By The Sword _ Interview With Ryan Dallas

Ryan _ Main _ TopBelfast Techno Selector, DSNT Resident & the man behind subsekt 041.

Ryan is a great DJ. We’ve been chatting online lots and are regular listeners to his mixes, so it seemed plausible to add him to the hit list for a mix.

Hailing from Belfast.. He is now part of the DSNT crew, who are bringing the likes of Ancient Methods, AnD, Dettmann and Rebekah over for parties. They’ve also got a record label and released their first vinyl this year. They’re always doing something very interesting, whether its with music or on the design / visual side of things.. such as projection mapping or making videos.

In this interview, we got a bit of background on subsekt 041.. how Ryan got into DJ’ing and discussed the the classic tunes that he always comes back to. We also found out about his involvement with DSNT and got a slight peek at some of their future plans.

The Mix is brilliant btw. Seriously good. Stupid heavy haha.

Hi Ryan how are you doing? Thanks for agreeing to do subsekt 041. Would you mind telling us a little about the mix that you’ve got for us?

-Hello there! Thanks for having me as a guest. The list you guys have had on so far has been quality so I feel privileged to be in such esteemed company! With regards to the mix….basically I read through the subsekt forum on a regular basis (I post so little I may as well be a lurker) and saw a thread recently where everyone was discussing ‘Making Builds and Movement while DJing, out of loopy techno’. It was pretty interesting to read everyone’s vies on DJing, techniques, and the general theory behind it all, but I have to say I come from the opinion that I don’t really think about it too much. I prefer to get stuck in and enjoy myself. For me, it’s always been about just loving mixing rather than getting too much into the nitty gritty side of DJ’ing. Anyways, the mix was recorded on CDs and vinyl in my wee music room with about 8 tins of Red Stripe and a few smokes. I had general idea of the tracks I wanted to play, but just hit record and went with it.

Haha, great! Sounds like a nice little session. What about the tracks that are on it? Do they represent what you are buying now?

It’s pretty much a good gauge of what I would play on a regular basis although I’ll admit I go through phases of what I listen to / play. There could be weeks where I’ll listen to nothing but older techno, then there could be weeks where I’ll listen to nothing but the trippy Prologue/Semantica type stuff. Usually I’ll try and fit as much of it as I can into a mix and I always drop at least one old track! I actually find it pretty tough to keep on top of all the new stuff coming out every week. There’s just so much of it. But that’s all part of the fun I suppose! Some of the producers in the mix I would buy their music without even hearing it, Mike Parker for example, or Rrose. There’s also a track in the mix from a producer called Kapoor, who is part of the DSNT crowd alongside myself, Nez and Oisin. He hasn’t released on any labels yet but he’s definitely my favourite local producer by far. I’m not even bigging him up because he’s part of DSNT, it’s genuinely because I think his tunes are great and they don’t sound like most of the other shit that comes out sounding like it’s been made with a sample pack. Worth a look on Soundcloud anyway!

Before we got chatting on Facebook, I knew your name as I seen it on flyers for events in the Stiff Kitten.  How did you get started DJ’ing and what caught your ear at the start? Any dodgy musical directions? Were you a raver?

I’ve had a set of turntables since I was around 17. I’m 28 now, so of course there were plenty of dodgy musical directions! I think I’ve dabbled in everything from house to trance to hard house to hardcore, but I think anyone would be lying if they said they just listened to cool music all their life. Besides, in my opinion if you’re learning to DJ then the more styles you dabble with, the more it will help you. With regards to raving before DJing, yeah I was always going to some event somewhere! As mentioned, I used to love hard house so I’ve been over to quite a few Tidy Weekenders and have some of my happiest memories from them! Not embarrassed about it at all, it was good craic and never too serious. Moving closer to present, I’d played for a few nights in Belfast prior to getting into The Stiff Kitten. Then they asked me to do warm up for Technasia one night and it sort of started from there. The guys that run The Stiff Kitten also run Shine, which is one of Belfast’s longest running techno nights and I have to admit they were very good to me with gigs in the 2 or so years I played for them. I was lucky enough to warm up for the likes of Ben Klock, Dave Clarke, Frequency 7 (Ben Sims & Surgeon), Speedy J, Phil Kieran, DVS1, Psycatron, Marcel Dettmann, as well as a long list of local DJs. It was great to be a resident and learn how to warm up a club properly, as I think that’s really important for anyone who wants to DJ. There was also the fact that Stiff had a sweet Funktion One sound system, which definitely a massive plus!

Unbeatable list of people there! Well, if we come back a little closer to home, you’ve even been known to do an occasional stream from your house at the weekend just for the craic. Why do you think you are as interested DJ’ing as you are? Is there anything that could fill that void if you couldn’t play, make or mix music anymore?

Well with the exception of bikes, I’m not really into sport at all. At school I opted for musical extra-curricular activities over football or rugby, so it’s probably always been the thing I’ve turned to in order to fill my spare time. I’d far rather go and have a mix than play the Playstation, so that’s generally what I do! If I couldn’t do it any more I’d probably turn into one of those geeks down at the Warhammer shop and spend all my spare time painting the models. Or maybe I’d join a rambling club.

Sweet Jeeesus. Anything but Warhammer please! A living hell – haha


Music production and history are my biggest passions in life. Though people often say that Techno is faceless and should be about the music blah, blah, blah.. I believe in the need to document the people and stories behind it. Techno is a very small world in reality and I think it needs a proper resource. I hope that everyone who is interested in Techno finds this blog accessible in terms of the way that it is written. I personally prefer to hear the artists voice as loud as the music and never enjoy synopsised and pasteurised versions of old conversation; the sort that's peppered with the occasional quote here and there.

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