Originally from Liverpool, DJ and producer Yousef is a rare commodity: a workaholic who lives, breathes and sleeps for his next gig, production or event. Leaving school aimlessly, his passion for music was boundless.
Yet, despite living on less than limited means, a chance injury compensation claim (see the scar on his nose!) secured Yousef a pair of decks and he began perfecting the art of DJing for up to ten hours a day while studying his peers (Carter, Sanchez and Cox) with avid precision.
Reaping the rewards of his hard work, Yousef now lives the dream. Close friends with his mentors and travelling the world showcasing his passion for DJing, he’s redefined the live concept through his own Circus club nights, which have dominated the UK dance scene, while assembling a remarkable array of talent.
Yousef’s record label, Circus Recordings, remains an outlet for not only his own releases but the likes of Sven Väth, DJ Sneak, Four Tet, and Gilles Peterson.
Here we take a tour of Yousef’s home studio setup and find out a little about how he approaches the process of production.
Nord Lead 3
“I kind of borrowed it from Gwilyam Simcock a while ago and I still have it. The range of sounds is immense and I love how many textures you can get from it. And I hate the fact that it’s not mine!”
Apple iPad and Moog Filtatron
“I use it to run a filter plug I have set up for Cubase. It’s pretty effective and it’s nice to use something you can touch rather than mouse click.”
“Something I bought from a man on my club message board for next to nothing many moons ago.
"I use it again to get those textures I struggle to get with soft synths. I used it on For The Terraces to give that random analogue touch. I love it for that but hate it sometime as it loses its MIDI.”
Moog Little Phatty
“After using one of these recently in LA, I had to have one. They are great for all sorts of bass sounds. Although its pretty limited sound wise the phatness you can get is impressive.”
Mackie 624 monitors
“These have been with me since year dot. They are old faithfuls now and do a wonderful job and I have made all my bigger records on them. They deliver a pretty true sound, though I’m thinking of upgrading as I also use the new Pioneer studio monitors for referencing too.”
Allen & Heath Xone K2
“This is meant for DJing but I’ve set it up to control Cubase when I’m recording a live pass.”
Roland Juno 6
“This is so old it doesn’t even have MIDI which is fairly frustrating so I use this to design sounds to add to the mix of the piece I am working on. Nothing sounds like a Juno.”
"I have had this since year dot. It came with my first producer package and in all honesty I seldom use it as I find the sounds not to my taste. That said it can create a noisy top line which can be useful.”