The One and Only Eddie Halliwell
Reported by K8-e
Submitted 03-11-10 08:02
Tiesto has called him a legend and he surely is one of the defining djs of a generation. So it should come as no surprise that Eddie Halliwell has been shortlisted for Mixmagís Greatest DJ of all time poll taking place over the next few months. Eddie is well known for technical proficiency and ability to take the crowd on a journey but he's up against some stiff competition.
Ahead of this landmark poll I stole some time with Eddie to talk technology, tunes and who would get his vote.
Being shortlisted for the greatest DJ of all time must be an immense honour. What was your reaction when you found out?
I was pretty shocked, when I saw the shortlist of people, people in there like QBert and Carl Cox, djs that have been inspirations and that Iíve looked up to before I even started djing myself. Itís a great honour and I really appreciate the support from Mixmag. To be amongst those djs as well, a lot of them are quite a lot older than me, so I was shocked to be in it, you donít expect to be put in a category like that. Itís fantastic to have the support!
I read you used to watch DMC videos and of course you are up against luminaries such as Grandmaster Flash and you mentioned Qbert and Carl Cox Ė it is some list!? Voting for the best DJ in the world is not a new idea, but why do you think the views of the Mixmag readership in particular is so important, why is this poll important?
I think any of the polls are great to part of as it gives you exposure. One of the first ever cover mounts I did was on Mixmag and the support came from that early doors. Itís great to be part of these things and of course it gives you exposure internationally. I think whatís important though is that itís all down to personal preference (of those voting). If someone runs 100 metres in the fastest time ever they are the quickest and thatís that, with something like music, which is so diverse, itís difficult to put your finger on what it is that makes someone the best, so itís really down to peopleís individual tastes.
Who to you is the greatest dj of all time and why?
I suppose itís a very difficult one to answer. As I say the people Iíve always looked up to, the djs from the very beginning, are the people Iíve just mentioned; Carl Cox, QBert and the Scratch Perverts for different reasons. Scratch Perverts and QBert for technical ability and the skill of djing but I followed Carl Cox wherever I could when I first started going clubbing purely for the way he can control a crowd, his presence as a dj and his personality, so I think thereís all sorts of different aspects but I wouldnít really like to say because I like elements of all sorts of different djs. Itís a difficult task!
I think it is difficult to choose, I bought Mixmag to read last week on holiday specifically to look at this list and I was reading through thinking this is really difficult! And I know you are pretty self deprecating so I wonít ask you why you think you should win as Judge Jules has done that for you but certainly you are one of the most technically advanced djs of our time pushing the boundaries continually for your performances. Of course youíre relationship with Pioneer is well documented and youíve worked closely with Jazzmutant for your Ed-It sets and youíve mentioned Ableton and Traktor in other interviews. When we spoke last time we didnít touch on this in depth so take me through what equipment you are using for your sets and your ED-It gigs? Break it down for me!
Yeah! The Ed-It sets have always been evolving and itís the perfect platform for me to test out new equipment that you donít necessarily get the chance to in your regular dj performances. Youíve mentioned quite a bit of stuff that weíve road tested at the gigs. Iíve used Ableton on quite a few but I used Traktor on the last one, purely because Iíve been enjoying working on it so much and it gives you so much freedom and just feels a lot more natural than working on Ableton. The last year when we were doing the Ed-It gigs I didnít really have it set up how I wanted it so this year I got the midi controllers, as you mentioned the Jazzmutant Lemur and Iíve been using other little add-on controllers like the X1s by Native and another controller I use to trigger visual in a visual programme.
We just introduced Traktor this year because it feels more natural. And Traktor is just evolving now and with each update it gets better and better and weíre looking to move it on next year and hopefully with the introduction of a new version Traktorís got a lot more new features in it which will be beneficial in being more creative. The whole concept behind Ed-It, apart from me messing around with technology, is to bring more to the stage. So me playing as a dj and integrating visuals and stage FX and special FX and stuff, to make it more interactive with the crowd and more visual and to create a bigger and better atmosphere ultimately on a bigger stage. My main focus has always been trying to use technology to be more creative on stage, thatís where I get my buzz, thatís where my passion is with the djing. In my regular dj sets I feed off the energy in the crowd when Iím mixing. Obviously with Ed-It I can create reactions from the crowd purely from an LED wall. But itís still a buzz for me creating the energy in a crowd form the stuff I do in a mix.
So how many of your gigs are Ed-It gigs at the moment?
We did three last year and weíve only done the one this year at Creamfields. We are looking to put a tour together next year and do a run of them. Weíre at the stage now where itís ready, developed and we can take it out and a do a run of gigs whereas before itís been growing and building and the idea has been changing along the way.
