Dave Pearce

Radio’s biggest house party returns with the main man

Welcome to DMCWORLD towers Dave. I just called Dan Pearce by mistake who is of course Eats Everything, that could have led to one very strange interview with your questions. So, a new chapter in your radio career with your Radio 2 ‘Dance Years’ show starting next week. You were asked in an interview a number of years ago where your saw yourself in 10 years and would you ever consider making the transition to Radio 2; you admitted that would be a great option as there was a whole load of musical heritage not being played on the radio. Funny how things work out eh?

“Hi Dan. I’ve been speaking to Radio 2 for a couple of years to try and launch a new weekly show and I always felt that Radio 1’s enforcement law on stopping playing a record if it was too old was a shame, because it’s nice to see the heritage of music. At Radio 2 I am able to dig deep back in the day and join up the dots in clubbing history. I think Radio 2 is a natural home as dance music has come of age – there’s so many fantastic records to re-discover…”

Radio was certainly different back in the day…

“When I was growing up, radio as a whole was so less formatted and to find new music you had to tune into the pirate stations. It was logical for me to go to 6 Music after Radio 1, I featured the whole rave era and interviewwed icons like Frankie Knuckles and Moby – the audience’s reaction was brilliant. Lots of people were saying where can we hear more music like this? Dance music has played a massive part in British popular culture so I’m delighted to kind of curate it. Funnily enough, I remember going to Radio 1 with the idea of Dance Anthems and it took them a while to get it, we never realised it would be so big. I hope that we have they same success with the new Radio 2 show. I can’t wait to hear peoples’ clubbing stories from different generations – it’s the next logical progression.”

Tell us about the show…

“I suppose the whole concept is a little like the Back To Mine house party vibe, a show covering everyone’s dance music record collections. So we will have the people listening in who could have gone to the early Caister Soul Weekenders, the M25 Acid House raves, enjoyed the whole super club phenomenon or who spend every Summer in Ibiza. I am also going to take people on a bit of a musical journey every weekend speaking to some of the legends of the dancefloor; Gary Numan is featured one week – look at the sheer volume of artists he has influenced with his electro sound. Jocelyn Brown is coming on then there’s bands such as Orbital all coming onto the show talking about their music and their years enjoying themselves in clubland and Dep Dish There are plenty of memorable tracks from my Radio 1 Dance Anthems days alongside some hidden gems from the 70’s and 80’s. It’s a chance to relive and share some great memories from the dancefloor and  a couple of current tracks”

So nothing segmented as such like so many other shows on at the moment – which is great!

“No, I want to keep the show as free running as possible. This is going to be quite ‘out there and new’ for Radio 2, so the first couple of weeks I’ll have to make sure there are some really massive anthems and classics alongside early tunes from cool labels such as Strictly Rhythm. Over the weeks I will introduce more tracks that need to be rediscovered, I don’t want to get bogged down in formats, as the show progresses I think we are going to discover some real forgotten gems. I’m really enjoying it and it’s going to be a lot of hard work – and a lot of fun.”

What is your current top 10 you are spinning?

1) Sander Van Doorn – Nothing Inside
Couple of years ago I said to him he should do a big vocal track, this hits the spot – could crossover.
2) Cliff Coenraad – Whoopa
Been hammering this the last few weeks, massive for me on a chunky eletro/trance/house vibe
3) Walking Alone – Chasing Summers (Tigran Organezov mash up)
Tiesto/Dirty South mashup
4) Swedish House Mafia – Greyhound
5) Richard Durrand -Trancefusion
Best thing he’s done in ages
6) Rank1 and Jochen Miller – Perfect Day (Cosmic Gate mix)
Nice vocal track
7) W-Unit-Acid impact
Acid meets trance
8)Armnin Van Buuren – Belter
Nice trancer
9) Thomas Gold – Sing 2 Me
Nice house meets trance vibe
10) Sebastian Ingrosso – Calling (Inst)
Still massive for me

Your Sunday Dance Anthems was as much part of our weekends as Tongy was on a Friday. Do you have a favourite year that you used to feature on the show…?

“Probably 1999 for so many different reasons. There was so much good stuff out there, as a DJ you would be sent 150 records a week and you’d be guaranteed 50 of them would be great and you couldn’t wait to get out and play them. There was a great sense of energy in the UK, the sound was euphoric and the feeling was similar to that of ’92 and ’92. It felt very much a shared experience.”

When you left Radio 1 in October 2008 were you a little surprised at some of the names coming in at the new station shake up?

“I was delighted they aded Kutski, I’d had him on my show a few times and he was a real ambassador for hard dance. But I felt the time for Radio 1 to get behind that music was around ’96 when Lisa Lashes and Fergie were becoming superstars. They hired Fergie too late, as soon as he went on Radio 1 he changed his music style, so it was good Kutski came on.”

You are still DJing up and down the country every weekend and you are now playing music to the same age group you were a decade ago. How would you describe your style today?

“I have tried to keep my vibe as euphoric as I can, a fusion of trance meets the house sound, some anthems and then bring it back to the present day. At the Delirium parties I’m doing, I’m playing a lot of underground trance.”

And what about the atmosphere on the dancefloor…

“Drink culture has taken over the scene these last two years which is a shame. Clubbers do have the same sort of passion they always do for some of the records, more so for some of the old records. Music is so accessible today because of the internet, take an old track like Push ‘Strange World’. There were only four or five DJs who had that record on white label to start and if kids wanted to hear it, they’d have to go to one of our gigs. So that exclusivity has gone a bit. But in spite of the financial restrictions, people are still going out and the numbers seem to be on the rise compared to last year.”

Trance music is massive again in 2012 with the Dutch bringing out school kid producer after school kid producer. Last year in an interview you were talking about 2011’s current crop of trance producers and that you’d wished they spend more than half a day in the studio making a record, longer in the studio could turn a “great record into a classic record”. DMC thinks this year is looking better…

“I think it has improved a little bit since that interview when every record sounded the same. You knew what software was being used and you knew it wasn’t going anywhere. Saying that, you are not going to spend days making a record costing you loads of money when you are only going to get a few hundred sales. Some electro influences have now crossed into trance and people have embraced it. There are a lot of rave influences in music in 2012 which is great. Only a year ago I went into the studio working on an album and I’d taken a stack of old rave tunes with me and asked the people I was working with whether we could use various samples. They looked at me with a look of horror. I think dance in the past 6 months is in quite a good place!”

Are there any future albums coming our way from you…

“I might do one at the end of the year. The last two I did were the Trance Anthems ones for Ministry of Sound . I felt I’ve used nearly all the great classics from that  genre. Of course most labels will always tell you to just put the same ones on again but I didn’t see the point. I think the next album may be a mixture of styles like my dance anthems album, recently people have got away from being so tribal about their music which is great fun for the DJs.”

Dave Pearce: Dance Years will broadcast on Saturday nights between 10pm and midnight from April 14th on BBC Radio 2

Twitter – @dj_davepearce