JUSTIN Robertson has remained a creative force across the cutting edge of techno, house and dub for the best part of two decades.

Along with fellow acid house veteran Andrew Weatherall, he injects as much effort into his attire as he does dance music.

But wardrobe aside, it’s as a producer, songwriter and DJ where he’s had most influence.

Since he journeyed up to Manchester and burnt his ears on the Hacienda’s dancefloor back in the late-80s, Robertson has had a helping hand in steering the direction of British electronic music, and re-mixing mega hits for Bjork, Erasure, Paul Weller and The Chemical Brothers, either as himself or as The Prankster or Revtone.

And renowned for his devastating techno sets, mix-master Robertson is sure to have the sound systems wobbling as he prepares to storm The Fortress stage at tomorrow’s Beat-Herder festival in the Ribble Valley.

“It is my second time at Beat-Herder and it is the type of festival that restores your faith in humanity, the vibe is that good,” he said.

“When you turn up to play it feels like a magical mystery tour, all these incredible, warm, people putting their heart and soul into something that is just very special indeed.

“I live in London, but coming to the Ribble Valley lifts the spirits, and it is difficult to imagine a more beautiful setting for a festival.

“Some festivals are without any soul, but Beat-Herder and the location is the sort of place that draws you back time and time again.”

It was in Manchester, at the height of the acid house revolution, that his musical career began. Working behind the counter at Eastern Bloc Records, he went on to DJ at the Konspiracy Club, and began his own hugely successfully Sunday club Spice with fellow mix-man Greg Fenton.

“I’d become a music obsessive and ended up going to Manchester to study at university – although perhaps more to study Factory Records and football,” Justin recalled.

“The acid house thing was absolutely momentous and in a way that DIY ethic of music was just as important as punk because it changed so much and we are still feeling the after-shock today.

Robertson admits the transition from DJ to producer always felt like a natural move: “I don’t differentiate that much between DJ-ing and making music – I think they feed off each other.

“When I first put out records as Lionrock, they sold tens of thousands within weeks. And that kind of traditional record industry structure meant there were funds around to invest in weirder projects.

“The downside was that much of the business was controlled by fairly small interest groups and some dubious industry types.

“The digital age has liberated that process and enabled people to do their own things.

“The downside of digital? It’s much harder to make a decent living.”

  • Beat-Herder, July 5-7. Tickets still available from www.beatherder.co.uk or Townsend Records.