Richard Sen: The Ransom Note Mix
It's funny to think that Richard Sen has been so prevalent amidst the electronic music community for so long given that he remains such a focused presence on the edge of the underground and cutting edge communities.
His music is timeless and channels a vast array of influences and structures. Sporadic, wild and free he has never been one to be tamed, placed in a box and told how to play. From his youthful days spent painting ths mean streets of London through to his acid laden take on old school club music he has amassed a reputation as one of the best in Britain. Recent outings on the likes of Emotional [Especial] and Firehouse only demonstrate his immense talent even more.
Listen to his mix and read the interview below:
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you?
I'm Richard Sen, born in Ladbroke Grove, West London, grew up in Wembley and now residing in the London Borough of Hackney. I'm a DJ, music producer, graffiti writer and researcher of crime. My interests include reading about the interaction of culture and crime, listening to music, smoking weed, watching documentaries on Netflix, eating KFC, tagging, travelling and riding my bike.
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)?
I call it 'Haunted House' – dark, moody, seductive, mysterious, spooky with moments of fun, funk, euphoria and light. I recently watched the 1932 film The Old Dark House with Boris Karloff and I think that inspired me.
Where was the mix recorded?
At home, dimly lit in a haze of incense and weed smoke.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
See above answer. Definitely not on computer speakers. You need to hear the bottom end properly on a decent system.
What should we be wearing?
Relaxed, maybe just lounging in underwear.
What would be your dream setting to record a mix?
I guess a big old haunted house with zombies and ghosts having a boogie on the dancefloor (like the Thriller video). 2 Technics 1210s, 2 Pioneer CDJs and an Alpha Recording System rotary mixer. I use records and CDs.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Blood Wine or Honey 'Anxious Party People' (Factory Floor Remix). Heavy tribalism going on.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
Coldcut 'Journeys By DJ'
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Ron Hardy. I've heard recordings of his sets and the energy and selection are still inspiring. And, of course, he was so influential in the development of dance music and house music culture.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
I think I had 2 belt drive turntables from a charity shop and a Phonic MRT 60 mixer – old school!
Now, I have 2 Technics 1210s, 2 Pioneer CDJ 800s and a Pioneer DJM 500 mixer. Basic set up that suits me fine.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
Neither is more important. Every track means something only within the context of the mix. The mix should be understood as a whole piece, not a selection of individual tracks.
What were the first and last records you bought?
First record, Jilted John 'Jilted John' and last record, Idris Ackamoor & the Pyramids 'An Angel Fell'.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
The first thing that popped into my head was dark chocolate with a slight chilli kick.
If it was an animal what would it be?
A panther – dark, predatory, dangerous but beautiful.
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Anything with live drums that are not quantised, or drums that change tempo. For example, Blackalicious 'Alphabet Aerobics'.
Upcoming in the world of Richard Sen?
A remix for Anna Lann on your label. Some new original material from me, a new Hackney Vandal Patrol single and maybe even come out of retirement and start painting again. I haven't done a piece (graffiti) for 30 years so let's see…
Anything else we need to discuss?
Shout out to all the bedroom DJs who do it for love (not career or how many 'likes' etc).
Follow Richard Sen on Facebook HERE.