REVIEW: RAM RECORDS WITH ANDY C @ ROXX

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Music is constantly evolving and changing. One week a track will be raved about and the next it’s old news. This can also be said for artists and their labels which have to constantly adapt and move with the times. However, one record company has stood the test of time for 20 years and has never sacrificed its unique sound: The mighty RAM Records, who hosted a night at RoXX in Southampton on October 4th, 2013.

The line-up boasted a wealth of talent with Mind Vortex, Wilkinson and ‘The Executioner’ aka Andy C. Most would salivate at the thought of this tasty line up but what whetted the appetite even more was the imminent release of Wilkinson’s new album “Lazers Not Included” and the next chapter of Andy C’s eagerly anticipated “Nightlife” album mix series.

Wilkinson kicked things off from 11:30pm with a heaving dancefloor of drum and bass ravers with their 21 gun salutes at the ready. With Visionobi on the MCing duties, this was a killer combo. For those that don’t know (and you should) Visionobi used to be Southampton’s resident MC for most drum and bass nights (e.g. Release, WAX, and Raygun Youth). When called upon he provides socially conscious lyrics that are synchronised perfectly with the flow of the music. Moreover, he appreciates when the music needs to speak for itself, a talent a lot of MCs lack. He has toured with Wilkinson across Europe and the UK including at events such as Outlook and Unknown Festival in Croatia. As a result, the chemistry between the two is immediately apparent. Crowd favourites such as “Heartbeat” (featuring P Money & Arlissa) and “Take You Higher” swept the crowd up into a frenzy of aggressive and unsightly dancing that is associated with 170 bpm. There is a beauty in this though, everyone in unison lets loose of their emotions without being judged.

As Wilkinson drew his set to a close at 12:30am, he had one last slug to the head to shoot at the crowd:  “Searching” by Kove, a tune that has spread through the drum & bass scene faster and longer than any virus could, was unleashed upon the dance floor. This was greeted with raucous shouts as Wilkinson and Visionobi had their well deserved send off.

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Photo credit: Garry Jones

Up stepped Andy C, a DJ with worldwide renown and skill that has won him so many awards for ‘Best DJ’. His nickname, The Executioner, can only hint at the type of DJ this man is and how he operates the dance floor. In honesty it’s not a dance floor, more like an abattoir. Like a heavyweight boxer, he deals blow after blow, killer tune after killer tune and the crowd reverberates like dust in the wind. In particular, a highlight of the night was the Cyantific remix of Wilkinson’s “Afterglow” which burst onto the speakers, causing the RoXX floor to bounce and shake. Being the RAM Records head honcho, dubplates are his specialty and he teased the crowd with Culture Shock’s “Troglodyte VIP”. One thing I love about this DJ is that he never loses his enthusiasm during his performances, despite travelling the length and breadth of Europe. He never stops earning and is known for his ridiculous work rate. In addition, a veteran MC known as GQ was in control of the microphone, spitting venomous texts that left you under curse.

Mind Vortex was the final RAM artist to play the night from 2-3am. Most would consider this the graveyard shift however they duly delivered, picking up where Andy C left off. They began with their own “Gravity“, a tune that has only recently been released on their latest EP RAMM141, which set the tone for the rest of their set. R Dange another veteran resident MC from the Southampton drum and bass scene, made sure the crowd still had energy for the onslaught until 4am where Photon (resident DJ) finished things off for the early morning ravers.

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Photo credit: Garry Jones (Mind Vortex)

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