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Interview - Hyper

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Friday, 2 November 2007
"I'm not listening to too much (Burt) Bacharach as yet. I do enjoy some of life's finer things which perhaps I didn't a few years ago, but mellowing is not really in my nature. I'm still angry and I still like the odd night out."

Chatting to Skrufff about his new mix compilation Rewired, angry, not-quite-so-young man Guy 'Hyper' Hatfield insists his energy levels
remain as high as ever, both for DJing and his hotly anticipated new artist album that's due in the New Year. Featuring ex-Prodigy people Jim Davies on guitars and Leeroy Thornhill on vocals, the 'more aggressive' record (as Guy puts it) is currently being mixed down and will distance him further from the breaks style he remains most commonly associated with.

"Is Digital Punk a genre yet-" he laughs, "It's certainly not chilled out Sunday afternoon listening."

Tough talk aside, Guy's keen to stress he's not abandoning breaks altogether ('It still has a lot to offer') and reveals an unexpected soft side when quizzed about any phobias he suffers from.

"Yes, heights," he confesses. "I'm totally fine with staring out of the window of a plane at 39,000 feet but put me on a balcony 10 storeys up and I'm in pieces clinging on to the rail. It seems to be the thought of throwing myself off that is the problem and not
actually the height itself," he suggests.

Switching topic rapidly, he's happier chatting about the main reason for today's interview, his just released mix compilation Rewired, though similar emotions accompanied its completion.

"Oh god, it nearly killed me," he laughs.

"I worked at the track-list and sequencing forever and at times felt like banging my head against the wall. There are a lot of different styles and sounds I wanted to fit on there to represent where my DJ sets are at the moment," he explains.

"The whole plan for this compilation was to get back to some club music after my last album, We Control, which as an artist album took on a whole new direction. I also like to make sure my mix CDs have a definite start, middle and end point; I think the structure is
important. I ended up waking up one morning at 3AM and couldn't get back to sleep for thinking about the last couple of mixes. Then in a weird flash of inspiration I came downstairs and finished it there and then. I'm really happy with the results and I enjoyed my Corn Flakes all the more for finishing it like that."

I guess you did it all on Ableton: how much is selection and sequencing more important than mixing these days-
"To be honest, as a DJ who earns a living from it, you should be able to beat-match two records together without much difficulty. I spent most of the time editing tracks to work as I wanted them, adding effects and sounds and layering."

Now we're living in digital download/podcast days: how much has the significance of compilations changed- (Are they still as lucrative or more about getting you more gigs or more about putting 'Hyper' out there-
"It's really all about keeping your hand in at keeping the name out there. I think the whole scene has changed in terms of how people make their money. Once it was primarily record sales and now it's very much about synch and gigging. I guess gigging is the constant factor. Compilation sales (as with all sales on the whole)
have dropped off because people are more interested in getting hold of singular tracks they like rather than listening to a body of work. That's a bit of a shame, I think."

You also run your own label: how much has the music business changed from your perspective in the last couple of years-
"Immeasurably. Thankfully, download sales are stepping in to save the wavering vinyl sales. It seems that every week another record shop has shut down. But you have to move on and look at other revenue streams before you get too downhearted and get left behind. I'm perfectly happy with the way things have gone in the l