One of England's most popular DJs even before his premature death in 1998, Tony De Vit's brand of sleek, trancey hi-NRG house enlivened Britain's dance scene during the mid-'90s, due to his residencies (at the club Trade and on London's Kiss FM) and his respected labels, Jump Wax and TDV. While working full-time as stock control manager for a thermal-insulation factory beginning in the mid-1970s (and lasting well into the 1990s), De Vit began moonlighting as a DJ on the gay club circuit in 1978. He continued to play around the country during the 1980s, and in 1992 began a residency at the after-hours club Trade. There, De Vit's meld of Belgian-hoover trance and nu-style disco became popular with an underground gay audience usually attracted to the more mainstream side of dance.
By the mid-'90s, De Vit had added several DJ awards to his shelf and gained a spot on Kiss FM (after Carl Cox and Judge Jules departed for Radio One). He also began producing, with the singles "Burning Up" and "To the Limit." Both hit the British Top 40 and sparked a heavy remix schedule for De Vit and recording partner Simon Parkes, including East 17, Michelle Gayle and Louise. During 1996-97, De Vit formed his own labels (Jump Wax and TDV) and released two volumes in the Global Underground mix series. His major-label debut Trade documented a night out at his most famed club, and even earned American release through Priority. In 1998, at the peak of his fame, De Vit died of bronchial failure while at a Birmingham hospital. ~ John Bush