Danny J Lewis (Music Production Tutorials/ Ruff Trx) Q&A

Congratulations on the release of the remixes of: Spend The Night on Ruff Trx. Can you tell us about the ethos behind the label, and the choice of remixers for the record?

dannyBasically with Rufftrx I wanted to push out the kind of dubs that I used to make in the 90s. I was feeling that Enzyme Black Recordings had got a bit ‘polished’ and tired so it was time for a change. I put out a series of EPs i’m really proud of and when I got the rights back to the original mixes of spend the night Rufftrx felt like the right label to release them on.

The choice of remixers was very organic to be honest, in fact the whole process happened incredibly naturally. Samson had remixed Spend the Night a couple of years back for his own DJ sets and sent it to me. The early version was great but I felt he could do better so I encouraged him to go for something a bit more contemporary and he turned out some real magic. I was originally going to release just his mix but then Golf Clap asked me if I was up for a remix swap. It was good timing and I spotted an opportunity to beef up the remix package. I said yes, did my mix and asked if they could reciprocate with Spend The Night. I’m really pleased with what I did for them and extremely happy with what they did for me – it’s a solid, bass heavy and chunky slab of good old fashioned Deep House. Soulfunktion was a similar story; they wondered if i’d do a swap mix on the Mike City “Hold The Key” track and I spotted another chance to add to the package. I love what Brian and Wally have done with the track, it’s ended up a lush sunshine infused Ibiza Pool Party anthem. The other mixes are me; an update to my original mix and a slamming new London-centric ‘Carnival’ dub.


How did you first get into Dance music, who was you early influences both as a DJ and Producer?

I was a soul boy in the early 80s who also got into Hip Hop and DC Gogo in a big way. In the latter portion of the decade I was part of the 89 summer of love movement. My influences were mainly the American DJs; Frankie Knuckles, Todd Terry, Roger Sanchez, Kenny Dope, Louie Vega, Lil Louis, Mood II Swing etc. Those guys forged the true sound of the underground for me and I hope I can in some ways carry on that sound with my music.

Can you tell us about your time at Point Blank and how you came to set up the Black Book Audio Lessons via http://musicprotutorials.com

I spent 10 years at Point Blank, initially in the classroom as a lecturer and taught thousands of students in all. I built up the online side of the school and turned it into a significant income stream for the company. When I left I still had the urge to spread knowledge so continued to teach via my youtube channel. I’m shortly to hit 30 thousand subscribers which is amazing.

You also have a very vibrant facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/undergroundmusicproduction what inspired you to set that up and how have you found the response?

I was inspired to setup the group because I felt there was a need for a focused area where underground producers could discuss the tech and business angles. I felt the only way to make it work would be to run it properly and clamp down on spammers and general misbehaviour. So far it seems to be working well.

How would you say House music has evolved since the original release of Spend the Night in the 90’s?

ruffIf I look to other genres like Complextro and Dubstep i’d say it’s evolved a lot. For many other not at all! I could listen to something now and easily it could have come from any period in the last 20 years.

What advice would you give to new DJ’s/ Producers who want to get noticed – does the power of the internet make that easier or more difficult?

There is more opportunity around than ever before. There are fantastic tools that allow any producer at home to get their music out there and that’s an amazing privilege many didn’t have in the past. Couple this with the fact it’s easier than ever to make the music now and you’ve got a ton of junk out there. If you want to stand out try and define a sound of your own.. it’s hard I know but learning sound design and production techniques can help in this area. Networking is key, especially in person.. if you can just get out and about and meet people. It’s way better than just socialising online.

Where can people get to hear you play over the summer?

Nowhere! At the moment i’m not Dj’ing but who knows, I might come out of retirement one day – I do miss some aspects of it for sure.

facebook https://www.facebook.com/dannyjlewispage
twitter https://twitter.com/dannyjlewis
Music Pro Tutorials http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5i1oUMFiBV6W4fu4CjXXAA
Ruff Trx http://www.youtube.com/user/rufftrx

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