Report: Ronski Speed @FanJ Twice in Osaka
EDEN – Ronski Speed – Osaka Only @ FANJ TWICE 06/26/2009 (Fri) report by marc_0
This time, I’ve been so lucky to sit at the same table with legendary trance DJ and producer Ronski Speed (real name Ronny Schneider) and chat about many topics with him and the party organizers.
The funny thing is that I was only supposed to get at the party alone or, eventually, with some of my Facebook Osaka friends and “so called” trance lovers.
Anyway … this is a sort of “diary” and summary of our chat with Ronski which may be of interest the worldwide trance community, so I thought I’d post it here:
/26 (around 4:30PM)
As soon as I’ve reached Osaka station (near Umeda?), I’ve moved to America Mura in Namba area where FANJ TWICE is located: this decision was due to the fact that, I often easily get lost around Japan so I just wanted to make sure to locate the club then planned to get drunk in its proximity.
After some drinks at the convenience store, a quick visit to the nearby area and a delicious takoyaki, I’ve contacted Mr. Hirofumi Ohta through my Italian DJ friend Sebastiano Gosmar since he told me was the organizer of the party.
Sebastiano also informed me he couldn’t attend the event that night but he once played as DJ at the same event with Mr. Ohta and he keeps an awesome memory of him both as a DJ and a friend.
Mr. Ohta showed up around 8:30PM while I was sitting at the stairs immediately nearby the club and talking with him over the phone to set up our meeting.
Then we moved to his small room right in the same building were the club was and he started explaining me he’s been into trance for many years and played at the same stage with Underworld, The Chemical Brothers, Moby, Prodigy, Payl Oakenfold, Paul Van Dyk, Tiesto, Junkie XL in USA (especially Miami, Florida).
In addition to that, he released the mix CD “Best Of Euphonic“ and spinned at last year Ronski’s event @ Ageha (tent).
He explained to me that since Sebastiano couldn’t attend, he was very happy to have myself instead for language support with Ronski (Hiro (Mr. Ohta) didn’t believe his English was good enough, while I thought it was quite good).
We then moved to the club where I also met with DJ Master Azia, which previously contacted me in reply to my inquiry to get a discount for the venue in Roski’s community on Mixi.
Hiro then put me in the FREE (!!!) list as well as some of his guest and we moved inside the club for a quick look.
At the time only a small lounge area, providing also food, was operative as the main floor was not scheduled to open until 12:00AM.
Around 10PM, we moved with another local DJ to pick up Ronski at his hotel room and take him to dinner.
Ronski came down and we moved to a nearby Royal Host restaurant for dinner. Hiro and the other Japanese DJ were pretty much acting like shy Japanese, not very talkative. I followed suit and refrained to take too much initiative in chatting with Ronski.
Ronski sorted out the menu and he only ordered a plate of fried chicken. He was very happy to notice normal ice water were brought to the table (as always in Japan) so we had our “water-campai”.
Then he order a coke and so did Hiro (affected by an early stage of cold) while myself and the other Japanese DJ chose a same and healthy beer.
Ronski appeared in great shape despite the 10+ hours of flight from Germany, in reply to the usual “how’s going?/what’s up?” he also said he had another gig in Thailand the very next day (Sat. 27) and in India on (Sun. 28).
As Hiro asked how’s the actual trance scene in Germany, Ronski replied it has been a great 2009 so far for him and DJs like Markus Schulz, ATB and Cosmic Gate are doing pretty well.
Ronski also told us he will play at the huge “Nature One” festival in August, @ Gatecrasher Tour in Brazil and had a gig in Dubai (UAE) in July. The usual German “Street Parade” (more techno than trance) will not be held this year in Germany as it was starting to become too much commercial.
Then the conversation moved to the organization of the party as Ronski’s set was scheduled from 3AM to 5AM: as we informed Ronski about it, he said he may prefer a 1:30 to 3:30 (perhaps due to his early flight the very next morning), so Hiro called the club and his management accordingly in order to change the schedule.
