Chilean-German DJ/producer Ricardo Villalobos is the leading light in European minimalism, so it's no surprise that he breaks with convention rather than following it. While much of the scene that his work influenced is imploding, Villalobos continues to release music that confounds and inspires. No matter if you love or hate his music, everyone has an opinion about it. Unsurprisingly, the softly spoken DJ doesn't follow the same well mapped out routine as may of his peers. Having redefined the art of the mix CD late last year for Fabric, he remains distrustful of the internet - he claims to only go online once every month and rarely, if ever, checks his emails – and truly passionate about vinyl. Indeed, Ricardo's label, Sei Es Drum, like Zip's Perlon imprint, which is one of the main outlets for his work, doesn't release digitally. While he was as busy as ever as a DJ playing in every major European city at the weekends, as well as visiting Montreal and Tokyo this year - and avoiding the States as always for political reasons - it was his releases as much as his masterfully meandering sets that won him kudos. First up was 'Enfants', the second release on Sei Es Drum at the start of 2008. Based on a sample of schoolkids singing in Spanish, its simplicity, as well as its author's refusal to put the kickdrum in the mix, triggered a whole wave of tracks that either lifted wholesale samples and worked them to a housey backing - eg, Miss Fitz and Jay Haze - or which dispensed with a beat, like Patrice Baumel's 'The Roar'. 'Vasco', on Perlon, released in two instalments, was his next project. Featuring Baby Ford and Shackleton on remix duties - the latter being payback for Villalobos's classic version of the dubstep producer's 'Blood On My Hands' - it featured a more reflective sound, highlighting his intuitive ability to craft organic, intricate rhythms with subtle, melancholic sensibilities. Finally, he put out the more menacing bass licks of 'Akklaa' as part of a split EP for Sven Vath's Cocoon label. Despite all of this activity, he also signed SiS's huge horn track 'Trompeta' to Sei Es Drum. No matter what he does next, Villalobos is sure to surprise and impress.