Categorically described as “a massive, shit-stirring knob piece who talks shit continuously and from time to time makes the occasional record“, there is no other Trance DJ out there that is more outspoken and lovingly antagonistic than the legendary John Askew, whose 20+ career as a DJ and Producer has cultivated into a hell fire legacy for his momentous contributions to Trance. Beginning his career in the early 90’s, John has been a relentless workhorse in the scene, spinning Techno, Trance, Acid House and anything else that he can get his grubby little hands on and is responsible for some of the biggest tracks in Trance today, including his remix to John O’Callaghan‘s Stresstest and singles such as Bastard and The Witch. As the creator of the fantastic Discover record label family and as the leading A&R of Perfecto Fluoro Records, (as well as Simon Patterson‘s manager), this English behemoth has sowed his seeds towards international acclaim while still finding the time to DJ and produce; a merciless schedule that would make other artists shake to the core. In addition to all of his worthwhile accomplishments, it’s worth noting that he often ruffles the feathers of other DJ’s in Trance and even other genres for sport, as his comments towards Avicii and other noted celebrities have been the work of legend; (with his dripping, venomous prose being second to none). John has never once compromised his sound for money or fame, and has firmly planted his feet into the murky depths of the underground, where he championed as an iconic figurehead by many die hard Trance fans.
After his recent success on his single of Mechanism on the chaotic Mental Asylum records and Shine on Armin van Buuren‘s WAO138?! label, John Askew returns to the 140 scene with his newest single entitled Plush, and the description that the publicist for Perfecto Fluoro‘s PR Team provided is nothing short of gold. “John is a massive satchel. I have the misfortune of sharing an office with him. He keeps insisting that Perfecto Fluoro is a Goa trance label that doesn’t release 140 but guess what? When my back is turned he goes and sneaks a 140 track into the schedule. Honestly — I have never met a more hypocritical bell-end in all my life. Still, if John‘s style of music floats your boat and you enjoyed his recent productions, (Commander Tom “Are am Eye” remix, JOC “Stresstest” remix, Empirion, “Narcotic Influence” remix or his single “Shine” etc. etc.), then I guess you may like this one. When I asked John to describe the sound of this record he said ‘it sounds the same as all my other shit but this time it has the added bonus of people having sex all the way through it’. In true egotistical style there are no remixes“. Clearly, he is a man who true doesn’t care about the petty opinions of others and while he may not give a shit about other perspectives on his dodgey character, he himself is very opinionated on the scene and with other people’s actions as well.
Despite the cutesy, innocent name, Plush is nothing to sneeze at, as John delightfully rolls up his sleeves and gleefully digs into the shitpile of the grimy underground to pull forth a relentless, yet multishaded release that combines many different elements of his aged past that fully establishes his rightful place within the Trance community. Starting off within the breakdown, we immediately hear a woman slowly getting sexually turn on with heavy breathing and phrases like, ‘the drug is moving‘ as the flush of pads and Indian sitars enchantingly strum and glide in the background. Included in this section are the inclusion of luscious, ambient synth pads, murmuring choir drones, male & female vocal ostinatos and a particularly lovely synth arpeggio that effortlessly constructs a mystical dream sequence that envelops the listener in tones of bliss and solitude. Meanwhile, the construction of a filtered beat and bassline are slowly built from the ground up and as the moment of sheer sexual ecstasy reaches its final peak, the female escort moans, ‘oh my godddd‘ before plunging deep into a storming Tech Trance drop that features driving basslines, fierce basskicks and a repeating ostinato that is a trademark of Askew‘s productions. While it is heavily imbedded within the Tech Trance stylistic construct, there are also heavy elements of Goa infused into the production as well, as the mass conglomerate of styles helps fuel its keen sense of individuality and exceptionalism. Plush is no nonsense and no frills Trance at its finest; as its adrenaline fueled torque and explosive energy outputs is straight fire and business, which perfectly reflect John’s egregiously aggressive personality.
John Askew‘s brand new single, Plush, is out now on Perfecto Fluoro via Beatport, so make sure you purchase a copy and support real talent!
Keep the music alive. -Q