The last 12 months have seen him criss-cross the globe on his DJ travels, while long sessions in the studio have yielded some serious results and Richard already has an impressive production portfolio to his name.
Born and raised in Carlisle in North West England, he quickly became immersed in the local club scene and cut his DJ teeth playing at most of the city’s venues. A move to Manchester to attend university followed and his love of DJing came with him with Richard seizing the opportunity to play at venues like Paradise Factory, Venus, Joshua Brooks and Club North.
Next stop London and a chance meeting with a record label boss proved the perfect catalyst for Richard to take his musical career to the next level. It was Matt Stuart, former label manager at Underwater Records, and then with the Ministry of Sound.
“We hit it off immediately as he was a northerner too,” remembers Richard, “and we ended up drinking and talking about music until five the next morning. After hearing me play at house party he held in his apartment, Matt offered me the chance to be involved with a new project the Ministry was launching – the Housexy compilation series.”
Richard quickly landed the role of UK resident for Housexy club dates before becoming a worldwide touring resident and compiling and mixing several Housexy compilations. He has mixed eight volumes to date, all double CDs, starting with ‘Housexy International’ in January 2007 and most recently ‘Housexy Summer’ in August 2009. His engineering skills have also been utilised on ‘The Underground’ triple CD collections put out by the Ministry of Sound with the 2010 edition released recently.
Originally coming onboard for Housexy, it wasn’t long before Richard came involved with the Ministry of Sound itself. He originally played at Rulin back in 2001 but then lost contact; Housexy opened the door again, however, and he joined Paul Farris for the first Housexy night at the club in London. With UK and international dates soon under his belt and a reputation for rockin’ dancefloors wherever he played, it wasn’t long before he was invited onboard the Ministry of Sound as an international resident.
Rather than ask where Richard has played, it’s more a case of where he hasn’t. We’re talking nearly every continent over the last couple of years with only Australia left to cross off the list. Russia has been a major territory where he has a strong reputation and most recently, South America with a successful tour of Brazil and an outstanding night at Pacha Buenos Aires playing the main set to over 3,000 people.
November 2009 also saw Richard blaze a trail in India, while headlining the Ministry of Sound closing party at the Aarhus Festival in Denmark in 2008 is another personal highlight. Boston, Vancouver, Milan and all over Europe as well as trips to Japan, China, South Africa, Dubai, Egypt and many more help complete the picture of just how busy Richard has been and how experienced a DJ he has become.
Experience and versatility are very much part of his DJ armoury and Richard spreads his net far wider than the Housexy sound which favours the funkier, vocal side of house. In fact, he has a passion for the tougher, tech house sound which is mirrored in his productions. Dark and driving with big breaks, there’s still a strong emphasis on funk-fuelled grooves and energy to move the dancefloor.
The other side of the equation is his productions and 2009 has been the year that Richard has really got into his stride. As well as his compilation work, Richard has released a string of singles on labels like Slip ‘n’ Slide, Suesse, SoulHeat, Chega and Loopfreaks, some in collaboration with Paul Deighton. Most important is Richard’s ongoing relationship with Matt Stuart who runs Gung Ho! Recordings.
Gung Ho! have become a well established and critically acclaimed label and Richard has been in the thick of things remixing artists like The Japanese Popstars, Burn The Negative and Zoo Brazil. He has released his own singles, ‘Cannibal’ and ‘Bat Attack’, as well as mixing the label compilation, ‘Kings of a Little Kingdom’. Perhaps the outstanding moment has been Richard’s ‘Lil Muz’ remix of Zoo Brazil’s ‘Technik’ which has come in for some serious praise.