DJ Ron Slomowicz: How did you get involved with the MTV Europe tour?
Darren Christian: Well, I have been playing in Eastern Europe for over 5 years now. One of the promoters that I first started playing for was responsible for organising a large open-air festival for approximately 10,000 clubbers. It was called the Valkana Beach Festival and I was booked to play back in 2001. In 2002, MTV Europe came onboard and I was invited back to play with Seb Fontaine on the Progressive stage. Unfortunately, Seb couldn't make it due to unforseen circumstances and I played the main set and basically made the most of the opportunity. I was invited back again for 2003 again with Seb who was able to make it and it was another excellent weekend!!!
RS: Playing in Croatia - how is Eastern Europe different than England or Western Europe when it comes to crowds and music?
Darren: The scene in Eastern Europe is relatively new, especially for Progressive house music as it has always been Techno that has been the main musical genre. I tend to play more tech-trance in the UK and Western Europe but have always been into the progressive sound. The crowd in Eastern Europe is incredibly educated and very responsive and great to play for.
RS: Do you prepare yourself any differently for a US gig than say one in the Middle East or Asia?
Darren: The crowds in the US are very similar to those in the UK considering the history of clubbing in these places, whereas in the Middle East and Asia it's a fairly new concept and therefore slightly different. Where possible I will try and get some background info on the club and music policy and crowd, though no matter where it is in the World and providing everything goes to plan I turn up and try my hardest to rock the clubbers there before me.
RS: You've played with a lot of really big name DJs, who are some of the DJs that you have played with that have really impressed you?
Darren: To be honest the majority of resident DJs that play at the clubs I have guested at have been excellent. The first DJ that I would say that stands out is a DJ from Croatia called Crazy Lemon. Although he is not really known outside of Eastern Europe he is very talented. Closer to home there is a DJ called Chris Davies who plays at The Met, a club in Northern Ireland, who is also massively talented.
RS: How did you make the move from DJing into production?
Darren: To be honest it was always something that I wanted to do, just to prove I could make my own music. When I joined Duty Free Recordings I was encouraged by the guys especially Tall Paul to get into the studio to make music.
RS: Do you work with an engineer or do you work by yourself?
Darren: I am slowly learning the basics of engineering but this is something that takes years to master. So I have been fortunate enough to work with some excellent engineers from Larry Lush to John Johnson.
RS: The Oliver Lieb record; you started your remix career with such a club classic. How did you land such a big project your first time out?
Darren: Again it was all thanks to the guys at Duty Free. They asked me if I would like to work on the track as I was such a big fan of the original, it was one of my biggest tracks of the time, especially at the The Gallery where I hold my London residency.The remix received excellent support and helped gain confidence which is essential in this line of work.
RS: How do you react when big-name DJs champion your records?
Darren: It is a very humbling feeling and something that has made me very proud, especially when you hear DJs like Pete Tong playing your tracks on Radio 1. At the end of the day I got into music because I have always loved it and hearing my productions on the Radio has made the hard work all worthwhile.
RS: What's been your most surprising response from a name DJ to one of your records?
Darren: Well the response received on the above was quite a surprise especially from the likes of Pete Tong, Sister Bliss and Tall Paul. Temporal was another release that was out in 2002 which received huge support from Seb Fontaine, who still carries a copy in his record box. These for me are great names to be associated with, especially when they support and play them on National Radio.
RS: Do you test your new productions during your live sets?
Darren: This is very important and with the Pioneer CDJ1000 CD players now common place in most clubs, any new productions can be burnt onto CD and taken straight to the dancefloor which is where the real test takes place.