Jody Wisternoff – Trails We Blaze + Exclusive Interview
Posted by Middy on June 27, 2012
While the vast majority of you may not know who Jody Wisternoff is, I believe it is time you get to know the man and his luxurious, groovy house tracks. The British Dj / producer is a long time veteran of the music industry who has been a part of this since the 80s. At the age of 16 he was already playing for crowds of 5,000 people and has not looked back. In the 90s he formed the duo Way Out West with Nick Warren and his dance music career took off from there, becoming an integral part of the 90s British rave scene. His sound is more of the classic, summertime, poolside Ibiza house that is great to enjoy when relaxing when friends with some drinks alongside a pool or other body of water.
His recently released album on Anjunadeep “Trails We Blaze” is his debut artist album after making music for over 25 years under various different monikers and with Nick Warren with Way Out West. The entire album is incredibly smooth and moves seamlessly from one track to the next. There are plenty of great vocal tracks with John Mendelsohn and Pete Josef providing the proper vocal accompaniments to the instrumentals from Jody Wisternoff. The first track “How You Make Me Smile” has been one of the more popular tracks due to the addictive vocals from Pete Josef that have an uncanny ability to get stuck in your head, long smooth violin strokes and a funky, head bobbing bass line. The video for the song above represents perfectly how one feels with this song. The next couple tracks really get into the style of Jody Wisternoff, having much more of the club house sound with a more prominent featuring of the steady bass line and various melodic layers to bring out the groove in each of the tracks. We are also introduced to John Mendelsohn’s vocals in the second track. Continue on for more of the review and an interview with Jody Wisternoff himself.
In the middle of the album we get some of my favorites of CD with 2 tracks with Jonathan Mendelsohn, “Out Of Reach” with its haunting synth work, quick drum play, excellent vocals as per usual from Jonathan Mendelsohn and a deep, echoing bass line and “Slow Motion”. “Slow Motion” has a real 80s feel to it with an 80s bass line and the vocals sound like they could fit in the era, but the song remains modern with quick, building synth key work, reverbed xylophones and a melody built around the vocals. A single that was released back in 2006, “Cold Drink, Hot Girl” encapsulates the attitude of this CD with its summertime grooves and mood. We then get through a couple more eclectic pieces with “Babylon Calling” and the title track “Trails We Blaze” that involve some more intense synths and quicker bass lines to finish off the album.
Overall the album is a journey of emotional, old / new school house that is the traditional sound of house with a unique Jody Wisternoff tenor to it. He shows us that while he has been making music on his own for several years now, that he can put it all together into a CD that is destined for pools and beach parties from Las Vegas to Ibiza. So without further ado, get the CD, grab your cold drink of choice or 10, some friends and head to the nearest body of water and enjoy this CD the way it was meant to be; but only after you read the interview.
1. FNT: As a veteran in the game now spanning 4 decades, what do you think is the biggest thing that has changed since you first started making house music? The people, the music, the culture?
Jody Wisternoff: – All of the above, and much more! Technological advances have probably been the most significant change overall though, ranging from equipment used for music creation to delivery ( djing ) and distribution ( selling ).
2. FNT: You have said that the “Internet destroyed record sales”. I would agree with you on this point, but do you think it has also been helpful for spreading music globally and getting more gigs?
-Jody Wisternoff: Of course , I have always stressed this point also. However, I do sometimes dream of the day when the internet crashes and we all go back to good old record shopping.
3. FNT: Do you see any similarities between the 90s rave culture in Great Britain that you got your start in and are very fond of, and the current rave culture that is growing in the US?
- Jody Wisternoff: Not really. The rave culture in the states seems to be based around large legal events and very commercial music, whereas the UK scene was illegal and underground.
4. FNT: Where is your favorite place to tour? You have been down on UK clubs of late, but that is still the homeland. Australia, Eastern Europe, US or another?
- Jody Wisternoff: Eastern Europe is my fav. Places like Hungary, Russia and Romania have an edge that I really like — the parties can be amazing!
5. FNT: What made you decide to make a solo album after working in a group nearly your entire career?
- Jody Wisternoff: I’ve been doing solo stuff alongside WOW (Way Out West) since 2006, so it felt like the right time to put together a LP. An album generates a lot more press than just releasing singles on various labels, and this in turn helps boost profile and get shows, etc.
6. FNT: Who is the better musician, you or your brother?
- Jody Wisternoff: Haha! My bro is a wicked guitar player and has a great singing voice, whereas I like to think I can take him out with my keyboard chops and scratching skills!
7. FNT: Best tour story, good times and a horror story.
- Jody Wisternoff: Last night of the 2005 tour in Oz alongside Faithless, I decided it would be a good idea to streak through the hotel wearing just a sock on my left foot… Luckily they managed to convince me not to go down to the lobby. Very embarrassed thinking about it now.
Another time in Oz whilst on tour, flying between Sydney and Melbourne the left engine blew up. The pilot described it as a “catastrophic failure” and the next 15 mins whilst he brought it down were very, very scary.
8. FNT: Any preshow routines?
- Jody Wisternoff: Not since I got my OCD under control haha
9. FNT: How do you balance touring and making new music with having a family with 2 kids?
- Jody Wisternoff: Waking up in the morning instead of midday helps. You just adapt, plus having kids can really inspire creativity.
10. A. FNT: Favorite brand of vodka?
- Jody Wisternoff: None, I’ve given it up, vodka as its pure evil. (He has a proclaimed weakness for the stuff)
B. FNT: Best show this year?
- Jody Wisternoff: SunDale in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
C. FNT: EURO 2012 predictions?
- Jody Wisternoff: Not England, as proven last night Maybe Germany as they tend to be good at these things.
D. FNT: Craziest fan request?
- Jody Wisternoff: Being asked to sign breasts! I declined of course, the dirty slaaag haha