Resident at Manchester’s much-loved El Diablo’s Social Club since 2003, Neil’s signature blend of leftfield house and spirit-lifting disco has earned him an unshakable reputation, crowd-loving crate-digger who never fails to set it off. Ex-Piccadill Records staffer Neil is in demand across the globe and isa regular at events and festivals such as Glastonbury, The Garden Festival & Electric Elephant festivals in Croatia and Renate in Berlin. Over the years Neil has plied his trade alongside some of the disco scene’s most-respected players, including Todd Terje, Prins Thomas, Chez Damier, Metro Area, Danny Wang and Maurice Fulton, to name a few. Notable releases have come from Neil’s own much loved limited vinyl edits label ‘To Rack & Ruin’ edits under the guise of Evil K’Neil & Neil Diablo as well as on Magic Wand & Kat Records. Also another vinyl label of original material from the stable ‘EDSC Recordings’ has so far seen releases and remixes from Eric Duncan, Ron Basejam, Seahawks, Ruf Dug, Craig Bratley, Dj Rocca and Brioski with more releases planned with Emperor Machine, Justin Robertson, Julian Sanza, Fernando, Hot Toddy and much more. More recently Neil has done remixes as Neil Diablo as well as under the ‘El Diablo’s Social Club’ moniker alongside Chris Massey for Emperor Machine, DJ Rocca, Somerville and Wilson and for labels like Is it Balearic?, ISM, Silhouette Music, Southern Fried.
You have been in the DJ game a long time and everyone is looking forward to the tunes and music knowledge your going to be sharing with us down at Bali’s Karma Beach club. Can you tell us how long you have been DJing for ? Where you are from and how you have managed to keep evolving as a professional touring performing artist?
I’ve been djing since I was about 13 but been doing it as a job for nearly 20 years now! I’m from Manchester in the Uk. I listen and buy a lot of different types music so I’d like to think I’ve got my finger on the pulse. That means I can easily adapt to the setting be it Manchester disco party, 6am Berlin house set, or Bali beach club.
Where else are you DJing in the next couple of months that would be worth our readers checking out?
In the next few months I’ve got a some nice things lined up… Love international in Croatia, gottwood festival in wales, sunset beach in New York. I’m also looking forward to the first birthday of a party I run in Manchester called high emotion in August. We will be hosting one of our favourite DJ’s hailing from japan – powder.
Flashback 10-15 years ago, where were you buying your records from? what were your favourite record stores and any of them still open?
Around 10 years a go I was working at Piccadilly records in Manchester so I was mostly buying records from there but at that time there were some other great places like far city and vox pop which have sadly gone now. We still have some great stores at the moment. There is a great second hand place in chorlton which is outside for of the city near where I live Which I visit regularly.
what was the first record you purchased with your own money?
I think it was de la soul – me myself and I or deluge – groove is in the heart but I can’t remeber! So long ago!
How does that influence what you are playing in your sets in 2019 and more specifically in Bali?
my sets in Bali are heavily influenced by the setting. Bali-earic! Basically stuff I would like to listen too if I was hanging out by the pool or the beach.
Is this your first time in Bali? If so what have you heard about our healthy clubbing industry? If not how have you seen it change from a view online in recent times since your last visit?
This is my 3rd or 4th time in Bali I think so I’m fairly knowledgable about what’s going on around here. It seems to be getting bigger and better every time I come and it seems to be getting a good reputation for good music. A lot of people in Europe are coming over now as they are hearing about people like dj Harvey etc playing over here a lot.
Your current top 5 day time vibes are: (Beachclub top 5)
In no particular order
Potato head, Bali
Karma Kandara, Bali
Sunset ashram, Ibiza
Hostel de la torre, Ibiza
If you weren’t DJIng week in week out what do you think you would be doing for a career? whys that?
I have recently started teaching DJing at SEM in Salford which is in the same building as my studio so I guess it would be that. Or I love cooking so maybe I would go into the restaurant business. The hours aren’t as good as djing though.
How have you seen the DJ technology change over the past years?
I think a lot more people are playing music digitally nowadays. It’s so much more convenient to travel with USB’s now than heavy records. It’s great for me as I play lots of different styles as I can take a lot of music around with me so I’m ready wherever I go.
What do you think will be the next big advancement?
i think streaming music to dj will probably get more popular in the coming years. DJ’s will just login to a system to access their playlists instead of taking usbs around with them.
Outside of DJing what do you like to do in your time off?
I really enjoy cooking for friends, reading and have also started going for walks at weekend. I think I’m finally growing up!
How about while in Bali what are you planning to do before and after the show?
I will be lying on the beach with a nice cocktail before and after hopefully
You’ve just been given $50,000 US dollars and you’ve missed your flight out of Bali what do you do?
Well I missed my flight home on my last trip. I didn’t get 50k though. I managed to get to the airport a day late and couldn’t get a flight till the day after. I just hung out by the pool and recorded a mix. An extra day in Bali is never a bad thing! If I did have 50k I would try and buy a nice villa here so I could come and stay in Bali whenever I liked
Next up for Diablo is?
Ive got a busy summer ahead… Lots of Uk dates plus some nice festivals – love international in Croatia, gottwood festival in wales and I’ll be going to play at sunset beach in New York in August as well as doing some other us shows too.