– Interview by LIV –
For our first event after the amazing SIM Ten Year, we’ve decided to bring back an artist that has been there since the first days of Jungle. DJ Randall is without a doubt one of the best Drum and Bass DJs that has ever laid hands on a set of decks. If you’re old school, you know about the legendary AWOL shows that set off the golden era of Jungle … If you’re new school, you know that Randall is 100% uncompromising in his support of the most futuristic DnB on earth. Check out our interview with a DnB Icon …
LIV: You’re regarded by many to be the ‘DJ’s – DJ’ and have a long history of spinning drum and bass, however its well known that it was Acid House in the late 80s which got you into DJing. What turned you on to jungle and drum and bass? Is there a specific DJ or that one track you heard that made you fall in love with jungle?
RANDALL: Not really, it was the era 90/91 when a lot of people were getting their hands on equipment and was making their own music in the UK. One known track that changed things was on one of our labels we was running out of our records shop at the time, De Underground Records, in Forest Gate. It was Lennie De Ice “We Are IE”. I always remember taking down promo’s to a Living Dream event that i was lucky to play at. Ten thousand people in a tent and giving Fabio, Grooverider and Colin Dale a copy of it, then hearing the response over the next few weeks how it went down in the clubs. Then the UK started to make more music with breakbeats in most of their tunes and before we knew it Drum and Bass Jungle was forming. It was a real moment!
LIV: You have been in the scene for a long time and have experienced the technical evolution of DJing, from watching dub plates get cut to using some of the earliest versions of Serato. From having tapes mailed out to you to receiving fresh tracks online. How has this evolution affected you as a DJ? Have you grown with the technology or have you had to adapt your style a bit to suit these changes?
RANDALL: Think its a bit of both, as the social media has blown up with AIM, Facebook and mp3s. Music can get to you much quicker then in the early to late 90’s, with plates it was a special thing to have a dub cut at certain cutting places like music house and metropolis. Technology keeps moving with the CDJ era where you could make a tune then play it that night, shows how things have changed. I use Serato when I play out now, it makes me able to have a lot of music at my disposal. No more weight problems at the airport when flying home from gigs!
LIV: What are your feelings towards this new culture of DJing and how it is moving farther away from the ‘Dub Plate Culture’ of the past to solely technology based?
RANDALL: Well it is what it is. With the “dubplate culture” it cost a lot to cut dubplates, and like i said, you can make a tune in the day and play it out in the night and all it cost you is a CD. Big difference. A lot of clubs I’ve been are more CDJ orientated and the decks are being left by the wayside, but some clubs keep them in good condition, so as long as they do I’ll keep using them.
LIV: You have released on a variety of labels since the start of your career, what made you decide to start your own imprint ‘Mac II’?
RANDALL: De Underground record shop was coming to an end due to financial reasons, I was setting up a studio in my own house so me and Coolhand Flex decided to start a new label with help from A-Sides, Uncle22 and other artists we knew from the early labels we was pushing out from our record shop … So the MacII imprint was formed.
LIV: With running your own label you must constantly be keeping an ear out for new talent which there seems to be a lot of on the rise. Can you name a few of your favourite ‘next generation’ DJs and producers that stand out for you? Some we should watch?
RANDALL: Well there’s a lot of guys that send us music. There’s a guy call Kdan, from Hampshire thats been sending me music for a while. Enei, rolling with C.I.A and Soul:R. Jaybee from USA has been sending me some killer tunes. Not forgetting the NC-17 guys been drawing some tunes on me for sure. Unreal, who is SPY’s brother has been blowing up over here too. I could reel off names for days, that’s how our music is right now. So much good stuff out there!
LIV: As a true veteran to the scene as well as a label owner what advice can you give to aspiring producers and DJs?
RANDALL: Be in this game for the love of the music. If you stay true to yourself and don’t get clouded with people telling you how to make your music and how to play, in time with good people around you, in time you will progress. Simple tings … Keep it Real.
LIV: Finally, over the two decades you have been spinning, what three tracks have you kept in your sets the longest?
RANDALL: I think Ruffige Cru’s Menace on Reinforced, any of the Dillinja tunes still sound fresh when i play them, and my boy Coolhand Flex is always sending me a remix of one of his tunes!
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