Johnny Dangerous catches up with Dave Jackson, better known as Digital Mafia, to talk about the past, present and the future and lives to tell the tale. Find out why he’s one of the most in demand producers at the moment.
Give us a brief history about Digital Mafia… where and how did it all happen?
The alias manifested many years ago. I had a DJ partner at the time and we were running events. We put on a party with a black and white theme. We dressed up in alternate black and white colours and a clubber commented on how we looked somewhat like the Mafia. The name stemmed from this. Unfortunately Rickie moved over to the house music scene so I carried on the alias alone.
Dave, you are the in-house producer at Tidy/Glamzoo. No one has done that since the days of Paul Maddox at Tidy, how does it feel to be filling such big shoes?
It’s an absolute honour and privilege to even try fill those shoes. I work very hard and I have grafted for many years to get to where I am so I hope I can do everyone proud and continue to make good quality music that everyone enjoys.
You’re credited with launching the and boosting the careers of many new DJs and producers. Who have you worked with?
I’m luck to work with so many different producers and DJ’s from right across the spectrum of Hard House music. Ranging from the slower, groovier stuff right up to the banging peak time tracks. Some of these artists include:
Tony Bellew (Boxer & Hollywood film star)
Amir Khan (Boxer and TV Celebrity)
The Tidy Boys
And a whole host of clients from around the globe.
How difficult or easy do you find it to vary a sound for each project you are working on?
As an artists I have my own niche sound within the scene. As an audio engineer I enjoying creating a vide variety of sounds. Some of my clients rang from creating House, Hard House, Trance, Hard Trance and even Drum and Bass. Sometimes it can be a challenge to extract what the client has in their head and turn it into music but I really enjoy the process and challenge.
How do you wind down after a studio session?
Usually with some good food!
What’s the story behind the bananas in the studio?
It’s an essential bit of fruit. One of your five a day and I like to stair at other people whilst eating it intensely.
Who would you most like to work with and why?
There’s an incredible Bass House producer under the name Joyryde and I think his production is some of the best I’ve ever heard. I’d love to create something special with him.
What would you say is your biggest track to date?
I think Disco Tits – You Smell (Red City Remix) is going to be absolutely huge. It’s gained some incredible support from the likes of Patrick Topping, our own Tidy Boys and many more. I have been tagged in so many videos of it being played to sell out festivals across the planet. It’s going to be coming out soon on Untidy but it has been out on promo for over a year.
Describe the feeling when you first head another DJ play one of your tracks out.
This was absolutely incredible. Probably even better than when you’re playing it yourself as you can feel and hear the atmosphere from the middle of the dance floor. It’s addictive.
Which piece of studio kit is your favourite and why?
In every track I’ve produced for many years has always featured something from my Korg Triton. I absolutely love it. It’s so good for those sustained high strings in breakdowns that’s infamous with Hard House. Pure goosebumps.
What projects have you been working on lately?
As even, I’ve been working on an absolute ton of content. I’ve recently just finished the Ideal 7 album and planning Ideal 8. I’ve just put together my Hard House Producer album. I’ve just finished my remix of Miss Behavin’ – Such A Good Feelin’
I’ve also been working with another team behind the scenes to build and put together an FM radio station for here in Yorkshire. We have been granted a broadcast licence from Ofcom and the station is almost ready to launch. It will feature a lot of dance music and one dedicated hard house show a week. This is great news for our scene. I’ve also been making some new upgrades to the studio (it’s a content work in progress)
Where have you played?
This is such a tough question! I started out as a DJ and playing records to a live crowed is incredible, equally I get great satisfaction from actually creating the music. It really is 50/50
I’ve been lucky enough to play across the globe for many many years including an Ibiza tour, Croatia, Russia, Greece and up and down the UK from Aberdeen all the way down to London for all the leaning Hard House brands.
Dance music aside, what else do you enjoy doing?
I love cooking, good times with friends, motorsport (track racing and motor cross) heavy petting, watching the sunset, star gazing and astrophysics.
Where did he idea for the sample pack come about?
I’ve been asked by many for a while if I could create one. The time felt right and I’m planning a follow up. The even more content.
Tidy/Glamzoo has become something of a creative hub now… how do you feel it will evolve the hard dance scene?
What Tidy and Glamzoo are creating is absolutely incredible. It really is the forefront of our scene. We all work closet together and bounce ideas around. It’s amazing to be around so many creative people. There’s going to be more content than even including visually as well as audibly.
Where do you feel the future of hard dance music lies?
For me personally, it’s in the slower, groovier stuff. It’s so much more accessible and it shows when this stuff is being played by huge artists that aren’t in the scene.
Digital Mafia’s Top 5 Essential pieces of studio equipment
Good quality monitor speaks
Vengeance Multiband Mastering Compressor
A good sequencer/DAW
If you haven’t already you can buy The Woolly World Of Digital Mafia on CD
or limited edition USB
For the sample pack message DigitalMafiaDJ via facebook