TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
TuneAttic: find music, know music
Ricardo Villalobos

Ricardo Villalobos is a Chilean techno DJ and producer based in Germany.  In a career that spans three decades Villalobos has pioneered and championed minimal techno, building the foundations for the minimal techno / house trend of the late noughties. He runs two record labels Perlon and Playhouse Music. 

Ricardo Villalobos scales of success
Ricardo Villalobos timeline

Ricardo Villalobos Playlist

Press play to listen
Add a playlist to your page using iLike
(Research 1997)
(Playhouse 2003)

Early Years: 1993 to 2005

Born in Santiago, Chile in 1970 to a Chilean father and German mother he left Chile with his family during the Pinochet military coup in 1973.  Always fascinated by rhythm at an early age he started to play conga and bongos and later in university started to DJ. 

In 1993 Villalobos set up the Placid Flavour label, on which he released his Sinus Poetry and Vintage Island E.P.s.  The E.P.s demonstrated a variety of styles, from the hypnotic ‘The Contempt’ to the percussive dance floor rhythm of ‘N-DRA’, but were very clearly techno.  By contrast, early releases of some other techno luminaries, such as Adam Beyer, had their roots in other genres. 

Villalobos’ breakthrough release was ‘Mdma’ in 1996 under the pseudonym Richard Wolfsdorf.  ‘Mdma’, clearly designed for the dancefloor, focused on hypnotic minimal beats and sounds, a pattern that he picked up again with his next single ‘Heike’.

By 1998 Villalobos started DJ-ing professionally. Over the following years he took his minimal production style and stripped it down even further.  So that tracks such as ‘Tomorrov Cocktail’ (2001) and ‘Cactus Love’ (with Jay Haze in 2004) featured little more than hypnotic minimal beats with the occasional bass riff. 

Villalobos released his first studio album ‘Alcachofa’ in 2003, featuring the standout track ‘Dexter’, a haunting and hypnotic track that straddles house, techno and even trance.

(Sei Es Drum 2008)
(Frisbee Tracks 2006)
Love Family Park
Later Years: 2006 to present

As an early pioneer of of minimal techno Villalobos’ musical influence and popularity grew with the advent of the minimal movement in the second half of the noughties, brought to the dance mainstream by artists such as Loco Dice, Nic Fanciulli and Dubfire.  Villalobo’s 2006 ‘Fizheuer Zieheuer’ almost stands as a blue print for this new wave of cross-over house / techno minimal.

Minimal techno too often translates into a narrow mix of music.  But throughout the latter part of the noughties Villalobos continued to experiment within the sub genre, ranging from the eerie and unpredictable ‘We brought Our Friends’ (as Odd Machine in 2007), through the lazy jazz brass of ‘Melowdee’ (with Jay Haze in 2008) to the quirky vocal funk of ‘Baile’ (with Los Updates in 2009). 

One of Villalobos’ rare ventures outside of techno was a track that got him more attention than most: the feel good house tracks ‘Enfants’.  Featuring a melodic piano riff, a chorus of children singing in French and electro house remixes, it is hardly typical Villalobos fare.

Villalobos’s new found popularity came in the shape of major headline DJ gigs across the globe, strong selling singles and high profile mix compilations such as Fabric in 2007.  By the end of 2008, Villalobos was voted #1 in Resident Advisor's Top 100 DJs Of 2008.

Ricardo Villalobos has never trodden the easy music path.  Sticking to a minimal techno sound that has won him hardcore of fans and critical acclaim but that until the minimal renaissance in the late noughties looked set to confine him to the fringes.  A prolific producer and hardworking DJ who still likes to party, Villalobos is an artist who the dance floor can identify with.

Ricardo Villalobos was born in 1970 in Chile to a Chilean father and a German mother.  After moving to Germany (following the Pinochet military coup in Chile) his parents got work in Frankfurt airport.  Villalobos is married with children.