As I was putting this piece together news reached me that Ram had done a deal with the music industry giant BMG. This was no real surprise since Ram is a label that has never been content to sit still – It’s a label that is constantly moving forwards, seeking to reach new audiences and adapt as clubber’s tastes change.
Ram Records sprung into life in 1992 when a 16 year old Andy C aided by a £1000 loan and a logo designed by his sister kickstarted the label with the brilliant ‘Sour Mash E.P’. By the third release Ram had already found its way into the top Hardcore and Jungle DJ’s record boxes, and by its fourth release Ram proved that it was destined to be a game-changer. Anyone who has been anywhere within a mere whiff of a drum & bass rave in the last 20 years will be all too familiar with the infamous ‘Valley of The Shadows’ and it’s near-death-experience sample about a “long dark tunnel”.
That was just the beginning…
Ram’s back-catalogue reads like a tick-list of monsters that have wreaked havoc on many-a-dancefloor. Roll On, Truly one, Night Flight, Turbulence, No Reality, Titan, and even Bodyrock (Love or hate it) are just a handful of Ram anthems that have cemented their place in D&B history.
In tribute to the label and what it has contributed to drum & bass music I decided to do what I recently did with the Suburban Base back catalogue. Starting with RAMM 001, I would create a mix that works its way through the label chronologically, picking one track to showcase each release. However, unlike Suburban Base where I had to split their output over three different mixes, I managed to fit Ram’s entire 1992-1998 output into just one mix (which probably speaks volumes about Ram’s emphasis on quality over quantity during the 90’s).
Ultimately Ram has always been a label for the dancefloor and it still continues to be. As a dude who’s currently staring down middle-age, the trend for what presently works a dancefloor isn’t something that particularly appeals. My raving shoes are rarely dusted off anymore, and when they are it is unlikely that they will be stomping around to anything resembling what Ram are putting out these days… but then I’m not their target audience anymore. Ram’s target audience are young, enthusiastic clubbers who just want to go out and have a fucking good time; much in the same way I did 20 years ago.
In that regard they still remain as relevant now as they have ever been. And if Ram bring half the enjoyment to the current generation of ravers that they did for me back in the nineties and early noughties then they are in for a proper treat.