Danny Rampling in Dubai : TimeOut Dubai
Danny Rampling Interview
Early December sees a weekend of Shoom 25 parties in London, marking the momentous birthday of the famous acid house night. We spoke to Danny Rampling about these parties, his plans to get back into radio, Ibiza memories and that retirement party…
Hey Danny, would like to start just by touching on your radio career, obviously you played on Kiss & R1 for such a long time. Do you still miss that weekly connection to a radio audience that you had through the LGDP?
Yes I am missing it more than ever and have plans to get back where I belong on radio in 2013. Radio is an important part of my career in music and after 20 plus years’ experience I feel I’ve perfected the craft of presenting. Radio is much fun also and more importantly promotes music to a wider audience .
I remember recording those shows every week became a real pre-going out ritual. As was bothering Paul Farris and Goldie in Uptown / Blackmarket the following week for all the new bits you’d played! How much music were you getting sent every week at the height of your Radio One days? and what did you do with it all?
I was being sent three large mail bags weekly of vinyl promos along with stacks of CD promos, my assistant DJ Paul Warren was a great help in filtering out unfinished unsuitable productions. Thursday and Friday was always so exciting, receiving deliveries by motorcycle courier, many straight from the studio. Acetates of upfront tracks, first powerplay productions, remixes every weekend, I was like a kid on Christmas morning opening mailers to such great music and then playing those cuts to the nation & creating a buzz. We broke so many tracks on the shows over the years, It was also wonderful to be awarded silver and gold discs when the productions became huge hits (for my radio club support by the record companies and artists)
Do you think traditional radio still has the relevance & reach now that it did say ten years ago? Especially with the ease of access to music via the internet, and things such as Boiler Room streaming live performances every week over the web.
There still is a need for traditional radio particularly national stations like BBC Radio 6 for example. As great as online radio is and it has certainly transformed radio with huge variety, at present online radio is not available on the move, in cars on long journeys and many listen to radio in transit or whilst at work. I feel online digital stations are great, however you cannot beat that FM warm reception. There is a great difference in quality between the two sounds .
Let’s talk about Shoom a little bit; I would have been ten in 1988 so I obviously never went! But its funny how the club held a few hundred and yet everyone says they were a regular.. Does that give you a sense even now of how important it was/still is to people?
Shoom was the catalyst in London for the youth culture and House music movement back in 88, it was the early blueprint for the rave scene that later become the UK festival scene. There is no video footage of the club which has added an air of mystery. The love of the club also comes from the fact there was a strong message of unity that helped bring a generation together as one, and shape a scene which many people still have much affinity towards.
We live in very challenging and troubled times with conflict & discontent across the world, I feel things may well go full circle. Here we are 25 years later in similar economic & social decay and we as people always want reminding of times that make us feel happy and have made a difference in our lives.
Shoom made a very positive impact on all who attended and friendships were made for life. There is a continued interest in many of the clubs that contributed to our music culture like The Paradise Garage ,The Sound Factory, Wigan Casino, The Loft, Studio 54 & The Hacienda to name a few.
As I’m sure most people will know you’re doing a weekend of Shoom 25th anniversary parties this month, can you tell us a bit about the thoughts behind these & after such a long time why now?
The thoughts behind the events are of mixing past and present with audio & visual. Shoom 25 is not a reunion, more of a major celebration of our music culture. We have combined original innovators Derrick May, myself, Farley and Heller, Trevor Fung, Mark Moore, Larry Tee, Alfredo & Leo Mas (who were certainly a great inspiration in Ibiza back then to me and thousands of others)
The original innovators along with new wave of DJ innovators: Mat Playford, Space Ibiza, great DJ and one of the UKs finest producers. James Priestley from Secretsundaze who always delivers and is very integral to the London scene. Kris Di Angelis who is an amazing DJ on the London gay scene, Kris plays 23 different musical instruments and is set to become a leading producer in his own right . Ilona Inc : USA female DJ who has great energy and rocks the floor. Legendary Children from Dalston East London, just DJ’s who play great music.
Shoom was, and in the present is, about promoting new talent,music & ideas creatively with positive vibes.
I read the Shoom article in the Sun online the other week, did it surprise you to be asked to contribute that? and does it feel like coming full circle given that publication’s well documented history with acid house?
Time has moved on and agreed the Sun were not supportive of the early acid house rave scenes, however what the newspaper did by publishing shock sensationalist stories helped fuel the rave scene across the UK, and within weeks everyone wanted to be part of it.
