Steve Lawler does seem to have dipped on the radar slightly over the past year. But as Steve explains, that's been his choice rather than any reflection on his DJ skills.
"The demand for my gigs has always been there but I had to train myself to start saying 'no'. Constant touring takes it out of you physically and mentally and the musical side was suffering too," says Steve. "I was playing records just to get a certain reaction and there's no creativity or integrity in that.
"Not playing big records has meant smaller crowds but I'm happier not trying to please everybody. It's now about playing cooler gigs that are more important."
Which this year has meant keeping his Viva residency at London club The End, importing the brand to Toronto and returning to Space in Ibiza two years after his acclaimed terrace residency.
Yet Steve's main labour of love this year has been his download-only Viva Music label, with releases from Simon Baker and Italy's Presslaboys reflecting his belief that "there are so many positives with digital music".
The deeper side to Lawler's tastes Viva Music reveals is also apparent in his own recent productions, such as the Audiofly collaboration S.L.A.A.F and forthcoming single 'Violet', as well as the new 'Viva: London' compilation for Renaissance.
"That album is a statement of my mindset," Steve claims. "I've been tagged as progressive, tribal and even minimal but I'm always evolving. I think I lost it for a couple of years but now I'm the best I've been in 17 years of DJing."