Drawn to New York by the disco ball, the Ron Like Hell project has become a familiar face behind the decks of Brooklyn and beyond. With a diverse background on and off the dance floor, Ron’s music tastes have remained rooted in vinyl. Keeping busy as a vinyl buyer and full-time DJ, this selector’s crate is packed with timeless cuts and you should get familiar.
Early days of Ron’s record collection meant saving his allowance and dragging his parents to the shop each weekend. Indie imports made the biggest impression early on with post-punk tones from UK. The sounds of Cocteau Twins, Joy Division and much of the Factory Records catalog sountracked his love affair with the format. The pastime became a profession as Ron took a job at his local shop in the mid-nineties.
These early influences in post-punk seems to be the perfect recipe for modern success on the dance floor. As refined house and techno demand gritty sounds that defy genre barriers, Ron’s origins in the classics give his sets the depth needed for a crowd of underground natives.
I try to avoid a lot of reviews of records and best seller lists. I think it’s really best to find a great new experience by going on instinct.
One thing led to another and Ron was moving to New York. Originally working at the now-closed LES shop Satellite Records, Ron made his way through positions as label manager, Discog sales, and A-1 Records before his current role as lead buyer at Academy Records. The Greenpoint ‘Record Annex’ is well known for pushing international and eclectic sounds. Ron helps the shop ‘connect the dots between old music and new music’.
While working in a shop, Ron met event partner Ryan Smith. After sharing a heavily-Balearic mix of Italo, house, techno, and even rock; the two joined forces with an early party, building a following on the dance floor. Early parties led to a heavier concept as WRECKED debuted in an East Village basement. The part itself focused on fun sounds helping attendees ‘lose track of time and get lost a lot of different musical styles’. The two have a lot of ‘simple plans’ for the event concept. Ron explains how they drive attendee’s to find new music ‘promoting exploration through mixes and get involved in the party scene without being limited’. It’s easy so see the positive impact WRECKED leaves on the community in NYC and beyond.
While going through his favorite records, Ron’s diverse tastes become evident. From industrial tones and post-punk influences to Paul Mccartney’s electronic-leaning release which he describes as ‘robots in the topics having a moment’. When asked on what he looks for in a record he references a certain ‘sensibility’ often found in jazz. It’s evident that deep thought is put into each choice both on and off the dance floor. If records store intelectual is even a thing, Ron Like Hell is just that.