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Hard-house, by way of trout

Wren Wertin

“I like it up there,” said the DJ and producer, who has an international following. “The trout fishing is great. The people are great. The club’s a fun time, and I have a lot of support.”

Though he’s not normally a big party person – he prefers to set the scene for others to do hard work of serious partying – he can’t seem to resist the people of Vail. Without fail he does a few shots, and then altitude kicks in.

Bishop’s been spinning since the late ’80s, and has ridden the wave of DJ popularity all the way to the top.

“My job is to get them jumping and dancing and lose their mind for a couple of hours on the dance floor,” said Bishop. “I make them forget if they had a crappy day for a few hours.”

Bishop began DJing almost by accident, but once he was in he was hooked. He’s not sure if he chose hard-house, or it chose him. Either way, the music sparks something in him.

“It’s house music but much harder and faster, a more intense sound,” he explained. “When it all started in the ’80s, there was techno and house. They were the mother and father of electronic music, and everything else branched off from there.”

Hard-house is Bishop’s trademark music. He was one of the first people to pioneer it in the United States. As it was born, he grew up with it. Just like any musical genre, it’s changed a great deal over the past decade.

“But that’s the beauty of electronic music,” he explained. “It creates itself, and with all the new studio equipment you get new music. It’s fun to pull out records from the ’90s.”

Bishop prefers vinyl to CDs any day of the week, and not just when he’s spinning. Though people with untrained ears might not be able to tell the difference, it’s an easy thing for him to spot.

“You can tell a CD,” he said. “It’s more machine-like, real cold. It doesn’t have the depth of putting a needle to the vinyl. When you do that, there’s a deeper sound than you can create on a CD.”

Recently, he’s been in the studio in England, recording a track called “Keep On.” He describes recording electronic music as more tedious than glamorous, but he keeps doing it. Another track, “Reflections,” is due out soon.

At 42, the DJ has seen some things. When asked about his “former life,” he paused to think.

“I was a space traveler,” he said. “I’ve always loved space, the astronauts, always collected all that stuff. I guess I could be the first DJ in space.”

For now, he’s content to stay on the earth, as long as he’s near some water. If he’s on the sea, he goes for tuna. When it’s a river, he prefers trout. Bishop uses the old spin cast and lures.

“I hate that fly fishing,” he exclaimed. “You get that line all wrapped around trees. I like moving, behind that log, this rock, to different areas.

… I love trout fishing. There’s nothing like a four or five pounder. They hit it and head downstream; it’s an incredible ride.”

The same goes for his shows. It only takes one track, and he’s off on a ride, with the audience in tow.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at wrenw@vaildaily.com or phone at 949-0555, ext. 618.


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