Jody Wisternoff has just released his new album, but don't let that fool you, he's no young gun. The veteran DJ and producer has been making electronic music for almost twenty years at this point. As part of the duo Way Out West, Wisternoff became one of the most popular and influential producers of a time when America didn't even know what EDM was, let alone the difference between jungle and house.
His debut solo album, Trails We Blaze, out on the revered Anjunadeep imprint. An eclectic and instantly satisfying mix of just about every major movement in EDM in the past twenty years, TWB is a certainly a tour de force from one of the industry's leading minds.
Check out the mini-mix preview of the album below. We were also able to get Wisternoff on the phone for an interview despite a seriously busy touring schedule. We talk about the new album, what it's like working alone, the early '90s and some nerdy synth stuff. Enjoy!
You can order an autographed copy here! Otherwise, check it out on itunes, a record store, or anywhere else you get your music!
JB: I wanted to talk about your new album. You’ve been making electronic music for a while now, almost twenty years; is there a reason you waited or it took so long to put out a solo album?
JW: Well you know, I’ve really been busy with the Way Out West stuff for the past, you know, sixteen years. There was a point a few years ago when me an Nick (Nick Warren of WOW) decided not to split up or anything like that, but just go our separate ways for a little while, and I thought yeah, perfect time to express myself in a solo nature. That’s about it really.
I wanted to get a bunch of tracks together for my DJ set, you know? Without buying them, so this is cheaper. Laughs That was definitely a motivation. Saves a bit of time on Beatport, you know? Laughs
JB: Was there anything different in the writing or creative process on this one?
JW: Mainly just doing it by myself; you don’t have someone else to bounce stuff off of or anything like that. But saying that, I do have a lot of people around me that can give their honest opinion. My wife’s got really good taste, so if she likes it, it’s usually pretty good. Laughs It’s good to have the female perspective, you know?
But I mean, you’ve got to be careful when you’re in the studio on your own. You don’t want to, like, go up your own ass or anything like that. Laughs
JB: Do you think it’s harder making an album on your own?
JW: Yeah, I mean, yeah and no. Obviously you kind of share the chores when there are two of you; you can kind of split things up a little bit. But it goes both ways really. Sometimes it’s easier when you’re on your own, you don’t have to speak to anyone else so you can just fully concentrate on the music without actually communicating with another human being. Laughs
JB: What are some of the things you want to get across with this album? I was listening to the mini-mix you released, and was curious as to your goals; it’s quite eclectic.
JW: Just to kind of write what I want to, what I’m into at the moment. It’s a contrast between the kind of beautiful melodic stuff and the gnarly bass line, the evil stuff. You know, the difference in influences; you got the early '90s rave, jungle stuff plus the bubbly house vibes you get today. You know, it’s just an expression of where my head is at, really, at the moment. A bit schizophrenic, you know? Laughs
JB: Definitely. Speaking of all those different genres of electronic music, you’ve been making music in and through a lot of them. Do you feel a particular connection with on over the others?
JW: I do find, sort of, that early '90s period is really inspiring to this day. It’s like, listening to old R&F records or that whole Belgian Hardcore time period, it just reminds me of being young and buying records; that real sort of excited feeling. It takes me back to the reason I was doing it in the first place. You know, it has nothing to do with a job, it has nothing to do with, you know, trying to provide for a family or anything. It was purely about passion and addiction to music. Laughs But yeah, you can’t beat the early '90s jungle stuff, really.
JB: Any plans to tour for this new album?
JW: Yup, I’m always on tour, baby. Laughs It’s like when you’re a DJ, its like a never ending tour, isn’t it? If you’re lucky to get the gigs. I mean, I have a few down periods here and there, but generally, yeah, I’m out and around.
I’ve got Australia coming up, India, Russia as well, Israel and a lot of Eastern European places, you know?
JB: So I was looking at your website the other day, specifically at all the pictures you have posted of your equipment. It’s quite an extensive collection! I know this is one of those annoying questions, but if you had to choose one above all the rest, which would it be?
JW: Probably you know, this is a bit of a cliché to say this, but the Jupiter 8. Because, you know, it’s reliably good at doing certain things. You know, if it was released today, it would probably be about 12 grand. You know, it came out in the 80’s or whatever, and it was high end then. It still works you know? I only bought mine three years ago, but it was definitely built to last.
Speaking of that, Future Music came down the other day and they’re going to film me jamming out on a tune in the studio, you know? An old school analog jam, probably. All analog synth and all that stuff, just rockin’ out you know? Should be good. That’ll be out in the August edition, so yeah, look out for it! Laughs