As post punk outfit X-Ray Spex memorably asked in 1978’s Identity, “When you look in the mirror, do you see yourself..?”

Indeed, throughout music history, a good ‘nom de plume’ has sometimes made all the difference – and that’s certainly the case with the dance industry.

Would drum and bass legend Goldie, for example, have received global acclaim had he stuck to the name on his birth certificate (Clifford Joseph Price)? Ditto Dimitri from Paris (Dimitrios Yerasimos), The Prodigy’s Maxim Reality (Keith Palmer)… or even Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel de Homem-something?

909originals has combed through the archives to uncover ten of our favourite alter egos from dance music’s illustrious past.

Karl August von Hasselunne…

… aka Dave Clarke. Quite why the baron of techno developed this strange alter ego to produce his 1994 track Last Voyage (which itself was under his Fly By Wire pseudonym), we’re not quite sure, but having said that, the track does sound like it was crafted on some Austro-Hungarian battlefield. With no prisoners taken.


Rice & Beans…

…aka DJ Sneak. The house artist, known to his family as Carlos Sosa, adopted this moniker for his 2005 release on Minority Music, No Half Steppin, alongside Hector Moralez and Phil Weeks (who incidentally adopted the name Fries & Bridges for the same EP).


Other notable pseudonyms adopted by the Puerto Rico-born maestro include Jack Da Ripper, Track Assassin and Blu Belly Bandit.

We think ‘Sneak’ was probably the right choice in the long run.

Badger…

…aka Sasha. The Man Like kicked off 2005’s Fundacion NYC mix with an introductory track by the mysterious Badger, Rise of the Machine – later revealed to be by the man himself.


With a personal sound reminiscent of a dial-up modem, Badger would crop up again on 2006’s Avalon Los Angeles Bootleg, as well as Invol2ver in 2008, again contributing the Intro track for the Global Underground-released mix.

Hambone…

… aka Danny Tenaglia. The Wow! EP, released on Kumba Records in the US in 1995 (later released on Tribal UK), proved to be the only outing for Danny T’s Hambone project, but it ticks all the mid-90s house boxes – pounding drums, piano breaks and synth stabs ahoy.


The Neanderthal…

…aka Roger Sanchez. During the early part of the 2000s, as his Another Chance was destroying dance floors across the world, Roger Sanchez unveiled a temporary alter ego to explore a darker tribal house sound.

The Neanderthal’s 2001 EP, Animal / Caveman (see what he did there?), features the Daft Punk-sampling Caveman (aka Troglodyte), as well as Animal, which nicks the main riff from acid anthem Nervous Acid.



English Friday…

…aka Todd Terry. For his 1991 track Riots In Brixton (essentially a rework of Bobby Konders’ The Poem, as someone on Discogs has ably pointed out), the artist also known during the years as Royal House, Black Riot and Orange Lemon, adopted a suitably British moniker.


Best enjoyed, as with any English Friday, with a chippy tea.

Sunglasses Ron…

…aka Tall Paul. The tallest man in showbusiness had a couple of notable alter egos in the mid to late 90s, including the iconic Camisra of Let Me Show You fame.

For his Sunglasses Ron alter ego, (named, we presume, after the unseen character in Only Fools and Horses that sells Del Boy most of his ‘dodgy gear’ down the markets), Newman released the rave-influenced Feel Da Beat, which cropped up on a Ministry of Sound compilation or two back in their late 90s heyday.


Marl Chingus…

… aka Laurent Garnier. We’re not sure where Monsieur Garnier came up with the name for his collaboration with F Communications stablemate Llorca, but the single EP released under the Marl Chingus name, 6 Months Earlier, is a certified banger.


Also check out the B-side, Moaning About Technology, where a vocoded Garnier waxes lyrical about the impact of technology on society over a shuffling electro beat.

Sympho Nympho…

…aka Erick Morillo, Harry “Choo Choo” Romero and Jose Nuñez. Morillo and his Subliminal Records crew released a couple of digital-only tracks at the start of the decade under the decidedly provocative name Sympho Nympho, including a mix CD, The Beginning, in 2012.


As the Sympho Nympho name was wound up the same year, the ‘Beginning’ in this instance would also turn out to be the end…

Brock Landers…

…aka Paul Oakenfold and Dave Seaman. For their 1998 re-work of Blur’s Song 2, Oakey and Dave Seaman took their cue from one of the biggest movies of the previous year, 70s porn tribute Boogie Nights.

Brock Landers, lest we forget, was the James Bond-esque character player by the titular Dirk Diggler (aka Mark Wahlberg) in the the Paul Thomas Anderson-directed movie.



The track’s title, S.M.D.U. reportedly stands for ‘Smack My Dick Up’… which makes sense given the phallic origins behind the duo’s identity.

Share your favourite pseudonyms in the comments below… 🙂

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