August 18, 2019 | Guest Mixes

#68 'Journey In Your Mind' by Erell Ranson


Hey Erell, you’ve made a pretty impressive career since your start around the mid-90’s, releasing music from the early 2000’s onward. What was the scene like in France when you started? 

From where I live, people were more attracted from Belgium and its mega clubs like Lagoa, La Bush. I live a hundred kilometers from belgian borders. All the weekends, the youngs gone to these mega clubs. All what they wanted to hear, it was the sound of these places. … 

But with some friends we made our own parties with a little success, and a little club (L’Enfer in Verton) tried to move the things too. But it wasn’t easy.

I think my first contact with you was through Mick Welch and his impressive Elektrosouls imprint in 2011. There was a small after that one, but you’ve been really active from 2017 onwards. Was it just life that happened or did you concentrate on something else?

I think it's a combination of several events, things that made me do a little less sound for a certain period. Even if I still tinkered a little, nothing very conclusive ... 

I had to move the studio several times, so nothing really stable where to work. Once the renovation of our house finished, it was more easy to focus on the musical side of my life, i’ve got a dedicated room now. And inspiration wasn’t really there too i think.

Do you have any good stories to share from the past ~20 years? Like, tell us a good story about a club night where you were DJ'ing and suddenly…

Good stories, yes i’ve got some … Party in a WW2 blockhaus with the sun in the early morning, and people gone mad …

How did you start making music and in retrospect what are your favorites or most memorable releases to date?

I started like a lot of us, mixing music from others. But the urge of create my own tracks was more important I think, and I bought some equipments and started to jam with them.

Trying to reproduce the tracks I loved, and slowly I found my own touch.

My first release got a special place in my heart, because it is the first and because Arne Weinberg gave me the opportunity to start my career. Without him, not sure i will be where I am now.

You know, in hindsight, I had to be in the right place at the right time.

You’ve got a brand new release that just came out on Gestalt Records - being a big fan of the label that a nice surprise especially with the timing of this mix. How did that came to be and can you tell us a little about how you approached making it?

I’m on their promo mailing list, and I liked what I received. And I kindly asked them if they could be interesting to have a demo. They respond positively, and I selected a couple of tracks. And they made their choice.

Just to give the readers a little background. A 3 or 4 track ep is seen as a standard release - but I’m keen to know how long the process was with the most recent ep? What was the most rewarding part of it?

I do not work with the goal to having an ep. I usually do the tracks as they come. if I want to make an electro track, well I start ... Then when the time comes, I select tracks that could stick between them, after the labels choose the ones they want.

For example, my release on Kalahari Oyster, i sent 12 tracks something like that … They were made during the same period, and Colino (label A&R) choiced the ones he prefered.

Are there any plans to re-release some of your back catalogue? I know there are some sought after gems in there that are hard to find!

I know people would have an interest to see a repress of my release on AW Recordings. Badly the masters are lost, so i don’t think it will see the lights one day ...

Moving on a bit - What are your fondest musical memories from your childhood? 

As far as I can remember, music has always been present. the radio was still on all the day… I could spend my afternoons sitting listening to my parents' vinyls on their stereo. They listened to everything: jazz, classical music for my father, English pop and popular singers for my mother.

What was the first record that made a lasting impression on you?

There are two essentials album i listened to all the time from my father’s collection :

“Papa Was A Rolling Stone” by The Temptations i think it doesn’t need a presentation, and “Silly Sally” by Sweet Smoke … A psychedelic rock album with a huge drum solo in it.

What are your favourite pieces of music you've owned and why?

The two albums i mentioned before, they have a sentimental value. After my original Transmat pressings, my Underground Resistance collection but i think all my collection … Difficult to choice some favourite. They all got a place in it for some reasons.

What would you consider to be the five most personal records you own and why?

1/ Lil'Louis "French Kiss" - if I'm not wrong, it was the really first house music track I listened to. It was on a big national radio station. I was 11 years old and bam !!!

2/ Underground Resistance "Final Frontier" : my first contact with Detroit, not sure it was the first because at that time, we didn't have so much infos and it was hard to find them. It was the first UR in my collection


3/ Infiniti "Flash Flood" - it was during a bad period in my youth. Lot of memories attached to this one. Always tears when I listen to it. This track is so melancholic

4/ Jeff Mills "Purpose Maker" - Because it is Jeff Mills. I played a lot of of his releases in the past. I played harder than now. This one was often on my decks

5/ Sigur Ros "Ágætis Byrjun" - It is the perfect album to decompress home after a stressful week at work. Sit down, click on play, close your eyes and let's go. I like a lot this kind of music too : Mùm, Sigur Pos and more

How did you get introduced to dance music in the first place? 

I’ve got an uncle who listened to Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, JM Jarre and this kind of stuff. He recorded his albums on cassettes for me. One day, zapping on the radio I came across a radio "mythical" in France: Maxximum.

And I caught the virus.I did not really know what it was, I was 12/13 years old but I was hypnotized ... without knowing it was what I was looking for it seems.

Is the dancing as important as the music?

Dancing it is where the things come from …

The mix you did for us is titled “Journey In Your Mind”. It's a beautiful and very well crafted set. Could you tell us a little about the track selection?

Nothing was prepared, i selected a bunch of vinyls, put them in the flycase and let’s go. I wanted to start with a Arne’s track it is only thing which was prepared. 

How does Erell Ranson the DJ benefit from the work of Erell Ranson the artist and vice versa?

I think the artist had more impact on my DJ side. I’m not djing a lot, not so much gigs … 

Many thanks Erell, anything else?

Thanks to you!


01 - Arne Weinberg - Obtained - Open Mind Recordings - 2006
02 - Erell Ranson - How Deep Are Your Dreams - Warm Fiction - 2019
03 - B Mus - Multiplexing - Aesthetic Circle Records - 2014
04 - G-Prod - The Rites Of Glamounja - Nightflight Records - 2019
05 - Todd Bodine - Catch Me - Highgrade Records ‎- 2004
06 - Fabrice Lig - Bump Bump - Versatile Records - 2008
07 - Plastikman - Spastik - NovaMute - 1993
08 - Surgeon - Syllable - Downwards - 1996
09 - Duplex - DR Man - DPX Recordings ‎ - 2017
10 - Fabrice Lig - Cubism - Raygun Records - 1999
11 - Titonton Duvante - Voyeurism - Starbaby - 1999
12 - Erell Ranson - Cold Mornings - Magnonic Signals - 2019
13 - Mihail P - Moon Chaser - Where We Met - 2017
14 - Arne Weinberg - Arcane - AW-Recordings - 2009
15 - Erell Ranson - Scattered Minds - Distant Worlds - 2019

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Erell Ranson

Location: France
Bandcamp | Soundcloud

Born in 1977 and raised in the north of France was influenced by the synthetic wave of the seventies (Kraftwerk, Vangelis....) that he discoverd thanks to his uncle. In 1989 – 1990, he discoverd techno music on Maxximum Radio where Laurent Garnier host..

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