Let me tell you a story...
Walking through the midst of Farr Festival a few years back we were greeted by the rumble of drums and the tinkering of pristine high end filters from a tent which was not accustomed to playing music by day. Sometimes the greatest surprises lurk around the corner, amidst the unexpected as we watched a dj play to a small crowd of dancers who were focussed and engaged. Operating on a rotary mixer, Onlee, who is better known to some by his name of Leon, was meandering his way between house and techno that might have been out of place elsewhere. It was high energy, fast paced and remarkably unpretentious from a dj who was clearly in love with the nature of the craft beyond all else.
As a journalist he works with DJ Mag and has previously been involved in editorial here at Ransom Note - his taste is sprawling and wide but is largely based around late nights and tall tales from the late nineties and early 2000's. An era of change but of great revelry and remarkable stories...
This mix is built up of material that's new and intriguing, yet mixed with the love and precision of someone who has loved dance music for a long, long time. That's why we started this site to begin with...
Listen and read the interview below...
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you?
I am Leon, currently on Planet Earth by way of NE London, nee, SW London and I’m not entirely sure what I am.
What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
Where was the mix recorded?
Adjacent to the start of the Jack The Ripper Tour in Aldgate, London, England
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Best whilst on the move. Definitely when running. And even more definitely in a dark, well-tuned club room.
What should we be wearing?
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
The Gashouder, Amsterdam.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Erm… I can’t pick one sorry, it’s going to have to be something from the start, middle and end; Ploy - ‘Ramos’, Berg Jaar - ‘AO’ and Luke Slater - ‘Love’ (Scuba’s Bagley mix)
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
Of all time? Do you mean studio mix or live from a club? I haven’t got the foggiest to be honest, I struggle to remember or catalogue mixes I’ve loved. I’m terrible for taking stock of things, be that musically or in life. However…. Heartless Crew - ‘Crisp Biscuit Vol. 1 is an absolute belter.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Laurent Garnier. I think he’s traversed the electronic music scene with his credibility is intact. A top producer and DJ in equal measure, behind one of my all time favourite tracks, ‘Acid Eiffel’, and just general doesn’t seem like a dick.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
My first setup, which I still own, bought some 18 years ago is a pair of Stanton str8-30 direct drive turntables and a Vestax PCV275 mixer. My current setup is a Pioneer XDJ-RX2.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
Depends on the situation. If you don’t value the importance of everything in between the start and end then neither will mean fuck all anyway! That’s a life lesson there for you too.
What were the first and last records you bought?
First record is an easy one; Ed Rush & Optical - ‘Pacman’. I stopped properly buying records about 10 years ago as the luxury became too expensive versus digital. But
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
High protein, low-carb and weighed out to the exact gram — It’s functional, lean and well balanced, dependent on your needs, of course.
If it was an animal what would it be?
Jeff Goldblum as a fly in the film, The Fly.
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Nah, everything can be mixed into something.
Upcoming in the world of onlee…
I can’t think about the future, only the now…
Anything else we need to discuss?
I hope you enjoy the mix, I’ve tried to encapsulate a bunch of influences from my youth to now. I was originally into harder styles both melodically and percussively (hard house/trance and drum & bass) and UKG. But as I grew out of that, the tempos slowed and an appreciation for the nuances of minimal/techy strands of house & techno developed. That’s loosely where I’ve been for the last decade but have never really settled on a core sound. I think, at least I hope, this mix reflects these varying moods and textures whilst remaining fun, danceable and above all a cohesive mix
But aside from that, no. Nothing else to discuss.