Lil’ Tony’s Biography

No matter how you look at it, DJ Lil’ Tony, born Toni Rantanen, is the central character in Helsinki club scene. A member of the prestigious Nuspirit Helsinki collective and the now-famous Future Beat Investigatigators, from 2007 he has also had several solo releases on labels such as Versatile, Innervision and Moodmusic.

For a decade, Lil’ Tony has amazingly been continuously on the top of the game, running the only Helsinki venues that are up to international club standards. From early-90s to the early 2000s it was Kerma 1997-2004 and sOda 1996-2003. Then Rose Garden 2005-2007 and today its Redrum and Kuudes linja. In addition to all this, he is also one of the people behind Flow Festival, the annual electronic & urban music festival in Helsinki since 2004

Toni’s roots lie in the early days of underground warehouse parties and he has not to date lost his commitment to the underground and uncompromised musical culture. As a DJ, Lil’ Tony is probably best known for his house & techno sets – Detroit, New York & Chicago house music was his first love after all – but he is remarkably unprejudiced and eclectic in his approach to music, be that for his personal listening pleasure only, or what he plays when out DJing. On the other hand Toni has got a strong Disco and Soul background. His main musical influences incude UR, Harvey, Ron Hardy, Ron Trent, Chez Damier, Theo Parrish, Marvin Gaye, Moodyman, Blaze, Murk, Carl Craig and Basic Channel.

Though working hard at home, Tony has found time to spin as a guest DJ all around the globe. Just to mention a few from recent years: Japan (Life Force parties in Tokyo and Osaka), Berlin (Panoramabar, Innercity, Weekend, Pop Komm, WMF, Tresor), London (The End, T-Bar), Frankfurt (Robert Johnson), Madrid (Goa, Weekend), Miami (WMC), Barcelona (La Terrazza, Moog, Nizza), Zurich (Zukunft), Estonia (Mutant Disco, Privé), Lisbon (Lux), St. Petersburg (Tunnel, Par), Moscow (Propaganda), Paris (Rex, Batofar), Brighton… The highlights for 2007–2008 were Panorama Bar Sunday Session with Âme, Dixon, Margus Worgull, Henrik Schwarz, Goa @ Fabric, Phonica Party @ T-Bar, FBI live @ Robert Johnson, Cosmic City nights @ Redrum and all-nighter set at Innercity night @ Weekend in Berlin.

As a promoter, Toni has brought literally hundreds of international DJs and live artists to Helsinki. Some of the highlights include: Âme, Juan Atkins, Blake Baxter, Kerri Chandler, Joe Claussel Carl Craig, Dixon, Edan, Laurent Garnier, José Gonzáles, Matthew Herbert, I:Cube, Idjut Boys, Norman Jay, Robert Hood, J-Dilla (R.I.P.), Kenny Dope, Kraftwerk, M.A.N.D.Y. Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas, Louie Vega, Derrick May, Theo Parrish, Derrick Carter, Ricardo Villalobos, Loco Dice, Steve Bug, Vince Watson, Chateau Flight live, Metro Area, Moodyman, Mark Murpy live, Octave One, Osunlade, DJ Pierre, !!!, Coco Rosie, Terry Callier, O:pel Bastards, Roots, Tiefschwarz, Jenny Wilson, Marleena Shaw, DJ Spinna, Maurizio, United Future Organization, UR Josh Wink.

“Its all about good music.”




Lil Tony - House - Innervision 12″
Lil Tony - Cosmic City EP - Versatile 12″
Lil Tony - Redrum EP - Raw Fusion 12″
Lil Tony - Raw Trax Vol 1 - Mood Music 12″


Lil Tony - Raw Trax vol 2-3 - Mood Music 12″
Lil Tony - EP - Running Back 12″


Arthur Russel - Tree House (Lil Tony rmx) - Electric Minds 12″


Lil Tony - Hi-Tech Funk
Lil Tony - Diskon Tulevaisuus Vol 1
Lil Tony - Cosmic City Vol 1
Lil Tony & DJ Ender - Playground vol.6 “Soundtrack Of The Northern Sky”


Future Beat Investigators - Forthosewhoknow EP - Raw Fusion Record 12″
Future Beat Investigators - All I Want / Lotus - Sonar Kollektive 12″
Future Beat Investigators - Duk - Raw Fusion 12″
Future Beat Investigators - Aeroflot 12″


Future Beat Investigators - Louder EP - Raw Fusion 12″


Bermuda - Galaxy Race (Future Beat Investigators rmx) - Laka 12″
Doubble D - Coleman (Future Beat Investgators rmx) - 20:20 Vision / Moodymann 12″


Nuspirit Helsinki - “Nuspirit Helsinki” Album - Guidance Recordings CD/LP
Nuspirit Helsinki - Take It Back - Guidance Recordings 12″
Nuspirit Helsinki - Colors of My Mind - Guidance Recordings 12″
NuSound Collective - Diana Park Nights - Ubiquity, New Latinaires 2
Nuspirit Helsinki - Makoomba Breaks - Guidance Recordings 12″
Nuspirit Helsinki - Montana Roha Jazz EP - Jazzanova-Compost Records