In 1988 I started playing raves live from my Atari and Emax sampler, improvised and unarranged using loops and sequences from the computer.
I met promoter Finbarr O'Brian at the BBMC rehearsal studio in Dollis Hill where I was working with
Aniruddha Das on samplers, drum machines, a TB303 and four conga drums and other percussion.
Finbarr invited us to play there at Live Wire, which was my first performance at a rave.
In 1989, through Finbarr, I went on to play Back to the Future, Energy and Sunrise, and through other connections,
especially Mixmaster Morris, I played many other parties, large and small;
Fundamental, Spiral Tribe, Outer Limits and ones I don't even know the name of. I showed up at Humanity because my name was on the flyer, not that they'd
booked me. That one was busted by the police. I think of it every time I drive past the warehouse in Croydon; the police tactics, the plastic cuffs on party
goers, the beating of a poor guy in the back of the police van, the promoter speeding off in his GTI ...
In 1990, when I played at Synergy in Highbury at the T&C 2, (now The Garage), Akin Fernandez, an old friend who I had not seen since we recorded a punk session (Red Cross, Irdial Discs Discs -Rare, but it does exist!) in a Plaistow studio with Morris, John Collins and Mike Trei whilst we were all still at
school, was in the audience and suggested I record for him, since he now had a label.
Accordingly, the 12" single 'Cameroon Massif', pictured above, came out on Irdial Discs
that year. Unlike the subsequent release on the Brainiak label, it has no tempo changes and the mix has live Fender Rhodes and a TR808 from the Irdial studio.
Press the blue play button below for a combination of both mixes reconstructed and played live at the Brain reunion night in 2009
So anyway, a little later that year Sean McClusky recorded one of my performances at his club The Brain in Wardour Street, with me and
Mixmaster Morris, alternating numbers live from our Emax samplers and mixing in and out of each other's tunes. Sean released 'Massif' as the opening track on side two of the Live at the Brain album. The tune is
flanked by the ending and beginning parts of Morris's tunes mixed in and he flew in some vocal samples in the middle of the tune as well. Live and direct.
The Youtube link posted here is just as it dropped on the night in 1990, no edits, live from the mouse, un-arranged, chance and all.
On listening to the record once, DJ Harvey said to me that I should have arranged it differently. I understood what he was saying and I had tried to do exactly what he meant
on the actual night but sometimes things come out differently when you are wielding a trackball or a mouse in the stroboscopic light of a pulsating club. It is what it is.
An underground club success on both sides of the Atlantic, djs waited for the tempo shifts, hitting 45 when the slow beat came in and hit 33 when the original break returned.
This is a dj set recorded at the Inspiral Lounge in 2010 of 11 mostly unmixed and unreleased Ramjac Originals written between 1988-92.
They formed the bulk of my live set during this period though there were plenty of others too that yet have to see the light after all this time.
Around that time Akin gave me a cassette and said 'sample some stuff off this'. One track was by Yusuf Lateef.
I have searched to find out what that track is and I still don't know, but it forms the basis of a piece I called That Delicious Taste.
It had no bass line until Benji pointed out that it didn't have one. I was fine with it till then, but I sorted one out, because he had a point really...
It had to be simple, so just two notes.
The vocal samples came from an interview with Solomon Burke in a documentary called The Apollo Story. Thats hard to find too. The interviewer asks him,
'What is Soul?' His answer makes up my track, another varied tempo piece, which was one of the highlights of my live set in the early 90's, but never had a mix until Ben Watkins
gave me some studio time at Ridge Farm in 2008, where I mixed Love Me as well.
I made other records, including another one for Irdial, and one for Mr C's Plink Plonk label, released under the name Ramses, in accordance with the label's anonymity policy.
It was produced by Paul Rip and mixed by Ian Tregoning at Orinoco.
All Together Now
The Ramjac name has more recently become associated with my Beatles mashup since I put it on my Ramjac soundcloud page, now taken down by a copyright bot . See the sound art page on this site.