The right honourable A.M.C will be returning to govern the halls of London rave institution Fabric this Friday with his second Energy event.
A concept that digs deep across the decades and flavours, Energy is A.M.C’s salute to the entire genre, its melting pot culture and rich tradition of dubplates. No pigeonholes, no boundaries and a serious three hour session with the Titan bossman, he promises just as many cult classics as he does upfront dubplates.
He also promises an album of the same name: after a year of denting the dance with kindred strongarm spirit Turno, A.M.C’s debut album Energy will drop in September. It follows a series of single releases that’s already in full flow. So far we’ve had the ludicrous Mind The Gap and, as of last week, the equally high voltage Look Out.
There’s more to come. But for now all roads lead to Fabric this Friday where he’ll be taking over room two with a roustabout rollcall: S9, DBR UK, Upgrade b2b T>I, Ed Rush, MCs Eksman, IC3, Phantom, 2Shy and Fokus plus a very special mystery guest. This is what you can expect from the Energy show and the album.
Energy! It’s out in September, but I guess it all started with the first Energy show…
Yeah it did. I came up with the idea of the album about a year ago but I wanted to announce it in case anyone nicks the name! So I wasn’t planning to do any of them until this year, but last year my agent Fran at Primary got me an opportunity to test the water at Fabric, they were opening up room three again so we tried a little tester to see if it works.
Who was on the line up?
Frankee, Mollie and TC who I asked to play an hour of his own music with his Total Carnage concept. Low Down Deep were in room one as well and when we turned up the queue was down the road, across the road and down the other one. I haven’t seen that in London for a while! It was inspiring to see. Not just because it was my first Energy night, but as a fan of the music who grew up in this city and fell in love with it. Seeing queues like that makes me happy.
Absolutely! So that’s where it all began and it exceeded expectations…
Massively. I was still worried because it’s far away from the album release and need to maintain that momentum. But they’ve become their own thing. I do a three-hour set, which I don’t do anywhere else. The great thing is, when we did the first, is that people could see on social media I was digging deep into the classics, converting records you can’t get digitally, so it attracted a huge mix of people; heads who I hadn’t seen in years who wanted to clothesline me when I dropped the older tunes and younger heads who are just getting into this appreciating who the older and new stuff relates, I guess. It’s amazing though, three hours gives me an opportunity to cross the board, in terms of subgenre and years. It’s not your average club night. The same goes for this one coming up; we’ve got Ed Rush, Upgrade & T>I, DBR UK…
Who’s your secret special guest for this next one?
Haha I can’t tell you that mate. You know that!
I can tell you it’s definitely not him but trust me, no one will be disappointed. I have to pinch myself that it’s happening. I’m so buzzing about it. Anyway I missed out a name from the line-up, S9 who is coming through and crazy talented. I’m gutted I can’t release any of their music this year because I’m being selfish and the release schedule is dedicated to the Energy release.
Time to focus on your own music for a bit?
There’s only so much time and space you give the music and if I release my music and theirs then it compromises all releases. At the start of the year I said to the guys on the label if they wanted to release on other labels I’d try and help them link it up and make those connections for them. I don’t want them sitting there for a year getting frustrated.
Props. You get the feeling not all labels would do that?
It’s one of things I knew when I was setting Titan up; I’d never sign anyone exclusively. I’ve seen so many people getting shelved. Super talented people who end up getting jaded and leaving music altogether. Not everyone, obviously. But you do see some horror stories and I didn’t want to be responsible for that with anyone I work with. I try and help wherever I can.
Nice. Back to you, though… We’ve had Mind The Gap. Now Look Out. Guess you’re rolling things out gradually in the build up to the album?
Yeah man, a track a month now in April, May, June, take a little release break in the summer and then drop the album in September. But I have to be honest, none of these tracks are actually finished. The only ones are the ones you mention; Mind The Gap and Look Out. Nothing else is near completion.
