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Guest > Danny Rampling > Biography

A pioneer, an innovator, an ambassador for dance music, a truly globally respected DJ, a house music stalwart, a musical perfectionist, an accomplished remixer and producer, a passionate radio presenter… I have been cited all these in the dance music press over the years and I am proud of what I have achieved and the millions I have entertained over the years.

It all started off at the very tender age of nine, when I started my record collection which amounts to 30,000 now! I left school and tried my hand at other things but to be honest, all I cared about was the music.

In my teens, I started off carrying record boxes and playing hip-hop, funk and soul at bars and clubs in Bermondsey and other areas around London, often helping out Nicky Holloway, with his nights. Often I was playing alongside Gordon Mac, Kiss FM's founder. I was starting to get a reputation for my feel-good party tunes. It wasn't long before I had a weekly show on Kiss FM from its launch in 1984.

Then in 1987, my young DJ friends; Paul Oakenfold, Nicky Holloway and Johnny Walker joined myself on a lad's holiday to Ibiza. We checked out Alfredo at Amnesia who was mixing up early Chicago tracks from Marshall Jefferson, Frankie Knuckles and Larry Heard, soul, reggae and pop and discovered something truly amazing. We were gobsmacked and hooked by the intoxicating Balearic sound of the energising Spanish island and were determined to bring that vibe back to grey London.

Spiritually inspired by this music, I launched Shoom at the gym of the Fitness Centre in Southwark in 1987. Those parties, which heralded the start of UK club culture, are now legendary and spurned the global dance culture as I introduced many to the imported Phuture tracks from Chicago. It also started the innovative lifestyle that was to follow: the rest is history.

After breaking acid house at Shoom until 1990, and spreading the vibe on Kiss FM, I then launched a more glamorous night: Pure Sexy at Nicky Holloway's Milk Bar in Soho from 1990 until 1992. It was a club in the Studio 54 tradition which was remembered for its more upmarket clientele as the shift moved away from the rave scene and into clubs.

The early 1990's saw me embark on my prolific remix career (which amounts to over 40!) and some of my favourites include Timmy Thomas Why Can't We Live Together, The Beloved The Sun Rising, Hypnotone Dream Beam and Love Corporation Palatial. I remixed for the B-52's, Erasure, Boy George and the James Taylor Quartet to name but a few. I also produced for the first time under the guise Sound of Shoom I Hate Hate, which was a cover Razzy Bailey's obscure 70's soul ballad featuring Steven Eusabe.

I was then signed to Deconstruction in 1993 and launched a band called the Millionaire Hippies and we released a few singles including the anthem I am the Music, Feel Me which crossed over into the mainstream. It featured the vocals of Gwen Dupree and Das Strachen and was given the remix treatment from Farley and Heller.

In November 1996, I got poached from Kiss to join Radio 1 and launched the Lovegroove Dance Party that continued weekly for almost six years until March 2002. My show was always reflective of the long journey I've travelled and a vehicle for me to spread the word of the deep vocal house, US garage sound and tribal grooves that I love. 1998 saw me sign to Distance in France with Community of the Spirit too.

I have also mixed many successful albums, including the third volume of Journeys By DJ in 1992 then a series of Love Groove Party compilations on Universal, UK/USA with David Morales on React and this year's Turntable Symphony also on React.

In 2001, I started my monthly column in International DJ Magazine which continues to this day and launched my monthly residency Metrogroove at Turnmills. I also got back in the studio and produced my song How Good the Love Is as Il Padrinos with Dave Lee (aka Joey Negro) and featured the legendary diva Jocelyn Brown. The record was released in 2002 to universal aplomb. I am currently working on a follow-up.

2002 saw the start of my new residency at Bed in Sheffield and residencies at Milk in Belfast, Goa in Rome and New York Bar in Milan. I also embarked on a series of tours which has always eluded me in the past because of my commitment to my weekly Radio 1 show. Already I have been spreading the vibe in South America, Asia, the Far East and most countries in Europe! My music has always been an extension of my character and personality and an extension of my spirit that goes out to the people creating an elevated vibe on the dance floor. Energising and spiritual, the music is a party soundtrack.

As dance music and club culture continues to mutate, develop reinvent itself, we have to embrace this change in order to herald another renaissance and to keep the music that we all love underground… see you on the dancefloor.

© Ricky Cox 2007
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