Acid House legend and godfather Danny Rampling talks about vinyl, technology and of course the smiley symbol of Acid House. Telling us about the tracks that remind him of London, his best recent experiences and something you might not know about him too.
Hey Danny. Thanks for taking the time to speak to LWE.
How has your set up progressed over the years and do you ever use vinyl still?
Last time I used vinyl outside of my home was at a friend’s birthday party two years ago. I do miss the days of using vinyl in clubs. The worst that could happen would be a scratched record during a set, it’s a very reliable medium and very visual for the audience too. That said as DJs we have made great advances with the wealth of technology, and advanced the craft of DJing. I do not miss carrying x2 40lbs record boxes around the world to gigs!
We know that you’re now using Traktor in DJ sets. Can you talk us through the set up and why you are using it?
I use CDJs more at present and have recently had some great coaching from Pioneer with equipment and how to get the best out of the features on CDJ’s,, mixers and the benefits of using Pioneer’s Record Box. I have used Traktor for 5 years and find one can be at the mercy of the technology at times, which is not progress. I now use Traktor as the interface with Pioneer CDJs.
Do you think that the underground music scene in London is in a good place now? The underground music scene in London is always buoyant. London is a stylish creative city and music movements of culture are born in the underground in London. DJ careers have been born, shaped and platformed there; my own career began with Pirate Stain Kiss FM, and creating my underground club Shoom.
It’s a shame we keep having clubs closing down, London nightlife is important to tourism and culture of this country. It should be praised and preserved not shut down and attacked. It creates a vibrant, colourful and fun night time culture that at best of times is greatly misunderstood, disrespected by main stream culture, and the powers at be.
Tracks that remind you of London?
Light of The world – London Town
London Calling – The Clash
Louie Vega London Roots – Express the theme Mark Moore .
West End Girls – Pet shop Boys .
To you what does the smiley face represent to you now ?
We adopted the watchmen smiley face symbolism to represent Shoom as our logo and ethos of: unity, happiness & fun. It became the Acid House and rave scenes symbol thereafter. It’s a positive & timeless.
What has been the best show you have played lately?
Uproar Camsur festival Philippines 40,000 people present amazing event . Myself and DJ Alfredo played main stage as ambassadors of House culture. Local DJs played alongside my wife Ilona, and they loved us all; incredible atmosphere and great to see some different genres merging on a main stage in the sunshine.
What inspired you to write the book ‘everything you need to know about DJIng and Success’ and do you have any plans to write anymore on the subject?
I wrote the book as I found time to write a fews years ago with two partners. It has been well received online and I have plans to write a book in near future based on my experiences in music .
We understand that you’re a conscious individual who is now actively involved in charity and green work. Can you let us know a little more about this?
I am involved with charity and give my time when possible to certain causes that are close to my heart. I am obsessed with charity fitness endurance challenges! My next challenge is a 10 mile airborne P company military march with a 35lbs back pack in under 2 hours on July 4th. I also have my sights set on ‘The Fan Dance’ A 24km trek across the mountainous Brecon Beacons, with a 35lbs backpack in 6 Hours. This is one of the most gruelling fitness tests used by the special forces selection. The fitness has always kept my energy levels high and still there at sunrise on and off the dance floor to keep going 😉
Click here to find out more about Danny Rampling.