Meanwhile the plate of fried chicken that Ronski ordered, came in a two pieces “version” while the menu showed it in a picture to be a four pieces one.
As we asked the waitress, she didn’t seem to understand and Ronski ended up just ordering 2 more portions of the same two pieces fried chicken.
After dinner, realized the stressing schedule Ronski was under, we decided to move back to the hotel to give him a chance to rest. With the plan pick him up again at 12:30 AM.
Back to the club, we moved to one of the 2 dress rooms and Hiro appeared concerned about the change in the timetable as well as its actual influence to the event.
His main concern was to have Ronski spinning at the time of max affluence and 1:30AM was perhaps too early. I suggested to simply wait and see the situation along with Ronski and possibly to put him back to the original 3AM to 5AM schedule if that seemed better. Hiro liked the idea and he decided to go ahead with it.
At 12:00AM, the main floor opened and DJ Master Azia started his set with a chill out version of Armin van Buuren’s “Burning With Desire“.
Hiro was also very disappointed that despite the fact they knew about Ronski’s gig since April, flyers came out just 2 weeks before and there wasn’t much promoting on the web either.
Back to the hotel again to pick up Ronski. While waiting I pulled out my faithful iPod and got Hiro to listen Sindre Eide’s tune “Essentia” (Original Mix) that I used on May 2009 mix. He didn’t seem to know that piece in particular, but looking at his expression while listening I was pretty sure he liked it.
Ronski came down to the lobby with his “in-the-air”/”ready to rock!” hair style and we moved to the club and to the dress up room.
With Hiro and the rest of the the staff busy with the last minute setup, I was left in the dressing room with Ronski and, finally my chance to ask away a few questions. We started drinking Whiskey and Coke as we were kindly equipped with a bottle of each and we started chatting.. (see at the end of the article for the Q&A).
Despite the expectations, not many people were in the club around 1:30AM so Hiro jumped on stage and started his 1.5 hour set with the original mix of Cressida’s “Onyric” (another Euphonic artist).
FANJ TWICE’s dressing room had the peculiarity of beeing located right a few meters across the main stage so we had the chance to exit the room and go checking the main floor.
Ronski’s DJ bag was pretty big, I asked if he had any vinyl on it and he said he’s not spinning with vinyl anymore since 2003 or 2004.
As the local DJ came back from his set at the lunge into the dressing room, Ronski pulled out some of his CDs, getting me more curious for questions and for a few snapshots with my trusty ultra-compact.
By 3AM, Ronski replaced Hiro on the main stage. After sooo many Whiskey & Coke it was hard for me see exactly how many people were dancing in the main stage. My guess is about 30 to 40 people.
Ronski started with Above & Beyond – Shana vs Can’t Sleep (Duderstadt Progressive Dub – Black Army Mash Up), I don’t remember if he beatmatched Hiro’s last tune or he faded it out and started his set.
The 2nd tune was Moonbeam Feat. Avis Vox – About You (Original Mix). I like this tune quite a bit, but I didn’t know it then. Luckily Ronski filled me in on it.
In the meantime I was chatting with Hiro and moving back and forth between the the dancing floor to the stage, taking pictures/videos and refilling Ronski’s glass with more Whiskey & Coke.
Ronski played a great set including many of his productions (his remix of Super8 and Tab’s “Delusion”, the Markus Schulz Mash Up of “The Perspective Space”, the Sun Decade Mix of “Are You?”) as well as some hits from last year (Wippenberg’s “Chakalaka”, Rank 1’s L.E.D. There Be Light…) and fresh 2009 tunes (Ferry Corsten’s “Made Of Love”, Dakota’s “Johnny The Fox”…).
After the gig we took Ronski back to the hotel and then to the Airport with DJ Master Azia’s car where I had another chance to ask some more question to Ronski which appeared never tired or bored to reply.
- A total of 70-80 people ONLY attended Ronski’s gig.
