Randall is definitely a natural when it comes to mixing, saying that the basics took him only a week to learn back in the mid 80s. However, he still had to continue refining his skills by studying music and making tapes every week. One of these tapes, in turn, got him a regular slot on legendary pirate Centreforce FM in 1989. It was here his reputation really started growing. Randall’s style has always been fluid and probably always will, but changes in his selection have been noticeable in the past couple of years, with more emphasis on darkside flavas than before. This can be illustrated crudely by his transformation from AWOL resident to Metalheadz regular.
Randall is simply refelecting what’s going on around him and, even though some might say his sound has got ‘darker’, he inhabits that overlap between ‘jump-up’ jungle and ‘darkside’ drum & bass. He’s always had broad tastes and, as long as those beats are running, there’s easily enough room in his set to contrast a wide range of flavas. When you have nothing, your hunger can focus your mind to the task in hand, and sometimes it’s a harder job remaining at the top once you’ve got there than getting there in the first place. This situation increases the longer you’re there – how many DJs out would like to be in the position of someone like Randall? Whilst he doesn’t guard against complacency consciously, a significant factor to his continuing success is his sheer passion for the music. You can sense it in his voice when he talks about particular tunes and believe him when he says it’s a drug and he needs a fresh fix of tunes in his box every week. When it came to mixing the drum & bass third of the “Dreamscape” album (which he also compiled), Randall was offered Pro Tools technology which basically would have done it all for him. However, he wasn’t really with it, and as he had all the tunes on vinyl, said he would rather do it on decks.
The only problem was finding the first tune, but once he settled on Dom & Optical’s “Quadrant 6”, he rolled out the rest first time in true Randall style. The mix also features the vocal talents of his long time MC, Fats. Fats actually did his thing after Randall and, while his soulful style of MCing might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it compliments the hard-edged music perfectly. Randall is better known as a DJ than a producer, but all this may change soon if he has his way. He’s no stranger to the studio having co-produced “Sound Control” with Andy C in ’95, “Flava’s” with Tek 9 on Reinforced’s “Above The Law” album and “Hard Noize” with Tee-Bone on his “Strictly Business” compilation. As you can see, all have been collaborations, but Randall now has all the equipment necessary and has been learning it all so he can do everything himself. However, Randall is in no rush, probably because of everyone’s high expectations through his DJing, and is under no illusions about his position in the production game.
“I’m at the starting post of making music, and all I’m getting from people that I know that are well in it, doing albums and what not, is ‘take your time’. If you love it enough, it will come. I might not make a tune that hits top ten, but if I make a tune that satisfies my heart, that will be enough. It’s quality not quantity that counts to me but, at the end of the day, I just want to make good tunes and be out there representing.” Check the results for yourselves on his own record label, Mac II.