Posts Tagged ‘Ralph Lawson’

We Love… Ralph Lawson – recording of set 22 July 2012

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Here is a recording of Ralph Lawson‘s second session of his residency with us this summer recorded on the terrace on 22 July 2012.

Featuring tracks from classic artists Oscar G , Murk & Hardrive mixed up with brand new cuts from Joyce Muniz, Jamie Jones, S.K.A.M, Noir & Haze, Flashmob and more.

Our stand out track from the night is an awesome new reworking of Bob Marley’s – Exodus.

You can read more about the man himself and hear his first recording from 24 June 2012 right here. Here are the photos to accompany the night.

Photo Gallery 22 July 2012

Ralph will be gracing the Discoteca this weekend 16 September alongside a live set Ibizan debut from Simian Mobile Disco, Agoria, Francesco Tristano playing live and We Love resident Jem Haynes.

Residents Rule – We Love… Ralph Lawson

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Ralph Lawson - the omnipresent gentleman. Suppressing a giggle as he stares into the distance

Long term stalwart and 2020 Vision big gun, Ralph Lawson is a much revered member of the We Love family. Ever since the founding days of the church that is Back to Basics in Leeds, Ralph has been wowing the crowds with his musical taste and his skills behind the decks.

This set was recorded as part of the 2020 Vision Showcase on the Main Terrace at We Love on 24 June 2012. Playing alongside the super-stellar intergalactic line up of Julio Bashmore, Tensnake Live and Crazy P Soundsystem, Ralph certainly showed his protégés who da boss. Fusing together a deep soulful symphony of house in the fashion that has made him one of the leading DJs of his generation, this mix has now been immortalised here on the We Love blog. So bang it on your stereo LOUD and recreate the hands in the air moments on our holy terrace. Here’s to our brother, (we) lover and one man stag do, Ralph Lawson.

Discover more nuggets of trivia about the man himself right here

That Old Chesnut with Ralph Lawson, Mark E and Ian Blevins

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
March 23rd

March 23rd

Alongside local lads 6th Finger, We Love resident Ian Blevins promotes That Old Chestnut; a semi-irregular party in Newcastle England. A booking policy of cutting edge house and disco has seen guests such as Bicep, Mark Rae, Erdbeerschnitzel and Cottam playing along side the seasoned local residents. On Friday March 23rd, in conjunction with fellow north-eastern promoters Ape-X, That Old Chestnut host We Love favorite and 2020Vision head honcho Ralph Lawson for a special event at the Cosmic Ballroom. Joining Ralph on the night is Mark E, a Running Back regular and a leading light in the big ‘slow down’ house music has been going through over the passed 18 months. Expect quality music all night long from both guests and residents; if you’re in the area make sure you check it out. Tickets and more info here.

Ralph Lawson’s Basic Vision

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

image by So Hasegawa

Ralph Lawson is considered an integral part of the We Love family in Ibiza as perennial resident, compilation producer and come closing time an all round force-unto-himself. It’s testament to this affable character that he was a founding father of his own institution of Back to Basics in the heady days of 1991 with Dave Beer and Alistair Cooke in Leeds, West Yorkshire. The resilience of the club speaks for itself with a virtually unopposed claim to being the longest running club night in the world.

To celebrate an astonishing 20 years at the top, Ralph has put together a blog with all the care and attention the moment requires. He will release mixes from different eras at the club, the first of which up is the>music:factory years including the first ever record played at Basics which happened to be auspiciously superb.

The sleeve notes section is the most distinctive part of the blog – more than just a tracklist it’s an encyclopedia of the UK scene told through the records which defined it. This should find favour among heads from back in the day as well as current jocks looking to bring a few bona fide originals into their crates.

Memory can be a strange thing especially in this night life we inhabit. However, Ralph shows here that only with a respect for the past can we look towards our optimistic future. In his own words, “The world doesn’t need another music blog telling you, ‘who the coolest bands are’ or ‘what the coolest new music to download is’ so I won’t bother. I do hope you’ll find it interesting and a useful tool for uncovering lost gems as well finding new experiences.”

The Music Factory Years 91-94 part one by ralphlawson


We Love The Warehouse Project

Friday, September 30th, 2011

After a few years absence from the Manchester party circuit we are very pleased to be back at The Warehouse Project hosting something of an Ibiza closing party. For this special event we have invited some of our favourite acts from this Summer’s Space residents and guests.

Now in his tenth year as a We Love… resident, technical maestro James Zabiela headlines the event. Joining him is the true godfather of techno Derrick May. Nic Fanciuli makes a welcome return to the We Love fold and is joined by Ralph Lawson’s full live band 2020Soundsystem. Next up we have Geddes and newly initiated We Love resident jozif. Completing the line up Jem Haynes and Mat Playford bring the sounds of the Space Discoteca and Terrace respectively to the Picadilly car park.

