RANDALL : MOONDANCE / Laughing in the face of division

Don’t blame it no sunshine! Get a ticket for the Moondance, go for the old times, go for the boogie.

That genuinely got worse every time I read it back, but it was worth it. Moondance festival 2017 hits Trent country park on the 6th of August 2017, and it is not to be missed. Moondance has been a pillar of rave culture since 1995, and is blessing us with a festival celebrating old, new and everything in between.

It is impossible to open a social media account these days without coming across a little bit of underground, sub-genre, scene related over-cooked BEEF; Moondance is laughing in the face of division and says “F*CK IT!” -Let’s all get together for the love of the rave.” Forget the BPM, and appreciate that the ‘good old days’ can be relived every day, regardless of your age group.

The main stage will be hosted by Moondance alongside Roast and Jungle mania – no introduction necessary; expect the Old school and jungle with legends such as LTJ Bukem, Dillinja, General LevyRandall, Slipmatt, Brockie, Kenny Ken, Top Cat, Uncle Dugs and Nicky Blackmarket. We have had the absolute pleasure of firing a few questions over to one of these legends; the one and only Randall. Have a read:

Mondance festival is back for its 22nd year, can you remember the first Moondance event you attended? How has the festival evolved since then, and what are you most looking forward to about this year’s event in September?

I first played for Moondance in 2008 NYE at SE1 club in London, think Hazard, Friction, Simon Baseline Smith, Cyantific&Eskman among many others was great start to the year it was! Since then the Moondance guys (Bruno Funki& Simon Gordon) have been putting on great nights in Koko and progressed to festival events that have been memorable times. As for this one next week really looking forward to shutting down one of the Stages with one of my favourite piers the Man like Carl Dillinja. His music will be featured in my set for the night and has been throughout my career always in my bag/box… its going to be real fun!!!

I recently read an interview where you described the moment you first heard ‘Terminator’ and the reaction you had to it; are there any tracks released over the past few years that have come at all close to that sensation?

Yeah there’s been a few and its when you here something that’s original & not the standard/normal format that gets me buzzing and wanting to play that track in the club. There are a lot of artists here in the UK, and worldwide who have produced tracks over the years that still give me that ‘Terminator’ moment as we’re still living that vibe… well I am anyways lol 🙂

If you could go back and re-live one set, which would it be and why?

It’s got to be an AWOL set in 1994 at the Paradise club, London hosted by lyrical maestro MC GQ. So much energy that night & I’ve been getting a lot of feedback over the years about this one. Defo a special one and I think that would be the set to reflect on you know…!

 It is no secret that the life of a DJ is fast paced and discussions of mental and physical health within the music industry have become a common topic in the media; Are there any particular measures you take to stay healthy, or any passions you enjoy outside of the club/studio that particularly relax you?

Think a lot of the healthy side of me is to do with my food. I try to hit the gym at least 2 times a week, where I’m living now I regularly ride my bike a lot due to the Mrs using the car for work, etc which is perfect for me. So even popping into town is a 6 mile stint, love table tennis if I can find someone up to mans standards lololol not saying I’m good but got to love a challenge. Basically I just try and look after myself in general, could always loose a few pounds round the waist.

The sad passing of Marcus Intalex sent shock waves through our community, I’m sure the list is endless, but which memories in particular will always live on for you?

Basically his honour, his dry outlook on life and sense of humour and just his whole vibe Marcus was unique. He was just “Good Peoples’ and a sad loss to the scene and the world of music. He also had a lot of things coming from his Trevino side as well.

RIP Marcus…

As a true veteran of Drum and Bass you have a career spanning 28 years, do you have any plans of moving on from DJ’ing? Is there anything that would ever make you think it is time to hang up the headphones? (Please never leave us.)

I not gonna lie that’s the last thing I’m thinking about, hanging up my headphones are you mad I’ve got this DJ’ing thingin my DNA. Back since 1984 soon got decks in my bedroom, that’s when I knew it was the only thing I wanted to do.

(We can all now sleep a little better at night..)

We recently dedicated some articles to celebrate the women within Drum and Bass, do you think there is gender equality within the scene? Are there any particular females that stand out for you currently?

Why do people always have to talk about gender, etc… this is music so for me it’s pretty simple! If you have passion for the music, a skill or ability that allows you to DJ or produce and develop and hone your craft/skills and you put the graft in you have my respect.

I recently came across the below article, I am a firm believer that music heals the soul, and I know how precious a vinyl or CD collection can be, I’ve sent a few letters to Kent council, hoping to get Pete’s CD’s back (along with a Walkman donation), but wandered how many vinyl’s and CD’s you estimate are currently in your collection, and from those what are the most precious?

Damn…I have to say the precious tunes have to be what my brother left behind in the 80s’ and my earlier days of record buying from hiphop, acid house and rare groove..

I’m moved to a few places over the years so family and storage places have been looking after the mass amount of music I have acquired over my life, its hard to put a number on it. I’m sure I could of basically put a phat deposit on a house or could of bought one if you worked it out most vinyl geeks would say the same thing I reckon…!

Last year an LA club made headlines after releasing a statement on its Facebook page “No more laptops in the DJ booth” suggesting that the use of a laptop was ‘amateur’; Would you believe a DJ is more skilled when using a certain type of equipment, such as Vinyl? Or does the technology not matter when tune selection and crowd reading is on point?

As a man that came into this from the 2 decks & a mixer era, that will always be my first preference. But with technology evolving I just adapt to what’s available at the time.I’ve got into record box now so I’m comfortable with any format at the clubs now. You just have to put in double the prep work in serato and record box, but always it’s about the selection of music and reading the crowd and the vibe of the dance. That’s a real dj’s ethos!

Along with Moondance, Mac II recordings hits 22 years this year, over those 2 decades which track release is most memorable or most successful for the label? Is there anything we should be particularly excited for from the ‘PIECES session II’ release in August?

Think in the 90’s it was a track by Defcon One ‘Times is the Fire’ was one of our main label hits in the earlier days of Mac2. The pieces LP 2yrs ago has to go to Serum remix of Uncle22‘6million ways to die’. For the present we have a lot of good quality music coming out. We’re looking forward to the next installment of Pieces Session II with the likes of T.I’s ‘All I do’, Benny L with his track ‘Just Swing’ then with Madcap rolling out the vibes with ‘Rain’ is making a lot of noise out there as well as the other tracks featured on this next compilation is getting a lot of love right now. Due for release out in Sept on vinyl & CD Digital formats… Hope you guys rep that!

One of my favourite events over the past few years has to be ‘Soul in motion’ the intimacy and the crowd just can’t be beaten, and you feel you are surrounded by family; What do you think makes these events so special? Do you prefer playing to a small room or a packed out festival?

I’ve always love the smaller venues and the in particular the ones were the crowd is right next to ya rather that the big venue where there’s a stage and your a few feet away from the crowd.Love the festival events they’re wicked don’t get me wrong, but I always feel I can test new music out in front to 200 people as I can see what there vibing off when it gets played, I call these clubs “The testing Ground”

Cheers Randall, we can’t wait to catch your set at Moondance!

Now.. whether you’re working all weekend, or starting the party, we have a Randall mix for you that is going to make it memorable:

There are still tickets available for Moondance, grab one HERE. We’ll see you there!

Lolly x