DJ Dossier

Russell Ramirez on the History of Swell Records, Old School Phoenix DJs, and Eclec'tech

If you happened to be a member of the Valley's old school DJ/rave scene back in the mid-1990s, there was one place where you almost always hit up for both your music and gear: Swell Records. Without getting too overly hyperbolic, the music and clothing emporium owned by Russel Ramirez (which bounced between Tempe and Scottsdale) was one of the major epicenters for turntablists, selectors, and mixmasters for more than a decade.

First opening in 1993, it's where a stomping ground and gathering spot for a "who's who" of the biggest names in the Phoenix scene. Former Scottsdale club favorite Markus Schulz was a regular there, as were the infamous Bombshelter DJs, Pete "SuperMix" Salaz, Robbie Rob, Pablo Gomez, and dozens of others.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.