Back to Basics - DJ Resident Ralph Lawson
Ralph Lawson (2020 Vision, Basics)
Moving to Leeds in the late eighties, Ralph must have had second thoughts about the place with it's gothic buildings and beer n brawling attitude alongside it's dormant club culture. The fact that his favourite bands came from the city may just have tipped the balance, and a generation of clubbers can be thankful of that fact.
Ralph holds the honour of playing the first ever record at Back to Basics, and there is a very good chance that he will play the last if that fateful day ever rears up it's ugly head. Resident dj for 9 glorious years now, the success and vibe of Leeds' best ever club may be just one factor that has prevented Ralph from being mentioned in the same breath as some of the big-money djs of today. That he has not got a single commercial bone in his body is another. Preferring to play one set per night in a club in order to give that club his all, Ralph was never going to get the same national exposure as those other djs. But Ralph is no other dj. Don't ask us, ask Bill Brewster who recently described Lawson as Britain's best kept secret.
As more top US and European djs came to Leeds and witnessed Ralph's smooth-as-a-baby's-bum style, so the requests flooded in from abroad for his deck services. Ralph has played at just about every good club under the sun, and he would probably agree that the highlight of his career was playing to 20,000 people on Bondi Beach on Millenium Eve. He is also surely one of the few foreign djs to have made it in Moscow, a special night that was commemorated by the release of a cd recorded live on the night by Barcelonan label, Minifunk. Not bad for one who has been unnecessarily tarnished with the rather restrictive title of "deep house dj" for some years now.
Never one for resting on his laurels, Ralph has always kept a healthy interest in making music and, as an ex-drummer, was always destined to progress onto studio work. With Carl Finlow, and occasionally Huggy, Ralph has been responsible for a number of highly rated productions.. Most notably, Ralph collaborated with Chez Damier and Stacey Pullen early in his career, which must have had a profound effect on the way he approached production. With Carl, Ralph has recorded as Wolf n Flow and Urban Farmers.
2020 Vision, Ralph's record label, has been going for five years now. To quote Carl Finlow,
"2020 has grown up and is no longer a baby. It has just started school, and has made some great new friends. Each day it learns more and more and always tries to do it's homework. If it continues as it is doing, it will mature into one of the schools very brightest pupils."
With an ever increasing roster of artists from as far afield as Montreal and Helsinki, Avignon to Manchester, what started out for Ralph as a hobby is fast becoming an international enterprise of some repute.
Not satisfied with making his own music and releasing the music new artists, Ralph has earned himself a significant niche as a remixer. As always with Carl, Ralph has famously remixed artists that include Felix Tha Housekatt, David Bowie, Blaze, Jori Hulkkonen, Shawn Christopher and many more.
Now a regular guest at places like Fabric, Bugged Out and Home, and with his productions and remixes appearing regularly in the playlists of today's top djs, the sky is the limit for this most talented of people. But maybe even that is not beyond Ralph's capabilities.
RALPH LAWSON Basics, 2020 Vision
· JOY, LEEDS 1989-91
· BACK TO BASICS, LEEDS 1991-97
· GATECRASHER, SHEFFIELD 1997-98
· BASICS, LEEDS 1998-
· NATURE, EDINBURGH 2000-
INFO: Ralph is best known as the original resident DJ at the legendary Leeds based club Back to Basics. However he actually started with the first days of the northern house scene at Joy club in 1989. The infamous B2B club began in 1991 and went on to make headlines all over the world. In 1992 B2B was voted Best club by Mixmag readers. B2B moved venues in 1994 for a welcome new lease of life and the first late license in Leeds. Ralph began to play regular 5-6 hour sets each week alongside the worlds finest guests. After a brief spell at Gatecrasher which also won Best club while Ralph was resident, he returned home to Leeds and the new B2B incarnation BASICS. Again, in its first year, the club won Best club in the Muzik Ericcson dance awards, as the smaller more intimate venue created a truly spectacular atmosphere. As all this was going on Ralph started 2020 Vision records which in the last few years has itself gained international acclaim. The production arm of the operation has gained respect for their work with Blaze, Joey Negro, Swag and Felix the Housecat while the record label has now produced three sell out tours in Europe, under the name Transvision Express. RL and 2020 are now looking to expand with subsequent tours in the USA and Australasia. Next stop ??? Well we would say the sky's the limit but we're not that narrow minded.
Ralph recorded a mix compilation album with Derrick Carter and Andrew Weatherall to celebrate 5 years at B2B for six 6 records. This year Minifunk Records will release the "Ralph Lawson - Live at Gramaphone, Moscow" compilation.
"Visionaries" a mix compilation series to be released on Ralph's 2020 Vision label, will be kickstarted by Ralph himself in the winter of 2000.
· Ralph presented The Trans Europe Express show on Galaxy FM every Saturday night for three years He has also worked for Kiss Fm and appeared twice on Pete Tong's Essential mix show on Radio 1.
· Ralph has also made regular appearances on the Slam produced radio show broadcast throughout Scotland and the North of England.
