Riton (born September 1978) is an English electronica DJ and musician.
He was born Henry Smithson in Newcastle upon Tyne. The name Riton is French slang for "Henry". He graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
After finishing university, Smithson started the Switch Recordings label, upon which he released his first two 12" singles. He began DJing at Newcastle's "Shindig" nightclub. There, he was discovered by Mark Rae and signed to Grand Central Records independent record label. Like Rae, he then worked in Manchester's Fat City Records label/distribution/retail outlet.
His first release on Grand Central, the song "Communicated", featured on the compilation album Central Heating 2 (2000) and was followed by his mostly instrumental debut album, Beats du Jour (2001).
Riton's second album, Homies And Homos (2004) was a much more vocal affair, and featured amongst others, Lee Jones of Howdi and Luca Santucci. It includes a cover version of The Cure's song "Killing an Arab".
In 2005, Riton and Ben Fat Trucker formed the Gucci Sound System. The pair have a monthly residency at the 333 Club in London and have their own nightclub named Druzzi's Baltimore Rave Club at Nightmoves on Shoreditch High Street in East London. Guests have included Headman, Erol Alkan, 2 Many DJs, The Rapture, Richard X, Mylo and FC Kahuna.
Since the demise of Grand Central Records in 2006, Riton has released 12" singles on several European labels, including Linxfarren in the UK.
In late 2006, it was announced in the Belgian magazine HUMO that David and Stephen Dewaele from Soulwax had formed a krautrock band with Riton called Die Verboten. An album was expected late 2007, but to date there has been no further information on the project. Instead, Riton released an album under the pseudonym Eine Kleine Nacht Musik on the label Modular Records in July 2008.
He launched together with DJ Mehdi in 2010 a project which was called "Carte Blanche".
The coincidentally titled "Dark Place"/"A.C.P." was released shortly after the tragic and sudden death of his Carte Blanche partner DJ Mehdi, with whom Riton had produced one of the biggest-selling releases on Ed Banger, Carte Blanche's "Gare du Nord." Riton understandably kept a reasonably low profile in the year following the accident, until he reemerged in 2013 with the four-track EP Lost My Mind, a track from which boasted a cameo from French electroclash stalwart Miss Kittin. Another EP, still with the Ed Banger label, was to follow -- 2014's Bad Guy RiRi, a release that further cemented the marriage of Riton's funk and soul sensibilities with the Ed Banger label's muscular French house sound so heavily associated with popular mid-2000s electro acts like Mr. Oizo and Justice.
Meanwhile, in late 2015, another of Smithson's collaborative projects, Die Verboten, released the confusingly titled LP 2007, so-called because of when the material was recorded (and subsequently shelved for the next eight years). The group, which consisted of Riton alongside 2ManyDJs brothers David and Stephen Dewaele and designer Fergus "Fergadelic" Purcell, aptly described the record's early Kraftwerk-inspired cosmic jams as space rock, due to the live drums, bass, and synths having played such a prominent part in the music. At that time, this project seemed to have deeply influenced Riton, as his alternative alias Eine Kleine Nacht Musik surfaced in 2008 with a heavily Krautrock-infused self-titled album.
Riton's in-demand remixing and producing work continued to flow -- his 2015 co-production on Mark Ronson's Daffodils, featuring Tame Impala's Kevin Parker, is one such notable example - as well as touring with Ronson on the 2014 Back to Back tour. The 2016 release of his own tech-house banger Rinse & Repeat, which featured New York vocalist Kah-Lo, was extremely well received, garnering widespread airplay and the number one spot on the BBC Radio 1 dance chart for several weeks.
Sources: Last.fm, Wikipedia
Riton & Kah-Lo in the news
|Songs by Riton & Kah-Lo|