It’s been a rather apocalyptic time for London clubland over the course of 2008 – with the closure of Turnmills, Canvas, The Cross, The Key, and the impending closure of The End. And it could be argued that no one scene has been affected, or hit quite as hard, as drum bass. Beyond concluding the bountiful D residencies at The End (Marky Friends, Shogun Audio, Ram Records, Renegade Hardware, Swerve), countless D parties held at Turnmills and mammoth D raves at Bagley’s (aka Canvas, back in the day), D recently got knocked back even further when Heaven changed its programming and dropped Hospitality off its roster two months ago.
After an amazing year commercially for the genre, D approaches 2009 with healthy expectations, equipped with more groundbreaking music than ever. But with an obsessively dedicated crowd spread the globe over, it’s a shame that the drum bass Mecca itself, London, has lost a few havens for the ever-evolving scene. That is, until February, when Ram takes their first step towards a solution, and March, when Hospitality makes their own individual mark; both collectives will begin valiant residences at a new home for all junglists: our very own matter. Two of drum bass’ biggest revolutionaries, each bringing their own distinct style and scenes, will soon be paired up with the innovative technology of our bass-friendly sound system. Imagine the wistful synth-led beats of High Contrast cascading across the sky bridge of our third floor – or the devastating sub-bass of Andy C slamming across 80 bass pistons underneath our Body Kinetic dancefloor, testing the system to its very limits. Drum bass is about to get seriously shaken up, both literally and figuratively
On 6 Feb, the Ram crew will smash into matter with unprecedented force, dynamically showcasing how much the label has developed since its star and owner Andy C first started it (with the legendary Ant Miles) as a young boy in Essex in 1992. Ram is forever setting the standard for the rest of the scene, consistently growing from strength to strength – from the vibes of the Origin Unknown (a moniker for Andy Ant) milestone ‘Valley of the Shadows,’ to the booming sounds of Shimon, to cutting edge Moving Fusion classics, to the scene-altering ‘Bodyrock’ anthem, to hypnotic dubs from Sub Focus, to the most recent explosion of dub-laden duo Chase Status. Ram brings the harder edge of drum bass, breeding immense beats and basslines aimed straight at the dancefloor, yet all of their productions are stamped with an unmatched sense of musicality. Their back catalogue is as arresting as it is historic – the label is truly a seminal and irreplaceable landmark in the expansion of the genre.
Ram was the first and longest-running D residency at The End and the nights were a continual roadblock; hundreds of bass-hungry fans would wait patiently in epic queues, eagerly awaiting a thunderous set from the incomparable leader of Ram, and the D scene as a whole, Andy Clarke. There are drum & bass DJs, and then there’s Andy C. After all these years of playing at least three gigs a weekend, he still never fails to engage a crowd reaction that’s unparalleled. Come witness his intense sonic tricks, double-drops and quick-mixing cuts aplenty, alongside our Pixel Addicts’ visuals.
For the launch of matter, Ram called upon some of their biggest luminaries and most closely-aligned peers, and even took a chance to embrace a few unexpected stars (with dubstep’s finest: Skream, Caspa, Youngsta, Plastician).
“2009 will see D move into its new home at quite possibly the most ground-breaking venue on the planet. In the same way fabric did 10 years ago, matter will completely change the D party experience. We couldn't be happier to be at the forefront of this with the legendary Hospital family.”- RAM
FRIDAY 6 FEBRUARY RAM
ACROSS ROOMS ONE TWO:
Andy C (2hr Set) / Goldie / Chase Status / Hype / Sub Focus / Noisia / Red One / Commix B2B D-Bridge / Shimon (Breaks Set) / Culture Shock / Skream / Caspa / Youngsta / Plastician MC's: GQ / Dynamite MC / IC3 / Fats / Rod Aslan / Crazy D
If any aspiring drum bass label owner wanted to find an imprint to use as their template, they need look no further than Hospital Records. As well as quantity, Hospital has always been very much about quality, and in every sense they have been one of D’s most pioneering outfits over the last twelve years. From the early days, which saw them build an impeccable reputation through a slew of jazz-inflected 12”s and compilations, to the present day, they have been committed to new sounds and new talent. And it has been since the turn of the century that the label has really come into its own, with the discovery of the likes of High Contrast, Nu:tone, Logistics, Commix, Cyantific and many more, an instrumental component in the label’s development. Add to that London Elektricity revolutionising live music in drum bass with perhaps the genre’s finest ever live band, and the label being the scene’s most progressive in the developing digital music world (the first D label on iTunes, three time winner of the BT Digital Music Award for podcasting), and you’ve got a truly visionary label.
From their monthly shindigs in the intimate confines of Herbal, to the behemoth that was their five room Heaven extravaganzas, the Hospital crew has been supplying the drum bass masses with a regular supply of quality nights for years. On Friday 6 March they start a new chapter in their history with the launch of their new residency at matter; their events on this scale are not limited to strictly soulful lineups, favouring a kaleidoscopic mix of styles and flavours. Prepare for a monster of a lineup in 2009 that brings the best of the Hospital camp, along with a few surprise guests. Full lineup information to follow soon…
“Hospital Records are pleased to announce matter as our new London home in 2009. With the London club scene changing so much over the last year, matter has emerged as the number one music venue in the capital. Prepare to be wowed by the epic main room with all your Hospitality favourites, as well as some superstar guests. While in room 2, expect the lineups to be as diverse and exciting as you've come to expect from our legendary parties at Heaven. Hospitality has become known as a unique event in the clubbing calendar, and we know that Hospitality at matter will continue that tradition. We will offer not only unique lineups, but a vibe that you simply can't replicate at other nights. Don’t Sleep!” – Hospital Records
As the dust settles from London clubland’s misfortunes, drum bass fans need to look no further for a new playground - matter is the ultimate setting for its biggest heavyweights, Ram and Hospital. The residencies mark a meeting of minds: Europe’s most forward thinking new venue and two of D’s most forward thinking labels.
venue: matter, The O2, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 ODY
office: Greenhill House, Greenhill Rents, 90-93 Cowcross St, London, EC1M 6BF
T +44 (0)207 549 6686
Listen to the Sound of Ram Records here
Listen to the Sound of Hospital Records music here