Easily holding one of the longest UK club residencies, Ralph Lawson
dropped the very first record at Leeds' clubland institution Back to
Basics way back in 1991 and still remains its resident to this day.
Packing them in week-in, week-out, over its near twenty-year existence
Basics has established itself as one of the best known and best loved
clubs not only in the UK, but the world over.
All the while, Lawson has gone from being, as he puts it, "a thick
DJ", to someone not only skilled in the art of moving a dance-floor but
also working in the studio.
Starting the 20:20 Vision label in a deserted farmhouse in the middle of
Yorkshire's rhubarb triangle, alongside keyboard genius Carl Finlow in
1995, over the years the pair welcomed what now looks like a who's who
of dance music to contribute; Josh Wink, Stacey Pullen, Chez Damier and
Ron Trent, Derrick Carter and Mr C to name but a few.
As the studio grew in stature, 20:20 Vision's talents were even lent to
the likes of David Bowie, Fat Boy Slim and Jamiroquai but despite rubbing
shoulders with these big stars, the pair never lost their grip on the
underground edge. When Finlow left in 2000, to start a new life in Paris,
Lawson grew bored with what was happening around him, becoming hungry for
"I thought clubbing was really boring, all the DJs around at the time
were playing it safe, everything was really repressive, there was no
experimentation, there was no real leftfield; it had become such a boring
mass-produced experience." – Ralph Lawson
An opportunity to collaborate with Manchester's Fat City label in 2002
for their 'Stars on 33' mix album whirled Lawson into a new world of
inspiration. Around this time his work with drummer Dubble D was also
released and the following year, while sifting through a towering pile of
demos, he found a gem in the form of Argentinean-band, Silver City.
Fortuitous coincidences and perhaps a destined like-mindedness brought
them all together in the studio and soon after 20:20 Soundsystem was born,
the trio going on to take their energetic live act, combining Lawson's
turntable talents with the drumming of Danny Ward, Fernando Pulichino's
bass-playing and Julian Sanza's keys, around the world in support of
their own 'No Order' album and Dubble D's 'Reaching Out'
Last year saw Ralph Lawson join a list of talented DJs and producers
who've contributed to Fabric's Mix Series; combining thick acidic
basslines and swelling crescendos for its 33rd instalment. This year's
he's set to release a follow-up to 20:20 Soundsystem's debut, but till
then the long-time friend of the Subculture makes a long overdue return