A long time ago, in a college common room far, far away, a battered stereo belted out pioneering, high- decibel dance music. The deputy head of Northgate Sixth Form was not amused: he stormed in, cut the plug off, and stormed out. We barricaded the door shut, rewired the plug and cranked up the volume (Students 1, Authority 0 ). In a 500-strong institute, his was the lone voice of dissent.
The date was 1990-ish; the offending rabble-rouser BBC Radio 1 DJ Danny Rampling. The six years he spent hosting The Love Groove Dance Party on one of the UK’s most listened-to airwaves has since produced an impressive return on investment. One of the original superstar DJs, he’s known today as the godfather of British house music – and he’s heading our way.
It will be the second time the founder of acid house club Shoom and author of Everything You Need To Know About DJing & Success has touched down in Cambodia, and appetites are keen. Bojan Lisac, a Bosnian DJ based in Phnom Penh, said: “Danny is the UK’s ultimate acid house evangelist. Although acid house’s core electronic squelch sounds were developed around the mid-1980s, particularly by DJs from Chicago who experimented with the Roland TB-303 electronic synthesizer-sequencer, house music was spread throughout the UK, mainly in underground clubs, by one man: Danny Rampling.”
Dancin Mantis, one of Pontoon’s longest resident DJs, first started clubbing in his native India during the early 2000s. “House music was just making its way over, although Goa had a long established trance scene,” he said. “We would get friends to send us tapes of Radio 1 shows that we would play at house parties. Seeing the effect that great DJs like Danny Rampling, Pete Tong and Paul Oakenfold had on the guests made me want to become a DJ. Rampling in particular would take us on this journey that built and built, with layers of sounds that no other DJ I had ever heard before could achieve. Rampling is up there with the greatest DJs of all time and one of the true fathers of the house music revolution.”
Rampling’s skills at the turntables are the stuff of legend: during his Shoom days, one group of LSD-fuelled clubbers reportedly scared the living bejesus out of Rampling by hailing him as some sort of messiah. “I got a bit worried by it. It quite frightened me because it became so intense,” he told Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton of DJHistory.com in 1999.
The LSD might have left the building, but his legacy hasn’t. “Similar to Norman Jay, Danny is one of the few DJs who has maintained his popularity without having to rely on producing, even though he has done a few originals,” said DSN, Cotton Club’s resident ‘bouncy electro-house’ DJ, originally from Australia. “Despite having evolved along with electronic dance music, he has managed to keep the essence of house grounded. This is rare because electronic music is constantly changing: new genres keep popping out of nowhere.”
WHO: Danny Rampling
WHAT: The godfather of UK house music
WHERE: Riverhouse Lounge, corner of St. 110 and Sisowath Quay
WHEN: 11:30pm April 20
WHY: He’s one of the original superstar DJs
This article was 1st published in The Advisor - All back issues are available as downloads here
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