Tickets here.

A Summer In The Life, 2010 – Andrew Livesey #8

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

And they say nurses have it bad… This summer our roving brand evangelist Andrew Livesey took to the skies taking the We Love… party with him. Taking in London, Montenegro, Croatia and parts of the world only accessible by boat, the summer series of We Love tours featured standout performances from Groove Armada, DJ Hell, 2020Soundsystem, Ewan Pearson, Todd Terje and Lottie to name only a few. A special mention must go to Mat Playford and Jem Haynes who fulfilled their role as touring residents spectacularly. Along the way Andrew managed to break himself away from sampling the local cuisines for long enough to take a few photos of what was going on.

We Love... Montenegro

We Love... Montenegro

Jem Haynes Takes on Top Hill

Jem Haynes Takes on Top Hill

Groove Armada pack them in at Ministry of Sound

Groove Armada pack them in at Ministry of Sound

Not so speedy boarding

Not so speedy boarding

The beautiful Adriatic cost

The beautiful Adriatic cost

Step up Mat Playford

Step up Mat Playford

2020Soundsystem bring the heat in London

2020Soundsystem bring the heat in London

Always time for a swift pint

Always time for a swift pint

Always end on a Kebab!

Always end on a Kebab!

Interview with 2020 Vision’s Ralph Lawson

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

By guest writer Jonty Skrufff.

The one man stag-do

“It’s all about new ideas. Those with the best ones will win.”

Living his entire adult life in club culture and chatting to Skrufff just hours after finishing a three day long Balearic bender, 2020Vision chief Ralph Lawson might be expected to be more than a little grumpy though fizzing with enthusiasm and élan, he’s both energetic and remarkably lucid.

“The weird thing is I have always been able to stay up,” he chuckles. “I have massive adrenaline levels, in fact, I have far more problems going to sleep than staying awake.”

His latest trip to Ibiza has been to headline 2020Vision’s closing party for We Love Space, his last in a season of bashes that have seen him packing out the main dance-floor of the legendary Ibiza superclub each month. After each event, he’s handed out free We Love Space 10 / 2020 Vision mix CDs and label compilation he’s mixed with tracks from 2020Vision signed artists including Crazy P, Simon Baker and Audiojack.

The idea for the giveaway came from We Love (‘I jumped at Mark Broadbent’s offer for the We Love CD’, he admits) and is one of the new concepts he’s hoping will help his label prosper as music sales continually shrink.

“We pressed 11,000 copies and have around 1,000 left still to give out this week and next,” says Ralph, “For a comparison, in 2007 I mixed Fabric 33 which did 12,000 so it’s about the same in terms of numbers. Compilation sales five years ago were in a different league but those days are gone. Mix CDs are lucky to sell 2,000 (units) now. Why would people buy them when they can get podcasts for free? But you have to move with the times rather than get angry about it. It’s like King Canute ordering the sea to go back, it’s not going to happen,” he predicts.

“I gave out a bunch more after my set finished last Sunday and people were biting my hands off for them, if anything I could have done with more,” he laughs.

“I suppose we’ll only start to see the full effect over the next year and see if I am suddenly the next Luciano and We Love is bigger than God. Joking aside I have had amazing feedback both personally and on the internet so I am just glad if people are happy and have a memento of their night to keep for ever.”

Skrufff: What’s been your impression of Ibiza 2010 compared to earlier years?

Ralph Lawson: “I must say I have really enjoyed this summer. I have been lucky to have the monthly We Love residency and every single one has been great although June was perhaps slower due to the World Cup. Personally I love September, my favourite gig was my last one. The crowd are the real deal by this time of year, the hardcore. I went out to DC10 and Cocoon on Monday afterwards and both were packed, with good music as well. I ended up at Ibiza Rocks on Tuesday which was sold out for their closing party. I also played at the Underground in the summer which I love and we did a 2020Vision label show at Zoo Project which went great. So I think overall it’s still very positive for the Island.”

Skrufff: The last time we chatted in 2006, you talked about scaling back from 3 day marathon after-parties (“People don’t realise how much it takes out of you, when you’re partying, time is a different thing, hours pass like minutes and before you know it, it’s fucking Tuesday, then it takes you two days to recover, then it’s the fucking weekend again’): 4 years on, how much does it remain a temptation to get lost in party adventures? When was the last time?

Perfect vision

Ralph Lawson: “Ha Ha, it’s a bad day to ask me as I did go for a full three-nighter this week but hey it was my personal closing party. And yes I feel terrible today. I have been a good boy recently though and mainly concentrating on my work. I have a lot to do in the week. Everyone goes to Ibiza to let their hair down and I’m no exception, if there’s anywhere I will fall off the wagon, it’s there.”

Skrufff: How much has being work focused and less known for being a party animal changed the way people treat you? Have you ever felt not in synch with revellers: or uncomfortable by people caning it around you?

