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Sunday 08th, December 2002
Gwill Morris

Tech-trance producer/dj par excellence Gwill Morris was thrust into the limelight when he was picked out by Mixmag UK as one of the ‘stars for 2001’. His production guise ‘Main Element’ is known to many, the first outings Hedfuk and Delta of Venus earning inclusions on Nick Warren’s Global Underground compilation as well as Lucien Foort’s Singularity, not to mention a multitude of American comps. He followed that up with Fuktitles on a smaller label ‘Midset’ earning acclaim from Mike Truman (Hybrid) who proclaimed it his ‘tune of WMC Miami’ in 2001. Since then his production career has gone from strength to strength. Solo productions Generation, and Narcosis were well received. Present “Take Me Down”, his final release through Silver Planet, appeared on the recent Sasha and Digweed Essential Mix from Miami, rumour has it that Sasha was overheard proclaiming it THE tune of the Delta Heavy tour. Tech-trancer Take Me Down moves away from all things dark, heading instead in a more melodic direction. Comes with an Infusion and Lemon8 remix. Other production credits include Ogenki Clinic - First Light / Kirei, with his partner in production crime James Holden, described by Mixmag UK as ‘the best progressive house tune ever’. The recent Ogenki Clinic mix of Ashtrax - Digital Reason looks set to take the clubs by storm. He was also part of the trio that produced the much-acclaimed Future Sound Collective works late last year. Remix offers have rolled in from labels including Bedrock, Additive, Polyester, Vapour, Automatic and Deviant. Anyone who has seen him perform behind the decks will know that his ability is not limited to the studio. His DJing career spans back for years beyond his forays into production: ‘I had been DJing for years before I started producing and still thing of myself as a DJ first and foremost. I think it’s what I do best.’ His sets are consistently well programmed and betray his ability to connect with the crowd: ‘I think DJing is all about watching and getting into the mindset of what the crowd are into, I’m not interested in DJ’s who just play what they like and crap on about educating people. You go to a club to dance and have a good time.’ His varied tastes and tight mixing have seen him provide everything from deep house to tech-trance in clubs including the Limelight (New York), Q-bar and Zone (Melbourne), Sounds (Sydney), No – UFOs (Berlin), Bedrock, Ministry of Sound, and Elements (London), as well as holding residencies at the Silver Planet night in Brixton and Slide in Oxford. He has had heavy involvement in radio since he presented and produced a weekly house show on Oxygen FM in Oxford with close friend Scott Edwards (Avus) ‘I enjoy providing material for radio, you can do something a bit different: the emphasis is shifted’. Since the encroachment of commercial interests forced the underground sound off the air he has looked elsewhere for an outlet. Recent mixes on John Digweed’s Kiss FM show and the Groovetech internet station have been met with critical acclaim, showcasing his wide tastes. The next year looks set to be busy, an album being the main focus of attention. Studio time will also be spent producing singles plus collaborations with Cass, James Holden, Infusion and Evolution in the pipeline. Looks like Delta Of Venus is getting a re-release because Sasha phoned up Silver Planet and asked them to put it out ! In terms of touring, Gwill will be hauling his record box around Asia and Australia in December.

Name: Gwill Morris
Aliases: Main Element, Ogenki Clinic, Future Sound Collective
Age: 25
Website: http://www.gwillmorris.com
Nationality: British
Favorite DJ: Richie Hawtin
Favorite Producer: William Orbit, Charlie May
Favorite Tune: Hybrid - Finished Symphony (original version, not the album version). Madonna / William orbit - frozen
Favorite Label: kismet
Favorite Club: Stern Radio(Berlin)


TNU: Hi Gwill. How are you ? Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions.

GM: I’m good, thanks for taking the time to ask them!

TNU: Please tell us a little bit about yourself, have you always been into electronic music? If not, what triggered it?

GM: I’ve been into it for a long time. My cousin got me into the early rave and hardcore, going to the parties in England like rezerection and fantasia, I used to listen to the first Carl Cox sets on my walkman at school, they were awesome! After a brief flirtation with grunge in my mid teens (everyone has to have a dodgy rock background – it’s the law) I got back into clubbing at university. The Northern Exposure CD was what really triggered it off again.

