ last week, with remixes by Henry Saiz, Eelke Kleijn (whose remix we had the pleasure to introduce last week), Guy J, D. Ramirez, Jaytech and others. It is absolutely brilliant stuff! The sound is more direct than previous albums, less fancy, and absolutely stunning. HMWL got a little chat with Mr. Wisternoff.
HMWL: You’ve been around forever, always on top. The electronic music scene has changed a lot over the years. What’s your view on this? How have you related to the scene over the years?
Jody Wisternoff: To be honest, when your as involved in the scene on a day to day basis as I am, you dont really notice the changes. Its like watching a child grow, you dont see a change week on week but 1 year down the line and they are completely different. Obviously the way music is sold and distributed has changed drastically, in many ways I love the advantages the digital age brings but i really do miss record shopping. It was nice to get out the house for a bit lol. Also computer technology has come on leaps and bounds, back in the day we were using Ataris for sequencing and a tower of Akai samplers . Nowadays its pretty staggering what you can achieve just on a tiny laptop.
HMWL: Would you please guide us through the general process of making a track. What gear/programs do you use?
Jody: I use ableton for the writing process, and protools for arrangement and mixing. We used to get a lot of ideas from sampling, but this has changed recently due to our Synth collection which has been steadily growing over the last few years. However, never underestimate the value of a great sample ,many of the best dance tracks have started life in this way. My favourite VST right now is Omnisphere, amazing for pads and otherworldy sounds. Reaktor is still a firm favourite, but apart from that most of the synth sounds come from hardware such as the Jupiter8, Prophet5, Macbeth M5N, SH5 and octave kitten.
A track usually starts life with an interesting sound playing a vibey riff, or a chord progression of some kind. I find it easier to fit a bassline and drums under the music, rather than starting with a groove , but then again there are no fixed rules .
I also like to take my time, usually 1 or 2 months from conception to delivery. However, the general body of the track can come very quickly . Days , or even hours.
When mixing down, its super important to check stereo space using headphones, but dont rely on the overall balance through cans as it can be misleading.
You finished your latest full-length album with Way Out West this autumn, and it turned out absolutely beautiful, in my opinion. Could you tell us a little bit about the process of making a full-length album? Also, did you take any decisions on what sound it was gonna take, or did it more evolve on its own?
Thanks!! The process of making the album was the same as always really. Just working on a load of ideas, at least 50, and completing the ones that seem to stick and have a coherant vibe. The decision was made from the start to make more of a dancefloor record this time, less arty and breakbeat than Don’t Look Now, and more in line with our DJ styles right now. Also, we wanted to work with a male vocalist (Jon Mendelsohn) exclusively, as we have only ever used female vox in the past.
You’ve played at practically all the largest clubs in the world over the years. Any particular favorite, or somewhere you would like to play where you haven’t yet?
My favourite gigs recently have been in Brazil. South American gigs are generally the best, a combination of the latin spirit and good weather. However, this year I would like to play more UK gigs , I think its a shame we all neglect our own country and fly off every weekend, but the truth of the matter is that foreign gigs pay more and the events are usually better. Hopefully though, this will change and the UK will kick it again. Twisted Audio in London on saturday was amazing, for example..
I was personally absolutely thrilled to see you take on a solo career, ‘Cold Drink, Hot Girl’ blew my mind at the time, and I must’ve played it at every gig I had – I still do sometimes, actually. All subsequent solo releases kept the same exquisite quality. Could you tell us a bit about the original decision of going solo?
It just seemed like the right thing to do, as I was spending so much time in the studio alone and I figured it would be the best way for me to build my DJ career. We had just finished the 3rd album and decided to take a little break from WOW, but being the studio addict that I am I just couldn’t stay away.
Being a veteran as a producer and DJ, is there still other producers and DJ which inspire you?
Yep, big time !! The Chemical Brothers, Simian Mobile Disco, Gui Boratto, Robert Babicz, Joris Voorn, Tensnake. These are just some of the artists I find very inspirational.
Could you name your top 5 tracks at the moment?
D.O.P – And I
Random House Project – The One Forever ( Dub )
Julius Beat & Eddy Karmona – Believes in Himself
Jody Wisternoff – Lassoo
Massive Attack – Paradise Circus ( Gui Boratto rmx )
Last, but not least: any grand plans for 2010?
A lot of touring, the release of We love Machine Remix album, The Gift 2010 , a new WOW single for the summer, more JW, and even some WOW library music :)
Thanks a lot, Jody. Been a pleasure!
Way Out West have made tonnes of tracks which have been at my top5:s, but one is forever remaining there, ‘Domination’. It’s absolutely brilliant and timeless in it’s evolvement and development. You just gotta love it!
Here is some more recent stuff @ Glastonbury, playing Spaceman. Just look at that crowd. Cheers!
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