Ralph Lawson has played a pioneering role in electronic underground dance music for the past two decades. Lawson is widely regarded as being one the very best House DJs in the world. He currently holds residencies at Back To Basics Leeds, We Love Space Ibiza and Barcelona’s The Loft as well as regular appearances at Berlin’s Watergate and London’s Fabric. Bill Brewster (“Last Night a DJ Saved My Life”) described Ralph as undoubtedly one of “the UK’s best-kept secrets”, for those who have yet to hear his sound. He was recently nominated for ‘Best British DJ” along with 2020 Vision for ‘Best label’ in 2009 by DJ magazine and has won five major awards for during his residency at Back To Basics since it’s inception in 1991. He is a founder member of the highly acclaimed band 2020Soundsystem as well as running 2020Vision recordings and hosting a weekly 2020mix on Ibiza Sonica radio.
Ralph Lawson and his 2020 Vision Recordings have created a vibrant trail of releases, making it one of the best-loved and most respected imprints the industry has ever seen. 2020 almost single handily put Leeds on the house music map and kick started the scene there. Genre crafting Wulf n Bear’s – “Raptures of the Deep” is now widely regarded as one of the very first tech-house records. The label has been influential in many pioneering diverse scenes – from deep house to nu disco. As long standing resident of his beloved Back To Basics club, his colourful and versatile DJ sets are constructed like electronic jigsaw pieces left for the imagination to decipher. His name is even to be proudly etched into the record books as he enters his 19th year leading the Leeds establishment as the longest running weekly House Music night in the world.
Originally hailing from London Ralph picked up on the early New York transatlantic influence that swept the floors of the capital’s clubs in the mid-eighties. In 1988 as Acid House exploded Lawson moved North to Leeds where he discovered clubs like the Warehouse that were also playing a mix of New York Hip Hop and Chicago House. Saturday night was sound-tracked by Nightmares On Wax , long before they had found fame and fortune, DJ E.A.S.E was busting their first hit ‘Dextrous’ from acetate just as Ralph entered the hallowed doors. Greatly inspired by these nights Ralph went on to produce some early mix-tapes consisting largely of Nu-Groove, Big Beat, Dance Mania and DJ International records which landed him warm up spots at the club night “Joy” and led to a meeting with live act LFO. Ralph quickly found himself at the centre of a thirsty new scene that was rapidly expanding, not only in Leeds but unfolding throughout the rest of the UK.