World renown DJ and producer, John Acquaviva has a background in just about every aspect of the music world. He was manning the decks (in the late 70s) well before it became the highly glamorized and popular occupation it is today. But let’s not talk too far in the past. Rising to the very top of the production and DJ world in recent years with a steady stream of club anthems and chart topping tunes, John’s tunes have won over and set the mood for an entire generation of clubbers worldwide. DJing was his first love, and after being the head of some of the biggest techno and house labels such as Plus 8 and Definitive Recordings, which fostered new artists such as Oliver Gaicomotto, Kid Dub, Robot Needs Oil and so many more, John Acquaviva can be happily proud of what he has done for the electronic music world. He is here on December 4 at the underground club, Jenja. See you all there with your dancing boots on.
Good morning/good day/good evening John, where in the world are you at the moment and what can you see outside your closest window?
In the lounge of the Toronto Airport. Just flying back from Europe after a great gig in Poland and then some music technology meetings, in Sweden for Pacemaker.
You are one of the founders of the huge imprint, Plus 8. What was it like at the very beginning? Did you foresee or anticipate the success that it brought in the end?
Rich Hawtin and I did it because we believed in the music we were playing and making. We had no clue what to expect but kept a positive attitude and were always ready to hop on a plane to share our energy…which is the same attitude I have today.
What makes a top notch, 10/10 party in your opinion?
I stick to old school principles….so for me you need a great room/venue, great crowd and great talent….for me this is best when balanced, setting up great, if not magical parties.
What are your favourite genre’s to clash within a house/techno set?
I was around before this… so depending on the time, I might play some old records of any style…disco or new wave perhaps top of that list.
We found out that in 2002 you had over 60,000 records stored somewhere in your home, what has that number gone up to today? And how does one store and sort out such a massive collection?
I live in Canada, so we have space. Most of a floor of my house is devoted to records. I have not increased the collection tho.
Who were some of your favourite producers/DJs growing up? Who are some of your favourite producers/DJs now? And what are the differences between them?
I am biased but I love Olivier Giacomotto. He is in his prime and just makes the best records. Really liking Lee van Dowski, Thomas Gander off the top of my head.
Are you still collaborating with artists to make new material? If so, who have you been working with recently?
Yes. Giacomotto all the time, but back in the studio with Luigi Rocca, Manuel De La Mare and working with Thomas Gandey for the first time in tandem with my usual partner in Giacomotto… it will be a solid year for releases in 2016 for me.
Has the new technology altered the way you DJ or do you stick to the same principles as when you started?
I use Traktor Scratch but more in an old school way. Nowadays, I love and need to loop, fx, but still control with my hands and don’t sync… main thing is song selection tho and then mixing the music together with elements to connect the tracks.
If you were stuck on an island with an Ipod and three tracks, what would they be?
Three songs to listen and in them with an island and sun for me… “State of Independence” by Jon and Vangelis, “The Beach” by New Order, and “Tropical Soundclash” by DJ Gregory.
What can we expect to hear at Jenja on Dec 4? Any last words for our readers?
So excited to come to Jenja, I have heard so much, so see you soon Bali! Expect the unexpected.