Ralph Lawson: “I think it’s hard to get rid of your reputation, my nickname in Ibiza is ‘stag-do’; because I’m the quiet one who is actually the worst when let out to play. Music keeps me very high. I still love it. As soon as I’m playing music, I’m in the zone and people know that, I don’t have to prove myself by taking every drug on the planet. I know which ones work for me and they are all the mellow ones. I need calming down not revving up. I really don’t mind what anyone else does at all though. The only thing that bothers me is if people try to shove stuff down your neck and get offended if you refuse. People have to respect personal choices.”

Skrufff: Talking about when you were DJing in the early 90s living in a farm outside Leeds, you recalled finding Hopefield Farm when you were homeless, splitting it between 3 of you for £400 in the 90s: sounds like you were quite happy despite being nearly penniless: how broke were you and how long did it take you to turn DJing into a lifelong career?


Ralph Lawson: “I would never be so glib as to suggest being skint is fun. It’s not at all. We happened to get a great deal on the place at the time and made the most of it. I have definitely missed out on the big money some of my contemporaries have made as I’ve always been a resident at Basics where we started getting £30 a week and trying to get it up from there. I don’t think I’ve had a pay rise for over 10 years there. I think I was naive as to what other DJs were getting paid as I just wasn’t in that scene. Of course now I get paid OK when I guest and can’t complain. I have never had to work outside music since 1991 and I don’t plan to so it’s a constant hustle. Maybe I’ll finally be in the big money in the coming years, I actually believe I deserve it, especially when I hear some the guys who get paid up to 10 times more than me.”

Skrufff: What was the closest you came to quitting music and getting a straight job (was it ever an option you seriously considered?)

Ralph Lawson: “Yes I did consider this at times over the years though never for very long. Usually on days like today.”

Skrufff: What do you see the key role of 2020 Vision is these days: how much is it about marketing- and branding your acts as opposed to selling physical units (digital or otherwise?)

Get it while it's hot

Ralph Lawson: “Our key role is to put out great music. Our job now is to find ways of doing this that still create a revenue stream for the artist. For me it has become more about playing live shows and gigs as that is the only place people can’t steal your work. It’s you up there, doing it. Your experience, your skill, your music. There has always been bootlegging since records were invented but now we have a format that is so easy to copy it has got out of control.

It is possible that in the future someone will invent a format that is harder to copy but right now it doesn’t exist for public use. Until then we are focusing on building 2020Vision live. We recently did a sold out show at Village Underground in London for 1000 people with 300 unable to get in outside. That’s gotta’ be a wake up call that I am heading in the right direction with a good crew of artists.”

Skrufff: How much do you see yourself as a brand?

Ralph Lawson: “I was always uncomfortable with brands as such. It reeks of marketing jargon. I also think kids can see through companies that are all about their brand with no substance. Of course you have to build your name but substance has to come first. I prefer to look at it that way.”

Skrufff: How much do you believe in visualising success? Do you (and have you always) been- and felt- lucky? Well? Do you?

Ralph Lawson: “I was lucky at the start because I was in the right time at the right place with the right records. Everything since then has been hard graft. As I grow older I am more and more believing in the visualising idea you suggest. But what’s more important is not thinking or talking about it but doing it.”

Skrufff: What’s been the greatest mistake you’ve made?

Ralph Lawson: “Not signing Trentemoller when I had the chance. That still pisses me off. I should have listened to my instincts which were right and not the track he sent which was wrong.”

Skrufff: And what’s been the greatest obstacle you’ve overcome?

Ralph Lawson: “The deaths of my girlfriend and DJ partner in 1993.”

We Love Space Sundays 10 / 2020Vision summer 2010: mixed by Ralph Lawson is available from various outlets in Ibiza (and almost certainly at We Love’s closing party this weekend (Sunday September 26th).

If you are not one of the lucky ones being in Ibiza for the closings you can get the cd on beatport as well.

Ralph Lawson DJ Profile

We Love… London!

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

We heard Ministry of Sound have installed a spankin’ new, sicker-than-thou custom sound system and we’ve got to pop over from the white isle to check it out. Aural proceedings from DJ Hell, 2020:Soundsystem, Ralph Lawson, Paul Woolford, Todd Terje and Tim Sweeney. It’s gonna be a long, blossoming weekend… More info, here.

