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About Lenny Dee

A native New Yorker who has led a lengthy, multifaceted career encompassing many styles of music, Lenny Dee is undoubtedly one of the most important, influential figures in hardcore techno. Along with fellow Brooklynite Frankie Bones, Dee helped establish New York's techno/rave scene during the '80s. Building on developments from the European techno scene, particularly from countries such as Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, Dee helped push dance music into the hardest, fastest, most intense direction it had ever seen, and kept progressing throughout his career. He formed one of the genre's first labels, Industrial Strength Records, and has done more to expand its audience than anyone else. He's toured the world countless times, and has continually received praise for his intense, mind-altering DJ sets. While he's remained faithful to the hardcore scene, he's never forgotten his roots in disco and hip-hop, and has often produced or spun less aggressive styles of music.

Born Leonardo Didesiderio, his first DJ residency was at a Brooklyn roller disco during the mid-'80s, when he was still a teenager. At this time, he was playing freestyle, hi-NRG, electro, and early house records. After obtaining an engineering degree at the Institute of Audio Research, Dee worked at Skyline Studios, and later became Arthur Baker's production assistant at Shakedown Sound Studios, where he worked on recordings by New Order and Al Jarreau. He produced numerous house records with Tommy Musto and Victor Simonelli, and many of these became underground hits, but his work with Frankie Bones seemed to have the biggest impact on the early U.K. rave scene, blending breakbeats with acid house and setting the stage for breakbeat hardcore. The duo's Looney Tunes LPs, originally released by American house label Nu Groove Records, were re-released in the U.K. by XL, and "Just as Long as I Got You" became a surprise hit. The success brought Dee to Europe for the first time, and he quickly racked up an intense schedule of international gigs, gradually establishing himself as one of the most sought-after DJs in the world. He switched from house to techno, driving his productions in an increasingly louder, faster direction.

He established Industrial Strength Records in 1991, and the label's first 12" was a re-release of "We Have Arrived" by Mescalinum United, a 1989 track by Germany's Marc Acardipane that is commonly cited as the first hardcore techno track. The label released dozens of records by Dee as well as producers such as Ralphie Dee, Oliver Chesler, and John Selway, incorporating hip-hop samples and rave synths along with stomping 4/4 beats. By the mid-'90s, Dee and Industrial Strength had incorporated guitar samples into the pounding beats, and began releasing material through Earache Records, gaining an audience among open-minded fans of metal, punk, and industrial. During this time, Industrial Strength released numerous classic records by artists such as Chicago's Delta 9, Australia's Nasenbluten, and New York speedcore pioneers Disciples of Annihilation. Dee also collaborated with numerous hardcore/gabber producers from around the world, including Paul Elstak, DJ Gizmo, Martin Damm, and Rob Gee, releasing material on labels such as Mokum, Shockwave, and Rotterdam Records.

Dee continued his relentless schedule, both as a DJ and in the recording studio, staying on top of the hardcore scene in Europe (where it remained massively popular) while continuing to spin and produce techno, electro, acid, and other styles. Several volumes of the Industrial Fucking Strength compilation series appeared, showcasing hardcore's range from punk nihilism to more experimental dark ambient pieces (on the fourth volume, Chillin Is Killin). Dee and Promo started a new label called Industrial Movement in 2004, which explored the common ground between industrial and hardcore. In 2005, the French label Psychik Genocide released Noise Brûlée, Dee's full-length collaboration with Radium. Dee continued releasing hardcore records with artists like Tieum, Delta 9, and Hellfish, as well as techno and acid with Ant, Julian Liberator, and Guy McAffer, and remained an in-demand DJ. ~ Paul Simpson

Brooklyn, NY

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