PLAYED At SCREEN
Release - San Fracisco
Twilo - New York City
Space - Ibiza
Home - London
Session - Birmingham
Presents - Middlesbrough
Colours - Edinburgh
Colours - Glasgow
Steve Lawler is a definitive DJ and producer; a tastemaker
whose sets combine quality house music with the power to move dance
floors around the world. In the last few years, he's wowed crowds
in such far flung places as Zouk in Singapore, Groovejet in Miami,
Twilo in New York and the mighty Space in Ibiza. Courtesy of home,
he provided the most groundbreaking sets of the season for many of
those lucky enough to hear him. After two months he had been crowned
'King Of Space' by the locals - a rare and well deserved honour.
You can find Steve behind the decks every Friday at Deep South @ home,
where his 5 hour sets of twisted house are bringing a new lease of
life to one of London's biggest clubs. As well as guest spots at
every pioneering club in the UK from Renaissance to Bedrock.
If one person had to be singled out for Deep South's success it would
be none other than top-class resident Steve Lawler. Whose mammoth
five-hour sets of chunky house and intoxicating tribal progressive
sounds have dragged him into the realms of the superstar DJ, and the
club into one of the clubbing success stories of the year. But modest
as ever, Steve puts it down to a combination of factors:
"I wouldn't accept that it's all down to me," understates Lawler.
"There are a lot of people involved in making that night good.
I just do what I do."
Steve Lawler hails from the Midlands, yet there is something distinctly
non-territorial in his work. Although loving the atmosphere in the
big Saturday nightclubs (he's an ex-resident at Cream), Lawler
also refuses to pander to any punter wherever he's spinning, especially
at home. Think DJ communism, with equal treatment for all the masses.
" It's rewarding for me to know that so many people are going off
to underground music every Friday night across the country. Clubs
like home and Renaissance have the best soundsystems and crowds in
the UK, and the feeling you get from playing those nights is amazing".
Tuning into electronic music from an early age, Steve used to buy
Depeche Mode records when he was young, so he obviously loved electronic
sounds without even realising it. But it was acid house that really
turned Steve on. Tuning avidly in to local pirate PCRL radio station
gave Steve a taste for house music, and it wasn't long before his
mates were luring him off to warehouse parties.
"I was totally blown away by the whole experience: the dark room,
the strobes and the atmosphere. The whole thing just blew me away
and inspired me to do my own parties".
Which is exactly what he did, putting on a series of illegal parties
in a disused tunnel under the M42 between 1990-1994. "The last
one was just amazing. We had Tony de Vit playing, and it had
just grown from this small party to this huge thing - basically a
rave. It was all about town the day before, people running around
Birmingham going 'The tunnel's on, the tunnel's on.'"
But it was in Ibiza that Lawler got his first true break.
Having earned his Ibiza stripes - he's been every year since 1990
through to 1997 it was finally Steve's chance to prove himself as
an accomplished DJ. He was a resident at Café Mambo, spinning his
legendary 8 hour sets there every day, as well as playing three times
a week at Pacha. It was then he was spotted by Darren Hughes,
then of Cream, who recognised his talent and ambition to succeed.
Signing him up to Cream's DJing agency, he began a residency at the
eponymous Liverpool institution. At only his second date at the club
he had to follow Paul Oakenfold at their NYE party. Not an
easy feat, but one which Lawler coped with admirably. The rest, as
they say, is history…
It's not all about DJing though. Lawler's accomplished production,
under the monikers of Novocane, Chameleon and, naturally, Steve Lawler,
are currently causing mayhem amongst the likes of Tenaglia, Tong,
Sasha, Digweed, Deep Dish, and Pete Heller. 'Rise In',
is a self-assured cut of heavy dancefloor pressure, which, as with
all the best things, has simplicity as its key. Watch it drop on any
dancefloor in the world and you realise that Lawler, in his production
as much as his DJing, understands how to work a crowd. 'Rise In' is
set for a September release, and if you've been near any of the coolest
dance floors on the planet, you'll have realised just how special
the track is. The buzz around the tune has superceded any of this
summer's releases, and the Top 20 beckons. Who'd have thought proper
house music would once again reach such heights? But then, as most
of you know, Lawler is something very special.
"First and foremost I am a DJ," explains Steve. "I am not
making records for a career or the money, it's just that I want to
make my own version of sounds that would go down well in a club. When
I make music I sit there and close my eyes and imagine being on a
dancefloor, with the lights and the soundsytem. It's hard to get right
all the time, but I'm going to keep banging away at it until I do".
Which is pretty much Steve Lawler for you. A hardworking Midlands
lad who has never taken the easy path to success. From his mammoth
sets at Space in Ibiza, or his tendency to re-edit half the tracks
in his box, Steve certainly knows the meaning of graft:
"I do a lot of my own re-edits, because I get sent so many records
where its all good and then some horrible break kicks in. So I just
cut that bit out, get it on to CD and then go and get a slate cut.
It's the way forward. It means that a lot of records that people might
have, I have my own versions of them. It makes it unique, which you
have to do these days. There's 1001 DJs out there. It's probably one
of the reasons why I have actually got somewhere… I do make the effort."
Steve's spun at every club in Ibiza, and every decent club in the
world, and has stunned all detractors of the progressive sound.
He was described in The Face as, "The UK's Tenaglia",
and in Jockey Slut as "one of the best dj's in the world".
Steve Lawler: the pioneer of twisted house who loves a bit
of hard work. If you were waiting for a change of musical tack, then
follow Lawler's lead. Don't be left behind…
Steve Lawler - Dark Drums
Steve Lawler - Home
Steve Lawler - Nu Breed
Steve Lawler - Homelands
Steve Lawler - Dark Drums 2
Steve Lawler - Lights Out
SINGLES / REMIXES
Neve - Sacrifice My Love (Neo)
Phreak Project - Beat of a Drum (Soul Brother)
Cevin Fisher - Love Some More (Subversive)
BT - Never Gonna Come Back Down (MoS)
Soul Providers - Rise (Azuli)
Trisco - Muzak (Positiva)
Musique Vs U2 - New Years Dub (Serious)
Dub Pistols - Official Chemical (A&M)
Chameleon - Streghth (Cross Trax)
Novacane - Rainmaker (Glow)
Steve Lawler - Rise In (Bedrock)
Steve Lawler - Rise 'In (Superfly)
Steve Lawler - Rise 'In (Nervous)