Ahead of his release on Audio Danger - we catch up with RAE for a quick Q&A.
Q1) Thanks for your time out. Can you go back to how it started for you and what got you into drum and bass?
A) I was probably about 15 years old, at a mates house and up to no good as usual. His older brother was blasting drum and bass from his bedroom and I needed to know what this crazy music was! I thought “wow! what the f&&k is this”. I was lent a tape from Hysteria or One Nation, I can’t remember which event it was but the DJ was Hype and the host was MCMC. I had to see this live and see what it was all about. I did and I was hooked! From then on my weekends were spent raving up and down the UK in clubs, fields and warehouses.
Q2) What did you start DJ-ing on, and what are you using now?
A) I started DJ-ing on the classic 1210s like most people past 30! I was working in a super-market and saved enough money to get myself some real life turntables. Back then it was all vinyl so it was around the year 2000. But times change so now i have jumped on the digital bandwagon and embraced the CDJS. It does make things slightly easier…
Q3) Tell us about your studio set up?
A) I have actually almost finished building my new studio inside one of my warehouses at work. There is no houses near me, I’m right in the middle of nowhere so i can really turn it up to 11! When it’s complete it will consist of DYNAUDIO BM 12As + Sub, UED effects and all the usual digital software plug ins, Native Instruments Complete, a few analog keyboards and synthesisers like the Micro Cord, Korg and Dave Smith Mofo. But i may invest in some new gear as I will have much more space in this studio and I don’t want it looking empty, i’ll treat myself to something.
Q4) What was your first release and how did that link up come about?
A) My first release is the Kingston Bass EP out on Audio Danger Records 06/11/2017
Q5) Ah I didn't release it's your first release ever, congrats! Have you got any memorable gigs?
A) I’ve done a few gigs for Audio Danger Records over the years and the one that stands out for me was a booking in Austria. Back then ADR had signed a release from Sensa & Haste aka Hybrid Minds just before they blew up and had brought them, BMK, Jimmy and i think Saxxon as well, all to this gig at Q-West club. I was Dj-ing before Sensa and Haste and played one of my own tracks as the finale for my set The crowd went mental and BMK Jacked the tune. I was mad pleased to see my own music get such a positive reaction which is one of the reasons I’m still producing now, This track may get a release in the future.
I also have to mention DJ-ing at the mighty Warning in Cambridge is something I’m very proud of. Everyone, however known or unknown they are is always very honoured to play at Warning.
Q6) What would be your dream gig?
A) Errrrr, Let It Roll, Main Stage, errrr back to back with Andy C, something like that…
Q7) So let's talk about your release forthcoming on Audio Danger, i'm def feeling it, can you tell us how that link up occurred?
A) Well its something that the label were always asking me for as they knew I was making music but didn’t want to release any of it. We were always talking about putting my music out but I told them it will come out when its ready. I feel like this release is a solid, first contribution to the scene, that said I’m already 100% certain my next release will be far better. The Kingston Bass EP is really only one style of drum & bass that I produce so expect to hear a lot more from me in the future.
Q8) You have merged ragga sounds with hard hitting dancefloor drum and bass. How long did it take you to write the tracks?
A) I’m not really sure how long I took on this EP, but it’s been in the making on and off for about a year. I have been juggling work life and also working on a number of other music projects. Sometimes things can be more or less done in a week or so, but then I might spend months changing the arrangement, tweaking and messing about with the track. So my final answer is “it depends” sorry.
Q9) Any mixdown tips?
A) Keep the master below -5db, the track will have more clarity and airiness. Get good monitors and acoustically treat your studio, don’t don’t have to but it really helps.
Q10) You played in Austria for Audio Danger, can you tell us about that experience?
A) I mentioned this in Question 5 but i was great to travel over seas with a label and have a great experience with like minded DJs. Caught lots of jokes and it felt a bit like a lads holiday away or a stag do. It was one of those things you imagine doing when you first touch a cross fader, so i was very pleased to be part of it and will never forget.
Q11) "Good Body Gal" really has some lovely Jamaican vibes. Do you enjoy working with samples or do you like to make your own sounds as well?
A) Yea I love to use both. I have worked with a number of vocalists and got some original tracks coming out in the future. One of the best things about working with a vocalist is being able to ask them to change something. and getting their own input to the track. listening back and bouncing ideas off each other. You can’t really change a same that much. It's just not he same. But a sample doesn’t need to be told its great and a sample doesn’t smoke all your weed and drink all your beer, so swings and roundabouts i guess.
Q12) You're from Cambridge, which has a really healthy dnb scene. What are your favourite clubs and nights there?
A) The only event for me in Cambridge and the surrounding area is WARNING, plus a few smaller ADR events. Warning has been running for over 23 years now so I’ve always known about Warning. It's part of the city as much as the universities are. Its the drum and bass heart and soul of Cambridge.
Q13) Top 3 DJs and MCs right now?
A) Dimension, The Prototypes and Frankee, MCs would have to be Inja, azza and my boy Jimmy Danger!
Q14) If you could take 1 track on a desert island with you, what would it be and why?
A) TITAN- RAM TRIOGY beaucse its fucking banging mate, I’ve been listening to it for years and still not bored. Timeless.
Q15) What do you think of the www.jungledrumandbass.co.uk site?
A) Excellent, easy to navigate and some great content. Also thanks for taking the time to speak to the lesser known producers in the scene like myself.
Q16) It's a pleasure. I don't mind when people appreciate it! So what other up and coming producers are you rating right now?
A) First of all i have to say Benny L. Serum and Inja as well, bearing in mind these guys have been around for ages but only now getting the recognition they deserve! Also T>I has been smashing it for ages but relatively unknown to the average raver. he’s like your favourite producers favourite producer.
Q17) Thanks for your time, any shouts and thanks?
A) I would like to thank everyone at jungledrumandbass.com for this interview and the feature. Jimmy and Mila from Audio Danger, Warning in Cambridge and all the shire gang, Inja, Logistics, Johnny Kash and Jungle Dave. Chris O’ Dowd, Shotgun Simon and Damo for advice on mix downs! Pandora from Switch in Vienna for the support, Pilgrim, Saxxon and DJ Dee. And Big up anyone supporting and enjoying my music. Thanks.
Ah big up. Another grateful dnb head rising through the ranks, always a pleasure to support! Big up and all the best for 2018 and beyond.
Interview by Missrepresent Nov 2017
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