Interview: Verdi

d green

DJ Name and any used previously?

My Dj Moniker has always been Verdi after i discovered it was almost certainly my real surname just weeks after i started Cultural Vibes in 1992.
My Grandfather it turned out had assumed the name Green & kept his real Italian ancestry (and name) hidden until the family found out after his death. For many years in the UK though, pretty much everyone knew me as Dave Green due to my promoting work. Here in New Zealand everyone calls me Verdi so its sort have come full circle.

What styles of music could one expect to hear in your sets?

These days i really do play a pretty full range of styles & genre’s as my decade here in New Zealand necessitated i do so.
Club gigs are few & far between down here & the only way to earn decent money as a working DJ is to play long extended Bar sets for up to 8 hrs.
Its always been about the sound quality for me though & i have always sought out all sorts of well produced records, so a bar set here could see me drifting from 50’s Jazz to modern Techno & back again with everything else in between.
However if i am booked to play a club set i will tailor my chosen records to suit the night concerned.
My record collection now covers so much musical ground its more about what i don’t play really, which would be Drum & Bass, Dubstep, Modern Hip Hop & R&B.

How did you get started playing out?

I started playing out by accident really at the last night of Cultural Vibes’ run @ The Quay Club in 1992 when i played the very last tune in a pretty emotional state as i had literally just decided we were going to leave the club that night.

I had no visions of being a DJ when i started Cultural Vibes but once i saw the reaction the DJ’s were getting in the Quay Club to a sound i pretty much dictated got played it seemed a natural step.
I was an original Deep House freak at the time thanks to DiY’s Simon DK and thats how i started to play out at parties.

After that first club drop & seeing the amazing reaction it got, i bought a crappy old set of Citronics for sixty quid the following week that i found in the old loft of The Quay Club & then played 6 hrs a day everyday for about 8 months until i started to open for Cultural Vibes @ The Warehouse.

What nights/venues have you played over the years?

I have had the joy of playing all over the world over the last 22 years, partly due to a round the world trip i started in 2003 & still seem to be on.
Back in the heady days of the early-mid 90’s there really was nowhere in the S-West i didn’t get to play.

It really was an amazing time for all of us involved in the scene back then and every week i was out & about somewhere having fun behind decks.
The joy of having a huge club like Cultural Vibes lots lots of DJ’s wanting to play in that hallowed Mirrorball/Egg DJ Booth & thus i got return bookings in heaps of the bigger clubs that were happening at the time all across the UK.

After Vibes finished in 95 i moved up to London & worked for Mean Fiddler Org which put me in contact with lots of like minded musical cohorts.
I really was a resident DJ for Metalheadz (the only one never to play drum & bass, i played real Electro) for about a year at The Blue Note after its move to The Complex (where i was also the manager), and also played in venues all over the city for many different promoters including my own nights @ The Drome.
I also got to play in Oslo, Normandy, Amsterdam, while living up there.

Where are you currently playing?

I have been lucky here in Wellington which has lots of lovely, good quality Bars to play long extended sets in.
I have been a resident DJ for The Southern Cross, The Malthouse, Foxglove, St Johns, The Apartment and soon to be at Matterhorn.
Club wise i play regularly as resident for Noir Desir which is a House & Techno night, for Emergence which is a pure kick ass Techno night and for Strange Behavior who are putting on the bigger International Headlined gigs in the Capital City covering Deep House & Disco.

On top of this i am also the host of a weekly radio show here in Wellington called “Collective Fetish” which broadcasts live from 4-7pm each & every Saturday on the capital city’s original FM institution RadioActive on 88.6FM.
I originally joined the station in late 2011 as one of several replacement hosts for the long running “Late late Breakfast Show”.
I must have done something right as i have never stopped working for them since. My tenure of the LLBS lasted for 2 years when the opportunity came to shift into the 4-7pm Saturday evening slot, a move i could not resist.

Musically the old show was completely random in lots of wonderful ways and was my first real foray “on air” so a chance to experiment.
With the move to Saturday evening i felt my new show had to step up a gear or two as it felt natural for a Saturday evening warm up.
Named after a favourite tune as always “Collective Fetish” references one of the standout tunes from the Meanderthals LP “Desire Lines”,a truly splendid LP.
You can source a live internet link via http://www.radioactive.co.nz although we are currently 12 hrs ahead of UK.

Three tunes that have influenced the direction of your sets over the years:

Record 1.

Ralph Falcon – Every Now & Then (Miami Soul 1992)

One of my best friends and favourite DJ’s Duncan Parks gave me his copy of this record as a gift the week he bought it from Mighty Force Records in 1992.
I was already very much a Deep House fan at the time due to my obsession with the aforementioned Simon DK from DiY and this record blew my mind completely on first listen. It instantly became my first signature tune as a DJ as there were hardly any copies in the S-West and i still swear i got bookings just because everyone knew i would play it.
I learned how to mix with this record, i fell in love to this record, my heart can be broken or healed by this record & i still adore it as much as i ever did.

Record 2.

Cari Lekebusch – Output 2.2 (Hybrid Sound Architectures 1994)

Not the sort of record you would associate with Aficionado’s Richard “Moonboots” Bithell today but i was lucky enough to do a lot of record buying in Eastern Bloc records in Manchester during my regular forays up to play records & hang out in what was then my second city.
Richard always looked after me very well up there & also knew how much i loved my Acid House and thus put this into my pile to listen to on a visit in 94.
I bought the first two releases on Hybrid that day but this one really put me on my ass on first listen.
By 1994 i was moving into much harder faster territory musically.Acid House was always my first love and as records like this started to be produced i started to leave the Deep House sound behind and move into much more Techno/Electro/Acid orientated territory with my live sets, where i would remain pretty much for the next 5 years.
For the record this tune cleared floors in Plymouth when i first played it at about minus 6 in 94. It took a while …..but eventually it became another signature tune for me as a DJ and one i still love to play out to this day.

Record 3
Idjut Boys – Girth Soup (Noid 1996)

Mighty Force Records founder Mark Darby was hugely influential in both my Club Promotor guise & subsequent DJ forays, as he was for so many others in the S-West during his time in Exeter in the early 90’s.
By 1996 both of us were living in London with him working at RTM record distributors in Camden.
I often used to go to see Mark at work in his office & he would always stuff a bunch of promo’s under my arm as i was leaving which is how i ended up with 2 copies of this absolute gem.
Mark & i were also both big fans of Justin Harris, Kenny Hawkes & Luke Solomon’s seminal weekly club night Space which was held at Bar Rumba each & every wednesday.
I had the absolute joy of seeing Harvey drop this tune in the following weeks on a big night out @ Space with a who’s who of “pilled up” DJ talent out on the dance-floor.
This record totally floored me that night & while not exactly what i was playing out at the time it was the start of yet another shift in my weekly record buying that would eventually blossom when i decided to move back to the South West in 2000 and start playing a lot more of the Disco orientated stuff i had collected during my London experience.
It really is another signature tune for me as a DJ & one i still love dearly and will play wherever & whenever i get the opportunity.

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