After spending most of his teenage years playing guitar in a variety of local rock bands, John’s musical alliance was suddenly disrupted when he attended a rave in Cornwall in 1993. He immediately ditched both his band and traded his guitar for a set of decks.
In 1994 John made his club debut at a then notorious Acid House venue in North London. A few months later he took up a residency for the infamous Wiltshire rave sound system “Code Red”. This position gave John the opportunity to regularly play to literally thousands of underground followers that would loyally make their way out into the countryside every weekend. His sound was influenced by a mixture of the melodic German music that had put Frankfurt on the map as the capital of trance, and the tougher, more percussive sounds of artists like CJ Bolland.
At the end of 1995 overwhelming pressure from the police led the organizers to move the parties from the fields into the clubs. With this move John started warming up for a host of top international techno names such as Billy Nasty and Dave Angel, to name but a few. He quickly established a name for himself and was subsequently booked to play a number of other high profile club nights, including Universe's legendary Final Frontier where John rocked the decks alongside Paul Oakenfold and Carl Cox.
Over the next few years, John found himself starting to regularly frequenting Heathrow and Gatwick, traveling to Slovakia, Denmark, USA, Sweden, France, Ireland and Amsterdam to deliver his now trademark sound. A sound and style that one Swedish journalist summed up as: “…like watching Jeff Mills mixing but using Paul van Dyk’s records!”
John’s debut appearance at The Extreme Club in Bratislava (Slovakia) was simultaneously broadcast on the national radio station Fun FM. Two hours into the set and there were still 1000 people waiting outside on a “one in one out” basis. This night has been a huge turning point for John, as it was the one event that started his obsession with radio.
The next 5 years brought John residencies and guest slots at some club nights in the South of England. In 1999 John teamed up with Bristol's most respected techno DJ, Simmer, to form Shimmy recordings. With highly acclaimed reviews from the national dance press and a huge underground following in the West Country, John began to gain a reputation for his writing and production skills which combined euphoric melodies with hard punchy beats.
In 2000 John took up a touring residency for Universe (of Tribal Gathering fame). In one month John played 21 gigs across the country alongside many of the world’s finest DJ’s, including Carl Cox, Timo Maas, Danny Rampling, Danny Howells, Way Out West and John "00" Fleming.
On NYE 2000, John rocked the main stage at Ministry of Sounds’ infamous millennium event at the Dome. His technical wizardry on the decks in front of 26,000 clubbers led Ministry to offer him a residency at their world famous club – Ministry of Sound, London. For two years now, John has rocked the main room at Ministry with his legendary, end of the night sets.
Since 2001, John has also been pushing his distinctive sounds to the masses through his record label – Discover Records – which has seen releases from the likes of The Thrillseekers, Pablo Gargano and Germany’s Kyau vs. Albert, to name but a few. Today, Discover is often credited in the press as a trend setting label that enjoys an almost Cult status. Its strict music policies, instigated by John, firmly oppose “cheesy melodies, predictable clichés and horrendous, meaningless female vocals” that in John’s mind have tarnished so much of the scene today.
In fast forward mode John Askew is conquering dance floors all around the world. John has played at high profile club nights, such as Cream, Plus Soda, Meganite, Slinky, Godskitchen, After Hour Power, and Passion as well as at prestigious festivals, e.g. Homelands (Radio One Stage) and Creamfields. His DJ sets reflect his highly opinionated views on music. His ear for high quality music, without always taking the obvious anthemetic route, and subtle, yet highly emotive melodies, derived from years of song writing in a plethora of rock bands, makes each and every one of John’s sets unique.
Over the last decade his productions and remixes have seen massive support from Eddie Halliwell, Tiesto, Armin van Buuren and Paul van Dyk who has employed John's remix skills repeatedly on his highly respected Vandit label.
After the huge successes of his singles "Vellum", "The Door" and "New Dimension" and "Chime", John has gone on to deliver a catalogue of big singles including the recent hits "Nothing Left Between Us", "Fade to Black", "Bored of You, Bored of Me" and most recently "Vandalism".
As a remixer John has worked for numerous high profile labels including Vandit, Euphonic, Afterglow Records, Duty Free, Ministry of Sound, Monster Records, Flux Delux, Conspiracy, Moodmusic and Fenology.