Iíll look forward to hopefully seeing one of those next year! When we spoke last time you mentioned you were trialling an ear monitoring but it was all fairly top secret, I believe these are from ACS (Advanced Communication Solutions) Ė how is it going Ė can you tell me more?
Itís still in the prototype phase and the technology is still being developed, itís been a long process. I donít want to say when it will be ready but Iím holding out to get using it but Iíve not been able to as itís not available.
Youíve been quoted as saying ďBeat matching isnít the art and form of DJing, itís just something you had to learn to be able to perform.Ē Perhaps still a controversial statement amongst some puristsÖ
You have to learn all sorts of skills as a dj and the way I see it with the technology evolving now once youíve learnt to beat match itís something you do! If you go back to the old school way with vinyl if you are actually keeping two tracks in time thatís occupying your hands. The way I see it now is that technology has evolved to a degree that if something does make it slightly easier then use the other features available to you, whether thatís an FX unit or controllers to actually move things on and become more creative because you can focus on other things like re-editing and re-mixing tracks live rather than focusing on literally matching two beats together. I see it as a massive enhancement and a massive move forward and youíll hear other people say ďitís not like it used to beĒ or ďitís not the way you should do thingsĒ but the way I see it, being optimistic towards the future, itís allowing you to do more things and ultimately become better because if you look at what you can do today and compare to what you could do with music ten years ago itís just leagues apart and I donít really see how some people can continue with that frame of mind. Itís evolution, and ever since Iíve seen change in the industry like when things went digital I like to embrace technology to keep moving it forward.
It makes me laugh when people donít but then a lot of people are stuck in their ways. Do you still enjoy mixing as much as ever? Do you rush home for a mix, and do you hog the decks at a house party? Do you play at house parties?
I used to but I very rarely get the opportunity if Iím honest anymore. But the buzz from mixing music is greater than it ever has been and I may have said this to you before but my buzz for djing got to a level and I didnít think it could get any greater but because of the changes that are going on itís giving me more of a buzz all of the time when Iím going out to gigs and that is purely because things are changing and Iím moving with it. It gives me more enjoyment week on week. If you look at the changes in the industry from vinyl to cd and now from cd to platforms like Traktor and Serrate or Ableton, when you adapt and embrace change thatís when my buzz comes and thatís when I can start using my knowledge on the road. Initially when youíre changing it doesnít just happen overnight, you have to put the time in. But when you put the time in and you see the difference it makes when you are gigging thatís when the buzz comes and as things keep changing more thatís just keeps growing for me.
I know you talk about djing really passionately and everything youíve said goes towards that but I see in every interview now you are being asked about production and I know you got into this to be a dj (not a producer) and you never needed to go down that road to Ďmake ití. Do you think the Ed-It concept gives you more of an opportunity to let that creative side of you out. I didnít actually think I was going to ask this question but I will anyway, do you think there is any room for production?
Well the idea behind Ed-It is itís the bridge between djing and production, that world is getting more and more merged and cloudier day on day, you know what I mean? You go back ten years a dj and a producer were totally different. Obviously youíve got djs as producers using engineers to put out tracks, and obviously itís always seen as in integrated world whereas Iíve always thought as a dj Iíd put my time into that and productionís been a separate world. As timeís gone on itís becoming as one. As things evolve it will become that way where producers and djs become more merged in the sense that the djs can create their own sounds and do their own sorts of music because thatís what they have to do on stage whereas before it wasnít like that. Before you had a studio and engineer and a dj whereas now the software and the equipment Iím using and am having to understand and use on stage is production based equipment so in time thatís going to be able to come out of me as things evolve even more.
<Eddie takes a moment to check I understand what heís on about Ė which is quite endearing really>
I ramble on about stuff but thatís the way I see it! And of course Iíve not done production but my drive to do it is there and I can see it coming because now I can get involved in it and do it myself.
And I know thatís what you said before you didnít want to just go into the studio and have someone bang something out for you even though you would have contributed because you wanted to be able to do it yourself and be something that came from you. I understood that from when we spoke before I just wanted to get your updated thoughts.
Because youíve got Ableton and you can use it as a djing or production tool you can actually if you are working with other people you can collaborate and work together and have more input as you are using the equipment in your djing. Ultimately itís a long answer but the gap between djing and production is being bridged and again talking about the bridge Serrato have bought out a programme called ďthe BridgeĒ. Funny that I should even use the word but this software links Serrato and Ableton together as one. You can use Ableton and Serrato in your dj sets with the features they both have to offer. You can get hold of the audio so you can scratch. When youíve got facilities like that at your finger tips itís a matter of putting the time in to see where you can take things.
Like I said you are one of the djs pushing technology in your sets and pushing ahead with things like this and itís timely to have this conversation as part of the interview thatís focused around your nomination for the greatest dj of all time.