I feel the Sun’s website section for the music scene is supporting clubs, new talent, labels and music on the whole which is a benefit to the music scene here in the UK right now .The dance scene has experienced greatly challenging times in recent years with an economic downturn which has often impacted attendance at clubs, festivals & concerts.The more coverage & support we have the better .Supportive publicity is great for us all .
Aside from Shoom, Turnmills to me seems a club synonymous with you as a DJ, with your London Calling residency and of course the huge party you did there with Frankie Knuckles in Dec 2005. It seems London has a huge amount of affection for you and that Turnmills show really proved it, what do you remember of that night nearly 7 years on? (serious question as my recollection is very blurry..)
It was a very emotive night where I played close to 12 hours, I was in a very confusing place with my personal life, becoming a father and travelling the world as a DJ, not being home much (amongst other things) and decided to make an exit from doing what I love. Tthankfully I came to my senses and continue contributing & being part of the music scene. It’s what I do best and now have so much gratitude for being fortunate to do something I love, rather than being in a job I do not have passion or love for.
My journey in music feels as if it’s just beginning again right now. I feel the same feeling right now as when I started.
That sort of turnout and the kinds of people who came down doesn’t happen very often, I thought Harvey’s return to London show the other week had a similar vibe actually, what’s your view on Harvey and did you DJ together much in years gone by?
Harvey is one of the finest maverick DJs, like Andrew Weatherall who came out of the early original London scene. Any DJ who plays by his or her own rules and plays innovative great music will always have a cult following and that was clearly respected & celebrated on Harvey’s recent visit to London .
Yes we played on the same bill at early acid House events, myself Andrew and Harvey at a time when there were no pigeon hole genre barriers. Music was music with different styles on same bill, it was a greatly eclectic period the original scene.
Do you still head out to parties fairly regularly when you’re not DJ’ing? I remember seeing you a lot on the dancefloor at Space in Bar Rumba on a cold wednesday night late nineties!
Yes, I feel its important as a DJ to go out, dance & get lost in music on a dance floor from time to time. Recently was on the dance floor at Jaded dancing to four hours of Raymondo Rodriguez’s music and at afterhours party Beyond. I still find the experience a great source of inspiration and love dancing.
Talking of iconic London clubs, does it make you sad we’ve lost so many of those great spaces such as Turnmills, The Cross etc? And do you have any favourite venues across town these days?
Yes those clubs are sadly missed, a great loss to london’s club scene. I frequent The Egg, Cable, Dalston Superstore,East Bloc ,East Village & Horse Meat Disco regularly at present.
We’ve had a monthly residency at Space in Ibiza for the last 3 years, and even in that short time its obvious the island is still evolving musically speaking, have you been recently? and how do you see Ibiza now?
First time in many years I did not visit Ibiza this year as was travelling elsewhere and enjoying the UK this past summer. Ibiza will forever evolve, hopefully though it isn’t going to turn into another overpriced table service champagne and sparklers party playground. Ibiza has always had an edge and hopefully that may long continue.
A well known Ibiza balearic DJ told me recently he started playing records years ago in order to further his mission to fuck german girls on holiday! Nothing to do with having an epiphany to ‘Stop Bajon’… Do you think the Brits take ‘Balearic’ music too seriously?
We created the Balearic beats scene with the help of the Spanish DJs it would never of happened without one another. The comment made was probably a good indication of how things were in Ibiza before the brits took the music and created a bigger scene with it all. Sure that DJ had much fun over those summers with the german girls! lol
Finally I know you’re involved with a mutual friend of ours (Jonny Lee) and the Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (LNADJ) charity, Can you tell us a little bit about how that came about and why you feel its an important cause?
I became a trustee with the foundation as have known Jonny for many years and he comes from a place of good intentions to help others through his efforts which is the core values of the early Acid House scene Our aim is to reach out to the dance music community to encourage & enable it to support charitable causes.
We can see the dance community already becoming involved in many charitable events worldwide & our intention is to create a focus point where these acts of kindness can be identified and used to inspire others to do the same. We want to become a portal to report and publicise charity events, which are happening throughout the global dance community by using the help and support of others to let us know about them so we can help raise the awareness throughout our network.
The more of our community which use LNADJ as a focus, the more we are able to highlight the dance community’s ability & willingness to make a positive contribution to the world we live in.
We have an ever expanding database of DJs, promoters & a multitude of other contacts to enable those from our community who want to support charities to be able to connect with them. We are also a point of contact for charities who wish to use dance music to further their cause but have no connections in the dance music community.
