Inside the Track with D.Ramirez
‘Not many DJ-producers can claim to have had a career spanning over 20 years, let alone one that includes residencies at some of the world’s best nightclubs (Cream and Space Ibiza included) paired with a Top of the Pops appearance, multiple alter-egos and even an Ivor Novello nomination..’
D.Ramirez’s career is definitely one of the most enviable and interesting and has found him to be consistently considered one of the top names in the game. Collaborations with the likes of Todd Terry, Harry Romero and Mark Knight are regular occurrences and his intricate production is something of envy, with his production successes straddling both the underground and commercial worlds.
We went ‘Inside the Track’ with the most instantly-recognizable hair in dance music..
Congratulations on your new ‘Brutal Power’ release. How is it being received in your sets and how are other club DJs responding to it?
Thank you! I originally made the track purely for my own DJ sets and not to release but the response from the crowd was just phenomenal whenever I played it so I just had to put it out. It even inspired me to bring back my label Slave so I could release it myself.
Tell us more about ‘Brutal Power’. What was the main inspiration behind it and what prompted the musical direction?
It’s very much based on the old skool, late 80’s, early 90’s Chicago house vibe which I always loved (being there myself way back then) and the inspiration came from when I was flicking through some samples and found what reminded of the old Nitro Deluxe – ‘This Brutal House’ sound they used for the main melody giving me the inspiration to recreate the riff from the original track and do my own, up to date version.
Production wise, what is it about the track that makes it work?
It’s a very simple production with a lot of the old 90’s sounds in there – loads of TR808 and TR909 Drums, old skool basses and sounds from the synths that were around at that time like the Korg M1 and Roland Juno 106. I’ve also gone for the longest 808 snare drum roll I could possibly dare which literally makes the crowd go wild!
Is there one machine, program or technique that characterizes your sound?
I don’t really think I have a character sound too much these days – around 10 years ago I used to use my Clavia Nord Lead 3 on everything, hell I even won the Future Music Best Synth Sound ever with my remix of Bodyrox ‘Yeah Yeah’ using that very synth. Nowadays I like to use a variety of sound sources, my favorite being my new Sequential Prophet 6 from Dave Smith which is just beautiful. That combined with the plug-I’ns from UAD, my Roland Juno 106 and Ableton Live on my Macbook pro and I’m all set!
What is the one piece of kit that you simply cannot do without?
That would have to be my Sequential Prophet 6 from Dave Smith again – I just adore that synth and it gets heavily featured on everything I do! I wouldn’t want to produce anything without it as it gives me a sound that’s unique and stands out from a sea of music you can hear has been produced with soft synths.
Any advice for your fans on how to make it in todays fast paced game?
These days it’s quite tough to get through being an artist and DJ as there’s so much really good music being created by so many talented individuals who all they need is a computer where they can make fully professional sounding productions meaning the competition is fierce! Back in the early days of house when I started out, equipment was expensive and getting music out meant you had to press it to vinyl, meaning only a few people had the resources and the money to do it so the competition wasn’t so hot. This means, in this day and age to ‘get through’ and get noticed means you have to resort to other means of promoting yourself via social media but the main thing still stands and that’s tenacity! Never give up, keep pushing, believe in your ability, don’t stop learning, try and bring something different to the table, don’t follow the crowd and build the network of fellow, likeminded producers and DJ’s around you. With all of that, you simply can’t fail!
‘Brutal Power’ is available now on Traxsource HERE