D.Ramirez Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, D.Ramirez. Let’s begin with your new single with Denney, ‘Raven’ for Crosstown Rebels. What is the significance of that particular bird as a choice for the title?

Thanks for having me. I live near Victoria Park in London and I walk through there every day on my way to my studio; one day I noticed that the only bird I see in that park is the Raven and there are hundreds of them, and only them. One day I saw I guy in a car feeding them and there were literally thousands of them around the car. I wondered if they come from the Tower Of London where they are kept and that’s where the fascination started, Raven being an aptly titled name for the track.

What do you think the collaborative process brings to creating music compared with doing it solo? Can you tell us about how the two of you worked on the project, and talk us through how one of the tracks was made?

Working with a collaborative partner is totally different to working on your own and as such the process is also different. I find it takes a lot longer to get the track right as you have to think about the other person you’re with and their tastes and agendas. We work really slowly and how it works is Denney will come into my studio with an idea, or a vocal, or some sounds – then we sketch it out, take it away, we play it out to a few people and then we come back. This can go on for years!

Still I Rise, contains a vocal with a powerful message. Do you feel there is enough of that in dance music today?

We have a duty as humans to bring to light the struggles and the messages of our fellow people for the sake of evolving human consciousness and the poem from May Angelou is such a beautiful message, delivered with such sass and confidence, it resonates far beyond the words she speaks. Dance music is great a tool for delivering such a message and hopefully her words will resonate with even more people around the globe.

The faceboook picture of your studio shows you surrounded by synthesizers. How long did it take to build up the collection? Which was the most difficult to get hold of, and which one do you use most often?

I have been collecting synths for around 40 years, some have been sold, others are recent and new. My favourite is my original Korg MS20 which is over 40 years old now! I have a Roland SH101 that I borrowed (and never gave back) from my best mate back in 1983 and I still have it to this day in the east same condition it was when I got it. The one I use all the time is the new Sequential Prophet 6 and you’ll hear it all over any of my tracks. It’s an absolute beast!

Outside of Club music who are your most important influences? Are there any writer’s, painters etc who have had an impact on what you do creatively?

I’m very much into spirituality and consciousness and one of my main influences is Dr Wayne Dyer who’s message changed my life back in 2006 when I was introduced to him by my ex. He himself introduced me to another amazing guy called David R Hawkins who’s book ‘Power Verse Force’ led me to another place in my life where everything changed. I live my life in a conscious, mindful way, and I no longer care what others think of me which has made working in the music industry far less challenging and I’m now free to express my creativity without worry of people liking what I do, or not.

Tell us about growing up in Sheffield and the music you encountered there? Any particular club nights you went to which left an impression?

Sheffield is an amazing place and back in the 80’s as I was growing up we had such a vibrant electronic music scene with bands such as The Human League, ABC, Cabaret Voltaire, Heaven 17 which heavily influenced the music I write today. In the late 80’s very early 90’s Warp Records started and had a club night where the DJ’s that worked at Warp Records played, the club was Occasions and the night was called Club Superman and honestly (speaking through rose tinted specs of course) was THE BEST night I have EVER experienced. Nothing has will ever come close to how good the music was there and the early Warp Records scene was and still is mind blowing!

What is the most important advice you would give to someone new to producing in terms of making their own studio, and also in terms of perseverance in today’s industry?

Quite simple – believe in yourself, don’t care what others say, don’t look for the validation of others, work hard and never give up, do it for the love and not for the fame.

And finally. Can you share with us any plans for moving into 2020?

I’m continuing to make music for the sheer pleasure of it while not putting so much pressure on myself so watch this space and let’s see what comes out. Thanks for the wonderful interview and thanks for having me.

http://dramirez.co.uk

Denney & D.Ramirez – Raven – is released October 4 on Crosstown Rebels
buy http://classic.beatport.com/release/raven/2713858


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Denney & D.Ramirez – Raven – Crosstown Rebels

There’s something about this production as it captures feelings not necessarily so sweet though clearly epic in proportion. Wild, abandon infuses the arrangement as the click of punctuating drums add a well-crafted funkiness into the rhythm section, leaving space for the smouldering bassline to shine in dark bliss. The atmospherics, which are rich and heavy, cumulate in the sort of ecstatic breakdown sound systems were primed for as the pulse of classic Detroit runs throughout. Raven is an edgy yet sublime slice of music supplying the luxury of forward thinking, finely tuned ideas feverishly into the forthcoming decade. Still I Rise, continues the theme this time with deliberately evocative voices spelling out a familiar message, yet always potent. The bass once again bites complimenting the compelling drums as electronics are suitably warped into submission.

Release: October 4

http://dramirez.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/DenneyMusic
http://www.crosstownrebels.com

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Denney & D.Ramirez – Stranger Things – Crosstown Rebels

This sizzling cross-section of pulverising electronics pitches itself perfectly between human expression and machine induced funkiness. Stranger Things, feels every bit like the anthemic number it so obviously is combining words that matter alongside music that points in the right direction. The remix comes care of dubspeeka who tints it with a darker sheen of brooding sound and atmosphere’s while letting the vocal breathe. Afraid, is anything but subtle stamping its bold tempo with Tribal drums and stereo ripping, bass-heavy keys plus a tastefully contrasting sensuous voice.