We Love Space 2020Vision Summer 2010 – Mixed by Ralph Lawson

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Perfect vision

As always we love to spread the love. This summer a free compilation album will be handed out to visitors in around our venue to showcase talent and tunes from the formidably enduring label 2020Vision. Based in Leeds, owned and operated by Ralph Lawson, his team of dedicated and genuine music lovers have shaped the imprint into one of the most respected house labels in the world. Since it’s inaugural pressing in 1995 the label has achieved it’s status of quality and consistency from the point of view of both artists and the record buying public alike. At We Love we are delighted to have not only a talent such as Ralph, with a label so prestigious as 2020Vision at our disposal to compile this compilation – but also from a promotional point of view being able to provide you, our patrons, an objet d’art at no cost to yourselves is such a simple but effective way to give something back. As Mark says: “Simply the best promotional tool we have used in years, a back page advert in popular monthly music press is around £4000 and 10,000 fully finished CDs costs around £3500 delivered. Do the math.”

Ralph will be playing for We Love on the renowned Space Terrace in Ibiza on June 20th, July 25th and September 12th. There will also be a special appearance from Ralph’s live project when he will roll into Space along with Danny Ward, Fernando Pulichino and Julian Sanza in the form of 2020Soundsystem on the 22nd of August. Their album Falling released last year struck the demanding task of a cross-over electronic album being a clear picture, a representation of the artists involved, a “thing-in-itself” and balancing that with enough dancey, trackey elements for the underground to fall in love with it. We’ll leave it to Ralph to explain how the We Love 2020Vision mix came about and his thought process behind the selection…

“The label mix album came about as an idea from Mark Broadbent from We Love last year with the first one featuring Steve Lawler and Viva. It worked out well for everyone as it profiles the DJ who mixes, their label and also provides clubbers with a soundtrack to their night at Space as a present. I have worked for We Love for many years but in the last couple of years it has really started to click for me on the Terrace. I think firstly there was a move towards my style of House music in recent years and secondly I have enough experience under my belt now to know how to play it and get it going off. It is always a high pressure gig playing at We Love and it takes quite a few attempts to learn how to do it right.

Label compilations are very very hard mixes to do. For a start there are fewer tracks to choose from on a normal mix and also you have to represent as many of your artists as possible which further tightens the selection. Then they have to be put together into a smooth flowing mix! Not an easy challenge. I also wanted it to be as fresh as possible so I chased up producers for exclusive up front material. I also had the idea to include a couple of my favourite remixes from Blaze and Layo & Bushwacka so I had to ask permission for those. As 2020Vision is all about having ‘perfect vision’ we include many styles on the label and I needed to highlight this. The CD starts with Nu Disco from 2020Soundsystem and Crazy P which is actually much slower than House so I worked in tempo changes. It then picks up the pace into House and some more techier moments before leaving people with ‘Lovelee Dae’ by Blaze as a kind of happy last tune to go home on.

That was from the label perspective. I also needed to keep an eye on what works for We Love so I had a rule that all the tracks had to be playable at Space on Sundays. I picked a couple from the last year or so that were big for me on the Terrace last year such as Art Of Tones – Call The Shots and Mark Broom – People. Then I included ones I know I will be busting this year that aren’t out yet like Audiojack – Motion Sickness and Simon Baker – The Trick. I Imagined arriving at Space and heading upstairs to the top floor for a drink on the roof before where I could hear a tracks like ‘Ocean’ and then ‘Love on the line’ before heading down to the covered Terrace as the House starts to thump. A big turning point in the mix is the Radioslave track which is an epic production under his Panorama Garage moniker. As I was mixing the album I visited Berlin with Mark and Sarah Broadbent and we went to Panorama and Berghain. As luck would have it Matt Edwards (Radioslave) delivered his track for the album as I came back to the hotel and I put it straight on the headphones in my hotel room. After a night at the infamous club it totally hit the spot and I listened to it about 5 times in a row enjoying it more each time. Of course it had to go the CD and it marks the moment at a night at Space when the crowd is now ready to go and needs the beats tougher. The strings give a classic feel to the mix and really stand out.

I have a rule that I have to DJ my mixes live. I just feel they are more spontaneous and have a more natural feel that way. I can always tell when they have been pieced together one track at a time. I used Traktor Scratch pro to try mixes and then used Ableton on an Allen and Heath 4D to do the final mix but on the jam page so I could still DJ it. I did it like that so I could edit afterwards. It was recorded at 2020HQ in Leeds.” Ralph Lawson

Office Listening – #5

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Getting experimental this week.

Getting experimental this week.

Julie would like to dedicate her choice to Ruairi this week in honour of his new haircut. Ruairi dedicates his choice to Mark for the advice to get said haircut. And so on, and so forth.


Gold Panda – I Suppose I Should Say Thanks Or Some Shit
Lightning Bolt – Assassins
Bonnie “Prince” Billy – You Don’t Love Me


Alice Cooper – Eighteen
The Coasters – Down In Mexico
Wanda Jackson – Funnel Of Love


Cassius – Almost Cut My Hair
Silver City – Galactic Ride (Ralph Lawson Remix)
Moby – Raining Again


Gerry & The Holograms – Gerry & The Holograms
Nirvana – Plateau
TV On The Radio – DLZ