World Beat

It's well established that veteran progressive house DJ Nick Warren is a nice guy. Known for helping out unknown artists, he released last year Global Underground 30: Paris, a mix featuring mostly up-and-comers.

It's the same deal with Global Underground 35: Lima, which hits stores in two weeks: Nobody you know is on there. Speaking from his cell phone in a pub in Sligo, Ireland, he offers, "These days it's very hard for new artists to get any recognition, let alone record deals. The whole market has shrunk; the record stores have disappeared." He sips something and continues. "It's hard to even get on Beatport if you're an unknown. I try to help out where I can."

But does he follow up with those struggling newbies after shoving them into the spotlight? "Oh, I keep in contact with a lot of the producers. I've asked some of them to write songs for my label." That label, of course, is the progressive house/breaks-specializing Hope Recordings.

Freshness in general is what Warren is about, even after DJing for 20 years. He sees the dance community in South America as the most happening scene at the moment. "Without a doubt. And Argentina is very special. There's a kid in Canada right now — Deadmau5. He's got the right idea. There'll always be clubs where people go to dance, DJs will always use vinyl and CDs, but, for one aspect, the future is in doing remixes while playing live."

And the next 15 minutes? "I think it's gonna get very electronic again; I think acid house will be revived this year. The hands-in-the-air thing is starting to fade; people are getting back to basics — the dark, sweaty room."

Some dark, sweaty room in Miami during next year's Winter Music Conference will be hosting Way Out West, the longtime collaboration between Warren and Jody Wisternoff. "We've been working on the next Way Out West artist album for three years now," Warren says. "It should be finished in, God, November. We're always tweaking it." There's a lot of fan interest in that album, which, Warren says, will be "half down-tempo, very musical, very intricate."

Will we see the return of Omi, the chick singer who contributed so exquisitely to Way Out West's 2004's Don't Look Now LP? "No. We tend to work with different singers. She's off doing her folk, and we've brought in a couple of Americans — a guy and a girl." The deals aren't signed yet, thus the singers' names are under wraps for the moment.

The Shine date is Warren's first non-WMC show in Miami in five years. While he's in town, his plans are more relaxed than one might expect. "I'm more into restaurants than clubs these days," he says. "The Shelborne is a lot of fun, but really I'm a big fisherman, so when I'm in Miami, usually the first thing I do is get on a boat."

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Eric W. Saeger