House and garage, inspired by Panorama Bar.

The life of Ceri Owens, the English DJ-producer better known as just Ceri, changed when she bought a one-way ticket to Ibiza on a whim. Having graduated from university, where she’d fallen in love with house and techno through nights out in Fabric and Plastic People, she couldn’t think of a better way to spend the summer. “I remember my first trip to DC10 feeling like I had arrived home,” she says. It was during that summer, watching Ricardo Villalobos, Richie Hawtin, Luciano, and Sven Väth that gave her the inspiration to DJ and learn to make music.

Upon her return to England, Owens enrolled in a Music Production Course and offered to play for free around smaller clubs and bars in London. Over time, this evolved into paid gigs and multiple residencies, including at Jaded, the capital’s longest running after-party held at Corsica Studios, where she would play for nine or 10 hours. “It was during this residency I had a chance to fully express myself,” she says.

Her sound today draws inspiration from the classic timeless sounds of Chicago and Detroit, and she balances her DJing work with Find Your Own Records, her own label, which features her own originals with remixes from her favorite producers. In September, she shared I Need You to Make Me Sweat, which features a remix by Mr. G. More recently, she released two more originals with two remixes from D’Julz: Can’t Pay My Bills.

For this week’s XLR8R podcast, Owens has revisited her debut at Panorama Bar in Berlin, where she played alongside Gerd Janson, Cinthie, nd_baumecker, and more in October. She planned a deeper, dubbier set, but when she arrived the energy was in a higher place, and she could feel that a lot of the crowd had been there all night, so instead she wanted to “keep the vibes high and happy and housey,” she says. So, press play for just over an hour of feel-good, vocal-filled house, with a bit of garage thrown in for good measure. “Even though it’s one of the coolest clubs, it’s can also be really fun and playful upstairs too,” Owens says.

01. What have you been up to recently?
Last week I released the latest EP on my label, Find Your Own Records, which I am excited about. With two originals from me, and two remixes from D’Julz. I also recently played my second set at Panorama Bar which was a beautiful soulful amazing experience, plus a good 12-hour (sober) rave dance marathon. I played a warehouse party in Paris, alongside house legends Kerri Chandler, Chez Damier and DJ Deep. And I even managed to fit in a spa day too!

02. What have you been listening to?
When I was at Panorama Bar, I was lucky enough to catch Rob Manga, Soundstream, PARAMIDA, and Zombies in Miami who were all amazing and kept me and my mates dancing for hours. And I also popped to Barcelona brunch the other week as well to hear Mr. G, Minx, and Moodymann who really brought the groove the funk and the soul. I have also been listening to a lot of Paul Rayner, who is an amazing producer, and I included one of his tracks in the mix, as well as listening to a lot of Fred P; and Kerri Chandler just gave away 73 free tracks on his website (which you may still be able to grab if you’re quick!) so I’ve been listening to them too. On a non-music tip, I love listening to meditations by Steve Nobel and Liz Findlay to help calm, ground, cleanse and protect my energy.

03. Where and when did you record this mix?
At my friends’ Jemma and Goris’ house in Ibiza, in their living room, which casually has a Funktion-One sound system in it! They are beautiful souls who, I love dearly. Sadly, Jemma injured her leg skiing, so she was dancing on her crutches as I recorded it. All my records are in the UK and I’m currently in Ibiza, so I have been slowly digitizing my collection, so I can bring them with me anywhere. It’s a never-ending but fun job.

04. How did you choose the tracks that you’ve included?
This mix was inspired by my set at Panorama Bar a few weeks back. It was a four-hour set, so it was hard to encapsulate everything I did in the mix. I did play some naughty tunes there that I didn’t include here, but I included some of my faves.

05. How did it compare to what we might hear you play out live more generally?
I am quite a versatile DJ so I can play differently to this too. I guess this stems from playing such long sets. I can happily play a deep, dubby set, a banging house set, or a (soulful) techno set, at the right time and I also love to show my garage roots as well. For me, my sound is whatever feels right in that moment, which can vary, but hopefully it’s always groovy, timeless, and has soul.

06. What’s next on your horizon?
I am planning the next releases on my label. I am playing Drumsheds in London for the BBC Radio 1 party, as well as Audio in Geneva, Switzerland on Easter weekend. I also have gigs coming up in France, Ibiza and Germany I can’t announce quite yet. I’m looking forward to catching up with family and friends in London and running my music production Masterclass again in April to help up-and-coming producers improve their music, and making more music myself too.

XLR8R Subscribers can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R subscriber, you can read more about it and subscribe here.

Tracklisting

01. Ceri “Can’t Pay My Bills” (D’Julz Remix) (Find Your Own Records)
02. 2 in a Room “Take me Away” (Junior Vasquez Remix) (Cutting Records)
03. Masters of the Monotonal Groove “Gotta Keep On” (3 Beat Music)
04. Original Nutter “Soulful Garage” (Club Mix) (White Label)
05. DJ Pooch “Burning Up” (Unknown)
06. IND “We Will Rock” (Funkin Records)
07. Unknown “Unknown” (Unknown)
08. Vengaboys “The Vengabeat” (Breakin’ Records)
09. Dynamix pres Tina Ann “Don’t Want Another Man” (Peter Doesn’t Want Another Mix) (Star 69 Records)
10. Ruff Drivers “Deeper Love” (Ruff Driverz Ruff Mix) (Inferno)
11. Mr Roy “Something About You” (Deerstalker Dub) (Mocca)
12. Paul Rayner “Say i’m in love” (Extended Mix) (Unknown)
13. Liquid “House (Is A Feeling)” (Original Mix) (XL Recordings)





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