DJ Times: Flashing to now, you’ve got your new Visualise EP on Crosstown Rebels. What led to it and how did you connect with the label?
Denney: I used to promote parties, and I booked Damian [Lazarus]. I’ve known Jamie for eight years—he used to come play for me for nothing basically before he was big! Damian’s the same. I’ve got a longstanding relationship with him. I did a remix for Crosstown Rebels last year, and they’ve always been a major label that I’ve always wanted to get on. I love Damian. He’s a good friend of mine, but he knows what he likes. I must’ve sent—oh man—over the years, over 30-40 records, and he was like, “Nope. Nope. Nope.” I actually made this EP and thought, “Let’s just try this for Damian.” He came back and said this was the one. I’ve been really lucky, really, being at the right place at the right time. At the moment you don’t know it, but growing up with Jamie, we never saw how big he was going to get. He’s always been an amazing DJ and producer.
DJ Times: A lot of successful DJs will cite connections they made early on as bookers as leading to their careers, especially those from Northern England like Patrick Topping. Do you think that was what led to some of your success?
Denney: I was just booking them as a place to play, really! It totally was just for that. It’s weird, though. When you get into promoting, you sort of forget about everything else. It’s hard to enjoy DJing when you’re looking at the door and thinking, “Am I going to lose money here?” Promoting is the most expensive hobby I’ve ever had, but the contacts and experience I gained are priceless.
DJ Times: What sort of gear are you using on the production tip?
Denney: I’ve always used Cubase, which is quite rare these days. I’ve just upgraded my whole studio, actually. For my drums I use Kontakt (the sample software), and I’ve got a huge sample library of one-shots so I build and program my drums in the computer.
DJ Times: Are you mostly in-the-box?
Denney: I’d say mostly, but I’ve got bits. I’ve got a Juno 106. For my Acid I’ve got the [Roland AIRA] TB-3. I am going to get a 303 at some point. I’m getting a TR-8, and I use loads of software synths.
DJ Times: What about your preferred DJing setup?
Denney: When I DJ now, I DJ off USBs. I’ve really been enjoying using four decks the last few times, using loops and stuff like that. That’s for ease of traveling. I mean, I love vinyl still. I’ve just moved to London, and it’s really good to get back into the record shops. Phonica, Love Vinyl—that’s a new one. I like to vinyl still; you get the hidden gems. I miss the era of going into a record shop and finding that one record. But a lot of the music I play out I find out vinyl and then record it.
DJ Times: Any other projects due out this summer and the rest of the year?
Denney: I’m doing an EP for Heidi’s Jackathon, and I’m currently working on a collaboration EP which I’m really excited about. It’s probably the biggest project I’ve done so far. I’m doing a three-track EP: one with Groove Armada, one with Steve Lawler, and one with Skream.