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90s Superstar DJs: What Are They Up To Now?

Published on March 31, 2014 by staff

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Ever wondered what happened to the big, Superstart DJs from the 90s? Back then the scene was far less glamorous than nowadays, when champagne did not spraying, cake throwing was not a thing and boat crowd surfing wasn’t the norm. Artists used vinyls and it was all for the love of music, because they weren’t making millions anytime soon. Its not wonder that many ended up drifting away from the profession, looking for something more stable; some, however, are still rocking many a dance floor the world over. We’ve tracked down some of our favorite and most beloved EDM pioneers to see what they are up to in 2014.

FATBOY SLIM

This Brighton DJ has probably crafted one of the most long-term, steady careers in the business. He paved the way for happy and cheerful electronic music that would take over beach parties and grow big in our hearts after deciding to ditch his role as a bassist for socialist indie band Housmartins and embrace his EDM love. Fatboy Slim is infamous for being banned from playing in his hometown for four years after an innocent gig in 2002 attracted 250,000 music lovers instead of the expected 60,000. Good music, beach… we can’t blame him! Since then, he has become became a household name in the industry and continues to disrupt the peace with his Big Beach Boutique insane parties around the world.

Fatboy Slim is one of the very first DJs to reach the superstar status, and his wild rock’n’roll party style would put Oasis’ Gallagher brothers to shame. After a period of depression after the breakup of this first marriage, he surrendered to a life of heavy drinking, partying and drugs. Behind the decks, he was always high and E was his favorite drug – he was famously crucified over his claims that the drug cured his depression. “A friend gave it to me one night and I woke up the next morning grinning,” he stated at the time.

Nowadays, he’s very different from the party animal that used to own a pad entitled House of Love and snort cocaine from the train rails behind his residence. He has sobered up and avoided drinking even a single drop of alcohol since his infamous rehab stay in 2009. “Rehab taught me that being an alcoholic you can’t drink responsibly… so you can’t drink at all. So that’s the choice I made: to quit booze for good.”

Fatboy’s latest single Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat has been destroying dance floors worldwide for a while now, and it’s one of the most played tracks in the big festivals at the moment. We likey.

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DANNY RAMPLING

The iconic British House Music DJ is known as one of the original founders of the rave/club scene in the UK. He joined the BBC family in 1994 to run “Lovegroove Dance Party” on Radio 1, which lasted until 2002, which was the second longest running dance music show in radio history just after Pete Tong’s Essential Selection. Shortly after, in 2005, Danny announced his retirement with plans to open a restaurant.

“When I was a DJ I’d play on the weekend then chill out all week, which was lovely during the 1990s. But as I entered my 40s I got very restless for change. The lifestyle involves a lot of touring, flying around the world, spending weeks away from home and when you have kids it’s not easy”, he claimed.

After doing some work experience in Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen, he aborted the project – we’re guessing Ramsay’s potty mouth might have scared him away. He then got involved in property development business, starting a company called Phoenix Trinity Design & Build. Even though he still does some gigs every once in a while since 2007, he spends his days building environmentally friendly houses.

The following year, Rampling released a book entitled ‘Everything you need to know about DJ’ing and success’, which serves as inspiration for the new breed of young DJs looking for guidance from a major player in the scene. Nowadays, you can catch him performing every now and then as a DJ, but his main focus remains with his eco-friendly company.

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DANNY TEGNALIA

This Grammy nominated New Yorker is synonymous with outstanding remixes of 90’s pop anthems, from Madonna’s ‘Human Nature’ and Grace’s ‘Not Over Yet’, to Cher’s ‘All or Nothing’ and Jamiroquai’s ‘Emergency On Planet Earth’. Ah, the memories! In 1998, he graced NY with his presence during a residency at the massive club Tunnel and released ‘Elements’, a track from his album ‘Tourism’, that would top Billboard Dance Charts for two weeks.

Danny had an incredibly successful career, gracing the decks of the main festivals and nightclubs around the globe with his deep disco-fueled house sound and the hard-twisted techno for over three decades. If you were lucky enough might have seen him at places like Webster Hall, Roxy, Pachá and Miami’s WMC .

In 2012, he posted on his Facebook page saying that he was “resigning” and took a break that, lucky for us, didn’t last too long. Nowadays he has been DJing around and you can catch him playing live every week somewhere in the US.

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UNDERWORLD

It’s not easy to find a group of musicians that lasts as long as the legendary Underworld. It’s been 27 years since they decided to venture into the music industry as a trio and 15 since the launch of their debut single ‘Mother Earth’/‘The Hump’.

Their guitar-oriented, funky sound with electro twists that blends techno, dub, trance, drum’n’bass, ambient and even blues, took the world by storm and has influenced a broad array of artists. They have been featured in soundtracks and film scores, television, and even the 2012 London Summer Olympics. One of the most successful releases of the British boys was, without a doubt, the band’s 1996 album, “Second Toughest in the Infants”. The release included the colossal anthem of a generation ‘Born Slippy.NUXX’, featured in the iconic film ‘Trainspotting’, alongside ‘Dark & Long (Dark Train)’, off the same album. Talk about legendary!

After the departure of Darren Emerson in 2001, Rick Smith and Karl Hyde kept the project alive with many successful releases, including a massive 10-year compilation titled ‘Underworld 1992-2002’. In 2005, Smith and Hyde launched the ‘Riverrun’ project, which delivered brand new music directly to their fans via the internet- three separate works have been released so far.

The electronic band has also started broadcasting an online radio show inspired by their time spent waiting for the emblematic John Peel at the BBC in 2004, who, left for a on holiday in Peru and sadly never returned. In 2013, they produced a four-hour show broadcasted live from Frankfurt’s Cocoon club with Sven Väth – hopefully the first of many more to come.

Underworld is about to release a new album this May on Warp Records. ‘Someday World’ contains nine songs, composed and sung by Eno & Hyde together with a highly distinguished cast of talented supporting musicians. “It’s a bit like being nine years old again. You have no idea what you’ve just been given, the record button has been pressed and you’re on. And then these unlikely patterns start to happen. The biggest surprise was discovering we both had a love of Afrobeat, Cyclical music based in live playing. When Brian played me these early tracks it was, ‘Oh my god, this is home! Can I borrow a guitar?”, said Karl Hyde.

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Written by Carolina Galli