Last week we were very privileged to have D Ramirez not only in our TID hot seat but also the host of our weekly show on Ibiza Sonica Radio. A man that is always riding the charts here at TID, Nick Coles catches up with Dean for a quick chat about his label, teaching, oldskool vibes and future projects!
So, where are you right now and what are you up to ?
I am currently at my home in Hackney Wick having just left the studio at 9 PM and I'm ready for a night out with some friends. I can't go too crazy though, I've got a long studio session tomorrow and it will be painful if i don’t get any sleep!
You have been a firm fixture on the house and techno scene for many years, what do you feel is the secret to your continued success as a DJ and Producer ?
I think my secret is sheer tenacity-I'm a hard worker and I absolutely adore what I do. I love being in the studio, it's all I need in life and making music is my number one pleasure. I'll continue to keep doing this while ever I possibly can.
You have recently re-launched your label Slave with a noticeable classic house flavour going down. Do you enjoy watching the younger house fans react to these classic elements that we all grew up on?
Yes, it's really weird because I don't see that music as classic, it's just music that I grew with and it comes really naturally to me. I was fortunate enough to witness the birth of house music and to see it go full-circle is a joy! That fact that the younger generation are into it is just brilliant.
Listen again to last week’s guest mix on Ibiza Sonica Radio.
Not only a label owner, producer and DJ, you are also a regular contributor to the academic side of things through your work with Toolroom Academy, SubBass DJ Academy and various online tutorials. What made you decide to give back? Any further plans in this area?
Teaching is something I really like, mainly because I get to talk about all the things that most people generally don't want to listen to. I’m really passionate about music production and all the technology that goes with it, i love to learn new techniques and i love being able to share those techniques with others. I’ve recently become one of the main advisors for the Toolroom Academy and i’ve just completed a 6 hour long, Tech House Masterclass for Fader pro which is out now which i’m already getting loads of props for. Teaching is something a see a lot in my future as i’ll always want to give back.
Being the start of a new year and a time when aspirations are running high for any creative person, what are your own personal goals for the year ahead ?
This is the year that i’m going to be focusing on my label - i’ve had it since 2004 with a brief hiatus from about 2009 till now (not so brief it seems) and i’ve decided to give it a real push. I’ve took on some new staff and so it’s all systems go!
Any exciting projects, global movements or career developments on the horizon?
Yes, I’ve been working on an album with Mark Knight for the last 6 years and it’s finally nearly ready. Watch this space is all i can say at the moment :-)
There is no question that tracks such 'LA Discotek', 'Bodyroxx' - Yeah Yeah (Remix), 'Downpipe' alongside Mark Knight and Underworld were defining tracks of your career. Aside from these, can you please share with us your three favourite productions and why?
My favourite production to this day is my remix of Roger Sanchez ‘Lost’ which is just genius if i can say so myself. The other 2 are - ‘Wired’ which i love purely for the crazy riff that i managed to squeeze in and 'Brutal Power’ mainly because i’ve never seen a track get such a reaction on a dance floor.
In an age where DJ culture is at it's peak globally, it can sometimes be very hard to get started. What bit of key advice would you give to aspiring DJ's that are trying to break through in this crazy industry ?
Don’t do it - everyone is a DJ these days, learn how to actually produce (properly), the DJ’ing will come naturally once you get known for your productions. Either way, if you don’t want to be a producer you have to get yourself out there and get in front of people and get noticed. You need a new angle, being just a DJ isn’t enough these days - you need to bring something new to the table and impress people with a different skill set. DJ’ing isn’t about skill anymore so you need to bring something different to the table.
On current affairs, what is your take on the UK scene at present? there has been a lot of low blows in 2016 including the tragedy at Studio338, the Fabric issues and now Sankeys right ?
Whatever happens, the rave cannot and will not be stopped! People need to let off steam and get down and dirty and they’ll always find a way. They can close every club in the land and people will still find a way to party. In fact i think sometimes club closures, in particular the London club scene demise isn’t such a bad thing because something better will rise from the ashes, shinier and more streamlined than the last.
Finally, as a producer on the front line, what changes do you think we will see in how music is marketed and digested by music fans (and DJ's) over the coming years?
It will all be given away for free at supermarkets along with the cheese samples!
You can buy all the tracks featured on his recent guest mix here.
Keep up to date with D Ramirez.