In the last fifteen years, if you haven't heard of at least one of Dean Marriott's production aliases, then you haven't really been listening to house music. A bold statement, but one qualified by the fact that during his career Dean has had his records firmly placed in the boxes of the good and the great, whatever the genre and whatever the trend at the time.
Dean's first production, Cordial's "Candlelight" began life as most early UK house tracks, a handful of white labels and a lot of hope. Not misplaced hope however, as instantly the track triggered a bidding war between FFRR (Tong was a huge supporter), Deconstruction and Liverpool's 3 Beat Records. A gentleman's agreement meant 3Beat was the choice, and Dean continued this relationship with seven releases under his "Masters of the Monotonal Groove" moniker.
A major milestone in Dean's career came when his now legendary Lisa Marie Experience Project struck gold with the underground/overground hit, "Keep on Jumpin". Following this UK Chart number 5 track and a Top Of The Pops appearance, Dean went on to become the UK's most bankable remixer and one of the disco/funky house scene's biggest crowd pulling DJs throughout the 1990's (playing the world over).
The biggest development in Dean's career came when he felt he had done all he could with funky/disco house (i.e.
pioneering it!), and became enthused with the New York tribal sound that was re-emerging in the late nineties. The D Ramirez moniker was born, and his initial outings for Alistair Whitehead's Sporting label were huge for the likes of Xpress 2, Tom Stephan and Pete Tong, His friendship with the Choo Choo stable also led to some of the biggest underground hits to date. His collaboration with label boss Barry Gilbey under the Fingerfest Inc moniker forged the production of a track entitled "Auto Porno", no doubt one of the biggest underground tracks of that time which was quickly snapped up by Yoshitoshi, striaght off the back of the first ever CD being given to Ali from Deep Dish at his gig in Renaissance. Burning Up and Bounce Your DJ were other early D Ramirez Productions on the Choo Choo label back in 2001 which proved integral to the rapid rise of the D Ramirez sound.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Dean has built the D Ramirez name to the point where it is synonymous with funked-up, twisted tribal and electro house. His remixes of Max Linen "The Soulshaker" have earned him "Essential New Tune" and countless buzz/hype/coolcuts number ones while also being an underground anthem. His own track Venus and Mars was a massive Seb Fontaine favourite and became his VIP tune of the week as well as his remix of Spoiled's "All I Know" for Intra records.
This is a pattern that has continued, and flourished, with labels such as Yoshitoshi, Choo Choo, Phonetic, Thrust, Junior, Whoop!, Lot 49, Four:Twenty and Toolroom clambering for D Ramirez material and producers such as Tom Stephan (Superchumbo), Deepgroove, Mark Knight, Max Linen and Meat Katie all lining up to work with him while clubs also attempt to book him for his D Ramirez DJ sets.
Dean has owned and successfully run two labels, the first being the prolific underground label Vudu which ran for seven releases between 2002 and 2003. It was collaborations with artists such as Tom Stephan (Superchumbo), Deepgroove and Mike Monday (as well as his own productions) which placed many Vudu records firmly in the boxes of DJ's such as Deep Dish, Eddie Amador, Pete Tong, Seb Fontaine and Erick Morrillo. Early in 2004 due to a split with his then partner in Vudu, Dean started his very own project Slave Recordings carrying on where Vudu left off. It was the first release; D Ramirez feat. Pete Simpson- "Freaque On" which launched Slave into the stratosphere, quickly followed by Bobby Lorenz "1995" which gained no fewer than five consecutive Pete Tong plays on his Essential selection. Now up to the ninth release and with countless radio plays and DJ support, Slave has established itself as one of the most respected, Underground labels around. With tracks due from Tom Stephan and D Ramirez ("Shake It Baby") another, big room floor shaker from Deepgroove and another electro tinged Freeze Frame production, this pattern is set to continue for many years to come.