Six days remain until Andy C plays the show he’s dubbed as his career high: Andy C All Night at Alexandra Palace, London.
A 140-year-old venue, Alexandra Palace has played home to the likes of The Stones, Led Zeppelin, Jay-Z and The Prodigy: Andy C one of an elite league of men who’ve ever dared to take it over as a solo DJ and the very first drum & bass DJ to attempt it. What’s more, at the time of writing, the tickets are exceedingly close to selling out.
A few years ago we learnt how he sourced, negotiated and coerced tunes for his Nightlife mix. Many of them are so fresh they were barely a minute or two long. So we wondered if this was the case with hallmark shows like Alexandra Palace (or Ally Pally if we’re going to be informal) Has he done the same level of digging? Is he sitting on a gold mine of dubs that may not see the light of day for eight years? If you’re one of the 10,000 people attending the show on March 24 what future shockers will you hear?
“I got some serious monsters mate! But I’ve got to be a bit cagey. We all know what happens….” he grins.
“I play a tune on dub, someone films it and puts it on YouTube. 15 years later the tune finally gets finished. Not mentioning any names! I want to tell the world about every track but the artists need to finish them, which we all know is the hardest part of the process.”
Cagey but not so tight-lipped we can’t get any information from him. Andy definitely is sitting on a dubplate gold mine. But Ally Pally is only half the reason… The Ram boss is sitting on a goldmine every day and has done for well over 20 years.
Trust me, the tunes have been coming in thick and fast…
“There are always reasons to get these tracks from the guys on the label and my friends in the scene,” he explains. “It’s not just Ally Pally, it’s everything… A lot of the guys are out in America for Miami so they’ve been getting their ammo ready for that. DC Breaks and Frankee were touring Australia last week so they got their specials ready for that. There are always opportunities to make incredible music and I’m just lucky to be one of the first in the queue to get that Soundcloud message, Twitter DM, email or whatever other way they want to send them to me.”
It’s interesting – but not shocking – to see that AIM is no longer in that communication list. Once the gold standard in dub sharing and a precursor to social media, it allowed any producer large or small to send tracks to artists.
“My AIM computer wheezed its last breath many years ago,” he says. “An old iMac with about 10-12 years of drum & bass on it. One day it just went ‘you know Andy, enough is enough is bruv!’ and gave up the ghost! It was a great way of getting tunes – you’d have to go through a lot of music but a lot of records we signed would come through AIM. Rene LaVice famously sent me tracks with no details attached to them. I was playing them for months before I knew who was behind them. But now there’s better ways of getting in touch more personally. And trust me, the tunes have been coming in thick and fast…”
And this is the information we’ve managed to squeeze from him about them…
Chase & Status
“Come on now. Everyone knows what these guys are capable of. I’ve heard a lot of the new album and it’s as sick as you’d expect. They’ve got that sound that’s instantly identifiable and full of character. You know it’s them the second it drops. There are two tracks I’ll definitely be playing. One is an out and out dancefloor destroyer. Nuff said. The second one is a musical tip with such a beautiful bassline. It’s Chase & Status innit. It’s the reason why they are as big as they are.”
“My go-to guys for massive sounding tracks. They tapped me up last night and said they have some specials to send me. I’ve heard some of them and I know they’re sending me more… That’s going to be proper last minute vibes but I know they’ll be worth the wait.”
“Say no more!”
“They’ve been very very busy lately and have sent me a whole bunch of tracks that I can’t dream of not playing.”
“He’s sent me some very very strong stuff recently. I don’t want to say too much as he’s got his single Flatline out right now, which is a fantastic single and it leads us really nicely to his next album. He’s got his own promo plan with the new material and I wouldn’t want to ruin that. But I’m sure he won’t mind me saying he’s got some fucking bangers loaded up for it. And I’m playing some of them at Ally Pally!”
Calyx & TeeBee
“They’ve just sent me an absolute monster! Their album is ready to drop very soon but they’re already on the next level. They’re on it!”
“He’s a beast! A prolific beast! I could dedicate a whole hour of my set to Audio’s new stuff. He’s so on it with some very interesting collaborations. The best thing about Audio is his thoroughness and attention to detail; he won’t give me a track until it’s finished. His tunes are monsters.”
“He’s been working on an LP but I had no idea how deep he was into it until the other day. He just tapped me up and said ‘Andy, check these out…’ It was a whole batch of absolute bangers. Some really interesting combinations and ideas I’ve never heard before. Blew me away. I can’t wait to test some of these out…”