Ronnie Spiteri is making real waves with his perfectly functional and rugged tech house, coming via labels like Hot Since 82’s Knee Deep In Sound label. He's even picked up praise from BBC Radio 1 don Pete Tong.
As a DJ, Ronnie holds down a resdiency in his native Southampton and is also a key part of the resdient team at no-nonsense Ibiza night Do Not Sleep. He also plays all round Europe, plotting a line between house and techno that keeps you on your toes.
His remix of Celeda's "The Underground" is out now on Cr2 Recordings, and to mark the occasion we talk to him about his roots, influences and approach to DJing. You can find Ronnie on Facebook.
Introduce yourself and tell us where you are from and how you got into dance music. Also, you have a fairly Italian sounding name—what's the story?
My dad was a rave promoter back in the day, so I’ve been immersed in dance music all my life… My surname is from Malta as my Grandad is from there. He moved to the UK many years ago with his brother.
What track of yours best defines your sound, would you say? And is there any certain bit of gear you always use in the studio?
My recent "Multiply" track on Hot Since 82’s Knee Deep In Sound label—which Pete Tong gave the BBC Radio 1 #EssentialNewTune accolade—best defines my current sound. But as an artist you should always be looking to evolve musically as your career progresses, and I’ve already written some slightly different sounding music, but it’s intrinsically still within the realms of what you would expect from me. To be honest, a lot of it is done with all the synth and drum machines you get within Reason but I do use my Roland Sh 09 a lot as you get real raw sounds from it.
How long have you been producing?
Music has always been part of my DNA. I dabbled in trying my hand at production when I just left school. To all intents and purposes I’m self taught, so been quite a few years now. I’d say it’s only in the last 2 or 3 years that I personally felt that I have carved my own niche, sound-wise.
What are the key lessons you learnt about yourself and your tastes since you started out?
To have the temperament and gumption to never give up in life (and this industry), as there are many occasions back when I started out where I’ve had to pick myself up dust myself down and just keep keeping on.
When I first started to produce, I used to make housier stuff. But now I find myself into the underground side of things and keeping it more stripped back with more techno sounds.
And as a DJ, what is your style, what inspires or influences you in the DJ booth?
My own productions really compliment and influence my style of DJing, I mostly only make music that I want to play out at the club (apart from some experimenting of course) or want to hear when I go to the clubs, which is predominately somewhere between house and techno.
Just being in the DJ booth and feeding off the crowd in front of me is really what inspires me and I tend to find I am very influenced just going out to the clubs in general and immersing myself in music and good company. More often than not I’ll come straight back from the gig and get my laptop out or if back home, go in the studio and put down some initial track ideas straight away.
Are you there to play for yourself, or to play to the crowd? Are you there to educate or entertain?
Anyone who's there to play 'for themselves' shouldn’t actually be there—end of. I’m always playing to the crowd. Feeding off the crowd is what really inspires me and I’m there to both educate and entertain all at the same time.
You are resident at Switch Warehouse in Southampton. What's that like, and how does being resident differ from being a headliner?
Ah it’s fundamentally very different! Switch is my DJ residency in the city I live and grew up in and I have matured and grown alongside the club itself and the regular punters from the very start. From playing opening warm up sets to banging out end of night closing sets, to all night long sets to playing my “enja label showcase parties in room two. So you have to be very versatile from that point of view.
What have you got planned or coming up in the early part of the New Year?
I'm just about to head on a four date Do Not Sleep South America tour with my bro Darius Syrossian. We are the main residents for the event brand Do Not Sleep in Ibiza and they are taking the infamous party brand to Argentina, hosting open air day time gigs, beach parties, club shows and of course the obligatory afterparties too.
First up it’s Jet Club, Buenos Aires, then Joe Beach, Cordoba, then Club Berlin before finishing up in with another day time open air party at Abracadabra in Mar Del Plata.