Cheers to Danny for taking time out to chat.
Shoom 5 present
Cajmere – Acid house
Cajmere -Time for the perculator (Jamie Jones remix )
DJ Pierre -We are Phuture 2012
Dj Pierre -Jack The groove
Creature -Phaze action mix
Shoom 5 Past
Gentry Ice – Do u Wanna Jack
Phuture – Acid Trax
Nightwriters – Let The music use you
Mr Fingers – Stars
Ten City – Thats the way love is
Danny Rampling- the Return of Shoom (interview)
“I knew within a few weeks, we all did, that we were collectively creating a revolution within youth culture. It broke down so many barriers, including class, race and sexual orientation. It was an extraordinary time.”
25 years after Shoom helped spark London’s acid house revolution, club cofounder Danny Rampling is reviving the club with two parties at London’s Cable, on Friday December 7 and Saturday December 8. Dubbed ‘Time for love; a celebration of our culture’, each party will be headlined by many of the club’s original DJs (Trevor Fung, Mark Moore and Derrick May) with additional sets from the likes of Bushwacka, Mat Playford and James Priestley.
Chatting to Skrufff this week, Danny stressed the events won’t just be about nostalgia.
“Shoom 25 is not a reunion, it’s more of a celebration of music which welcomes all original and new clubbers,” he enthused. “The music will be a mix of past and present as Shoom was then as it is now which is about promoting new music, new ideas and DJs.”
“I feel it’s important to celebrate the past with the present and 25 years is a major milestone of our culture which the party represents original innovators along side some of the new wave of talented DJs,” he added.
Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): Why do you think there is such continuing interest in Shoom?
Danny Rampling: “Shoom was the catalyst in London for the youth culture and house music movement back in ’88, it was the early blueprint for the rave scene that later became the UK festival scene. There is no video footage of the club either which has added an air of mystery.
The love of the club also comes from the fact there was a strong message of unity that helped bring a generation together as one and shape a scene. Shoom made a very positive impact on all who attended and friendships were made for life. There is a continued interest in many clubs that have contributed to our music culture such as the Paradise Garage, the Sound Factory, the Loft, Studio 54, the Hacienda, to name a few.”
Skrufff: Legend says it all began for you; and Shoom: in Ibiza: how much do you believe Ibiza retains the same magic; and possibilities today that it did 25 years ago?
Danny Rampling: “Ibiza is a very different place than it was 25 years ago and is far more commercially driven with its club scene. Back then it was all about the local island resident DJs. There were three main clubs, two of them open-air, which made the scene so special then. Ibiza today may have lost much of its rustic club scene vibe although the island will always attract clubbers past and present because it’s such a fun playground. Though DJs in the present Ibiza club scene are making vast fortunes,millions of euros per summer season compared to a few hundred pesetas per gig DJs were paid back then.”
Skrufff: Looking at the line-up: why no ‘EDM DJs?’
Danny Rampling: “There is no EDM on the line up because Cable’s capacity is 1400 people, although the King of EDM David Guetta was invited to play. Unfortunately he is on tour in India at the time of the event. David recently commented that I inspired him greatly as a DJ when he attended Shoom in ‘88 and saw me DJing, dancing, waving vinyl around and whipping up the crowd into a frenzy with energy rapport connection with the audience. I think EDM is great, it has finally brought dance music to a wider audience in the USA at long last which is brilliant for electronic music and the DJ industry.”
Skrufff: How about technology; will anyone be playing vinyl? How much of a gamechanger are things Like Pioneer’s CDJ2000 Nexus players?
Danny Rampling: “DJ Alfredo, Leo Mas and Derrick May will be playing some vinyl and a couple of the other guests as well. Shoom reflects the past and present and digital Djing is very much the present with international DJs. The Pioneer Nexus is an amazing piece of DJ kit with so much attention to detail as with all Pioneer products. Technology in the DJ industry is moving at such a rapid pace it’s hard to keep up with it all at times.
The new DJ tools we have with technology progression are transforming the role of the DJ to new heights, it’s an exciting time as we move forwards we have so much kit now to assist us become far more creative than just a couple of turntables.”
Skrufff: The club didn’t last for long in ‘88: why not?
Danny Rampling: “The club moved from 300 people at the fitness centre to the YMCA raw club 800 to Busbys and then to the park club the club and ended on a high and the scene had changed people were getting too messy with their lifestyle and Shoom wasn’t part of that any longer.”
