The new decade sees Yousef consolidating his status as an international DJ, Producer, Club Promoter and Music aficionado with ever greater impact. Last year saw him achieve a first, the release of his debut artist album - A Collection of Scars & Situations’ finally laying down on wax a watermark of his effervescent personality. It showcased the different dynamics to his sound as a performer - heavy support from the usual rag tag ensemble of dance music greats; Sasha, Danny Tengalia, Nic Fanciulli, Carl Cox, Steve Lawler, Radio Slave and Nick Curly among them.
‘A Collection of Scars & Situations’ was more than just your typical DJ led collection of bangers. They are catered for of course, most resplendently by the pulsating tech house monster ‘Legacy’ (bolstered by a superb archaic vocal from Derrick Carter) and the Beyer - esque ‘Equilibrium’. But it’s the haunting electronica of ‘Birthday Thoughts’ and ‘A Moment of Clarity’ that gave the album its gritty edge, two bleak almost dystopian efforts which channel the darker undercurrents of electronic music perfectly, DJs, clubbers and the Music media were universal in the praise.
“Legacy” was picked up for global single release by Renaissance. It garnered plays all over specialist dance radio worldwide (most notably John Digweed, Carl Cox and BBC Radio One’s Pete Tong), as well the coveted DMC single of the week; it was dubbed “one of the stand out tracks of 2009”. When Yousef was asked to contribute an essential mix from the world renowned Creamfields, he set about remaking the track into the ‘Terrace Edit’, taking the track into a newer and fresher direction (two further ep’s are set to drop for renaissance in 2010).
It continued the mutual love affair between Yousef and Germany, the hub of worldwide electronic music. He signed two new EP’s to Mannheim’s premier league label Plastic City, and after season long support from Sven Vath, “Come home” was released on the world’s most followed electronic music brand Cocoon. It blew up, cutting across the spectrum of house and techno, making ‘Essential new tune’ on Pete Tong’s Radio One show, with consistent support from John Digweed, Laurent Garnier and of course Vath himself. A certain dj names Sasha fell in love with the composition so much he asjked to remix it, which he has in fine style (out on cocoon in mid 2010).
Yousef was then signed to Berlins’ leading DJ agency WILDE for his bookings in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, while he remains in the hands of Safehouse management for the rest of the world, also home to Carl Cox.
The international love has never been stronger for Yousef. The first international DJ to play the troubled nation of Syria. Ibiza, with its arcane hedonism and wild party ethos has always served as an adequate stomping ground for his cross genre grooves. And of course he’s back there this year... with a vengeance! South America has also shown a stronger allure for Yousef, with further ground being broken in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil increasing his continental lustre. A recent 6 date tour on Indonesia showed how far yousefs reach is getting. Closer to home, he clocked up his first London Residency by inking a monthly deal at Matter, the brainchild of Fabric impresario Keith Reilly. Matter NYE saw another iconic Yousef DJ set, taking over from Vath at 2am for the inaugural Cocoon party and delivering a three hour onslaught of fierce and brutal house and techno to a 3500 capacity club.
In 2009 yousef remixed Dj Sneak, Fergie and Tobii to devastating effect. 2010 has already seen an earth-shattering remix of Moby’s ‘Wait for me’ completed, plus his touch gifted to Gilles Peterson’s Havana Band project and new kid “Teva” with yousef’s floor devastating circus rework of “you cant teach this”. He remixed two UK legends (X-Press 2’s ‘Say What’ and Fatboy Slim’s ‘Local Town’, the latter featuring rasp voiced rudeboy Jamie T), whilst Nic Fanciulli and his Saved Imprint continue to show their love, with the aforementioned album’s ‘I Suggest’ out now with the superb ‘Firecracker’ on the flip one of two 2010 ep’s for nic’s imprint. The other “my explanation / dis information” already championed by tong on his rather well known radio weekly as well as support from underground house dons Rebbot and Nick Curly among many others. Further Eps for renaissance and debuts on carl cox’s Intec and seminal (vath started) Harthouse records both follow this year… Of course with a follow up on cocoon too…
Yousef’s own Circus Recordings also notched up a year of releases since launching in 2008, churning out eight Yousef singles which have illustrated the madness and hedonism of the club he has created.
Yousefs monthly event celebrated seven years at the apex of Liverpool’s club scene in September last year and he is still pulling line-ups together that makes the accountants balk and the clubbers froth at the mouth. House music at its kaleidoscopic best, heavyweight names such as Laurent Garnier, Luciano, Loco Dice, Dubfire, and Eric Prydz have faced off with the of the young upstarts of the underground like; Jamie Jones, Tim Green, Sebo K and Davide Squillace have been amongst others for debut Liverpool shows.
Oh and they got their thug on with Cocoon, bringing Vath and his imperial hedonism to Liverpool for the first time ever in a scintillating party that peaked on every sensory element. There’s little the club night hasn’t done or booked, and with this year already seeing return slots for John Digweed and Derrick Carter, plus debuts for Heidi, Guy Gerber and the irrepressible groove icon Ricardo Vilalobos, there’s seems little left for them to prove.
So, just when things couldn’t peak any further for circus Radio One were looking for a club to host the 500th essential mix party. They considered every major club worldwide, circus was (in the words of radio one) the only choice…. Yousef and his long lasting partner Richard went to work, pulling in Richie Hawtin, Sasha, Aeroplane, of course Pete Tong and yousef himself. A 4 hour live global broadcast from circus in its original 1100 capacity club followed. Circus’ finest hour…? Maybe, we’ve thought that before.
It’s this process of constant evolution rather than reinvention which has characterised Yousef’s career, and kept him at the forefront of promoters’ thoughts across the globe. And there’s the small matter of him running the London marathon, raising cash for CALM and showcasing his serious edge to the party reputation he’s always encased. Record Label Owner and Internationally renowned club promoter, it’s a far cry from the excess which defined wilder youth, confirming his professionalism and dedication to the acid house dream.
Whether criss-crossing the globe with his arsenal of varied sounds or impregnating his own individual aural histrionics on wax, Yousef is stamping his identity on dance music and leaving a lasting impression. There’s few who come close in terms of dedication or in the variance of approach, Yousef hits each and every base with alarming regularity. And the best part yet? The journey has only just begun... it’s now a big cliché but, undeniably, but, 2010 really is Yousef’s year.