DJ Rasp Interview

The 30 second intro – Who are you?

I’m Dean aka DJ Rasp, I started my DJ journey back in 1996! Along the way I’ve accomplished some titles on the turntablist battle circuit (Ed- Rasp is underplaying this a bit !!…)

DJ Rasp is a 3 x UK DMC and  5 x UK IDA Champion

I play various genres of music, you could say that I’m an open format dj….I like to incorporate turntablism into my dj sets, I play in bands sometimes as the role of a turntablist, I also collaborate with different musicians as well as dj manufactures. I do AV sets, produce my own music, teach DJing, put on my own scratch and battle events called Slice & Dice and I run my own DJ agency too.

DJ Rasp Interview

DJWORX exclusive DJ Rasp 45 set

How would most people know you? (What are you most well known for?)  

Probably for my battling/turntablist sets and collaborations that I’ve done with various DJ companies over the years.

Please list your relevant links (Social accounts, Mixcloud, gigs etc and a link to a mix) *

DJ Rasp | RANE

TikTok – Make Your Day

Blah Records Presents Cold Sag Athletic (Mixed By Dj Rasp)

Do you have any releases you want to share?

My latest vinyl release Cycles Of Hope is available at Piccadilly Records, Eastern Bloc Records and Vinyl Resting Place in MCR.

DJ Rasp Interview

Side A kicks off with the title track ‘Cycles Of Hope’, a downtempo / lo-fi hip-hop cut with a healthy dose of turntable trickery. ‘My Heart Bleeds’ is an experimental fusion of electronic sounds, eerie samples, heavy drum breaks & turntablism. Meanwhile the B side features 7 skipless scratch sentences with both classic scratch sounds & original phrases of samples and beats designed for you to cut it up and get creative (Ed – This sounds like a dream for all you scratchers)

What is your home DJ tech set up currently?

I’ve had a few set ups over time, currently I’m rocking the Rane 70 ATRAK Edition Mixer with a pair of Technics 1210s and Ortofon VNL Carts and Stylus. I’ve also been having a lot of fun with a Vestax PDX 2000, my old Pioneer DJM 909 Mixer and a Boss RC Loopstation and a couple of boxes of 45s!!!

What do you most often play out on these days?

I’ll use whatever is in a venue when I do standard club or bar sets, It’s usually a Pioneer 900 Nexus 2 with 2x CDJ 2000 Nexus 2 and a pair of good old fashioned Technics. Depending on the situation and booking I’ll either use Serato with HID mode with Phase, some USB sticks with either RekordBox or just raw mp3s or a phat box of Vinyl (mostly 45s)…..or sometimes all of them things for the same gig!!! 

For more specific sets that I get booked for I’ll use a RANE FOUR for AV shows and a pair of RANE 12s and a decent scratch mixer my turntablist showcases.

What DJ tech did you use in your early days? (We’d love to see some photos!)

Back in the day I used to use all kinds of weird and wonderful belt driven turntables and budget mixers such as SoundLabs and Geminis as that was all I could afford at the time.

I eventually saved up and got a set of Technics 1210s and I was rocking the Official first edition of the DMC Technics/Panasonic Mixer which was a massive step up for me, however the faders lifespan in that 1st Edition mixer was awful and they wouldn’t last long (a couple of days if you were lucky haha). A year later I acquired a Vestax PMC 06 Mixtick which was a game changer!!!

What’s on the tech shopping list?

A lifetime supply of some OG M47s would be nice haha (Ed – Good luck with that!!)

What’s been your favourite ever gig?

That’s a very hard question to answer…….. some stand out moments

  • Headlining at MixClub in Beijing – 2018
  • Headlining The Kunming Music Festival – 2017 (shout out to DSK)
  • Playing a Drum and Bass set at Beatherder on the Ring stage – 2017
  • Doing a back to back session at Chibuku, Masque, Liverpool with my friend Johnny 1 Move – 2001
  • Djing alongside my old rap crew The Shakti in the Citadel St Helens back in 2000 (we did a lot of gigs together over the years, however there was one in particular that really stood out)
  • Performing at Dpercussions Manchester 2007 with my mate Gkut
  • Warming up for Jazzy Jeff at the Birmingham NEC at the BPM Show 2017 was a huge honour, big up Mark One who recommended me for that gig 
  • Performing at the very last ITF UK Final at the MEN Arena in MCR – 2005
  • Winning my first DMC Regional in a packed out club called The Wardrobe in Leeds back in 2006 was special
  • Competing in the Gong Battle 2013 in NYC was really cool, much thanks to Christie Z Pabon and Marilyn Sasha for having me out there
  • Showcasing at The Portuguese IDA finals in Porto was awesome – 2011
  • Playing a hardcore Dubstep set in Wigan at Don’t Panic was deffo a night to remember – 2010
  • Winning my first UK title at the 2009 DMC Battle For Supremacy in London was a landmark moment for me and I will hold that close to my heart as it took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to achieve that goal 
  • Playing alongside my band the Incredible 11 in MCR when we was just coming out of the lockdown period 2021 was deffo a nice gig 

Speaking of lockdown… I played a great illegal rave that was extremely liberating at the time (nope I won’t give away it’s location or date) 

The vibe was amazing and it was really good to be around people after all of the nightlife was closed, and the fact that we were told not to party when the politicians and the elites could do what they please whilst us normal folk weren’t allowed to leave the house was extremely liberating…..

