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Featured DJ Chart: Ralph Lawson (2020 Vision)

He probably won’t like us calling him this, but Ralph Lawson now qualifies as one of the elder statesmen of the UK electronic music scene. He has held court at legendary Leeds party Back To Basics for 17 years (indeed he spun the first record at the night), so it’s safe to say he knows his disco and house onions better than most. The 20:20Vision imprint, which Ralph launched with Carl Finlow in the mid nineties, is rightly regarded as one of the most important dance imprints of this generation, and he also tours the world as part of the 20:20Soundsystem – essentially the all star 20:20Vision team – who have been responsible for closing proceedings at many a Saturday night at Sonar. Thus we considered ourselves quite lucky to nab him for a moment and find out his top tunes of the month…

1. FCL – Vocals For Everyone (We Play House)

I have lost count the number of times I have started a DJ set with “More Than Seven”.   It is just such a great opener, every time I get people coming up to me and asking what it is. “Is it old, is it new ?”  Well it sounds like a classic but it’s new.  I love the cheeky reference to Hercules – “7 Ways” which is an all time favourite of mine as well.”

2. 2020Soundystem – Ocean (Ray Mang remix) (20:20 Vision)

“This is still on vinyl only.  At 2020 we always release our vinyl first, partly as a thank you to stores like Juno for supporting us over the years but also so we can gauge the interest on a release. It is becoming a good way of doing promo. Tracks get lost in the digital melee. It is not a statement about supporting vinyl but a way to use vinyl to best effect in the 21st century. I have had loads of people asking me about this record as it is the first track on my current We Love 2020Vision mix. A big one for the summer and a great closing track in our live sets.”

3. Daniel Stefanik – Tripando Los Colores (Mobilee)

I have had this on promo for a while and loved it straight away.  The cut of the two is from Stefanik.  The whole 5 years of Mobilee series is impressive and there are many others to check out.  This works great on the dancefloor.”

4. Burnski – Coming Home (20:20Vision)

I included this as it is the kind of record everyone should own on vinyl.  I find myself buying vinyl if it is pre-release, exclusive or just so darn good that I want to own a real copy.  Still young there is such a bright future for this lad from Hartlepool. “Coming Home” is a sophisticated production well ahead of the game.”

5. Session Victim – On The Roll (Retreat Germany)

Jimpster put me onto this one.  I can’t see it out digitally yet and it is just the sort of slow chugging deep house that is currently getting butts shaking across summer sessions around Europe.  If you like Mark E or MCDE then pick this one up.”

6. Justin Vandervolgen – Clapping Song (Golf Channel)

Mr !!!, Out Hud and TBD produces a belter here. I am not sure where the track is taken from or if it is a reversion of an oldie as it well could be. As usual it has nothing to do with anything else out there and stands out from the crowd. If you missed them you can also check out the TBD mixes of ‘Psycho’ from the 2020Soundsystem. Intense claps, synths and Italo-esque bassline make this a winner for those who dare to be different.”

7. Christophe – Make A Mark (Redux)

Balearic is back or should it be Adriatic? I recently went to Croatia for the first time for The Garden Festival and it really blew me away. The sound of the festival is heavily nu disco flavoured thanks to the hot hot sunshine and relaxed heads out there. There are daily boat trips and this would have gone down beautifully in Rub & Tug’s set I checked out on the Tirk one. Reminiscent of Electra – “Autumn Love” in feel this had me back on the beach in Ibiza in the early 90s but then I’m showing my age!”

8. Rocha – Feel the Love (Greg Wilson version) (International Feel)

Adriatic vibes again on this one but from a South American perspective. Uruguay did ever so well in the World Cup and it looks like they have some good players outside football too. Rocha are a couple of Architecture students from Punta De Este which is the party capital of Uruguay, looks like they are good at building musical structures too. GW does us proud with a great version of “Feel the Love”.”

9. Morning Factory – Forgotten Moments (Yore)

This isn’t brand new but I think it has been overlooked. The track for me is Raw Tunes 1.  I’ve got great memories of playing this at Cocoon in Frankfurt just as the club had filled and the smoke and lights kicked off, it really caught the wave. I have already signed them to 2020 on the strength of this EP so I’m putting my money where my mouth is. Snap it up and check out the new EP Dazin’ when it drops – and yes the name is taken from the Chez Damier and Ron Trent song.”

10. Quarion – Se Te Ve 4 (Plak)

Everyone is trying to reproduce that classic 90s Prescription sound right now, some badly, some well.  Quarion is another original artist who always makes my ears prick up, this time he gives his interpretation of Chez n Trent but does it well. 909 snares and ‘on purpose’ LoFi production give this a chunky feel with a skippy swing.”