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If you try hard enough, eventually you will succeed! These hopeful words are addressed to those who give everything they have got to accomplish something they aim for. The line implies persistence. Whether you succeed or fail depends on the strength of your will to make it. Something that undeniably goes for making it as a techno DJ in Holland as the possibilities to reach the top are very limited. You have to produce some brilliant records, you have to know the right people in the bizznizz or you have to organize your own parties at which you put yourself behind the decks primetime, that are the only options. But are they? There is a fourth way, one that matches the description of the DJ whose biography you are reading. The way of the iron will.
Ritzi Lee is a DJ who wants to make his dream come true. There is nothing he would like to do more than to make a career in spinning, preferably international as well. The graduate maths at the University of Amsterdam has been around in the dance scene for at least 10 years now. As a young scholar Ritzi was captured by the same vibe that caught so many young men and women in the early nineties. Though he was way too young he slipped through the doors of world famous clubs like It and Roxy to witness the DJs control the new sounds of the nightlife. He watched them play and tried the things he saw out at home on his own turntables. It did not take long before he made his appearance on school parties.
Despite its glamour and attraction, Ritzi soon lost interest in the club scene. When he discovered the techno, influenced by Steve Rachmad, it became clear to him that this was the kind of music he preferred. Goodbye clubbing, hello underground!
Ritzi soon found out that success would not come to him by itself. Hard labor was to be done and he sent out demos and participated successfully in DJ-contests. For instance the contest organized by former dance magazine Bassic Groove in cooperation with Update Magazine. Ritzi won a stage at the famous Dance Valley festival and a performance on the FFWD parade in Rotterdam.
Ritzis style of spinning and choice of records has a wide range. He likes to play funky techno but he has no problem whatsoever with putting the needle on deep, harsh and dark records. Whether he is scheduled as opener, primetime or closer of the night makes no difference either, his versatility makes him as complete as they come. Fluently mixing Downtempo records or rocking the working tools that only work when handled by a DJ with turntable skills makes no difference to Ritzi, he loves it all just the same.
However, the big stage remained prohibited area for Ritzi. So he decided to take matters into his own hands by founding his own company called Underground Liberation. A reference to the underground scene he likes so much and to which he contributed by organizing his own small parties. Due to the fact that techno is not extremely popular in Holland, throwing parties alone appeared not enough. Ritzi always wanted to make his own music so he started to produce as well. With the help of big names such as Ade Fenton, Jamie Bissmire and Ben Long he came on the right track not long after. Something that was not unseen by the Italian Mario Manganelli from the Looseclub, a Naples Italy based organization from which DJs like Marco Carola, Rino Cerrone and Gaetano Parisio derive. Mario gave Ritzi the opportunity to perform on one of the Mindform nights and he connected him with the Italian producer Silver Blade who worked at the Silvertraxx studios. In 2002, Ritzi released his first record, in cooperation with Silver Blade called Phat-S-Up. The record did well and was played by DJ of the likes as Orlando Voorn and Adam Beyer. This gave Ritzi the confidence to go on and the bankruptcy of Silvertraxx did not stop him.
On the contrary, by lack of the financial means to buy expensive studio equipment Ritzi learned to produce digitally on his computer with special programs written for producers.
He no longer needed to visit studios of others, his computer was enough. Now he could release his own sound on his own label. After four years of producing the Underground Liberation label came to live with the release of the Bitter Sweet EP, worldwide distributed with help of Jamie Bissmire, who took care of some tracks himself. Above that this year Ritzi launches another label as well, called Niteworks Recordings, which will be a true house music label.
Ritzi is ready for the real stuff. Coming up on Underground Liberation are three EPs with contributions of Jan Liefhebber and Orlando Voorn. A new chapter in his musical career will be written. It is obvious, if you try hard enough, eventually you will succeed!