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Yousef


Artist Biography

Genre: House


Where does Yousef stand in 2010? His second decade in the music business, fifteen years of acid house dedication that has seen him throw his life into dance music, and there’s still room for growth artistically and professionally. Alarmingly good deck skills and Completely comfortable in his own skin, itching for progress and further creative empowerment all, Yousef has strode headlong into the year with increasing maturity and prowess.

The new decade sees Yousef consolidating his status as an international DJ, Producer, Club Promoter and Music aficionado with ever greater impact. Last year saw him achieve a first, the release of his debut artist album. Whilst 2005’s ‘Friends’, an 8 track extended EP saw a collection of collaborations extend the usual club single, ‘A Collection of Scars & Situations’ was Yousef tackling that tricky beast completely on his own, finally laying down on wax a watermark of his effervescent personality. It showcased the different dynamics to his sound as a performer alongside material more reflective of the man away from the booth, the club tracks seeing heavy support from the usual rag tag ensemble of dance music greats; Sasha, Danny Tengalia, Nic Fanciulli, Carl Cox, Steve Lawler, Radio Slave and Nick Curly among them.

But ‘A Collection of Scars & Situations’ was more than just your typical DJ led collection of bangers. They are catered for of course, most resplendently by the pulsating tech house monster ‘Legacy’ (bolstered by a superb archaic vocal from Derrick Carter) and the Beyer - esque ‘Equilibrium’. But it’s the haunting electronica of ‘Birthday Thoughts’ and ‘A Moment of Clarity’ that gave the album its gritty edge, two bleak almost dystopian efforts which channel the darker undercurrents of electronic music perfectly, much better than the standard ‘chill-out’ fare posted by DJs when they turn their artistic efforts into a long player. DJs, clubbers and the Music media were universal in the praise.

“Legacy” was picked up for global single release by Renaissance. It garnered plays all over specialist dance radio worldwide (most notably John Digweed, Carl Cox and BBC Radio One’s Pete Tong), as well the coveted DMC single of the week; it was here where Kriss Needs dubbed it as “one of the stand out tracks of 2009”. When Yousef was asked to contribute an essential mix from the world renowned Creamfields, he set about remaking the track into the ‘Terrace Edit’, taking the track into a newer and fresher direction (two further ep’s are set to drop for renaissance in 2010). The influence was direct from the dancefloor where he had spent the summer partying, a place where his love for house music was being re-invigorated even more, Amnesia’s Terrace at Cocoon.

It continued the mutual love affair between Yousef and Germany, the hub of worldwide electronic music. He signed two new EP’s to Mannheim’s premier league label Plastic City, and after season long support from Sven Vath, “Come home” was released on the world’s most followed electronic music brand Cocoon. It blew up, cutting across the spectrum of house and techno, making ‘Essential new tune’ on Pete Tong’s Radio One show, with consistent support from John Digweed, Laurent Garnier and of course Vath himself. He was then signed to Berlins’ leading DJ agency WILDE for his bookings in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, while he remains in the hands of Safehouse management for the rest of the world, their only other client beyond Carl Cox.

The international love has never been stronger. He’s played in pretty much every nation the world over, marking one first last year as the first western DJ to play the troubled nation of Syria. Ibiza, with its arcane hedonism and wild party ethos has always served as an adequate stomping ground for his cross genre grooves. And of course he’s back there this year... with a vengeance! South America has also shown a stronger allure for Yousef, with further ground being broken in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil increasing his continental lustre. Closer to home, he clocked up his first London Residency by inking a monthly deal at Matter, the brainchild of Fabric impresario Keith Reilly. Matter NYE saw another iconic Yousef DJ set, taking over from Vath at 2am for the inaugural Cocoon party and delivering a three hour onslaught of fierce and brutal house and techno to a 3500 capacity club.

Last year he remixed Dj Sneak, Fergie and Tobii to devastating effect. 2010 has already seen an earth-shattering remix of Moby’s ‘Wait for me’ completed, plus his touch gifted to Gilles Peterson’s Havana Band project and new kid “Teva” – watch out for this one…. The chance to work with a Latin template harking back to the influences allayed to his early days at Cream. He remixed two UK legends (X-Press 2’s ‘Say What’ and Fatboy Slim’s ‘Local Town’, the latter featuring rasp voiced rudeboy Jamie T), whilst Nic Fanciulli and his Saved Imprint continue to show their love, with the aforementioned album’s ‘I Suggest’ out now with the superb ‘Firecracker’ on the flip one of two 2010 ep’s for nic’s imprint. This follows on from previous work with CR2, JBO, Skint and Underwater and Berwick Street. Offers for remixes and singles are now coming in daily from labels from across the globe, yousef remains focussed on a follow up for cocoon.

Circus Recordings also notched up a year of releases in 2009, churning out eight Yousef singles which have illustrated the madness and hedonism of the club he has created. Yousefs monthly celebrated seven years at the apex of Liverpool’s club scene in September last year and he is still pulling line-ups together that makes the accountants balk and the clubbers froth at the mouth. House music at its kaleidoscopic best, heavyweight names such as Laurent Garnier, Luciano, Loco Dice, Dubfire, and Eric Prydz have faced off with the of the young upstarts of the underground like; Jamie Jones, Tim Green, Sebo K and Davide Squillace have been amongst others for debut Liverpool shows.

Oh and they got their thug on with Cocoon, bringing Vath and his imperial hedonism to Liverpool for the first time ever in a scintillating party that peaked on every sensory element. There’s little the club night hasn’t done or booked, and with this year already seeing return slots for John Digweed and Derrick Carter, plus debuts for Heidi, Guy Gerber and the irrepressible groove icon Ricardo Vilalobos, there’s seems little left for them to prove. But that’s been the case year after year, and the event still keeps oscillating further away from stagnation and plateau with eye popping gusto.

As ever it’s a stylistic snapshot not only of the modern house music climate, but that of Yousef himself. Whilst he shot to fame in the late nineties countering the main room trance and progressive of Cream with US house flavoured beats in his famed Annexe residency, Yousef has evolved and taken much more on board into his stylistic remit. Whilst his techno renaissance has been underway for a while, this year the style has continued to take more twists and turns into differing realms of the electronic sphere. The deep disco of producers like Prins Thomas and Mark E has recently found itself an integral part of Yousef’s musings, enabling him to give another edge to the swaggering groove and swing that has always been at the forefront of his sound.

It’s this process of constant evolution rather than reinvention which has characterised Yousef’s career, and kept him at the forefront of promoters’ thoughts across the globe. And there’s the small matter of him running the London marathon, raising cash for CALM and showcasing his serious edge to the party reputation he’s always encased. Record Label Owner and Internationally renowned club promoter, it’s a far cry from the excess which defined wilder youth, confirming his professionalism and dedication to the acid house dream.

Whether criss-crossing the globe with his arsenal of varied sounds or impregnating his own individual aural histrionics on wax, Yousef is stamping his identity on dance music and leaving a lasting impression. There’s few who come close in terms of dedication or in the variance of approach, Yousef hits each and every base with alarming regularity. And the best part yet? The journey has only just begun... it’s now a big cliché but, undeniably, 2010 really is Yousef’s year.