Sunday 28 Ocotber 2018 / 6.30am - 2.30pm
Breakfast Club is an invitation-only members club. Private message for details.
Saturday 24 November 2018 / 7pm - 11pm
Ramjac Corporation Live
£10 / £8 conc. / £12 OTD
Saturday 13 October 2018 / 10pm - 5am
Ramjac Corporation Live - Reel to Reel set
£5 / £7 / £10
On Saturday 13th October 2018 at Altered Voltage at Grow Tottenham, Ramjac delivered a DEVASTATING master class in live electronic improvisation and sonic manipulation.
Some of us there knew his music from 25 years ago and had attended his legendary live shows back in the day. Stepping into the stark room with lasers and minimal lighting, decks and equipment barely visible within a wire cage, everything obscured by dry ice, we could be forgiven for thinking we’d entered a time warp and that we were possibly ‘on one.’ However, Ramjac’s set wasn’t simply an exercise in nostalgia.
There was a serious PA which delivered clear, punchy, modern frequencies with a heavy, but defined bottom end. Ramjac took full advantage and re-sculpted and contemporised his sound by foregrounding the kicks, hats and bass lines, presenting a darker, meaner sound than we were expecting. He provoked movement with his trademark syncopated percussion, teased with melodic hooks - on this occasion a little more understated than usual, then sucker punched with thumping 4 on the floor kicks. Every so often, just when you thought it was safe, he’d sniper attack with lacerating acid lines. Some punters were whipped into a frenzy, whilst others gawped in disbelief in to the cage.
The unique voice of Milo of 50/50 Sound System (host on the Dub and Reggae show on Resonance FM) provided a running commentary through the mist and mutating soundscape.
While we thought it couldn’t get any better, Ramjac saved the best till last with an outrageous version of the iconic "Cameroon Massif," lasting perhaps 15 minutes. Aside from the audacious tempo changes, he played long passages where he exposed the hitherto overlooked bass line, giving the unsuspecting audience a crash course in dub. This track'll always remind me of the buzz we felt during Cameroon’s near toppling of England at the 1990 World Cup - the coming of age of African football. The breakbeat still propels you forward with its uplifting, joyful militancy.
Most astonishing, was that everything was running off two 8-track reel to reel tape machines, as if remixing and manipulating sound live wasn’t hard enough. It made for a different overall dynamic and the enhancement of his already organic sound with a warm analogue compression.
Ramjac’s set is seriously hard hitting - but he doesn’t brutalise - he cajoles people into dancing in whatever way they want, and compels them to be curious about the sounds and where they’re coming from. So it’s cerebral as well as physical. On another night you’ll get a different mix of the same material, because he is totally aware of his (sonic) environment and the people therein.
If you get a chance to see him or promote him, then do so - because you’ll see a certain level of invention, a re-situating of the typical motifs of electronic dance, and a (polite) refusal to adhere to the cliches - an attitude not seen enough elsewhere.
Grow Tottenham is an interesting, inviting venue, with an ‘oldschool’
warehouse vibe, where during the day, amongst other things, people cultivate
plants and vegetables and teach others how to do the same. Altered Voltage is
a young collective with a long term mentality who worked hard to organise the
event and on the night, behaved in a way that was friendly and professional:
RESPECT IS DUE - and to all the artists who performed - and of course, the adventurous
people who turned up ready to experience something different.
Aniruddha Das ( Asian Dub Foundation/Dhangsha)
A couple of recent shows for you
Ramjac Corporation plays live for Inverted Audio at Farr Festival 2018 on Saturday 7th July alongside Claro Intelecto (live), DJ Richard, HOLOVR (live), Galcher Lustwerk, Vester Koza, Martin Josef and Chuggy.
Ramjac live reel to reel with Milo Lapis of the 50-50 Sound System (Resonance FM) on the mic at the Campfire Headphase stage, curated by Inverted Audio at the Farr Festival.
Ramjac is playing at Churchtown, somewhere in Cornwall on July 20th