Ram Records head honcho Andrew Clarke aka Andy C is no newbie to playing Global Gathering (Long Marston Airfield, Stratford-Upon-Avon). This year (26th/27th July), his appearance will mark his 12th. We caught up up with Ram Records boss to talk bass, beats and some of his fondest memories from over the years...
So Andy, Ram's first release was your 'Sour Mash' EP back in 92 fast-forward to 2013 and Prolix & Gridlock have teamed up for the 133rd release. Did you imagine back then that it would reach this figure?
"It was to start a record label and blag it or get a job… I chose to try and blag it! That being said, it's totally nuts that Ram is where it is today and we're still in a lucky enough position to be picking up the most cutting edge DnB out there. We've been going 21 years this year and I honestly feel we're just coming of age, and there's plenty more to come."
ProgRam has been up and running nearly a year now. How has it been working with and giving a platform to some fresh rising talent?
"It's been so great. This label caters for core heads... Real purist stuff to slightly off the wall bits and I love it! There's so much talent out there and me and the guys at the label really wanted to give it exposure. We've been blown away by the response. We've got lots more releases lined up on the label."
Not only has ProgRam been releasing material from newer artists, you've also had tracks come out from more established figures like Bladerunner, Wickaman and Audio. Do you think it's important to keep that blend of old and new?
"Of course, it's an imprint in its own right. It's not just about emerging talent. It's about the sound and the vibe."
So moving on to Global gathering this will be your 12th time your playing, what's it like featuring so many times at such a long-standing festival?
"Wow, 12 years! I didn't realise it's been that long. The festival is amazing and it really does seem to get better and better each and every year. The team there that book the talent know what they're doing and cater for their audience perfectly. Last year I did my Alive show and the crowd response was incredible… One of my highlights of the summer no doubt."
Is Global one of the festivals where you don't feel like you have to play those 'Festival' style tunes?
"To a degree, yes. It's a full on dance music assault so it's really geared towards the UK crowd. I mean if you have a more commercial stand then that works as well but yeah you can pretty much play how you feel, and it works, the crowd just seem to get it.
"Last year for instance, the Alive set and performed between Zane Lowe and Knife Party and we had 9000 people in the tent for full on DnB… As I say, the Global crowd just get it."
As a well-travelled DJ like your self which records have stayed in you bag longest?
"There's a few… 'Renegade Snares', 'Babylon', 'Midnight', 'Hurt U'… Actually, I'm gonna have to stop there... I could go on for ages!"
Your 'Nightlife' series was for many the cornerstone of drum and bass mixes. How did you prepare for those and can we expect any more in the series?
"The prep on these were many a sleepless night and a tiresome licensing journey for Scott (business partner/manager). The whole vibe with 'Nightlife' was to project what you could expect musically from one of my sets on a night out"
"There's been a lot of requests for another one and I'm not saying it wont happen but right now I'm concentrating on studio production at the moment."
Will we hear any more from the 'Ram Trilogy'?
"At this moment in time we're all doing our own things and looking after our own destinies but it's such a great history and memories. Never say never!"
So what do you and Ram Records have in store for the rest of the year?
"Well…. For Ram, we have lots of great releases including the Wilkinson Album, lots of great events including our first outing to Brixton Academy in November, a new merchandise range, podcast, a new website and online store"
"For myself, hopefully you should see single in the Autumn and more tracks in general. I've got a tour that I'm working on for later in the year which will be announced soon, so, yeah, as usual, lots on the go, but I wouldn't have it any other way."