Ricardo Villalobos is a Chilean-German electronic music producer and DJ. He is well-known for his work in the minimal techno and microhouse genres, and is one of the most significant figures in today’s minimal techno scene.
Villalobos was born in Santiago, Chile in 1970. In 1973 he moved to Germany with his family to escape the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who had seized power that year.
When Ricardo was around 10 or 11 he started to play conga and bongos. Though he loved music, he could never see himself as a musician. He began making electronic music in the late 80s. From a very young age he has been a big fan of Depeche Mode, even following their tours around Europe to listen to them.
Villalobos takes much of his inspiration from Depeche Mode, as well as other artists such as Daniel Miller, Thomas Melchior, Baby Ford, Daniel Bell and Andrew Weatherall. He has also taken inspiration from rhythmic South American music.
Villalobos began to play his music at parties while he was studying at university, but this was only for his own enjoyment. He started a label, Placid Flavour, in 1993 but this was unsuccessful. His first record was released on the German Playhouse label in 1994 and he began DJing as a professional in 1998.