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Hearing Voices :Dave Davis



Dave Davis began his career in dance music back in the ‘90s at the tender age of 18 after signing with the renowned Belgian label Bonzai Records. His first release, Transfiguration, shifted 30,000 copies on vinyl alone plus compilations and CD sales. 20 singles followed over the next three years under a variety of aliases, including Les Sabotages, Phrenetic System and Davis & Santini but the trance scene wasn’t really where his heart truly lie and he then embarked on a winding road, traversing different electronic genres as a singer, producer and esteemed DJ playing across Europe alongside such luminary figures as Jeff Mills, Carl Cox, Moby, Dave Clark, Sven Vath, Laurent Garnier and Green velvet amongst countless others.

What were most interested is where he is headed for the future with the past years already seemingly signaling a period of new growth and regeneration for Dave with major new releases for UK label Skint Records showcasing his musical tastes and abilties. Constantly evolving and with a dedication to crafting songs that touch people on an emotional level as much as move a dancefloor Dave Davis is without a doubt one of the most passionate artists we’ve ever interviewed. With big plans for the rest of 2013 and beyond we sat down with Dave to talk about his past, present and future.

Hello Dave, thanks for talking to us this afternoon. Greetings from London! Lets start at the beginning; what first drew you to electronic music?

Hi, no problem. Greetings from Belgium! Well, I started my musical career more than 20 years ago with Bonzai Records, a Belgium record label which saw the beginning of New Beat when I was growing up with artists likes of Frank De Wulf etc. That is when I found my feet in the scene, I guess.  It was an exciting time in Belgium with the advent of New Wave and Techno and there was a lot of Techno in Belgium at the time so it was quite a cool place to be. Then there was Bonzai Records which started to get famous for hard techno / hard trance and at the beginning that was great for me. I then won a competition to work with them, and the story continued.

You were in a DJing competition winner?

Yes, I won a big DJing competition in Belgium, which was the first of its kind in the country as far as I am aware, it was held by a club called Extreme, in Affligem. It was a really big club at the time, like a Belgian version of The End or Fabric in London with a great soundsystem. They then asked me if I wanted to sign a contract with them and I said “Why not?” and signed… I then released my first vinyl with them called ‘The DJ Dave Davis Transfiguration’ and it became a really big hit within the trance scene.

Trance? It’s funny as listening to your work now nobody would guess you come from a trance background…

The strange part is the journey of my career. It has had many left and rights as I moved through different stages of my life. It feels strange that ‘Transfigurations’ is still being played by some of the worlds biggest Trance DJs like Tiesto and Armin Van Buuren, right now. It’s funny that I’ve made a track, which is now seen as a classic in a scene that I’m not really any part of anymore!

Do you feel trance has struggled to develop in the same way that perhaps other genres of electronic music have?

Possibly. However, there is a revival within that scene and I’m starting to see it re-emerge, particularly here in Europe, but I wasn’t into it when I was growing up as I felt much more at home within the Techno scene. I’m much more of a fan of the likes of Jeff Mills, Axis Records, Mad Mike and Underground Resistance, this is the music I like! I was so young at only 18 and when you are still only a teenager you just want to exist at that time! So before I was offered the contract with Bonzai at no point did I expect to do trance but I ended up working with these guys. Whilst they didn’t tell me not to make Techno music, it was clear that they weren’t very happy when I was making Techno so I ended up making Trance as that was what I needed to do to get forward and be here today, doing what I want to do.

One of my favorite DJs told me everything leads to techno eventually. Everything else is just practice.

Exactly. Sometimes life is like this and you do not know where it will take you. Before I knew it I was playing at Love Parade and parties across Germany, UK or Holland for these trance events. It was a strange time but it all stemmed from my love for Techno. Maybe my role was reversed?

I can think of another very well know techno producer and DJ who early on in his career had to make hardcore beats under a pseudonym to subsidize his techno productions.

It’s funny you should say that because after my four years at Bonzai I met Frankie Jones and plenty of the other famous DJs from that scene around the time. I ended up playing alongside Frankie etc for 18 months but I didn’t like the music too much, the people were happy with my performances so I felt enjoyment through that. We are all still friends these days but the music just isn’t for me. It was a very different scene to trance and had lots of cool guys within it.

Continued on page 2

Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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