Having just released Vol. 1 of their compilation series on June 30th, RAM Records is set to hit the charts once again with the release of Vol. 2 of RAM Records Drum & Bass USA on Monday. This volume's artists include Delta Heavy, Hamilton, Wilkinson and more. Compared to the first volume, and just based on personal taste, I feel like I'm going to like this one a lot more. It's got all of that forward-thinking, genre-bending material that the first volume didn't quite have. Though, the point of the compilation is about showcasing the history of the label, and in that respect it is working wonderfully.
RAM DRUM & BASS USA VOL. 2
1. Hamilton - Deep In My Heart
2. Ram Trilogy – Screamer
3. Wilkinson – Moonwalker
4. Fresh – Signal
5. Rene LaVice – Headlock
6. Nightbreed - Pack Of Wolves
7. Delta Heavy - Hold Me
8. Xample - Heaven & Hell
9. Hamilton – Echoes
10 Noisia - Facade
Despite RAM Records frontman and Drum & Bass legend Andy C being in the midst of a large North American tour, I got a chance to catch up with him over Skype and ask him a few questions about the history of RAM, his future behind the decks and his aspirations for TV fame.
What is it do you think about Drum & Bass that makes it such a constant in our scene? It's always been there.
I believe that we laid incredibly good foundations for it in the late nineties. The scene was completely self-sustained -- it had its own DJs, its own culture, its own producers, its own record labels, and promoters. It never needed to be part of the mainstream world to sustain itself and keep going and be a strong scene. No matter what trend has been going on, drum & bass has always been going on and running along with it. The other thing is that, as a tempo we're so different. We're up in the 170s, we can't get assimilated by the 4x4, by the kick-drum and so we remain unique to ourselves.
Recently, there have been a lot of "lazy" genres popping up, and it seems that people are now clamoring for a deeper, more mature sound. Do you think Drum & Bass could help fill that void?
Well, drum & bass isn't there to fill a void. Drum & Bass is Drum & Bass, you know what I mean? Everybody's got a different opinion and a different love for a different genre, so "lazy" might be relevant to somebody but mean nothing to somebody else. Drum & bass is coming back in a sense that there seems to be a ground swell of love emanating from all different corners, maybe over the past year or two it's really been one of those upward cycles. It's an exciting wave to ride. If we all listened to the same stuff and had the same point of view it would be a very boring world.
RAM was established when I was just one year old. Would you give any advice to the young fans just discovering the genre?
You're gonna be getting into a scene that's gonna grab your heart, it's gonna grab your soul. Once it goes in, once it infiltrates you, it's there for life. That's why I started the label. My passion for it now is strong, just as strong, maybe stronger than ever. It's just one of those beautiful energies. It's a very unique thing to experience it in a festival or in a club environment. So advice? Get into it. Find out about it. There's a lot of sources now.
Do you have any thoughts toward putting down the decks and working more behind the scenes?
I kind of do, but I'm blessed to have an incredible office crew that run RAM on a day-to-day basis. All the people that work at the label that deal with product management, the marketing, the online presence... I go in there and I do the meetings and I add all the music, so I guess that's kind of behind the scenes. On the other hand, I'm in the studio more than ever. But at the end of the day, I'm just a raver like the people on the dancefloor. I could never put down the decks.
For the most part, it seems like most of your attention is focused on DJ'ing and much less on production. Why is that?
It never used to be. I was producing before I was DJ'ing. Let's think of the lifespan of producers. You might get a good solid 10 years producing, and then I guess I veered into the DJ'ing a bit more. But the DJ'ing is a fun lifestyle. But now, the past three years or so, the producing bug is well and truly back; there's nothing like expressing yourself musically, even if you're just gonna sit in the studio and find a chord progression, or make some sick sounds, or do a drum beat or whatnot. And then the sense of achievement when you put it all together and you turn up in the club and someone else is playing the tune is just phenomenal.
Your RAM Records USA Volume 2 comes out on the 18th - how has response been to the first volume and what are you looking for with the second and third?
The response has been really cool. It's a great way to showcase the history of the label, mixes all of the artists together. I'm hoping that people listen to it and get a sense of history, where we're coming from; that they get a feel for the genre; and that they want to jump on board the ride for where we're gonna go next.
You're currently on a North American tour, sort of. How has it been so far? Any specific dates you're looking forward to? I'll be seeing you in Southern California.
Well yeah, I've really been doing the festival circuit: Spring Awakening, EDC, Electric Forest, Paradiso. This weekend is New York and Red Rocks [for Global Dance]. But Southern California, that place is just crazy, I love that place. That's a 3-hour set. I've played there before and it just blew me away. The vibes were sick. The crowd out in that part of the word is mad, so when my agent asked me if I wanted to go back, I said "Of course!"
Okay, so this is a bit of a Lightning Round. I'll just ask you a straightforward question and try to answer it as fast as you can.
These are the worst for me haha.
Favorite fast food?
Chicken. There's a chain in the UK, it's just chicken and rice. If you asked me a year ago I would have said a burger but I'm trying to upgrade.
What TV show do you want to guest star in?
I'm watching Breaking Bad right now... maybe I could be at one of Jesse's after parties.
Favorite musicians, both dead and alive?
Michael Jackson & Stevie Wonder.
What's your favorite color?
Best up-and-coming producer?
Well that's got to be a diplomatic answer, because I've got a label with 20 acts haha. So what I'm gonna do is favorite producer who no one has hear of - Bensley. He's on RAM, but no one has heard his music.
Most improved producer?
Oh, that's not fair. "You weren't that good but you got a lot better..." haha. I would say guy that we've had for a while, but is now being seen for what we've always seen, is Rene LaVice
Finally, if you could go back in time and give your 12-year-old self some advice, what would it be?
Buy some decks, I waited until I was 15.
I really appreciate the time to speak with me, Andy.
I appreciate it too, I'll see you in Santa Ana. Take care bro, cheers.