No matter how you look at it, DJ Lil’ Tony, born Toni Rantanen, is the central character in Helsinki club scene. A member of the prestigious Nuspirit Helsinki collective and upcoming new electronic music project called Future Beat Investigatigators.
For a decade, he has amazingly been continuously on the top of the game, running the only Helsinki venues that are up to international club standards. From early 90s to the early 2000s it was Kerma and sOda, today it is Rose Garden and Kuudes linja. In addition to all this, he is also one of the people behind Flow, the annual electronic/urban music festival in Helsinki, and the owner of the trendy Helsinki bars: Porvoonkadun Baari, Kola, Kutosen Baari, Åbo and Oujee.
Toni’s roots lie in the early days of underground warehouse parties and he has not to date lost his commitment to the underground and uncompromised musical culture. On the other hand Toni’s got strong jazz/soul/Latin background. As a DJ, Lil’ Tony is probably best known for his deep and soulful house/techno sets – Detroit/New York/Chicago house music was his first love after all – but he is remarkably unprejudiced and eclectic in his approach to music, be that for his personal listening pleasure only, or what he plays when out DJing. So be not surprised if you hear the man throwing in some Soulful Disco, Afro-cosmica Italo stuff, balearic rareties, Disco not Disco record or even twisted Jazz track. Lil’ Tonys main musical influences – in addition to extensive traveling – are UR, Harvey, Ron Hardy, Ron Trent, Chez Damier, Daniele Baldelli, Theo Parrish, Marvin Gaye, Moodyman, Fela Kuti, Carl Craig and Basic Channel.
As a promoter, Toni has brought literally hundreds of international DJs and live artists to Helsinki. Some of the highlights include: Âme, Juan Atkins, Blake Baxter, Kerri Chandler, Joe Clausell, Carl Craig, Keb Darge, Kirk Degiorgio, Dixon, Domu, Titonton Duvante, Edan, Egon, Laurent Garnier, Morgan Geist, José Gonzáles live, Graven hurst live, Matthew Herbert, I:Cube, Idjut Boys, Norman Jay, Jay Dilla (R.I.P.), Jazzanova, Jazzman, Kenny Dope, King Britt, Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas, Louie Vega, Derrick May, Metro Area live, Moodyman, Mark Murpy live, Octave One, Omar live, Osunlade, José Padilla, Peshay, Gilles Peterson, Photek, DJ Pierre, DJ Rolando, Scion, Solomon Luke, Seiji, Marleena Shaw, Slam Mode, DJ Spinna, Paul St. Hilaire, Tortured Soul live, United Future Organization, UR live, Marva Whitney live, Josh Wink, Questlove, Charles Webster & Claude Young.
Lil' Tony's January TOP 15
1. Radio Slave - RJ (Running Back)
2. Culoe - Bright Forest (Innervisions)
3. Tokyo Blackstar - Sepiaphone/Game over (Innervisions)
4. Dan Drastic - Slices Of Life (Johnny D Rmx) (Moon Harbour)
5. Detroit Experiment - Think Twice (Henrik Schwarz Rmx) (BBE)
6. I:Cube vs. Âme - Rej (Granfathers Paradox Version) (BBE)
7. Reshape - Warrior (Music Man)
8. Je Davu - I Zebra (Platzhisch)
9. Lil’ Tony - Raw Trax vol. 1 (Moodmusic)
10. Emad Paradian - Kamanche (Souvenir)
11. Ragtyme - I Can’t Stay Away (Ron Hardy Mix)
12. Mixworks - Dance Tactics EP (Mixworks)
13. Tribute To Arthur Rusell - Tree House (Lil’ Tony Rework) (Electric Minds)
14. Mike Denhahert - MDRL EP (Fachwerk)
15. Bad Cop Bad Cop - Top of the cops (Kahlwild)
MIX Lil Tony Live Mix @ Diskon Tulevaisuus 11.4.2008 Here's a live recording of the first three hours (damn that Ableton Live's three
hour recording limit!) of Lil' Tony's latest Diskon Tulevaisuus set at Kuudes
linja. Deep house and techno at its finest. Download and enjoy!
Part 2 Artists: Ripperton, Melon, Dixon, Henrik Schwarz, Amampondo, Ricardo Villalobos,
Lil' Tony, The Regisford & Harris Project, Mr. White & Larry Heard, Mountain
People, Mathew Jonson, Cobblestone Jazz, Fabrice Lig, Radio Slave, Joakim, Jovonn,
DJ Disciple, Alter Ego, Booka Shade, Carl Craig, Âme, Theo Parrish, Abicah Soul… http://www.cosmiccity.fi/media/diskon_tulevaisuus_april2008_pt2.mp3
future Beat Investigators - Aeroflot 12" july 2008 Raw Fusion
Lil Tony - Cosmic City EP Versatile Records june 2008
Lil Tony- House Ep Innervisions Records february 2009
Future Beat Investigators - Forthosewhoknow EP 2007 Raw Fusion Records
Future Beat Investigators - Disco Medusa EP 2007 Sonar Kollektiv
Future Beat Investigators - Duk 12" 2007 Raw Fusion Records