John O'Callaghan celebrates 100th CVSA release
Still on top of the big sky, with a great year in his rearview, is John O'Callaghan. The Irish DJ and producer had a stunning 2009 and closes it down with a very special release. The 100th release of the 6 year old Captivating Sound label is safe in his hands, with a surprisingly diverse EP under his Joint Operations Centre alias. Produced for big-room madness, both 'Backup' and 'Cramped' damage the floors with a few heavy cracks. From inflammable tech-trance to deep progressiveness, John knows his way around with it. Reflecting on his recent DJ Mag feat and the release of his second artist album, 'Never Fade Away', we hook up with the number one Irish DJ for a short catch-up.
Armada: First off: how are you doing?
John: "Hey, I’m great! It’s a really busy time lately. We have so many great plans for 2010, and you guys at Armada know all about that!"
Armada: How does it feel to be the lucky owner of the 100th release on the Captivating Sounds imprint?
John: "I must say it’s a big honour, Captivating has been one of the most impressive labels in trance in the last few years. If you look through the release catalog you can spot so many big hits and milestone tunes for the tech trance and trance genre. I think I will get it framed for my wall!"
Armada: You've had quite a few releases on this imprint. Does it feel like a bit of home to you?
John: "Certainly does. I love making tunes for Captivating as it allows me to go outside the normal trance style and really get to experiment. That’s a big reason why I love dance music, so I can try some crazy sounds that you wouldn’t hear on ASOT or other labels. It allows the artist to go outside the box."
Armada: What can you tell us about those new Joint Operations Centre tracks, 'Cramped/Backup'?
John: "It’s a good EP for both styles, 128 for the warm up sets and then for the really hard end of sets we have 140 for 'Backup'. I really love techno and you can hear the influences in these tracks. 'Cramped', you might hear Marco V playing, and 'Backup' maybe… Scot Project! Even Gareth Emery likes 'Backup', which is much harder than normal for him. Quite a unique EP I think!"
Armada: We're approaching the end of the year. How do you look back onto 2009?
John: "It’s been a great year for me. My album did really well and helped my career, which really showed in the results of DJ Mag. It’s been a fantastic year in my personal life too as it brought the birth of my son Jack, that’s totally changed my life and I couldn’t be happier. I think this will help me for inspiration in the studio next year. I’m really looking forward to working on some new stuff!"
Armada: It's been a few months that your second artist album, 'Never Fade Away' has been released. How do you reflect to that one?
John: "I’m really glad that it worked out well in the end, it took a long time to finish that album and a big piece of my heart and soul went into it. People still bring the CD to gigs and I sign it, that means a lot to me to see that. I myself am a trance fan so I am just as critical of myself as others maybe, the main thing I try to do is move forward with my sound and try to create something that’s not already done. It’s difficult but that is what trance is about, evolving."
Armada: What have you got in stores for 2010?
John: "Funnily enough, I’m going to start really early plans for a new album, maybe ready for 2011…depending on the work progress. At the moment I’m looking at options for tracks and I have about 4 demos already on my hard disk. I also will be starting the ‘Subculture’ label with Armada. So I’m looking out for some top trance demos, I aim to release some high quality stuff, hopefully! Apart from that, touring around the world dj'ing and enjoying life!"