Trance titan Simon Patterson has been a key component of the electronic music scene since his aptly titled Dogzilla project at the start of the last century, where epic synths, huge melodies and razor edges grooves combined with a subtle and intricate production process for euphoric nirvana.
Since then he's been a regular fixture on the global Djing circuit, where his signature sound of driving beats and heady, dark techno tinged trance has made him a deity within his scene - particularly evident on his Open up podcast series which is a handful of editions off the 100th milestone (listen to the most recent, with a Jordan Suckley guest mix, above).
That miletsone is celebrated with six parties worldwide, with one coming at Goodgreef's own Christmas shindig on Friday 19th December at Digital up in Newcastle, alongside John O'Callaghan, Adam Ellis and more. We spoke with him to find out about hitting the ton and what lies ahead in 2015.
Hi Simon, thanks for speaking to us. You're playing for Goodgreef's Christmas party in Newcastle, how important has your relationship been with the brand during your career as a DJ?
I've always loved playing for Goodgreef and it's great that they are a part of the Open Up 100 celebrations. Branding and as a whole is so important to separate yourself from the rest of your peers. You need a solid foundation to be able to stand out and this is where Open Up has come into play. People by now should exactly know the ethos behind that.
Trance as a genre has always retained such loyal fans and a core underground following. Do you think this makes it a more rewarding scene to be involved in, and does that loyalty in term breed extra pressures?
Trance is also very fickle. And very opinionated. I tend to prefer fans that stick with you and go with change. It can be rewarding to have such vocal support but that can also be negative too. I just stick to myself and don’t really follow what anyone says. I do agree though that trance fans are the most loyal around.
The 'EDM' bubble has been suggested as potentially bursting, with the likes of Steve Aoki hinting at a move towards a deep house sound. Do you think this is just the classic cyclical nature of dance music at hand?
Which is what I said earlier. One minute you’re in - the next you’re not. I never follow trends. I want to set trends by actually playing stuff I believe in. Not following a certain sound because it’s the "norm”, the scene moves so fast and I didn’t hear about Aoki but lots of DJs flutter from one thing to the other without actually knowing what they really want to play.
As someone who's played in American frequently, is the huge scene there here to stay?
It’s probably going to be like what the UK had in 1999. Super-clubs but instead it’s super festivals. It’s hard to say. All the club shows I do there are rammed. And I play the opposite of what I would play in the UK.
They are very open minded in the US. They want to hear fresh music and anything goes. I like that. Whether the festivals will remain as packed, we'll see - it’s hard to sustain that. The kids now that are 16-18 will grow up and once you've done one festival you’ve done them all. It’s hard to keep that up I think. But the club culture will remain for sure for a while yet.
Your Open Up podcast is approaching a century of episodes, how important is the show for keeping connected with your fan base? And for those who might not be aware of it could you outline what the show represents?
The show is about any genre I like or think warrants playing. Anything goes and it's more on the darker side. Its really important to keep connected but it’s a lot of work with travelling to stay in touch with music. It’s killed me this year but Open Up 100 will be the milestone!!
Have you enjoyed the times you've been on BBC Radio One as well, and are there more plans to continue with it?
I loved it; it was a dream for me. And for now I am too busy with touring to commit. I just moved to USA so I couldn’t do the show as well as I’d want to.
It's coming up to the end of 2014. What producers and DJs have really stood out for you this year, and who can you see being big in 2015?
Freedom Fighters and Will Atkinson (listen to his track 'Sharp-shooter' below) have been great. I have lots of stuff coming up as well, there's a collaboration with Vertical Mode, one new vocal track and a few Psy-esque tunes. All good. 2015 is going to be solid year.
What are you doing for NYE and NYD?
NYE I'll be celebrating Open Up 100 in Toronto with the boss and founder of Open Up - John Askew.
Finally where do you see yourself heading in 2015?
More US gigs and just more of the same really. This year has been amazing and that’s not down to just me. It’s all my team. Without them I wouldn’t be there so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank John, Carl and Rob for all the work they’ve done to get us to where we are today.
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