Electronic dance music is rarely the genre summoning words like emotional impact and subtlety. Pulsing beats, flashing lights, and sweaty club kids are the aspects of dance culture projected on the mainstream consciousness. John Digweed, one of the most recognizable names in the worlds of progressive house and trance, takes these elements of the music seriously. After all, he's a party maker.
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Digweed also shines above many of his genre brethren in his ability to manipulate the moods of his audience. Sure, he can pump a buildup as well as any DJ alive, whipping a dance floor to a near frenzy. Just as easily, he can break things down at will, melting revelers into a cathartic heap before starting the cycle over again. What sets Digweed apart is his ability to handle the in-betweens, even building entire tracks around the sweep of subtle emotion. Restraint is a difficult skill to master in a culture whose mantra has always seemed to be "more, more, more." Digweed's response to that tendency works equally well when it's obliging as when it serves as a reminder to take things down a bit and focus on the details rather than just the highs and lows.