Jody Wisternoff: Dongles & Distance
Jody Wisternoff insists he does not wear a purse. Instead, he describes his carry apparatus for global gigging: “It’s a big black-leather, manly bag,” he asserts. “A DJ briefcase—vintage by the way.”
OK, so what’s in his bag? “Two USB dongles,” he says of his traveling DJ-music library. “It’s slightly overkill, but still you need to carry something, don’t you?”
Digital-era DJs—a far cry from the old-school vinyl-haulers, to be sure. Nonetheless, not long after playing a series of rousing dates in Russia, the rather unencumbered Wisternoff connected with DJ Times from a Moscow hotel room. The Bristol, U.K.-based DJ/producer, perhaps best known as one-half of the prog-house duo Way Out West, had recently released his debut solo album, Trails We Blaze (Anjunadeep), and he was up for a chat.
DJ Times: So Wisternoff is a Russian name. Do you speak the language?
Wisternoff: Unfortunately not, but it would have been useful today ’cause I was trying to get an omelet and a glass of fresh orange juice. It would have been really helpful.
DJ Times: We first came to know you from Way Out West with Nick Warren. What’s the status there?
Wisternoff: We haven’t split up or anything like that. We’ve just been taking a bit of a time out and, you know, I’ve got my own thing with this album. We’re actually working on a new album at the moment. So it’s business as usual.
DJ Times: What inspired you to break away and do this solo album?
Wisternoff: The last couple of years I’ve been working on a lot of stuff. I never stopped writing music or anything—I’ve been constantly producing. And there was a moment where I thought I might have enough material that was varied enough to put into a collection, not just having straight-up club tracks. I thought maybe I might try and do an album kind of thing.
DJ Times: Sounds pretty organic.
Wisternoff: It was a bit of a process of trial-and-error and then I came up with the final product. I think that if you just put out singles every few months, you bumble along and—after you suddenly, randomly have a massive hit—everything changes. But generally you end up just putting out singles. Whereas if you put out an album, you get interviews, you get magazine articles, and get to do much bigger events—so, that’s why I did it.