Release: November 3

https://www.decks.de/t/denney_d_ramirez-stranger_things/cb2-hd

http://www.crosstownrebels.com

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reviews:74

roberto rodRoberto Rodriguez
Dance Like Nobody’s Watching EP
Freerange Records

Rodriguez returns to the label after his previous 2008 outing with two new tracks that define 2013 as much as they do speak about the flux between old and new. Dance Like Nobody’s Watching is nostalgic for sure, but then that will either delight or bore you in equal measure – depending on your outlook on the current retrospection of the American House Music sound which evolved out of 1991. Perhaps, not surprisingly, I love this and Roberto gets it right down to the bone with punchy organ and piano chords adding neat definition to the ‘feel alright’ vocal snippets. Oxymoron then flips the coin with the trackier style that came out of the same era as dark stabs and sizzling hi-hats take center stage. Lusciously intense this keeps you waiting with a tension building arrangement which peaks at the breakdown, while proceeding to push forward with the addition of trademark funky cowbell. The Black Madonna ‘We Still Believe’ version of Dance… finishes by proudly reaffirming the sentiment with heavy-duty kick drums and pure House bass spread out across a sparser selection of piano.

http://www.freerangerecords.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Roberto-Rodriguez/6171688554

 

mikeMike Wall
Different Colours
Hidden Recordings

What I love about Mike Wall’s debut long player for Hidden is the fact that the German producer doesn’t dwell too much on subtleties. Its fast, pounding and very insistent music that is little short of compelling despite its brutal, sometimes beautiful intensity. The title track does what the excellent Mr G does only from a different angle with driving rhythms offset by moody stabs coupled with that breathless quality which you can’t quite seem to escape from. The fierce syncopation continues with All I Ever Wanted getting freaky with its twisted combination of stabs and (almost) Jazzy Sax. And so the story continues until you reach the titles: Suicide, Choose Life, Ketamine, then ending at Suggestion and I guess a climax is reached. Having said that the drum programming is always invigorating while the mood Mike Wall creates throughout is never less than spectacular.

release: January

http://www.hidden-recordings.com/front_content.php?idcat=39

 

I WANT YOU 004Juan Kidd
I Want You
Weirdo

The brilliantly titled Weirdo is the relatively new label from Juan Kidd who also supplies this release, and why not as this is very excellent. I Want You combines fierce old-school piano chords along with punctuating hits of organ which squeeze every atom of energy out of the snare infused groove. Matters then continue to intensify with the introduction of blasting horns and sprinkles of smooth Fender Rhodes. You need this in your life…

release:.January 29 on Beatport

https://soundcloud.com/juankidd/juan-kidd-i-want-you-master

http://www.juankidd.com

 

pets027_1440x1440_3Stefano Ritteri
Nice Up Your Dance
Pets Recordings

Two reasons why I suspect this is an outstanding piece of music. First is that almost despite the straight up shuffling 909 drums everything else feels quite unique; from the shivering bassline to the array of wildly atmospheric synths. Second, is the darkly inspired ‘heavenly father’ voices that pepper the arrangement. Jaymo and Andy George’s Refix ’96 version then turns it upside down with a seriously heavyweight bassline, hints of Sylvester and an altogether deeper reworking of the atmosphere that feels equally sublime and enticing. Second track from Stefano Ritteri is the EP’s title and is a much looser, funkier affair complete with 60’s organ, 70’s guitar licks and Train line sound effects that give it Balearic sense of cheekiness that is too exciting to ignore.

release: January 14

https://soundcloud.com/stefanoritteri/sets/nice-up-your-dance-ep

https://www.facebook.com/StefanoRitteriOfficial

 

bubbaBubba & T-Bone Feat. Abe Duque
Bloodline
Extended Play

Extended Play start the new year on the high that they ended 2012 on. This forward pointing arrangement of machine-funk from Bubba & T-Bone employs tempting Electro beats from the past while also engaging with the current House sensibilities so beloved by the label. New York’s Abe Duque supplies the spoken word and receives a heavy sci-fi treatment on the stunning Original version. A series of five remixes then proceed to deconstruct its meaning starting with Lee Webster who impressively reinterprets Bloodline with low-slung reggae styled bass and techno chords. JC Williams visits Detroit for further inspiration with classic trademark drums and taught rhythms reigniting the vocal, with the Ten Story version getting deeper, and Sean Roman & Dick Diamonds Re-Salt mix doing likewise with a sprinkling a cutting stabs. Denney rounds off with more hot bassline action and stripped back beats which develop the mood notably as the breakdown arrives.

release: January 21

https://www.facebook.com/extndply?fref=ts

 

Ronnie Laws
Mr Nice Guy/ Classic Masters
Soul Music Records

I guess when you think of Ronnie Laws you probably think of his timeless classic Always There from 1975. But as with most artists it’s good to dig a little deeper to see what else there is . For the record Always… (also covered by Side Effect & Incognito) is undoubtedly a gem and is featured here from his 1985 Classic Masters album, which also collates his finest work from the 70’s to early 80’s. The following Love Is Here moves along similar lines, although with a slower funkier groove that again displays his undoubted prowess as a player/ composer. Indeed apart from the very occasional dated 80’s sounding moment there are plenty of Jazzy movements to savour here as the finale of Saturday Evening plays out with some seriously tasty piano. The first half of this double set re-release is his 1983 album Mr Nice Guy whose opening Can’t Save Tomorrow holds a curious appeal, as does the darker Rolling with its taped voices and haunting Saxophone proving to be most alluring.

release: January 21

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/soul-exd.asp?id=3948

http://www.ronnielawsmusic.com

 

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