Croatia Countdown: DnB Pioneer Andy C Talks Outlook Festival, Ram Records Legacy

VIBE is heading to Outlook Festival 2013 for a large dose of the best bass music, reggae, hip-hop, garage and beyond. “Croatia Countdown” is your go-to resource for insider 411 from this year’s elite offering of dance music scions leading up to the storied and vibrant music-a-thon.

Break out the plum rakia cocktails, enjoy a beautiful break, hold your breath for those breakdowns, dance freely to breakbeats…It all goes down August 29th – September 2nd (plus a special amphitheatre kick-off show with The Original Wailers on August 28th), under the Croatian sun with the scenic seascape of Puna serving as the backdrop.

This Week on the Decks: DnB Pioneer Andy C

What are you looking forward to most about getting back out on tour?
The crowd, the vibe, and having a party with everyone in front of me.

What acts are you looking forward to most at Outlook Festival?
Andy C: Unfortunately, I’m pretty much only going to be there for my set due to other commitments. The line up is absolutely fantastic and looks bigger than ever. I’m very proud that we’re (RAM) one of the first label brands ever to take over the main stage.

What makes Outlook unique?
There’s lots of factors but for me the main one is the location. It’s not the easiest place to get to so once you’re there you just have to let go and get involved. The setting is stunning and that coupled with some of the biggest acts in the world it’s the perfect recipe for a party.

How do your sets vary from festival to festival? Do you cater to a market or vibe?
To a degree but I always try and get on the same vibe as the crowd anyway – I’m there to have a party!! Usually within the first 15 minutes or so, I can see where we can go and hopefully we all go on a journey together.

Can you describe your sound at this moment compared to say a year ago? What about 10 years ago? Can you describe signature Andy C beat?
Forever progressing… the music is always evolving and forever inspiring but I always pull out tunes from a year ago, ten years ago, and even 20 years ago. There’s certain tunes from back then that will seem like the most amazing thing to someone that’s never heard it before. Especially when they see the reaction from the crowd that knew these tunes when they first came out. It’s part of building that vibe and pulling everything together. Sets change but certain tunes just stand the test of time.

What are you working on now? You recently remixed Rudimental, Major Lazer, Mat Zo… all dope and so technically skilled… What’s the next output for Andy C the producer?
I’m working on quite a bit of solo material at the moment. Summer is always difficult to get in the studio tho as the touring schedule is just nuts. I’ve booked a bit of time off to go back in the studio in September and I should hopefully have a single ready for around that time.

Can you talk about the legacy of Ram Records, some of the great names and the artists you’ve released.
What can I say… we’ve been fortunate enough to have released tracks and remixes from pretty much every big name that’s ever graced the DnB world. Ram has been key in the development of some huge acts that are now household names and I’m very proud of that. Although I must say, Ram has a great team that works very hard behind the scenes to make it all happen, and we have a wealth of talent signed to the label right now. The future for Ram is looking very very strong indeed.

What do you have coming up right now on Ram Records? You’re releasing new music from Loadstar, Wilkinson, and other bass greats-rising. Discuss a bit.
We’ve just released Loadstar’s debut album, Future Perfect, and are putting together a remix package for that as we speak. Wilkinson album is due over the summer and he has some huge singles to come from that, definitely one to watch. Hamilton has got an extended EP which is sounding so strong. We’ve got a remix 12 from Rene LaVice’s album, singles from Calyx & Teebee, Mind Vortex, and DC Breaks. The list is endless – basically just loads and loads of great music!

What else does the future hold for Ram Records?
We’ve just announced our event at Brixton Academy in November which is a huge step for us. The is a real moment as far as our events go so it’s all hands on deck to make that a success. We’re taking the brand on the road around the world with stages, take-overs, club nights etc. around the world. We have a new merchandise range coming along with a complete new website. It’s making us tired just thinking about all the releases and everything we have on the go. It’s all good though, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

VIBE (along with many others) have referred you as a pioneer in drum n bass… how does that make you feel? Don’t say old!
Seriously, it’s flattering but I’ve still got so much more to give. There’s plenty of people in our scene that have contributed so much to what we have. DnB is a movement and I’m proud to be one of the guys flying the DnB flag!

What do you think of American dubstep? Skrillex? Bassnectar?
I think what those guys do is great. I’m great friends with a lot of them and trust me, I love to see a party go off no matter what genre! At the end of the day, many styles make up this huge scene and we all play very important roles in moving things forward.