· Finally, Ralph has made special appearances on Radio Nova (Paris), Radio FG (Paris), Sonar Radio (Barcelona) and Radio Mafia (Helsinki)
Ralph is best known as a resident DJ, but he is also an experienced guest playing at some of the worlds finest clubs:
SYDNEY @DECADANCE, HOME, MONKEY, MOBILE HOME (NY2K with Carl Cox), UNDEGROUND CAFÉ
CAIRNS @THE CATHOUSE
PERTH @ RELOAD
LONDON @MINISTRY OF SOUND, UNIVERSE, THE GALLERY, TURNMILLS, THE GARDENING CLUB, BAR RHUMBA FULL CIRCLE, SATELLITE CLUB, PLASTIC PEOPLE, THE END, THE CROSS, HOME.
LIVERPOOL @BUGGED OUT, CREAM, LIME LOUNGE
BIRMINGHAM @BAKERS, THE INSTITUTE.
NOTTINGHAM @VENUS, DIY, THE BOMB.
MANCHESTER @HACIENDA, BUGGED OUT, PARADISE FACTORY, THE STATE.
BRISTOL @LAKOTA, CLUB LOCO, THE THECKLA, FRUITY ANTICS.
IRELAND @ZOOBAR TEMPLE BAR, THE POD, SIR HENRY'S.
EDINBURGH @TRIBAL FUNKTION, DISUKO, NATURE, REBEL WALTZ.
GLASGOW @THE SUB CLUB THE ARCHES.
BRIGHTON @THE ZAP, THE ESCAPE.
CHICAGO @SHELTER, RED DOG.
DETROIT @MOTOR LOUNGE
MONTREAL @SONAR, STEREO.
NEW YORK @SOUNDFACTORY BAR, ROXY.
SAN FRAN @ NIKITA, STOMPY STOMP.
GAINESVILLE @ THE HOUSE, SIMONS.
BARCELONA @MOOG CLUB, SONAR FESTIVAL, OTTO ZUTZ, LA BOITE, OCTOPUSSY, RACHDINGUE.
FRAGA @FLORIDA 135
MARBELLA @OH MARBELLA
IBIZA @SPACE, PACHA, KU, PRIVILEGE.
MADRID @BOCCACIO, MID-DAY, PACHA, DEEP.
STUTTGART @M1 CLUB
PARIS @REX CLUB, QUEEN CLUB,
BRUSSELS @FUSE, FOOD CLUB.
MOSCOW @ GRAMAPHONE
OTAKU-PERCUSSION OBSESSION (SOMA)
OTAKU- EMELIA (SOMA)
WULF N' BEAR-SPACE GROOVER (2020)
WULF N'BEAR-RAPTURES OF THE DEEP ( 2020)
WULF N'BEAR-DOUBLEPACKS VOL.1 (2020)
WULF N'BEAR-DOUBLEPACKS VOL.2 (2020)
WULF N'BEAR-BODY MUSIC (2020 VISION)
WULF N'FLOW-ECHO BEACH EP (2020 VISION)
WULF N' FLOW-NORTHERN STROLLIN (PAGAN)
WULF N'FLOW-REACTIVATE (2020 VISION)
WOLF N"FLOW-FEELIN MOODY (MOODY)
20/20 VISION PRESENTS-FUTURE REMEMBRANCE (SOMA)
CHUGGLES-THANK YOU (PRESCRIPTION UNDERGROUND)
CHUGGLES-I REMEMBER DANCE (PRESCRIPTION UNDERGROUND)
CHUGGLES-DEEP ALARM (2020)
THE CLASSIC EP-DEDICATION TO JOS (SERIOUS GROOVES)
URBAN FARMERS-LAST CHANCE TO DANCE (PAGAN)
URBAN FARMERS-THE HUSTLE (PAGAN)
URBAN FARMERS-L.D.M (AFRO ART)
URBAN FARMERS-LOLITA (2020)
URBAN FARMERS-ERA (2020)
SHIELDED EP (2020)
SHELTERED EP (2020)
FELIX THE HOUSECAT-THEE LIGHT (BUSH) REMIX
DEJA VU-DEJA VU (COWBOY) REMIX
AFRICAN DREAMS-ALL I THE SAME FAMILY (SLIP N"SLIDE) REMIX
SECRET KNOWLEDGE-ESCAPE TO NEW YORK (DECONSTRUCTION) REMIX
D.I.Y-THE MESSAGE (DIY DISCS) REMIX
TEN BAR- BURNIN' UP (2020) REMIX
TELEX- THE VOICE (SSR) REMIX
SECOND CRUSADE- MAY THE FUNK BE WITH YOU (ARISTA) REMIX
ROADTRIP- ON THE ROAD AGAIN (2020 VISION) REMIX
GALACTIC DISCO- 4TH DIMENSIONAL BLUES (G.D) REMIX
BLAZE-WISHING YOU WERE HERE (SLIP N'SLIDE) REMIX
BLAZE-FUNKY PEOPLE (PLAYHOUSE) REMIX
DE-PHAZZ-MAMBO CRAZE(UCMG) REMIX
AKABU-YOUR WILDEST DREAMS (NRK) REMIX
HAKAN- WALKAWAY (LOADED) REMIX
DJ DOVE- COME ON (MN2S) REMIX
SWAG- SPACEJAM (ODORI/PRIMITIVE) REMIX
SHAWN CHRISTOPHER - MAKE MY LOVE (CHAMPION) REMIX
JORI HULKKONEN - WANNA DO YOU (F-COMM) REMIX
ANTI TRANCE TERRORISTS - WHO DUNNIT (CREATIVE) REMIX
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