This piece originally appeared in the December 1989 issue of Mixmag. We’re publishing it online as part of our 30-year celebrations of the Summer Of Love
In just over two years Danny Rampling has risen from being a relatively unknown DJ to become one of the UK’s best, and that’s before we take into consideration his recent move into studio work, remixing etc. Indeed, his story is one that some of today’s so-called DJs should take note of.
“I started DJing on a Tuesday night in 1981 at Julie’s Piano Bar for which I was paid £8,” he says. “That was my first ever gig. I then moved around all the pubs on the Old Kent Road like The Dun Cow, Bugles, Jilly’s Sampsons and all those places, progressed to people’s parties and a couple of weddings and then got involved with Nicky Holloway at the Special Branch, warming up at some of his events and helping him to set the events up. I gained quite a bit of knowledge about dressing and organising clubs during that time before landing a job at The Project in Streatham with Paul Oakenfold in 1986.”
Just before that, in 1985, Danny joined London’s Radical Radio Kiss FM during its second week of broadcasting, and then went off to America for a year. Upon his return he found that work was scarce, to say the least, so he put all his energy into launching his own club, Shoom.
I asked Danny how he made the transgression from the more independent soul scene to house music. “It was in August/September 1987 when it really hit me because I saw it being played properly in Ibiza,” he replied. “That was when I really got into it and I began playing more house than the independent soul stuff.”
The rest, as they say, is history. Shoom became the buzzword in London and Danny’s career has been on the up ever since. Recently he broke into the world of remixing when a record company gave him the chance to remix a track he’d been constantly supporting and playing, Illusion’s ‘Why Can’t We Live Together’. He then hooked up with John Marsh of The Beloved, who had been to Shoom, and liked the remix. Danny continues “I said to him that record companies should get more British people involved in remixing records because there is lots of talent here. You don’t need to flash names from around the world, there’s plenty of home-grown talent that is really undiscovered. The Beloved thing did quite well, and there’s [been] a few other things since, such as D Mob’s ‘A Rhythm From Within’ and an offer to do Boy George’s new single. Remixing is fun, but it’s tiring. I also wanna make a couple of my own tracks.”
Finally I asked Danny where, or rather what, does he see himself doing in a few years’ time. Will he still DJ or do more remix/production work?
“I don’t want to give up DJing as I’ve only just established myself over the last two years and I think I’ve got a long way to go yet. I see DJs like Tony Humphries as the standard and that’s my goal, to get to his standard, that’s when I’ll call it a day. Five years ago my goal was to get on pirate radio and I got on there and enjoyed that. However long it takes, that’s how long I’ll carry on DJing.”