Andy C: the marathon man of drum & bass
Since he embarked on his recent sold out All Night tour, the shortest set Andy C has played has been two hours… And that was his surprise appearance at our very own Christmas party at Fabric last week.
It turns out these epic six-hour sessions have had a profound effect on him: to the point he’s started organising his music differently!
Currently working on a slew of new releases for new year (likely to be released around his forthcoming Alexandra Palace All Night show) we caught up with him to learn how 2015 has been for the D&B don… And hear how his label Ram has been on a marathon mission with their releases too!
At first the All Night concept was daunting. It’s like ‘how long? Can I really do this?’ But now it flies. It’s not long enough! Eventually I’ll be like one of those joke rave flyers, playing 48 hour sets!
2015 According To… Andy C
“This year has been one of my busiest tour schedules ever. Recently there’s been the Brixton Academy followed by the All Night tour which was sold out. Every show has been incredible. The last one was in Manchester. It was on a Thursday… Not even a weekend but 2000 people were there, all up for it until 4 in the morning. The feeling was amazing.
“What I love is that people are coming out to celebrate the music. It’s much more than seeing a DJ, though; they know that a DJ who is playing over that amount of time is going to give them the whole spectrum of drum & bass. It’s not going to be one particular sound or style all night… It’s drum & bass, all shades. And that’s beautiful. I feel like I’ve been celebrating drum & bass nonstop for the whole All Night tour. It’s mad, I did that surprise set with you guys at Fabric, which was amazing, but that was two hours long… And the shortest set I’ve played since September! That’s pretty far out. A few years ago that would have been the longest set!
“I’d love to see longer sets for everyone. I know we’ve moved on from the really short 45 minutes sets, but it’s a pleasure as a DJ to dig deep and go on a proper journey and explore more directions and sounds and play records you can’t fit into a shorter set. At first the All Night concept was daunting. It’s like ‘how long? Can I really do this?’ But now it flies. It’s not long enough! Eventually I’ll be like one of those joke rave flyers, playing 48 hour sets!
“To be honest, with the amount of music I’m getting right now, I need to play that long! Across the scene things are healthy but from my guys at Ram alone it’s just an onslaught of quality tracks. That’s why we upped our schedule this year; it’s been single after single. We’ve had a release every week. We wanted to show the world how much good drum & bass is out there. We wanted to shorten the gap between releases and make them more frequent. We’ve gone for it! All our artists work so hard and we want them to be heard so we’ve opened up the schedule and tried to get as many records out as we can. Just a flow of solid sick singles that culminate in incredible album projects…
“I’m so proud of what Bensley did with his album. That was a beautiful situation; he went from rumours to reality with that one release and the amount of people talking about him now is incredible. It’s there now for all time, people are still discovering him. The June Miller album is also an incredible piece of work; the feeling and the vibes and the amount of detail on that album. I still listen to it regularly now and it blows my mind; there is nothing on the planet that sounds like it. And there’s nothing that on the planet that sounds like Rene LaVice’s album, too; he’s such a unique character both personally and musically. There are slammers on the album, there’s some really dark tunes, he’s an incredible artists. We’re blessed to be working with these guys.
If I like it, I’ll play it; it’s all drum & bass! I know I used to organise music in that way; pigeonholing tunes into sections for my set, like a little 10 minute halftime section, or a 20 minute darker section, but that was when I was playing much shorter sets.
“On a wider picture, you talk about predominant sounds and ask if neuro has had a bigger year this year? I don’t know mate… It’s always been strong. Hasn’t it? You go to Europe and that’s been the dominant sound for years. Acts like Audio, Misanthrop, Phace, Noisia and Mefjus have been killing it for a long time. Rather than say neuro and techy drum & bass has had a strong year, I’d say they’re getting their just rewards. Those guys have always been in my sets for years. They’re a staple diet.
“You also ask about halftime tunes and I’ve realised I don’t look at the subgenres; I know there’s been big halftime tracks – like the Sunday Crunk remix to pick an obvious tune – but I haven’t been filing these tracks away as halftime, or neuro, or anything. If I like it, I’ll play it; it’s all drum & bass! I know I used to organise music in that way; pigeonholing tunes into sections for my set, like a little 10 minute halftime section, or a 20 minute darker section, but that was when I was playing much shorter sets.
“Now I play longer sets it’s all just great tunes and I know I can play a huge amount of them and really go in on every aspect of drum & bass. I don’t watch the clock tick down with these sets, I’m not like ‘shit! I’ve got 20 minutes left and I haven’t even played this or this or this’ any more. Well, until the last hour I’m not… Then I just go fucking nuts and throw the kitchen sink at it! I’ve not thought about it in this way until this conversation but I’ve been afforded some great freedom that I’ve never had before with my All Night sets and it’s properly changed the way I approach the music. Like I say, it’s all drum & bass and I genuinely love it all.
Three non D&B albums Andy C enjoyed in 2015
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
This album just blew me away this year!
Jamie xx – In Colour
Sick! Just sick. No one makes music like this guy.
Deadmau5 – While(1<2)
I know this came out last year but it still remains one of my most popular non-D&B albums this year. It’s a great travelling album.