Ralph Lawson has played a huge role in underground dance music for the past two decades. Lawson is also widely considered to be one the very best 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.” He was nominated in 2009 for ‘Best British DJ” along with 2020 Vision for ‘Best label’ by DJ magazine and has won five major awards during his residency at Back To Basics since it’s inception in 1991. He is a founder member of the highly acclaimed 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 playing a mix of New York Hip Hop and Chicago House. Saturday night was sound-tracked by Nightmares On Wax DJ E.A.S.E who was busting their first hit ‘Dextrous’ from acetate 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 “Joy” which was the best club at the time. Ralph quickly found himself at the centre of a fresh new scene that was rapidly expanding, not only in Leeds but unfolding throughout the rest of the UK. He cemented his reputation through Joy and within months was closing the shows after acts such as LFO, NOW and Laurent Garnier.
He met the infamous Dave Beer at the Warehouse who invited him to join Alistair Cooke as residents at a new club he was setting up called back to basics.