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DJ Ratty - Profile

David Smith, alias DJ Ratty, was born in Leamington Spa on the 10th July 1969. His DJ name came from an old nickname he had at Myton High School:  he used to have two big front teeth, which he later had knocked out and replaced with two normal set caps so that people would stop calling him the name.

More Info

Interview 1993

After school, he spent two years working in a warehouse packing books, and then he went to Leamington Spa College to do an electrician course.  DJ Ratty started DJing when he was fourteen, back in the Hip Hop days, when he used to mess around with two old turntables.  Friends encouraged him by telling him that he was good, but David already felt he had a good ear for music.

Ratty got into House music because, he say. "Most of my friends were playing it at the time.  I used to go round to their houses to listen to all the mixing.  I weren't into mixing then, I was more of a scratch DJ, but they showed me how to mix and I just took it from there really."

Ratty is one of those DJs that broke the ground relatively quickly due to some lucky breaks.  For example, there was the time this manager was able to give him the slot of a DJ that didn't return a booking at a Perception gig in Cirencester:  he ended up playing to twelve thousand people for the first time in his life.  He shook like a leaf and did part of it without headphones because he had lost the adaptor plug that made his phones fit the normal size mixing desk post.  Luckily Simon 'Bassline' Smith was around long enough to lend him his.

From then on, he made a huge impact on the scene - although the scene he doesn't seem to have made a big impact on him:  when I asked him when and how it all began, he said, "Arrh, I'd say about four or five years ago...?"

At present, the style of music he plays he describes as having a lot of breaks in: "...a lot of dark sounds - a slowed down, warped kind of sound."  As far as the current hype surrounding the DJ these days is concerned, Ratty says,  "I'm the same old person I was before - I just enjoy playing music for the crowd.  You like the credit when you get it, but you don't get bigheaded about it."

Ratty's best nights were in his old home town:  "They were rocking.  We used to do this dingy little pub call the Cork and Fork in Leamington every Saturday. That was the first place I ever played, and people loved it.  It was a really good atmosphere."

Regarding his future career, he says.  "I think I'll always be a DJ, but I'd like to get into making music." Without hesitation, he says his favourite DJ is: "Grooverider - he's got to be rated above everybody.  He's been there from the beginning, and he's still in there now pulling in the punters."

Equally quickly, he tipped his favourite newcomer as: "DJ Tango- he's been making music for a long time, and he's got a good ear for it.  His mixing's spot on - a similar style to my quick mixing.  He's on the ago all the time, he ain't lazy, and he's got determination to get there as well.  Basically he knows what he's playing and knows how to play it properly."

His only pastime or interest outside of DJing and music is golf.

Links to Fantazia

DJ Ratty played at many Fantazia events including:

Fantazia New Year 1991
Fantazia Second Sight
Fantazia Summertime
Fantazia One Step Beyond
Fantazia Showcase
Fantazia Club Tour
Fantazia New Year 1992
Fantazia Birthday Party
Fantazia Australia Club Tour 1994

CDs of these sets can be bought here


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