Weíve talked about technology loads! Can we talk about Ibiza? Youíve been in Ibiza again this season with Fire it Up at Judgement Sundays @ Eden and also again for Cream @ Amnesia Ė where I saw parts of your set twice, unfortunately not a whole one Ė gutted! How was Ibiza for you this year?
Yeah fantastic again! You hear different stories, people saying different things. My experience playing for Cream, doing the residency there and Judgement, the nights are so well established, regardless of how many people are on the island they are always going to be nights that people go to.
They were both rammed when I wentÖ.
Yeah this year Cream has absolutely smashed it with how they have developed the terrace as well bringing in Deadmau5, Laidback Luke.. well just those selection of djs and theyíve made it into their own. There isnít a main room and a back room anymore just ultimately two main rooms hosting different style djs. Thatís how it felt this year and all the events have been absolutely rammo from my experience throughout the summer for Cream and itís the same for Judgement as well. Itís had its 10th anniversary this year and they have done fantastically well. Over time you have different stories of people saying different nights arenít doing as good but thatís maybe more for the less established events and the ones that are starting out. But then you have people like the Swedish House Mafia doing new events and drawing people
Itís my first year out there in about 9 years and I actually did a review for Cream and it was rammed.. it felt like I was back in 1999 at one point, the club was so massive and the atmosphere so amazing. So whatís been the track of the summer for you in Ibiza? Is there a different one youíd pick for Judgement over Cream?
Without a doubt the track for me would be Joris Voorn Ė The Secret. Wherever Iíve been playing itís just been fantastically received. Itís a great track, nothing too complicated, sounds like a bit of a Donne Summer re-work. I like that sort of stuff and Joris has been doing some great productions, heís really got his finger on the pulse at the minute.
You mentioned Deadmau5 earlier, I saw you checking him out before your set in August and you mentioned Swedish House Mafia too, did you get to see them while you were out?
Iíve been to Pacha before for events and those guys have just brought a different feel to Pacha, a party time feel and it just shows when you are in there, everyone feeds off their energy. I really enjoyed being there on that night. Iím pretty much in and out as always that was the only night I got to go to I did check out the djs on the terrace at Cream like Deadmau5 but those have been my only outings this year.
Good outings to have! I was sad to miss the Swedish House Mafia Ė next year though! Are you still doing your Fire It Up radio show? Tell me more about that?
Yeah weíve been doing it about a year now and itís getting networked all over the world. Week on week itís getting signed to different networks, itís growing fantastically well. Iíve been bowled over by how much itís got out there/
Where can we hear it and whatís the format?
It streams from my Web site but basically because itís running off different stations internationally and around the world we have to run it twelve days or so behind the initial broadcast. You can get it direct from different individual stations web sites or from my site.
It's an hour, a mixture of techno and house at the beginning and then techno and trance towards the back end of the show. Week on week a collection of full fire tunes from dance music.
Youíve been known to be partial to a bit of stage diving? When was the last time? Donít you ever get scared?
No I never get scared as long as thereís a decent crowd to catch me! Thatís the main thing. You can see in the crowd if people are geeing you up to do it. If theyíre up for it Iím up for it you know! The last time I did it was in Ireland, doing a freshers gig, it was quite surprising really as it was a week night gig Ė they were all hyped up for it. That was the last time I did, about three weeks back.
Three weeks?! I thought you were going to say months!
No Ė three weeks ago! And on a week night as well.
Ok well I have a few quick fire questions for you
Whatís your perfect Sunday?
Just chilling at home, itís very rare on a Sunday I will be home!
What was your favourite subject at school?
Physics or Biology!
Oh Iím so bad at Science.. whatís your biggest indulgence?
Food although you probably wouldnít guess that from my size. I can put some food away.
And whatís the best advice youíve ever been given?
Donít run before you can walk!
Judge Jules gives his opinion on why Eddie IS the greatest DJ of all time: ďEddie looks in to peopleís eyes and he performs. Incredible stage performance, incredible skills, and an almost telepathic ability to read a crowd Ė Eddieís got everything.Ē
Show your support for the greatest DJ and performer of all time, and vote for Eddie Halliwell by visiting www.greatest.dj/eddie-halliwell
Eddie will be playing GOODGREEF 10th BIRTHDAY PART 1 @ 53 DEGREES PRESTON on November 7th:
Goodgreef 10th Birthday Part One
Saturday 6th November
53 Degrees [map]
Tickets £20+bf / MOTD
Limited Early bird Tickets ONLY £10 @Goodgreef.com
Standard Tickets £20+bf / MOTD
Call 07790 774 550 for Group Booking offers
Credit card bookings available Online @ www.goodgreef.com
Ticketline.co.uk 0161 832 1111
Itís a milestone reached with immense pride; clocking up one year is a big deal in clubland but ten is something else. Goodgreef pulls it off this Autumn, marking a decade of throwing the wildest and most
raucous Hard dance shows the globe has ever witnessed, covering every base from progressive trance to Hardstyle and all the bits in-between. The celebrations, a two part header at two of the venues which
have had strong emotional ties with the club in the past, reflect this organised lunacy brilliantly.
