DJ Spotlight: Loadstar On Living The #RamLife
One of the most fine-tuned drum and bass imprints on the planet, RAM Records; helmed by original junglist, Andy C has launched a new compilation series, RAMlife.
Mixed by RAM mainstays, Loadstar, RAMlife (out now) is a magnum opus for the label and drum and bass as a whole. With myriad releases from RAM, the series shines a spotlight on the genre’s ever-evolving sounds.
VIBE sat down the purveyors of self-described “fast, funky deep” music, Loadstar- made up of Gavin Harris and Nick Hill- for some bass education.
What does is it mean to live the RAMlife?
Nick: RAM Life represents the drum and bass sound that the label has tried to push over the years. It’s now embodied within this compilation series, which features artists from across the industry, and not just from RAM.
Gavin: It was something different that we really enjoyed doing, as we chose artists that we frequently played out during our sets and from artists who we’ve been watching for awhile now.
What are you listening to right now for fun?
Nick: The great thing about RAM Life is that we got to show whom we’ve been listening to at the moment and give certain tracks a platform. There’s also a few VIPs which haven’t not been released, otherwise and that was pretty exciting.
Gavin: The people we’re listening to at the moment are reflected by the compilation’s track list. We’re massive drum and bass fans, so we really do listen to it all the time. It’s how we update our set lists regularly.
Best advice you ever got from someone in the music biz?
Nick: When I began making music, I started off solely as a producer. When I started DJing I didn’t really understand the whole art of mixing, until someone told me that you should strategically plan your sets and transitions. Learning to be prepared was massively important. Also, we began to make sure that we listened to every tune in the inbox, so that we’re one step ahead in the game when playing out live.
Gavin: The best advice I’ve ever received is just to constantly read your crowd. It may sound simple but this is the most important way to lead your DJ sets. You also have to appreciate the different crowds and adapt to how you playing depending on the venue. For example, your set at a place like London’s Fabric will be a lot different to a festival stage in America.
Nick: When everyone started bringing laptops into clubs to DJ, this was something quite a few friends encouraged me to do, despite me being very wary at the time. I became even less of a fan when I dropped a pint of beer on my laptop. Was gutted, but managed to recover from it luckily.
Gavin: Yeah, I remember that. You nearly lost a lot of work.
What's your live act like?
Nick: We love to bring that upfront energy to all our shows. However, the crowds can be really different at times, especially when you’re playing shows in the UK and the US.
Gavin: Every single show is important to us, so we try and uphold that mad, drum and bass vibe for each set. At the moment, you can expect loads of tracks from the new compilation, as well as some new material.
How did you go about preparing for this mix series?
Nick: The thought process behind this mix series was quite similar to our last album featuring other artists. We looked for producer’s who’s music we were really into, although it was more focused around dnb, rather than remixes of dnb records.
Gavin: Putting this mix together was an experience we enjoyed and it was nice to take the musical aspects from a different angle. It’s definitely something we’d look at doing in the future.