Skip to content

Dougal Fox on crafting a legacy in electronic music and the vision behind Ray of Light Records

Dougal Fox, a seasoned veteran in the electronic music scene, has been a driving force in the industry since the early 2000s. Initially starting as a club enthusiast, Fox’s passion for the underground dance culture quickly evolved into a career that saw him transition from a dedicated raver to an influential label owner. Now based in Portugal, Dougal Fox is the founder of Ray of Light Records, a label known for its dedication to both honoring the rich history of electronic music and pushing its boundaries forward.

Photo Credit: Dougal Fox – Official

In this exclusive interview, Dougal Fox shares insights into his journey, the motivations behind starting his own label, and the unique blend of past and future that defines Ray of Light Records. He also discusses his collaboration with Glenn Morrison, the upcoming label showcase tour, and the importance of physical releases in an increasingly digital world.

To celebrate the launch of Ray Of Light vinyl series, Dougal has created the highly rare and visually stunning X Ray Series. This limited edition release features over 45 minutes of forward-thinking electronic music from some of the world’s most revered composers and musicians.

Join us as we delve into the mind of one of electronic music’s most passionate and innovative figures.

EG: Hi Dougal, welcome to EG. Where are you right now?

Dougal Fox: First of all, thank you for having me; it’s a pleasure to be here. So I recently made the move to Portugal at the beginning of this year, so I am still settling into my new home by the sea.

EG: Your journey in electronic music began as a club enthusiast in the early 2000s and evolved into becoming a label owner. Can you share how this transition took place and what motivated you to start Ray of Light Records?

Dougal Fox: As a club punter in the early 2000’s rave world, I became wrapped up in the rising dance culture, which gave me a level of imprinting and deep respect for the love of the underground. It wasn’t until I moved to New Zealand some years later that I decided to take up the art of music production, studying electronic music composition in Wellington. After many years of honing my skills in the studio, it became clear that the passion for electronic music was ever-present—I wanted to not just be a solo artist but instead create a platform to be able to curate and collaborate with like-minded musicians. To that end, Ray of Light was the label that was born from my vision, in that my mission is to deliver a rich experience for listeners and to provide a solid representational platform to music producers, both established and on the rise.

EG: Ray Of Light Records has quickly made a name for itself with a clear mission to honor the past while looking to the future. How do you balance these two elements in your music and the label’s releases?

Dougal Fox: Great question! Having been exposed to underground music for over 20 years, I have seen how the style of music has changed, becoming richer and more complex in composition, yet the emotional impact of the music remains unchanged. When producing, I always try and put myself ‘back on the dance floor’ so that I can create that emotional attachment. The same principle applies when signing new music to the label. I also look for a narrative as if one were telling a story but without words.

EG: You’re working closely with Glenn Morrison on the upcoming label showcase tour. How did this collaboration come about, and what can fans expect from these showcases in terms of music and atmosphere?

Dougal Fox: Having worked closely with Glenn and his label team, it was clear to me that we shared the same fabric within the dance music culture. It was only a matter of time before we decided to join forces. With both labels having world-class musicians on the rosters, it was an opportunity to showcase a diverse array of artists under one roof. As the tour sets sail across the Mediterranean, attendees can expect to be transported on a sonic voyage unlike any other. From sun-soaked beach parties to intimate club settings to several yacht parties, each venue will be transformed into a haven for electronic music lovers to come together and experience the magic of a handful of masters of their craft—a medley of house, techno, the brash, and the boisterous, all aplenty.

EG: Are there any special technologies or sound design techniques you’ll be using on the tour to create a unique experience for the audience?

Dougal Fox: We will be live streaming to YouTube with multiple cameras as well as recording all of the DJ sets during our tour, with the intention to share our experiences beyond just the actual gig itself. We also have our record label limited edition vinyl releases and a lot of surprises along the way for our nights, topping it all off with cutting-edge electronic acts presenting forward-thinking electronic music.

EG: With artists like Bushwacka!, Dusty Kid, Hermanez, Circulation, and Glenn Morrison on board, Ray Of Light Records boasts an impressive roster. What do you look for when signing new artists to the label?

Dougal Fox: For me, it’s a very personal process for which the music first and foremost has to stand out as having unique character and spirit. We are always looking for forward-thinking music that pushes the sonic possibilities within the overall glaze of house music and electronic music.

“My mission is to deliver a rich experience for listeners and to provide a solid representational platform to music producers”

EG: Your label focuses on vinyl pressings as a significant part of its offerings. Can you tell us more about why physical releases are important to you and how the process works?