- Ronski confirmed his fame of world top rank DJ providing a great set and never looking disappointed about the small audience.
- Japan won’t have any trance event with world wide DJs for a very while: I’m glad I’ve caught this chance even though the distance to Tokyo.
- Japanese trance has a lot to offer: it won’t be strange if talented DJs like Hirofumi replaced Yoda as opener to the Magnificent events. I am way too tired of having to see his boring sets every Armin, Ferry etc…
- Promotion could definitely have been better, but at least Hirofumi and his management tried very hard.
- Hirofumi will keep encouraging trance in Japan: they are planning to organize parties with less famous DJs like Mat Zo and let more people know about the beauty of trance.
Here is a summary of some of the question to Ronski in completely random order.
We only chatted informally, so answers are with my words and based on the best of what memory serves me. I cannot make any guarantees on the accuracy of the answers, though I put my best effort to report them as I understood:
[Question] – As a Cubase producer, what do you think is most important to produce a hit?
[Ronski] – Cubase is just a tool to make tunes. Of course having the knowledge about how to use it it’s important but the thing that matters most is definitely what comes from your mind and soul.
[Q] – About Tiesto
[R] – Tiesto’s popularity cannot be compared to any other DJ in the world. He’s like a “brand” and made as many hits than any other.
[Q] – As Markus Schulz’s latest set in Ageha, you played Wippenberg‘s “Chakalaka” which has been released last year and is not really a new song… any reason why?
[R] – I think as for Ronski Speed’s “The Space We Are”, “Chakalaka” it’s a once-in-a-DJ-lifetime tune. I mean, that kind of tune that you will be remember for. It will be difficult for him to create a hit like that again. He has been asked to do a sequel or something similar but I believe creating a tune that has such “magic” can only happen a very few times in a DJ’s life for the kind of music we produce. I love the song because it has a lot of elements of electronica and other stuff which are not 100% trance.
[Q] – About Michael Jackson’s premature death
[R] – I saw the news on the Internet and just couldn’t believe it. It doesn’t seem like a natural death. I’ve read about some substances that doctors found upon the autopsy.
Anyway, in terms of music, he has been the first one to do a lot of things and many tried to imitate him. I am not surprised he has influenced some of the trance DJs as well since his music was also dance music.
[Q] – About Armin van Buuren
[R] – Armin is really working hard with trance popularity. He gets most of the promos before anyone else.
[Q] – About Ferry Corsten
[R] – I have a great respect of him. (according to Ronski, Ferry’s biggest hit ever was “Punk”)
[Q] – Do you use any external device (keyboards etc.) for your productions or just virtual instruments?
[R] – I used to have devices for my earliest productions (Ronski started making music in 1997) but right now I only use virtual instruments. I still keep that equipment at my place in Germany. There are a lot of type of sounds that are hard for me to re-create without the use of virtual instruments.
[Q] – Do you play any instrument?
[R] – Not really. I once had a session with Jono Grant which is one of the guys between “Above & Beyond” and I was really impressed how he played the keyboard. We started the session and he started playing all these beautiful keyboard and synth parts which were simply amazing. The same stuff you can actually hear from Above & Beyond productions. We ended up drinking and getting drunk (laughs).
I also bought a Gibson guitar for an extraordinary cheap price in an instrument store which was going bankrupt. But I didn’t start playing it seriously yet.
[Q] – Tell me some tricks about the way you store your CDs for your gigs.
[R] – I receive promos from a lot of DJs worldwide. I have a second copy of all these promos I receive on CD: a CDR does not cost you much.
[Q] – As producer, what’s really important to keep rocking for so many years as you did?
[R] – Hundreds of tracks get released every week: half of them are just crap but half of them may be very good. It’s important to keep the quality on your own productions.
[Q] – What’s behind the project Shadowrider?
[R] – I once produced this tune called “Blue Horizon” and it has never been released. A lot of people has been keeping asking me about it so we’ve released it on Red Force Recordings last year with remixes from Giuseppe Ottaviani and Luke Terry.