Skrufff: What is acid house’s greatest legacy?
Danny Rampling: “It brought a generation together and created much positivity and innovation, unity, and opportunity for all who have embraced and contributed to the scene. Here we are 25 years later and there is still much love and appreciation for dance music.”
Skrufff: And its greatest disappointment?
Danny Rampling: “There was no disappointment. The scene has created all we have today and given that we have so many careers in the music industry and have forged so many long lasting friendships that continue today. The core values of the scene are based around peace, love, positivity, hope, optimism, and unity.”
Skrufff: Anything to add?
Danny Rampling: “It’s been so full-on working with the Shoom party weekend all year that my focus right now is in the present….. Outside of Shoom, i am in the studio working on tracks for an artist album with my wife to be DJ Ilona Inc for completion in 2013.”
Shoom 25 Time For Love
When tales are told of the late eighties, of Ibiza and the subsequent explosion of the youth culture in the UK, there are certain DJs and parties that play a prominent part. Throughout the UK the stories differ slightly, with regional parties and DJs playing their part, but if you trace the story of the dance scene back to a time before it was a scene, the list becomes a lot smaller. Two names synonymous with the explosion of the movement are Danny Rampling and Shoom, the party he launched on his return from Ibiza that would play a significant role in a movement that would change so many lives forever.
Shoom was one of those parties that captured the imagination of a generation, strange when you think that it was an intimate affair compared to the huge raves that were taking place at the same time. Yet it was the small party in London that would attract clubbers from all over the UK, united in a love for the music and an open minded approach to making new friends and sharing experiences. As Danny Rampling gets set for a massive weekend, December 8 and 9, which sees ‘Shoom 25 A Time For Love’ offer an insight into what made the party so special, mixing seminal DJs from back in the day with some of today’s new stars, we catch up with him to get an idea of the man and the brand that meant so much to so many…
Were you aware at the time that you were involved in a youth movement rather than an entertainment evolution?
We collectively created a new youth culture movement based on peace hope and unity. It was much more than entertainment evolution, the scene made a positive impact on so many peoples lives who embraced the music and spirit of 88/ 89 Acid house. The scene broke down the barriers of race, class, sexual orientation and merged people together, which was unique to London youth culture.
Could the music have created this movement without the drugs or was it a combination of both elements that captured the imagination of a generation?
The music opened peoples hearts and minds, much of the USA house sounds had its roots in gospel/ spiritual music, the lyrics sang of hope, love, freedom, peace, tolerance and understanding. The music had a message in the lyrics and at the same time there was a massive surge of chemical empathy. The shift that happened was parallel to the hippie movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Do you see something like that ever happening again?
It would be great to experience that positive collective consciousness that everyone was experiencing at that time of the 88/ 89 ‘summers’ of love. Who is to say something like that will happen again, I feel it will likely happen through influences and circumstances outside of music possibly.
When you look back at those early days of Shoom, would you change anything?
I would have filmed the club as there’s no footage of the club sadly. I wouldn’t have changed a thing as we were all having the time of our lives, carefree and happy.
What was it about your party that had clubbers travelling from all over the UK to visit it?
Shoom was intimate compared to the huge raves that attracted thousands of people. There was a special energy within the club that everyone experienced and created together.
You have added a second Shoom 25th anniversary party as the first sold out almost immediately, how much satisfaction is there in the knowledge that today’s clubber has an acute understanding of the significance of your party?
Shoom 25 is not a reunion but a celebration of our rich music culture, we are bringing together the past with the present with original innovative DJs like Derrick May, DJ Alfredo, Mark Moore, Farley and Heller from the core scene to new wave DJs like Kris Di Angelis, Ilona Inc, Mat Playford Legendary Children and James Priestley. Shoom was and is now about promoting new ideas, new music and new DJs. Today’s clubbers have far more interest in the history of the scene, which is beneficial to all.
What can we expect from the parties, will the famous sail drapes be back?
The parties will offer the ultimate clubbing experience for all who attend, the club will be dressed with props and décor reflecting the identity of Shoom again past and present. Good music, passionate DJs, receptive audience and a friendly atmosphere, that is the spirit of ‘Shoom 25 – Time For Love.’
How influential has Ibiza been throughout your career?
Ibiza inspired and influenced me greatly to create Shoom and has helped greatly shape my DJ career. Without the Ibiza DJs and clubs at the time, Alfredo at Amnesia in ‘87, there may not have been Shoom or the UK explosion of acid house and the scene movement that developed. Ibiza will always hold a special place in my heart forever.
