DJ and producer Ralph Session strives to explore elements from funky, deep, techy and soulful sides of House. The head of Half Assed Records will be releasing his EP A Touch Of Class on March 22nd, following the two-part Boogie Down EP which has had support from the likes of The Black Madonna, Luke Solomon & Jimpster, and builds on the warm, authentic, soul-tinged house and disco sounds he serves up.
A certified Audio Engineer, Session started out as a Bboy/House dancer turned producer/Dj and has been producing in the New York house scene since 2010. His DJ sets drip with deep soulful underground disco vibes, and his rich music knowledge has been gleaned from an upbringing in New York’s diverse music scene. He has released cuts for BlackSoul, Emby and Jump Recordings, amongst others, and has shared the decks with some of the house scene greats like Mr V, Jon Cutler, Dj Romain and Son of Sound.
We caught up with him to pick his brain ahead of the release of A Touch Of Class…
To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
I would say it has more of a classic vibe to it. But the classic stuff has so many shades to it like funky, deep, soulful, disco. So my productions tend to flow between those shades while updating that sound for the next generation.
How did it all start for you?
My boy Logic introduced me to house music way back in 2003. 2008 I started messing around with production. I used Sony Acid to see if I could translate what was in my head to reality. After a year I proved to myself I wanted to grow and create more so I invested in some gear. Worked it every day and then decided to step it up and sign up to SAE NY in 2009.
Ten years later I have been learning and growing in my engineering and production skills. These last four releases on Half Assed Records I think exemplify that growth.
What three albums would you say influenced your sound the most?
I can never answer these, so I’ll just say the Nuyorican Soul album, Strictly Rhythm (Label) and living in New York.
Are there any key pieces of equipment that you can’t live without?
Well, my Maschine Studio has been an amazing piece that has changed my workflow. But I would say my Dynaudio Bm5a Monitors. Had them since ’08 and they still bang.
What are some of your key influences in your music? Whether it be the sound created by others, imagery, films or any kind of art form.
M.A.W., Kerri, Ibadan, New York, Disco, Hip Hop, City lights at night. Basically, there are many things any creative can get inspiration from. It’s just about being around a studio when it hits or else you might lose that valuable time of feeling inspired.
What is one sub-genre you think doesn’t get the attention it deserves?
Isn’t it all about sub-genres nowadays though? Seems like things can’t be just house anymore.
Any new or upcoming artists on your radar?
Can I put myself lol?
What single night out has been the most memorable for you? As a performer? As an attendee?
The night I played Tony Touch’s Funkbox Party at Cielo. It was my first time playing Cielo and it was a reunion with great friends at the same time. The fact that it closed soon after makes it more memorable because little did I know that it was my last time there forever. It serves as a great last memory of a place that changed my life and New York’s.
What is your favorite venue of all times?
Shelter when it was on 39th. Or Cielo/Output
What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
I have a single coming out that is a tribute to Masters At Work called “A Nod To M.A.W.” They are my absolute favorite producers. I came across a sound that reminded me of a song so I did my own flip on it. I recruited MoodyManc and GarcyNoise for the remixes and they sound so good. Shooting for a early summer release date on my label Half Assed Records.
Famous last words?
“You only live once. Enjoy that shit.”