Andy C is famous for his all-night sessions behind the decks. Exactly how many thousands of people have witnessed him spanning the many eras and sub-divisions of the drum & bass genre all the way to sunrise over the last decade is hard to pinpoint; but given that his last epic session in London was at the massive Alexandra Palace, having previously sold out Brixton Academy twice, we can only guess it’s well into six figures.
"I do scan the audience and I do have a regular crowd that I see, and that’s absolutely beautiful and amazing"
Despite the diary full of bookings across the world, Andy rarely misses a home game of his beloved WestHam, where he’s a season ticket holder. This often necessitates a mad post-match dash to the airport. “Everyone says ‘you’re mad’, but pretty much whatever it takes, I’ll get the first flight and go straight from the airport to the stadium, or I’ll go and watch a game and run out and go to an airport, or go to a gig. If I can help it, I won’t miss a game.”
He still takes a day off pretty much every week to practise his DJing, because he finds going out to play without knowing his set and mixes inside out to be a deeply unsatisfying experience. Of course, since the digital revolution, and given the fact that everyone in drum & bass wants him to play their tunes, he’s always got a massive stack of new music to go through, too. “It’s an outrageous amount of music,” he laughs.
After an outstanding set at AVA Festival, Armagh’s own Holly Lester has emerged as one of 2018’s most noteworthy names to watch. Bequeathed with a pair of CDJs at 14, Lester cut her teeth on electro and progressive house before bouncing between jungle, d&b and hard dance amongst other fast-paced cuts over the years.
Miss Red is an outsider, descended from an immigrant Polish family who “were getting shit ‘cause they were Jewish” when they lived in Morocco, but also for being North African while living in Israel. Eventually leaving Israel, the fierce MC spent time in London and Berlin and became a regular part of The Bug’s touring line-up. For that reason, he has produced her debut album, ‘K.O.’, which does indeed deliver many knockout punches.
The electro-techno contortions of Solid Blake are generating shockwaves deep in the underground. The creation of Copenhagen-based Glaswegian Emma Blake, it was when she moved to the Danish capital (after several years working at Glasgow’s Subcity Radio) that she became emboldened to make her own material and begin playing out more.
Snapped up by Med School, Flexout Audio and Beat Machine relatively early on in his career, Lynch Kingsley has been thrust into the limelight with a sound that manages to artfully combine psychedelic d&b with a juke/jungle aesthetic to create an atmospheric, almost cinematic quality to each of his tracks.
New York’s Abby Echiverri only released her first solo EP in June, but you’d be hard pushed to find a more accomplished debut. Arriving on The Bunker — after a track on the label’s 15 Years Of compilation earlier in 2018 — all four hardware-based tracks reimagine broken beat, techno and electro in refreshing new ways. They swing low, with booming kicks and modulated percussive lines that are all masterfully de ned and pack a visceral punch with equal cerebral clout.
“One of my favourite emotions is surprise and, for me, a good DJ is a master in the element of surprise,” says The Netherlands’ rising DJ Merel, to explain her wildly diverse but always cohesive sets. “This is my ultimate goal when I play music.” Originally from the small city of Leiden, but now Amsterdam-based, Merel ten Braak has generated hype thanks to her appearances on Red Light Radio and rapidly increasing schedule of gigs across Europe.