Saturday Dec 8 has sold out but there may be tickets left for Sunday Dec 9 at www.cable-london.com/
The last interview before the Shoom adventure starts all over again
Welcome back to DMCWORLD Danny. An incredible anticipation must be running through your veins with only three days until your Shoom 25th Anniversary this weekend. What are you feeling right now?
“Very little sleep right now Dan, feeling much anticipation excitement after working nearly a year to make the party happen. I also feel very much as I did when it all began 25 years ago – the feelings are the same knowing something magical was happening and is about to happen right now. It’s uncanny the duel circumstances.”
You could have done a Shoom 20th, you could have done a Shoom 30th – why now?
“May well do a 30th – great idea! The End nightclub in London hosted a Shoom 20th anniversary party which was an intimate event. Shoom 25 is a major milestone and a greater cause to celebrate our music heritage and culture. The event is about bringing past innovators with the present. Shoom 25 is focussed on this rather than a reunion as such, of course it’s wonderful to have so many original members coming along as the club and scene made such a profound positive impact on peoples lives. Also, many new clubbers are attending to soak up the vibe and sample a touch of what it may have been like back then. It was a very special unique time for all who contributed.”
“Cable has a great sound system, great lights and is about going clubbing to dance, enjoy and get lost in music rather than velvet ropes, champagne and sparklers. The team who run the club are very passionate about electronic music. Cable is also in SE1 south London where my DJ career began and the original home of Shoom was close by. Shoom has come home to its roots and that is important with historic relevance.”
The whole of clubland are licking their lips about the party – how long ago did you have your set ready?
“I do not have a set ready as yet, I’m too busy with logistics. I have put an outline of a playlist together at this stage and will start a set with a 105 bpm track as I always used to and build it up from there onwards. I will also feature much of the original sound from Shoom, on the night there will be also much new music played from DJs like Mat Playford, James Priestly, Matthew B, Ilona Inc, Mark Moore and Kris Di Angelis to name a few.”
Why is Shoom still so special?
“Shoom stayed true to the underground and changed so many peoples lives in a positive way – friendships were made for life. There has been a tremendous response for the two parties, we are hoping people have much love for what happened through the club as it influenced so many people and sent an inspirational message for people to become who they wanted to be in all areas creatively.”
The weekend isn’t so much a reunion, as you say, it’s a celebration of music. Have you spoken to all of the Djs and stressed you want it to be a mix of old and new tunes, or have you just given everyone a free rein?
“Yes every DJ can do as they wish. I would never instruct any DJ that I booked to play a certain way as they are all talented in their own right .It’s annoying at times when occasionally a promoter will instruct request a DJ to play a certain sound. Incredibly, it still happens out there.”
Let’s talk about some of your beloved DJs at the party. Why did you want some of these guys to play…
“My greatest inspiration as a young DJ. Without Alfredo there would not have been Shoom. He was my mentor.”
“Probably one of the most important influential DJs and producers ever. ‘Strings Of Life’ still stirs emotions on the dancefloor even today. Derrick is an amazing DJ who makes it look effortless and rocks the floor every time with so much energy.”
“One of the best UK electronic tech DJs who delivers on point time and time again. A very talented producer, so much fun to be around and Matthew was also part of the original acid house scene.”
Farley & Heller
“Good friends who always opened up at Shoom. They know how to build a room with the right music at the right time. Great team work and a real passion for House Music.”
“One of my fave DJs before I became professional with Shoom. Mark is a star and has great music selection spirit when he plays.”
“Leo is one of the Amnesia Ibiza DJ innovators from Italy, who has a wealth of experience. Enough said!”
“A showtastic NYC fashionista. There is never a dull moment around Larry. I used to frequent his club Love Machine in New York, heard him play and booked him for a party in London in 1989. Always an innovator who created the electroclash sound.”
“Trevor is one of the original wave of DJs who inspired me unwittingly to call the club Shoom – a term he used regular on the dancefloor in the open air Amnesia in 87.”
Cool. Is there a DJ you wanted who wasn’t available?
What DJ are you REALLY excited about seeing and dancing to on Saturday and Sunday?
“I will attempt to have a dance to everyone who is on the bill. I will be on the dancefloor through Derrick May and post 5am for Alfredo later on for sure.”
What are some of your big Shoom tunes from back in the day?
Mr Fingers ‘Stars’