Dougal Fox: Music is a form of art and, like so many great works of art, should be admired in the present but also hold the testament of time. This was the main vision for Ray of Light, to become a physical label. In this increasing age of digital media content and the sheer amount of music being released each day, we are just overwhelmed with music choice. The goal was simple, to handpick the best-crafted music each season and have this skillfully translated to rare pigment vinyl on a limited-edition pressing run. This not only gave the artists’ fans something tangible to cherish and hold but also the artists themselves as a testament to their artistry and art.

EG: The partnership with Fall From Grace Records, Sony Music, and Alpine Mastering Studio is exciting. How did these collaborations come about, and what impact do they have on Ray Of Light Records?

Dougal Fox: Musically speaking, we crossed paths in late 2021 with Glenn and I working on a project together. This collaboration naturally led us to share our stories and ultimately music with each other. Over time, we have become close allies in this crazy underground world of electronic music production. The rest, as they say, is history. Glenn also heads up the A&R side of the label, which requires finesse and deep knowledge within the scene, so this undoubtedly adds real value to the label. We have also just recently launched a joint label showcase tour which will add another string to our bow. On a creative level, we bounce ideas off each other and collaborate artistically. We both use outboard modular rack synthesis in our respective studios, so this really helps too. I find Glenn and his label team to be an inspiration to work with.

EG: You’ve had international DJ residencies at iconic clubs like ‘Home’ in Sydney and ‘Sandwiches’ in Wellington. How have these experiences influenced your work as a label owner and producer?

Dougal Fox: I feel that any time spent in the club environment leaves a deep imprint, which tends to guide me to stay true to my vision both creatively and stylistically. With a residency, it gives you a chance to really push the boundaries of playing records both new and old. This enables you to create real journeys that translate on the dance floor.

EG: Reflecting on your career, what has been a standout moment for you, and what are you most looking forward to in the coming year with Ray Of Light Records?

Dougal Fox: The label’s birth was undoubtedly the highlight of my career, having since worked alongside many producers that I had looked up to for many years: Dave Seaman, Glenn Morrison, and Danny Howells, to name a few. Having these artists signed to the label was a dream come true, and this is only the beginning! In forthcoming projects, I am very excited to be collaborating with Hernan Cattaneo and Simple City plus a host of other world-renowned legends in the scene. We also plan to host an Ibiza residency label showcase on the island this summer, which is very exciting indeed.

EG: The electronic music scene is always evolving. What trends or changes in the landscape are you most excited about right now?

Dougal Fox: Interestingly, I read an article recently that they have banned mobile phones at the re-opening of Fabric in London. I feel this is a great trend in the landscape of electronic music clubs since the dance floors can return to being a wonderful space to let yourself disconnect and be at one with the music. With the right music and people, the dance floor can become a spiritual, almost healing space to escape from today’s digital social media-driven society, so I am very excited to see this new trend.

EG: What advice would you give to aspiring artists and producers who are looking to make their mark in the industry?

Dougal Fox: It’s extremely important to follow your own path and stay true to your vision when either being a producer or DJ. Try to not follow the latest popular trends and be consistent in the quality of music that you are producing or playing is also key. Lastly, I would say “Dream Big” as anything you put your mind to can become reality!

“The music first and foremost has to stand out as having unique character and spirit”

EG: On a more philosophical note, what does music mean to you personally, and how do you see it influencing the world?

Dougal Fox: Music has always been deeply rooted in my life and is a constant source of joy for me. I use it as a type of meditation to help me through the “good and the bad” life throws at you. I hope my music will have the power to lift spirits and create wonderful memories both on and off the dance floor.

EG: If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Dougal Fox: I would have loved to collaborate with the late Andrew Weatherall. I found his productions to be almost transcending any genre, which was way ahead of its time. A true artist who will sadly be missed.

EG: What’s one thing about the music industry that people would be surprised to know?

Dougal Fox: Interestingly, last year (2023) was the first year in the USA that vinyl outsold CD sales since the invention of the CD!! What’s even more staggering is that 54% of total sales were to buyers who did not own a turntable. Wrap that one around your head.

EG: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Dougal!

Dougal Fox: My pleasure; thank you for having me!

Listen below to the upcoming releases of Ray of Light Records.

Dougal Fox’s ‘Angels Smile’ is now available on Ray Of Light Records. Stream and download here.

Follow Dougal Fox: SpotifySoundcloud | Instagram | Facebook

Back To Top