• Josh Crowe

Ralph Lawson announces he's leaving 28-year residency at Back To Basics

Ralph Lawson is leaving his residency at Back To Basics after 28 years behind the decks. Lawson played the first ever record (Marshall Jefferson presents Truth - ‘Open Your Eyes’) at the long running Leeds institution way back in November 23rd 1991. Using line-up posters as a reference, Lawson estimates that he has made around 700 appearances at the club over the years, and has played alongside a formidable array of international guests.

In his recent blog that announced the end of his residency, he reminisces with memories of the great times had;

"During my time at Back to Basics I have been fortunate to play alongside many of the finest live acts and DJs from around the world, and many were originally my heroes. My job, as resident, was to leave the club in the right place for them to have a good session themselves. They nearly always did."

Over the years guests have included - Daft Punk, Dust Brothers (pre-Chemical Brothers), Carl Cox, Laurent Garnier, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Juan Atkins, Carl Craig, Marshall Jefferson, Francois Kevorkian, Lil’ Louie Vega, Kenny Dope, Danny Tenaglia, Derrick Carter, Stacey Pullen, Chez Damier, DJ Harvey, Andrew Weatherall, Nancy Noise, Lisa Loud, Mark Moore, Craig Richards, Ivan Smagghe, Steve Bug, Dixon, Henrik Schwarz (live), Âme, KiNK (live), Lindstrom, Prins Thomas, Levon Vincent, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Maya Jane Coles and so many more.

Back to Basics has proven to be a timeless, pioneering club over the years, winning seven industry awards for best club in its history. The club is continuing with Dave Beer at the helm. Lawson describes the reasons for his departure in depth on his blog: "I realised that it was the end of my time as a resident DJ at back to basics, looking out over a packed club, as Carl Cox rocked the house. It was May 24th 2019."

In the blog announcing the end of his Basics residency, Lawson recognised a shift in Club culture, where promoters book big-name headliners that can sell thousands of tickets. "There has been recent discussion (in RA and Mixmag) about the current economic climate for dance music being unsustainable; both for small promoters and emerging artists. But there hasn’t been a conversation on the effect for resident DJs. It’s time to add residents back into the mix and realise their value. No one understands a club better than a resident DJ and no guest will ever care as much about the club. Residents bring consistency and reliability, alongside their spinning skills, that people come to trust on a regular basis."

Regardless of what the future holds for Resident DJ's, there is no doubt that Ralph Lawson has held down one of the most formidable residencies in recent times at Back To Basics. Ralph's ability to set the tone week in- week out to an all-hailing Leeds crowd has undoubtedly played a massive part in the burgeoning legacy of Back to Basics.

He has released a series of DJ mixes paying homage to the club called basic vision, alongside a vinyl compilation album of sought after tracks from the club entitled - 'back to basics rare classics'.

You can check out Ralph Lawson's blog HERE.

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BABYSTEP MAGAZINE Est. 2017