TNU: What do you do when not DJ’ing/producing ? Any hobbies ?

GM: I’m a doctor, not much of a hobby I guess! I like to try and squeeze some time in with my girlfriend and relax. I don’t have a lot of free time at the moment.

TNU: Your first outings under the Main Element guise, Hedfuk and Delta Of Venus earned inclusions Nick Warren’s GU compilation as well as Lucien Foort’s Singularity. How does it feel to have such big name DJ’s supporting your tracks ? Not everyone gets to have a track signed to GU!

GM: Its great, makes it feel worthwhile, although there is nothing like seeing 1000s of people go mad to your tunes at a club. It’s a tough industry at the moment and if you don’t have support from the top boys then you don’t get noticed.

TNU: Your latest offering, Take Me Down on Silver Planet has been praised by several DJ’s worldwide. There is even an rumour that Sasha was overheard proclaiming it THE tune of the Delta Heavy tour. How did this tune come about ?

GM: I hadn’t written anything for a while as I was doing my first year as a doctor. 70 hour weeks really eat into your leisure time! So I thought I’d better come up with something special for my return to the scene, my girfriend kyla is an opera singer so a vocal track seemed the obvious choice! I fine tuned it on my little Australian tour that year, then James (Holden) gave it to Sasha and then the rest is history!

TNU: Next year looks set to be busy, with your album being the main focus of attention, as well as producing singles and collaborations with Cass, James Holden, Infusion and Evolution in the pipeline. How is your album coming along, any other surprises lined up for us ?

GM: The album is bubbling away in the background, there is a lot of work still to be done. I’m concentrating on getting a few more singles out, I have a new one, Time, that is almost done and another half finished. After that I’ll get back to the album, it will be quite different to what you’d expect.

TNU: Mixmag describes Ogenki Clinic - First Light / Kirei, co-op with whizz James Holden, as the best progressive house tune ever made. Can we expect more collaborations with James in the future ? What is he like to work it, is he as crazy as everyone seems to think? happy

GM: Working with James is great, he is very creative. We both use the same program so can easily bounce ideas around. Everything we have done together works out really well. Crazy? I think he’s a really nice down to earth bloke, I wouldn’t really describe him as crazy, he just loves what he does.

TNU: What do you prefer the most, producing or DJ’ing ? People new to the Main Element sound, how would you describe one of your sets ?

GM: They are both satisfying in different ways. Djing is immediately gratifying, like the best clubbing night ever because you get to choose the tunes! Its really good to get that immediate reaction and it reminds me what it is all about. My sound varies from club to club, I try to pick u[p on the vibe and be versatile, alwys full of energy though, no boring tunes, that’s my policy! Producing gives me a greater sense of achievement. It is infinitely more creative than Djing, it lovely to be able to craft something of your own.

TNU: What has been the highlight of 2002 for you ? Maybe a special gig somewhere, or perhaps peoples reactions to your new tune ?

GM: I did a gig in Greece with James, it was on a beach in the middle of nowhere. We played an 8 hour set and 100s of people were going mad the whole time. It really stood out against the stale nature of clubbing in the UK at the moment. So good to see everyone having so much fun.

TNU: Do you have a message to all the people in Asia and Australia before your tour sets of ? Any particular cities / events you are looking forward to see ?

GM: I’m looking forward to Melbourne, its my favourite city in the world. I have a lot of friends there, the boys from infusion particularly, so I am looking forward to seeing them all. Melbourne has a superb club scene too, its still really vibrant. I’m also looking forward to the bits of Austrlalia I haven’t been to yet, thatcountry blows me away.

TNU: A lot of bedroom dj’s dream about the feeling of playing at big events such as Bedrock, and watch the crowd go mental to their selection of tunes. What is your most special set ? Can you describe the feeling of watching thousands of mad clubbers go off to one of your own tunes ?

