July 20, 2020 | Guest Mixes

#88 Johnny Wilson for Deeprhythms

Johnny Wilson, 1/2 of the mighty Hypnotic Groove, in charge of the 88th guest mix. From gritty techno to subwoofer shaking UK Bass the mix is just brilliant. Many thanks Johnny!

Hi there Johnny, how’s life? What’s been keeping you busy of late?

Hi Timo! The day job, mostly. I'm classed as a key worker so have been working throughout this pandemic. Outside work, just listening to a lot of music, spending time with family and walking/running.

Can you give us your biographical details - how and when did you get started with electronic music?

I've always been into electronic music in some form. When I was really young It would always be from radio 1, which seemed to be on in the house a lot.

Songs that captured my attention growing up were Herbie Hancock - Rock It (that video freaked me out, haha), Paul Hardcastle - 19 & Art Of Noise - Close To The Edit.

As I got a little older, I would take an interest in the likes of Depeche Mode, Soul 2 Soul, Neneh Cherry, 808 State & Talk Talk... artists whose songs would often be on the radio.

The first scene/genre that really sparked my interest was rave music, around 1991. I would watch MTV party zone as a 10 year old and would be exposed to The Prodigy, SL2, Praga Khan, Altern 8 etc.

Listening to John Peel on Radio 1 throughout the 90's also introduced me to various types of interesting new music.

Can you tell us a little about how you started with DJ’ing and what motivated you back then? 

I actually managed to gain work experience at a record shop called Rennie Rappinghood Records when I was 15, via high school. I loved the idea of it & got to listen to music I otherwise wouldn't have heard, but i was absolutely useless at it due to being painfully shy!

I bought a 2nd hand pair of decks for £100 when I was 21 but I would say I only really got good at playing them around 2 years later.

The thought of playing at a club motivated me but that opportunity didn't arise until about 12 years after starting playing - top tip: persevere :). I really enjoyed playing at house parties with my friends though. 

You co-run Hypnotic Groove with your girlfriend Andrea - an umbrella name for events, mix series, new music showcases and label. How did that happen?

The idea for Hypnotic Groove started around 2012. I had always been interested in the idea of starting a mix series that showcased folk whose mixes weren't really being heard but really should have been. It wasn't really pursued until I met Andrea in 2013. I would often mention the idea and she would actively encourage me to start something.

We went out to a club in Inverness one Friday night and walked out within minutes as it was some sort of hard dance night, so we went home and brainstormed the idea of both of us starting up this mix series. After a day of throwing about names for it we were listening to LFO - Frequencies and inside cd the cover art there was a quote from 'What Is House?'- "pioneers of the hypnotic groove".. and we thought that sounded perfect!

What has been the most rewarding part of running Hypnotic Groove?

There has been so much positive & rewarding stuff that's come out of this.. receiving new music & mixes from artists & dj's that we look up to is definitely one.

Being asked to play at events or make mixes for people is certainly another. But i think that we've made so many good friends out of this and that's probably the most rewarding.

How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard your DJ sets?

Like a mitsubishi fuelled night out.

What’s your take on the current state of UK electronic music? How different is it compared to when you started?

The UK scene has always been an exciting one. I can only really talk with experience about the Scottish side of things but I think we're heading towards a small club scene once this pandemic is over.

There used to be a lot of really interesting larger scale events/festivals in Scotland but now it's mostly the same business techno acts playing the same events over & over.

Can you tell us a little more your current musical endeavours? 

I've been toying with production for the last year but with no great expectation of where it will go. It’s a lot of fun anyway!

In regards to Hypnotic Groove events, like most folk we're just waiting a while to see what the next step can be towards hosting nights again. It's looking like 2021 as it stands.

Please name five records or tracks that are on heavy rotation currently.

Naone & S.O.N.S - Pacific

Mani Festo - Tell Me Why

Fear-E - Doves N Dollars

Underground Resistance - Jupiter Jazz

Skee Mask - Reefer Madness

Let’s talk about Scotland. What’s the scene like there and how has it evolved during the years?

Scotland is fucking fantastic! Honestly feel so lucky to live here. Would recommend it to anyone.

The scene in Scotland is pretty decent these days. I think Glasgow & Edinburgh are the top cities for underground dance music. Inverness is great but due to licencing, we're pretty restricted with closing times (1am for most venues). It doesn't stop us trying though & have enjoyed some amazing nights up here & there's some serious talent in these parts.

Can you name a few DJ’s/artists/collectives that you think should be on people’s radar? And why?

Redstone Press - Our friends from our hometown of Forres. We met Lewis from the label around 6 years ago and instantly loved him & his all round enthusiasm. He is a resident for our club events & very lucky to have him on board.

We later got to know Ethan (Pseudopolis) as well & he is a killer dj & producer and a great guy too. 

Hilltown Disco - We met these guys just over a year ago but they are amongst some of our favourite people involved in the Scottish scene! Hugely talented dj's & have such a great ear for music. Just lovely people!

Nightwave - Maybe a little more established than the above, but Nightwave is an incredible dj! We've been lucky enough to be able to book her twice now and each time we were blown away.

Obviously you've curated a lot of music for Hypnotic Groove and for your DJ sets, who are the artists and DJ’s you think deserves more attention than they get currently? 

In no particular order..

Nez, Modus, Sansibar, Fear-E, Josh Caffe, Pseudopolis, Black Cadmium, Man2.0, Parts Unknown, Efemme, J Wax, Cain, Ross XLS, DJCJ, AISHA...

I could go on all day really.

So the mix, can you tell us a little something about that? 

Really can't describe it other than a selection of tunes that I'm really into. Recorded in May 2020.

Many thanks Johnny, anything else?

Yes. Fuck the Tories.


1. Forest Drive West - Falling Upright
2. Future Beat Alliance - Never Forever
3. Crystal Maze - Twilight People
4. Andy Garvey - Red Stars
5. Credit 00 - Super Scratch
6. Niv Ast & Adrien Albou - Beau Chien (Zillas On Acid remix)
7. DJ Haus - See U In My Dreams
8. Orsery - All Eyes On You (Bufi Remix)
9. Daniel Maloso - Ritmo Especial
11. Fear-E - Ricochet
12. Lone - Ghost Story
13. DJ Balduin - E.W.B.A
15. Killer DJs - Untitled
16. Orphus - Out Of Time
17. Big Zen - Big Trance

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DJ profile
Johnny Wilson

Location: Inverness, Scotland, UK
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Co-runs the Hypnotic Groove event series, record label and mixes & new music podcasts.

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