Think Ricardo Villalobos, think Club Fabric. Think Club Fabric, think Ricky V. Think Ricky V, think WRDM. Think WRDM, think the Weekly Review of Dance Music. Think the Weekly Review of Dance Music, think Tonka. Think Tonka, think Ricky V, Club Fabric, class A party drugs, strobe lights, green lasers, well-written opinion pieces on dance music culture, MASSIVE QUESTIONS with dance music celebrities, Hilarious Lookalikes and loads of credible dance music reviews every fucking Tuesday ONLY on the Weekly Review of Dance Music, and Tonka's Week on the Ran$om Note almost every Friday.

Tonka, you're saying, you've hardly banged on about Ricky V and Club Fabric since the summer of 2011 when nick-naming Villalobos and Fabric was your only successful gimmick after escaping the RA message boards. Why then, you're still saying, bring up Club Fabric and Ricky V again after all this time? I'll tell you now.

I'm writing this week's WRDM post to celebrate a Ricardo Villalobos set at Fabric that will live longer in the memories of all who experienced it than the extinguished mind-dust of their first ever blow job/licking out (given OR received). I'm a MASSIVE supporter of Ricky V - not that he ever thanks me - and I've even flown across the world to see him play a live DJ set. The first time I danced along to Villalobos in a nightclub was at Fabric, July 2007. I honestly can't remember a thing about that night because I was absolutely fucking terminated off of ecstasy E tablets and poppers all night, but I distinctly remember thinking that I was having a brilliant time when a handsome young Italian drug dealer told me that it was Ricardo Villalobos I was swaggering along to, not Terry Francis who, awkwardly, I've always got mixed up with Terry Farley out of Farley, Heller and Faith.


I was so impressed with Ricky V at Fabric that when I went to Sonar in 2008 I resolved to grin and bear the entire SebastiAn set between the hours of 2am and 4am (Spanish time) that preceded Ricky V's sensual, sumptuous and sensual minimal Balearics techno set in order to get down the mosh pit for when Villalobos came on to deliver his special brand of sumptuous, sensual and storytelling house music between the hours of 4am and 6am (Spanish time) to a crowd of Spanish people, Europeans, Pan-Global festival entities and Brits abroad like me, Draper, Micky John and Evil Eddie.

I can hardly remember a thing about his set at Sonar 2008, to be honest, because I made the mistake of asking for a leg up and a crowd surf in the mosh pit during his first song. Before I knew it I was at the back of the Sonar Pub licking MDMA off of the palm of a sexy Argentinian drug dealerette, whose name I forget. It was half past five and I'd had a thousand fists in my worn out lumbar. I fell on her when the crowd surf finished and she fell for me, if you know what I mean. It must have been the debonair way I rolled my jaw around and rubbed my back and sides like Leonard Rossiter as she tried to get up off her arse. I helped her up that last bit and immediately got off with her. That free dab of Mandy really gave me the kick up the arse I needed though and I didn't stop dancing until the Spanish bouncers were calling "Drink up, lads, it’s chucking out time now", in Spanish. I fucking love Ricky V. As I said, I’m a massive fan.

I'd not seen him play out since then so when I saw that he was down on the Fabric flyer for Saturday night just gone, I promised myself I'd get down there and have it for a bit. As it turned out, I had to be on Mersea Island for an emergency offsite WRDM finance meeting but I kept up with developments from Fabric through Twitter, Facebook posts and the Resident Advisor event message board. al_cud off of RA said that he played Dogfish, Who’s the Mac?, Drinkin’ and That Acid Track (which acid track, al_cud?! LOLoutLOUD). hamishcam said that Ricky V was solid, a little unspectacular, with not many W (what) T (the) F (fuck) moments but the music was spot on all morning. I haven’t got a fucking clue what he means by all that but he makes it sound like it was shit AND perfect at the same time. He also calls for a ban on flash photography which, in my humble, honest and final opinion is a mistake. How the fuck are you going to take selfies with your mates on the dance floor without a flash on your camera? I’m not being funny, but etc etc.

On Facebook, one of my friends said that there's a reason he's called The Boss, and that set on Saturday night was the reason. Other commentators on that status agreed with her wholeheartedly and I 'Liked' it. Amateur online reporting and social media is so thorough and immediate these days that unless you really need to be at a gig, you don't have to actually spend any money and go because there are always people who'll go and describe the event in an accuracy only bettered by the experience itself. Know what I mean?


Long time WRDM fan, James Winfield, even wrote a post like this one about the night, except he was actually there. Look: jameswinfield.blogspot.co.uk/ricardo-villalobos-fabric James reckons the sexy blonde barmaid who served him a smile and a massive pint of beer deserves a pay rise so, come on Fabric, get your hand in your pocket and stick a ton on top of her annum, you stingy gits! Winking smiley face.

So, in summary then, Ricky V at Club Fabric was what you'd expect it to be. He played with panache, he played non-stop house music and techno until chucking out time, sometimes back-to-back with Craig Richards who, believe it or not, I sometimes get confused with Eddie Richards AND Carl Craig, and he played with a tempo sitting anywhere between 110bpm and 140bpm during some periods of his set. The long, drawn out queues around Farringdon to get into a Villalobos night at Fabric are a deliberate metaphor that he and the team employ, and it is one that fits perfectly with what, essentially, Ricardo Villalobos has always done in that large underground dream hole, in so much as and in as much as, he draws you into a friendly conflict betwixt brain, feet, legs and a singular, cryptic, robotic and cybotic emotion for not just one hour, not just two, but sometimes and usually between four and six hours, not counting the occasional six to eight hour all day messy sessions that, in a way, has become his London trademark.

If nothing else, Ricardo Villalobos is the only DJ in the world who knows what every single button does in the Fabric Room 1 DJ booth and that, and that alone, is reason to celebrate his residency. Fuck knows how frequently his residency is - I think it's every three months - but make sure you join me down the front of the DJ booth for his next one.

I'll be back next Tuesday with a very special MASSIVE QUESTIONS with Anne Savage or Nick Monaco and, following that, there'll be my ground-breaking dance music exposé I've been working on with my industry mole. Keep those lids peeled, lads.

You can also read about my week, Tonka's Week, every week, every Friday, ONLY on the Ran$om Note.

Follow me: @tonkawrdm
Email me: tonkawrdm@gmail.com