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Tim Ritchie - Ritchie's Cunning Plan

Author: Huwston
Friday, 14 December 2007
In this, the third and final instalment of 3D's coverage of Andrew Weatherall's guest support DJs, Huwston talks to Tim Ritchie, currently of Radio National Music Director fame. He doesn't need that on his business card to be recognised as the Don Dada of Dance in Australia, and guess what- He's coming out of retirement and returning to the decks for one night only…

As far as musical encyclopaedias are concerned, there are certainly worse people to be trapped in a room with than Ritchie. A geyser of information but always inclusive with it, the man seems always to be able to contextualise a sound to an experience, so even if you haven't heard what he's describing or weren't there, you 'get it'.

“I've always loved playing a wide selection of music from different genres and times,” he says. “That's what got me interested in radio and then taking that to an audience that may be moving about is what got me interested in club work.”

DJing through the '80s and half way through the '90s, Ritchie was taught by the late Robert Racic. Please remember, this is a time when you could probably count the number of club DJs in Sydney on two hands, so why did he quit-

“Apart from the fact that everyone became a DJ and what you got paid went right down, the clubs were interested in single genre DJs,” he says, not needing to stress the importance of the latter reason. “That's not what interested me…you could play different genres during different club nights within the one club but I like taking people in different directions in the one night.”

As we've learnt in the last weeks, Andrew Weatherall was the king of Madchester, producing the pivotal Screamadelica record by Primal Scream and later going on to become a Warp Records stalwart of dubby electro. He has recently compiled a rockabilly compilation.

“What Weatherall is famous for is being across all genres,” Ritchie says. “I've always admired what Weatherall brought to the appreciation of music, which is something I have put just back into radio and he has put in an in-front-of-an-audience kind of way.”

Ritchie relishes this opportunity. To me, the gig falls somewhere between 'musical appreciation class' and sex on E, but hey that's just me.

“It's very exciting to play to an appreciative crowd,” Ritchie notes. “I don't need beat-mixing for what I am planning on doing on the night. I believe I am on early so it can be a bit of an adventure,” he says, suggesting what we can expect of him come show time.

“You look on your database through all of the tunes and go, 'Wouldn't it be great if people loved that-' and you just get this feeling of exciting of all the stuff I have saved up over three decades of collecting music. I look through it and say 'I can play that, I can play that and if they don't like that, I can steer them back with this…'

“It's made my collection become alive and exciting again rather than something that's just for me.”

WHO: Tim Ritchie
WHAT: Supports Andy Weatherall at Oxford Art Factory
WHEN: Saturday 12 January
MORE: oxfordartfactory.com

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