GM: My most standout set is from when I played at Stern Radio in Berlin. The atmosphere in that club was indescribable. I have never seen anything like it. The DJ booth is quite low so you feel involved with the club too. I hate places where you are miles away, you cant feel the energy then and it all begins to seem a bit pointless. The feeling of seeing people go mad to one of my tunes is indescribable I’m afraid!

TNU: Which other producers / DJ’s impress / inspire you the most in the music business ?

GM: DJs, - Richie Hawtin, very experimental and atmospheric Anthony Pappa – incredibly slick and professional. Producers – William Orbit, incredible sound and warmth to his music and such a distinct style. Lets not talk about ‘pieces in a modern style’ though shall we! Charlie May – the secret behind Sasha. Great production, quality home listening music.

TNU: If you had the possibility to pick one producer to co-produce a track with, who would it be and why ?

GM: Any of the above, they are so talented I think that there would be so much to learn, it would improve my tunes 1000 times!

TNU: Do you have a suggestion for who’s gonna be the star of 2003 ? A lot of people predict it will be the year of James Holden, Lemon8, Armin van Buuren, Yunus Güvenen etc. Who’s your favourite, and why ?

GM: James has what it takes to make it, his music is energetic and beautiful and appeals across the spectrum, he also believes in what he does. Armin has that commercial appeal because of the trancey element to his music, his Djing is great, but I’m not too sure about the crossover appeal. Lemon8 is already doing well, the album will help, but I think his music appeals more to the underground. I’d be surprised if it was yunus, he’s had a couple of reasonable prog tunes but I don’t see that he is about to explode onto the scene. From what I hear he has decided to change to writing electro, you don’t get big from the pursuit of fame like that, you make it by believing in what you do.

TNU: What’s rocking your box at the moment (top 10) ?

GM: Top 10 tracks (November 1st 2002):

01. Perc - Unknown (CDR)
02. James Holden - Nothing (CDR)
03. Infusion - Legacy (Original / Junkie XL remix) (CDR)
04. Gwill Morris - Time (CDR)
05. Main Element - Take Me Down (CDR)
06. Unknown - Unknown (James Holden remix) (CDR)
07. Richie Hawtin - Close To The Edit (Novamute)
08. Bedrock - Emerald (Bedrock)
09. JXL - Breezer (CDR)
10. Echofalls - Silver (CDR)

TNU: Do you have a message to all your fans here at http://www.trance.nu ?

GM: Thanks for loving the music. Don’t believe the hype, clubbing isn’t dying – people will want to go out and have fun forever!!

Discography:

Main Element - Take Me Down (Silver Planet)
Main Element - Hedfuk/Delta of Venus (Silver Planet)
Main Element - Generation/Narcosis (Silver Planet)
Ogenki Clinic - First Light/Kirei (Easy Access)
FSC vs Ogenki clinic - Beautiful (Silver Planet)
Gwill Morris - Fuktitles (Midset)

Remixography:

Ashtrax - Digital Reason (Ogenki clinic rmx) - Deviant
Yum Yum - Heavy Fluid (Main Element rmx) – Bedrock
Adam Dived - state of Panic (Main Element rmx) – Additive
Graham Camp - Stabiliser (Main Element rmx) – Automatic
Bluephaze - the bell (Main Element rmx and dub) - Vapour
Sonic Infusion - reformatted (Main element rmx) – Polyester
Mad Dogs - sudden journey (Main Element rmx) - Silver Planet
Chimera - poison (Gwill Morris remix) - Silver Planet
Innate - changes (future Sound Collective rmx) - Platipus
Shapemaker - shine eye (future Sound Collective rmx) - Rotunda
Microman - the door (future Sound Collective rmx) - Rotunda
Drive - the beat goes (Gwill Morris rmx) - Global Recordings

Trance.Nu would like to thank Jan Maarten Knopper at Progressive Management (www.recordcompany.nl/progressive/) for arranging this interview, and of
course Gwill Morris himself for the taking the time to answer our questions. Best of luck to both of you in the future!


Written by:
elusive

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