Nick Warren became one of the first so-called "superstar DJs" in the mid- to late '90s, holding down a high-profile residency at Cream in England, touring around the world, and appearing on several DJ mix albums before they became commonplace. Though he spun an eclectic array of dance styles in the late '80s and early '90s, he eventually championed the late-'90s trance sound of labels like Hooj Choons and joined the ranks of other superstar DJs like Paul Oakenfold, Sasha, and Tall Paul. Furthermore, he dabbled a bit in production, collaborating with Jody Wisternoff as Way Out West.
Before leading a jet-set lifestyle, Warren moved to Bristol in the 1980s after having just turned 20. By the early '90s, he was one of the city's top DJs, spinning upstairs at Vision, one of the city's first superclubs. At the time, Warren spun everything from dub and hip-hop to house, which became his preferred style. When fellow Bristol artists Massive Attack left to tour America in the wake of their early success, they invited Warren to accompany them on tour as their official DJ, a testament to his turntable skills as well as his reputation at the time.
Eventually, Warren began a massively successful stint as the resident DJ at Cream in Liverpool. The club's stature grew quickly, as did Warren's as a result. Mixmag asked him to mix a volume in its Mixmag Live! series, which the magazine tagged as the "Future Sound of Europe." Around this same time, the mid- to late '90s, Warren was also garnering quite a bit of attention for his Way Out West collaboration with Wisternoff, resulting in several popular singles for Deconstruction, most notably "The Gift," as well as a self-titled full-length featuring the group's hits.
Next came an opportunity to mix the third volume in the then relatively obscure Global Underground series of DJ mix albums. The resulting mix, Global Underground: Prague (1997), featured several anthems of the time such as "Cafe del Mar," "Life on Mars," and "Nipple Fish," helping to define the evolving trance sound of the late '90s. Warren's mix proved so successful that he was offered the opportunity to mix a second volume, Global Underground: Brazil (1998), and then yet more successive volumes in the increasingly popular series. Moreover, DMC offered Warren the chance to mix the first volume in its Back to Mine series of downtempo albums. In particular, 2001 was a big year for Warren; the New York-based Mixer magazine chose his Renaissance: Revelation mix album on Ultra Records (also featuring Danny Howells) as its album of the year, and his second Way Out West album, Intensify, also proved to be a favorite among not only listeners but critics as well. Further Global Underground volumes followed in 2003 (Global Underground: Reykjavik), 2005 (Global Underground: Shanghai), and 2007 (Global Underground: Paris). ~ Jason Birchmeier