Rampage has been setting the standard for Europe's festival and rave scene for going on eight years with founder, Hans Machiels, building on the event's success year after year. Better known as Murdock, Hans has overseen the creation of one of the biggest parties in the dubstep and drum & bass calendars, attracting more than 15,000 people to the collosal venue of Sportpaleis. So it should come as no surprise that Rampage 2017 is looking to be the biggest show in its history to date.
With a lineup including names like Mefjus, Noisia, Doctor P, Gentlemen's Club and Modestep, Rampage are once again catering for all tastes on the bass music spectrum. With excitemenet building at New Look Men HQ, we thought we'd grab ten minutes with the founder to chat 2016, future projects and wardrobe essentials.
First off, how’s your year been? Any major highlights?
Releasing music on V Recordings and CIA Recordings were true bucket list occasions for me. These two labels are responsible for introducing me to jungle and drum&bass way back when, so becoming part of their back catalogue was incredible. And then, of course, there was Rampage 2016, playing in front of a sold out Sportpaleis, with 15.000 cheering back at me.
What projects have you been working on recently we can know about?
I have been working on my debut single for Viper Recordings which has taken a very long time to be finished. It features Jenna G on vocals, and the entire team is super hyped about it. It is now set to drop end of January and I can’t wait to see the reactions. It also means I can move forward with a bunch of other tracks I have been working on and that’s a relief.
Who else in drum & bass is impressing you at the moment?
My partner-in-crime is Doctrine, and he is impressing me the most right now. He is progressing at an incredible pace and is close to dropping music on some very big labels, and rightfully so. This past year, I have been blown away by Noisia’s Outer Edges album, and although I don’t often play out many tracks from that album, I absolutely love every single tune on there and it just fits as a whole.
If you could collaborate with anyone, past or present, who would it be?
In the studio, I just love to muck about with people. If I get along with them really well and it’s just laughs all around, I like to collaborate, even if the result isn’t necessarily the biggest tune or the most forward thinking music. It’s all about good vibes, you know? I’d say Total Science would be great, but getting back into it with Netsky would be jolly good fun too. And as far as heroes goes, it would be amazing to work with Jimi Hendrix, or get a vocal from Al Green or Marvin Gaye.
Where can we catch you playing over the rest of the year?
The highlight of next year is Rampage, and it’s not far off, as it’s February 18th already. Apart from that one, I have gigs across Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany in the first months of the new year.
Any pre-show rituals?
Whenever I play somewhere I have never been before, I like to check the dj on before me, and randomly talk to a few people that seem involved with the party, to get a feel of what the people like, what age they are, and where they’re coming from. Apart from that, I just like to have a little sip of good brown rum!
One piece of clothing you can’t live without?
My Nike Air Jordan 1’s!
Any trends at the moment you’re loving?
I mostly ignore trends! But the fact that shirts have become slightly slimmer and longer than they used to be, really agrees with me, and the all-black look is one that really fits me and the Rampage brand as well. Army-style clothing, camouflage and greens have made a comeback and I want to get some Rampage merchandise on that vibe.
And any you’re hating?
I just let anybody do what they feel like, not hate. But chances are slim you’ll find me pinrolling my pants like people seem to do more and more often now.
Biggest style icon for you?
Right now, Travis Scott has the game on lock, I think. But further back, and even though I wouldn’t enjoy dressing like that myself, I enjoy extravagant characters like Grace Jones, Prince and Bootsy Collins.