Time flies when you’re having fun. Just ask Ralph Lawson. Over the past two decades his Leeds, England-based 2020 Vision imprint has defined a special place on the dance floor and has subsequently served as a breeding ground for future house music stars (Maya Jane Coles, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Huxley, Âme, DJ T and Paul Woolford) on their road to global acclaim. This year 2020 Vision turns 20 years young and Lawson is celebrating on multiple fronts. Where many dance-oriented labels tap remixers to update tracks from their catalogue, Lawson is taking a different route with Content, a sprawling two-disc compilation out on June 30. Featuring new and exclusive tracks from Matthew Herbert, Eats Everything, Simian Mobile Disco, Tom Trago, Dense & Pika, Cassy and others, Content shows Lawson focusing on the future.
“We’ve survived this long but you’re only as good as your last record so you need to approach every new release like a start up.”
“It’s been an incredible journey so far. We wanted to do the anniversary celebrations differently, it’s not our style just to rehash the back catalogue,” Lawson told Big Shot, taking a break from a mastering session. “Content is about taking a bland, overused word and giving it substance and value, which is exactly what we have always done at 2020. Quality and substance are what drives everything we do. We’ve got a long way to go still and if anything we need to push harder now more than ever. We’ve survived this long but you’re only as good as your last record so you need to approach every new release like a start up.”
Lawson says that the Content parties, which feature top-notch production and talent, are truly special. “The events have become a big focus for us — we’ve got experience in producing amazing shows and we’ve got the artists to play them. The Content tour had a dream start at Fabric in London, then great shows in Milan and Zurich before coming home to Leeds at Canal Mills. The big one is closing the Sonar Lab stage on June 14th in Barcelona but we also have the excellent Hideout festival and a takeover at Channel Zoo in Ibiza in July. We are also adding dates in Berlin, Munich, Glasgow, Japan, America and more to come. We think big on production and developed a 3D projection mapping show on cubes, to accompany the tour, with our partners Loco. You can check the cubes out here.”
Lawson’s dedication to his craft reminds us of the truth in the adage that content is indeed king.