Ireland's John O'Callaghan is one of the world's biggest trance stars with an incredible history of amazing releases and show stopping DJ sets. His label project Subculture is one of our favourites here on Trackitdown.net and that makes us twice as excited to welcome him as this weeks Guest Reviewer...
Thanks very much for taking time out to speak to us! Can you tell the readers where you are in the world today and what you’ve been up to over the last 7 days?
At the moment I am sitting in my studio, I have just finished the final touches to an edit of a release forthcoming on Subculture. Last week I was in Escape in Swansea, always fun times there. And tomorrow, I’m off to Ibiza for Cream at Amnesia.
You are well known for supporting the driving end of the trance spectrum. With the current trend for slower trance music where do you see your style going with future productions & with your DJ performaces?
I have always loved and always will love uplifting energetic trance. I really dislike the current trend of trance slowing to 128, now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with it when it’s GOOD but so much of it is crap lately. And the sad thing is it seems most of it is just made to be crowd friendly. I come from the era of PvD 'Politics of Dancing 1' (the greatest compilation of all time) so I will be flying that flag for as long as I can.
Having travelled the Globe extensively as a DJ where is your favorite place in the World to play and is there anywhere you haven’t yet visited that you would like to? Maybe a particular Festival or Global event?
Argentina or Ireland without doubt are my favourites. Argentina is the most passionate, crazy, loving and enjoyable place to be at a dance gig. The crowd is just so up for it it’s mental. And I have some great friends there that I have made over the years. A festival I have not been to, Awakenings in Holland? As a clubber of course, they wouldn’t allow me to play there!
Obviously music production plays such an important part in building a career and you’ve had no shortage of great tracks out! Is there a track or remix that you feel helpled put you on the map in a big way or maybe a production that holds a special place for you in terms of personal best?
I honestly can’t say there is one that is my favourite but my breakthrough track was undoubtedly “Big Sky”. Everywhere I go I still get asked to play it and have seen so many tattoos of the lyrics on people. Fair play to Audrey Gallagher as without that collaboration I don’t think I would be doing this interview.
Your label Subculture is going from strength to strength at the minute and really hitting the spot for fans of the 140BPM range especially! You must get sent a large volume of demos, how do you decide what to listen to and what to output on the label?
I actually don’t get any demos to be honest! Maybe 1 a month. As I just sign music from producers I already work with and know their quality. I’m always keeping my eye open for an absolute talent to storm through in the uplifting genre, and most importantly that they make the music themselves rather than with an engineer.
You’re from Ireland, which has always had a very respected trance family. What’s the scene like there right now and which three spots would you recommend to a visitor to check out if they were visting the Country?
The trance scene is pretty underground at the moment; the gigs have gone from 1500 people to maybe 6/700 in about 2 years. The economy is completely fucked and that has knocked on to peoples wallets and not being able to go out as much. At the moment if you want some good trance in Ireland come to Subculture or Trance Army events, you can find them both on Facebook.
With an abundance of up & coming DJ’s & Producers trying to break through is there one piece of advice that John O’Callaghan could give to the new breed out there? Maybe something that has helped you through in the vibrant but sometimes tough music industry?
Make music and make it by yourself. You will benefit way more in the long run.
As a high tech artist, do you have a high tech set up when performing? What’s your preferred set up?
Ha, hi tech!? 3 decks and a mixer will do thanks very much!
Oviously your tour schedule is packed out and you always seem to be firing on all cylinders on the studio front. what’s next on the agenda for John ‘O Callaghan? Any gigs or exciting releases pending that you would like to highlight?
Gig wise it’s getting pretty busy. Global Gathering and Tomorrowlands are just around the corner, mixed with bi-weekly trips to Ibiza so I’m at the airport at least half of every week. Then there's Creamfields coming up too, which I have heard is almost sold out in record time.
Abroad we have Subculture in LA, Montreal and Argentina… all of which u can find the info on our Facebook.
Exciting releases, yes... I have a remix done for the Thrillseekers (vocal) that I really love; I hope that can do well. Also I’ve done a remix for Emma Hewitt, check that one too. Oh and a remix for “Falcons” … should be about on YouTube
Finally, we’re definitely having a renaissance of the superstar DJ age! What’s the most superstar thing John O’Callaghan has done over the last 12 months!?
Been picked up by a Limo in Vegas and taken to a giant suite overlooking the Eiffel Tower on the strip. Pretty immense moment! Pity I was only there for a day.
A big thank you to John for his time and recommendations
You can see John O'Callaghan performing at Global Gathering this Saturday the 28th of July. Buy your tickets here!
John O'Callaghan will also be playing at Creamfields 2012 on Sunday the 26th of August. Buy your tickets here!
John O'Callaghan Track Recommendations
Really clean and well produced trance with a killer riff. Played this in Amnesia and it tore it up.
One of the tunes of the summer. Although I am playing the Ketelaars rework!
If u like melodic trance with energy, this is your man. Giuseppe never lets me down.
My new single wahey! Pushing the 142 trance, which seems to be going down a treat in Ibiza.
Great stuff from Onova on his new label. Of "Platitude" fame.
This track should be way bigger than it is. One of Europes best producers!
Still playing this every week and seems to keep growing. Big anthem from Emery!
Proper banging progressive techno. More please!
Silky smooth progressive vocals. Gabriel & Dresden are on fire, again.
Scotlands hottest and best new producer. I think 2013 will be massive for Will.
Keep up to date with John O'Callaghan on the following portals;
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