Has your approach to creating a track, EP or LP changed at all since the early days?
Rocky: No. We still approach it in the exact same way we did 25 odd years ago. Back then, it was just turn up to the studio with some ideas and a bag of records we liked the sound of for inspiration. We have never done the whole technical thing. Neither of us are technically trained so we have always been idea people. In that respect we work exactly the same way from when we first started.
Do you guys have an essential piece of gear?
Rocky: Probably Ableton Live. For recent years anyway. Prior to that it would be like Akai S1000 samplers and that kind of thing. Now, we do most of our writing process in LIVE so it is quite essential.
Over the years being in London, have you noticed any one shift in the cities nightlife landscape that, in your opinion, affected it most dramatically?
Diesel: London is changing in a big way and it will be interesting to see what is left of it. At the moment, it is going through a massive transition. We have this HS2 link between London and Birmingham that’s happening. We have the centre of London in Soho being dug up and a lot of the city is being re-designed to cope with this new rail line, which is there to promote business in the country.
There is so much going on in the centre of London, like building development, where the consequences are the shutting of clubs. Clubs like Turnmills, The Cross, Bagleys Studios, The Key, even smaller clubs like Plastic People have all closed. There are very few clubs in London now. You have main ones like Ministry of Sound, but even they might be forced to move since the area is getting more residential. It’s outrageous. I mean, Ministry of Sound was there first so it seems crazy to build a residential area where people complain about the noise. It feels like everything has been pushed out of the centre of London, Fabric is still going strong though, so that’s fine…
…but even they were met with a bit of an issue recently…
Diesel: Yes. Clubs can be on shaky ground. A lot of the more creative side in London has moved toward the East, but even there the licensing laws are getting more strict. It’s a bit like New York. Manhattan used to be the place but with the gentrification, it really affects the nightlife. Or, should I say, the underground. For example, warehouse parties are a thing of the past.
Rocky: I think its a question of economics. Clubs have always opened and closed and always will do. People have always danced to recorded music. It goes through phases. We had the whole super club thing in the mid 90s, but that can only go so far. On from that, smaler clubs still existed. You can go out any weekend around London and can find a hundred really cool underground parties all over.
Being scene veterans, I’m sure you have traveled to enough venues to know what to expect from a crowd there, but what happens when you are booked at a venue you are unfamiliar with. What is the preparation process like before your set?
Diesel: I’m sure most DJs do this, but we will go to the website or Facebook page to get a feel of the space, its capacity, and other guest DJs. This gives us an idea of the kind of people they are booking, which gives you an idea of the sound they are into. Even though you do the research we aren’t going to tailer our sets too much. We are adaptable but we are there to play and promote our sound. We are not going to change our CD wallets to cater to the club, but under the house umbrella we are able to provide a lot. It is a fine balance between pushing our sound and entertaining the crowd. We are there for people to have a good time, after all.
Another good example is when we played in South China at the beginning of year. It was the club’s birthday party, so that means classics. There is no point playing a load of exclusives since people are there to celebrate the club. When you find out how old the venue is you can tell how far back on the classics you can go.
What has your relationship been like with the city of Amsterdam?
Diesel: The last time we DJed in Amsterdam it was a great night. We hadn’t played there for a while. It is a fantastic city. We have had so many good nights there. The first time we went, we followed Danny Rampling. It was 1989 or something. We have so many great memories over the years. We like to go over and hang out for a few days whenever we can.
Rocky: Anytime we have been in Amsterdam we have always had a great time. I remember good vibes and people being very responsive, not to mention all the history in the city.
‘Sintara’ will be available from 17th July on Skint Records.