Facts: Ralph holds the honor of playing the first ever record at Back to Basics in Leeds and is best known for his 19 year residency at the club and his record label 2020Vision. Ralph Lawson has played a pioneering role in electronic underground dance music for the past two decades. He’s held 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.
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.
Sessions and performances at festivals such as Exit, Creamfields Argentina, Homelands, Global Gathering, Sonar, T In The Park and Rockness cemented their worldwide reputation as a dynamic and exciting live act. Within two short years the fledgling act found itself playing to audiences of 25,000 on several occasions. Ralph doesn’t close himself off to anything, he looks around and somehow manages to unify his influences into a cohesive set. He continually brings a European sensibility to the American roots of house music.