Ralph Lawson


In the mid-eighties Ralph Lawson came in contact with transatlantic electronic dance music visiting clubs in London. In 1988 as Acid House exploded Lawson moved to Leeds where he discovered clubs like the Warehouse were a mix of New York Hip Hop and Chicago House was played. 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.

In 2009 he was nominated for ‘Best British DJ” along with 2020 Vision for ‘Best label’ by DJ magazine and he has won five major awards for his residency at Back To Basics in Leeds since it’s inception on Saturday November 23rd 1991 when Back to Basics opened its doors at The Music Factory - Leeds. The very first record; Marshall Jefferson presents The Truth – “ Open Your Eyes” was played by Ralph Lawson. In 2010 his name is even to be proudly etched into the record books as he enters his 19th year leading the Leeds establishment as the longest running weekly House Music night in the world.

He is the owner of the 2020 Vision records, which is for instance responsible for the release of Wulf n Bear’s – “Raptures of the Deep”. The label has played a role in many scenes – from deep house to nu disco.