The first is all about the music from the past ten years, encased in one of Goodgreefís favourite venues, Prestonís 53Degrees. The tunes that have been a crucial part of GG will be showcased in breathtaking
fashion, with a host of DJs playing specially themed sets of classics reflecting a different era of the club. International superstars, former residents and even one who has specially put off hanging up his
headphones to be part of the show of all shows. Itís sentimentality done with a hard dance twist.
The Venue will showcase the trancier side of Goodgreefís heritage, with scratch wizard Eddie Halliwell headlining. There since the start, Eddieís rise as mirrored the meteoric thrust of the club, and he will be
playing a set that delivers all the moments of his musical past and present, a misty eyed celebration of hands-in-the-air brilliance alongside more current GG smashes! Also playing is John OíCallagahn, delving
deep into the psyche of what makes great trance music for a producers set.
Then itís the turn of the present and former residents to do their thang. Adam Sheridan will be delivering a set built up truly of classics from his six year stint at GG, foraging deep into his collection to blow the
clubbers away. Jordan Suckley represents the now, the latest whizkid to being entrusted with whipping the GG faithful into delirium, while old hands Shan and Kris James bring it.
In the Atrium things get more energetic. The Xtra Hard stage features a classics set from the Tidy Boys, the duo at the helm of hard danceís most prolific record label Tidy Tax. Making things even fiercer will be
Lady Dana, the indomitable queen of Hardstyle, while Alex Kidd will be doing his take on the classic slant, playing a set that combines each moment of his breathtaking decade with the club.
There are further turns from Radio Oneís Kutski, Paul Glazby coming especially out of retirement to deliver a brutal ensemble of hard house classics, Rob Tissera showcasing the sound that made him the favourite
in the first five years and Morgan playing a set built up from his tenure in 2006-2008 as Goodgreef Xtra Hard resident. A third arena is also being specially added for a one off in the venue, where Goodgreef
Heroes will be bringing the hard funk for some very special sets.
Still evergreen and the place where people go to lose their inhibitions, this party will be Goodgreef at its best, hard and fast with a sense of epic fun and reflective of all its glorious past. Anyone who has
enjoyed hard dance music during the last ten years, smiled as a rip-roaring breakdown hits, stomped as a bruising bassline thumps in or pumped their fist enthusiastically when a razor groove kicks out, wonít
want to be anywhere else. Hereís to the next ten years.
Trance. Euro Trance. Hard Trance. Tech Trance. Hi NRG. HardStyle. Hard House. Vocal House. Electro House. Funky Techno. Techno. Electro.
The Full Line-Up
The Venue Ė Goodgreef
Eddie Halliwell (Exclusive Past & Present set)
John OíCallaghan (Producers set)
Adam Sheridan (2001-2007 residency set)
Jordan Suckley (Goodgreef 2010 resident)
Shan (Classics set)
Kris James (2000-2002 Philips Park Hall warm up set)
The Attrium Ė Goodgreef Xtra Hard
Tidy Boys (Classics set)
Luna (Hardstyle Legend)
Alex Kidd (Original Resident Ė Exclusive 10 Years of GG set)
Kutski (BBC Radio 1)
Paul Glazby (NW retirement set Ė Hard House classics)
Rob Tissera (Original GG Guest 2000-2005 set)
Morgan (GGXH 2006-08 residency set)
The Club - Goodgreef Heroes
Elliot Tordoff (Totally Mashed Hoovers & Horns set)
Rascal / Kid aka James Alexander
James Rigby / Liam Wilson
Mark Kovich / Paul Flintoff / Sean Mckenna
Photos courtesy of Eddie Halliwell. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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Other Features By K8-e:
PunchFunk & Geushky Presents "Let's Make Rave" with Ian Void & Chris Vaux
Cream @ Amnesia - Ibiza 2010 - Reviewed
Pure Gold: Interview with Will Gold
Turning the Corner - Interview with IAMX
HarderFaster gets filthy with Lucy Fur
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.
| From: Jake on 8th Nov 2010 22:58.43|
No denying he's avery good genre DJ - but in running for Greatest DJ of all time?! Come on...
From: Ian Edwards on 14th Nov 2010 14:21.06
I agree, and if he was that good. Why hasn't he been voted nbr 1 by the people? Armin Van Buuren has that title..
I respect his achievements though..
From: Jake on 15th Nov 2010 21:23.08
hmmm.. i'm not convinced any trance DJ is really going to be the greatest DJ of all time.. maybe the biggest DJ brand - but thats a bit different...