It sounds crazy but I’ve got it all planned out. So the album is coming in five sampler single tracks then, when the album comes out, there are five extra tunes. 10 tracks in total. So the first five are Mind The Gap, Look Out, a tune with Phantom which hasn’t got a name but is pretty much done, there are two more which are beyond WIPs, the ideas are solid, they just need finishing.
What about the other five?
There’s Energy itself which is what the entire album is based around. I did it a year and a half ago and love it. But I’ve only ever played it out three times; I road-tested it in Flex Vienna when I made it, I played it at Let It Roll and then the last Energy show. It’s my favourite production and a killer intro track but I’ve purposefully held back on it until it’s closer to the album. Then the rest of the tunes on the album include one called Throwback, which is three or four older track styles all smashed into one. It’s got Hardware vibes, Virus vibes, Universal Project kinda vibes. Then switches into a jungle thing.
Yeah, it’s pretty much a CV of my roots. I love it. As for the rest of the album there’s a mixture of more jump up things and techy things… And some heavy jungle influenced track I’ve just written. I admit it’s a unique way of writing an album; doing the tune one by one… After I’ve announced the thing.
Yeah usually it’s done ahead of any announcement and kinda sits there for a while before it drops…
Exactly man. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to have some sense of immediacy. It’s called Energy, so it needs to be delivered in that way too; a constant flow of tracks that reflect where I’m at and where we’re at with this music. There’s no other story besides that.
I like the honesty of that. And there is a story; this is you. You’ve mentioned your influences and your passions… it captures you and this moment in time. That suits you and your personality.
I guess it does. And because I’m splitting it up I can give each track a focus and do my best to make sure tracks don’t get overlooked or slept on. You see it a lot with artists who drop a significant album and a few months later everyone’s like ‘where’s the new music?’ I don’t want to do that.
Especially as this is your first solo stuff for a bit, right?
That’s true. I did a few remixes but no, everything was with Turno last year. So this year I’m concentrating on my personal music.
I thought you and Turno were going to form a solid act for a bit you know…
I think we’re both too inspired by our own things to ever be a collaboration full- time but we’ve got stacks of music waiting. At least six or seven tunes which are sounding wicked. We’ve got remixes like our one of Where’s My Money? So we’ve got all this ammo and not going to fire it out until at least next year. Strictly dubs mate.
That’s exactly what you promised when we did that interview when you launched the concept…
Exactly. And if we come back then it’s going to come back with a bang. In the meantime I’m working on my album, Frank’s on tour and doing some sick collabs. It’s funny; we borrow each other’s ears a lot and give each other very honest feedback but we can’t actually play these things in our own sets. Everything he sends me is weaponry for his set and I have to respect that.
That’s your currency innit
It is. And I think more artists should do this; make their own specials and versions and VIPs. Things people can’t hear anywhere else. That’s what you get booked for. Not just unreleased new tracks but twists on tracks that people know and will surprise them. It’s great to see more of this; there’s an interest from fans for new things, they want to be surprised.
It’s a great time for the music full stop, I think
Yeah definitely. It’s like fashion; things go round in circles and cycles don’t they? Like with production; for years everyone was very much ‘in the box’ but now there’s a thirst for outboard kit. There’s no coincidence that the “rolling” sound has come back at the same time. And from there what’s the most logical step in the cycle? Jungle. I love it. Literally before you called me, geez, I was about to record a lot of my old Juice Recordings vinyls, loads of old VIPs and remixes that never came out. I’ve been tracking down tracks and calling up people and asking them about tracks. Like Ed Rush and Optical’s Bleep Bleep. They’re like ‘fucking hell mate, that’s a blast from the past.’ I’ve been calling guys and bringing back memories of tunes they hadn’t thought about for years. Friction too. We’ve been geeking out about dubplates for hours. And that’s where Energy comes back into it; I’m playing these tunes in my Energy sets and properly taking things back in time and joining the dots and making sure the whole spectrum is celebrated. That’s what it’s all about…