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Essential Listening: Ricardo Villalobos
Essential Listening: Ricardo Villalobos


Ricardo Villalobos has long been one of the most talented, unpredictable and uncompromising electronic music producers of our generation. His DJ performances are as diverse as the music he makes, never subsiding to fads or what the public might expect or what they might want. To honour the master of minimal, we have picked 5 Ricardo tracks that define him as a musician, DJ and producer. From floor fillers to those that make you question what you’re hearing, here we’ve tried to pick some of it all.

Fancy being transported to a new dimension by Riccardo? He will be at the controls of Apollo Zutekh as it departs from Gorilla Manchester Friday 4th March.

Ricardo Villalobos – 808 The Bass Queen
Here simplicity meets moreish melody as a basic beat and bassline is mixed with modded vocals and a hugely addictive synth that breaks in for only a couple of minutes at a time, most presently around the 6-minute mark.

Mari Kvien Brunvoll – Everywhere You Go (Villalobos Celestial Voice Resurrection Mix)
Villalobos has a reputation for tracks that regularly pass the 10 minute mark and often the 15 minute mark, however this remix is an impressive 28 minutes long. Listen to it all the way through however and you’re unlikely to get bored. This is some of the most intricate drum programming we’ve heard from him, with several moments only happening once throughout the entire track. Genius.

Ricardo Villalobos - MDMA
MDMA is one of Ricardo’s straight up dance floor killers and is one that is oh so catchy. This is still a highlight of his performances today and never fails.

ButRic - Up
Perhaps RV’s most outrageous release to date is his collaboration with Butch entitled Up. This beatless soundscape is quite indescribable except using the words “utter madness”, as it’s a constantly building synth and hi hat pattern that very annoyingly, never drops into a beat. We’ve heard it on dance floors and people have been open mouthed in disbelief and awe, which is exactly what Villalobos’ performances should result in.

Ricardo Villalobos – Easy Lee
Finally we have Easy Lee, an emotive minimal floor piece that’s throws deep noises with powerful drums and bass. The vocoder work on this one is head trip inducing to say the least. Belter.

Words by Josh Plews
Photos courtesy of Cocoon