Last but definitely not least. It was an absolute honour to perform alongside The Diabolical Biz Markie at the 2019 Washington DMC  event was extremely special for me as it was so impromptu and one of them moments that just organically happened…..

I was playing some funk breaks and warming up the crowd before the battle began, then in walks a very familiar face…. it was the legendary rapper Biz Markie, he jumped on the mic started hosting over my set, entertaining the crowd, rapping, beatboxing and he even cut it up with me…..we had a proper laugh and he was so much fun to be around….The best rap entertainer to have ever have done it in my opinion RIP The Legendary Biz Markie 

There’s loads more that I can tell you about……. and hopefully a load more to come in the future…..

DJ Rasp Interview

Throughout your career is there a piece of equipment that you have just never got on with?

Traktor software….it would just give me headaches at gigs and in live situations…..when it worked it was amazing however it let me down on more than one occasion so I refused to use it. This was around 2010, I’ve heard that it has improved but from my experience with it…. it put me off for life hahaha

From a DJing point of view what three things do you always take to a gig apart from USB and headphones obviously!

I always have a Reloop Ready with me for back up and for ‘them just incase situations’ because you never know…. 

A Torch (Ed – Excellent advice, especially if your set up is more complicated than just USBs)

Various cables

Can you talk us through your productions? (If any)

Soul Powered Militia was track that I produced on my MPC 2000XL and good ol Pro Tools many years ago…It’s a nod to the old Britcore sound. I collaborated with Liverpool HipHop rap legend TL aka Tony Broke who did the rhymes on the track….this one is for the bboy/bgirl community

DJ Rasp Feat TL Soul Powered Militia

The Goblin is a track that I’m very proud of, to this day it has never had an official release (I should just get it out there I suppose hahaha). This is more of an electronic/ trap/ club banger I made this just by using my laptop and Ableton

The video that my friend James Shaw shot for me was so much fun to make 

DJ Rasp – Goblin 

My latest release is called Cycles Of Hope…. this was created in the lock down period which was a mad time for everyone, I was going through some life stuff and creating this track was a way of expressing myself in them dark times.

This instrumental track is a combination of turntablism and lofi beats created using turntables, a scratch mixer, Ableton a load of samples and records.


If you still have vinyl at home, how much?

Oh yes hahaha loads of it (for my tiny house) and I’m still buying it (Ed – This sounds familiar) 

The last time I counted it was approx 7,000, it’s not the biggest of collection compared to some hardcore diggers out there, but like they say quality over quantity…..

Outside of DJing and production, what tech do you use at home?

I’m a bit of a gaming nerd in my spare time and like the retro games, I absolutely love my Mini SNES and Mini NES, I’ve even got an old arcade cabinet (needs repairing though). (Ed – jealous, especially if it Operation Wolf.)

I like my iPad too for every day use

Can you let us know three apps that are essential to you?

  • Shazam is great when you’re out and about and you a song and need to know some info about it.
  • Tempo tap is an extremely useful app for us DJs
  • WhoSampled is great for all of us break spotting nerds

What app would you like to spread the word about?

Capcut is super handy for doing quick video edits if you’re out and about and don’t have access to you laptop and video editing software.

What non-music related product can’t you live without? 

Probably my Mini SNES (Ed – DJWORX challenges anyone to beat us at Mario Kart).

Any DJs or producers that we should watch out for?

Batfunk from MCR is a very talented Rapper and Beatmaker that specialises in that old dusty boombap sound, check him out

Football team?

I don’t follow it, it’s not for me

Book recommendations?  

  • V for Vendetta
  • Watchmen

Thank you very much for having us do the interview, big up everyone at DJWORX.

Thanks to Dean for the DJ Rasp interview.

Rasp is a great inspiration to turntablists everywhere, in that hard work and talent can be turned into a career, without losing the passion that got you there in the first place. Rasp is also an example of how to build out on your skill set, but getting involved in projects adjacent to DJing you can forge a career. Check out the other DJWORX interviews, including turntablists like Atomic Hooligan.