Joining Brooklyn based Razor-N-Tape is Ron Bacardi (aka Ben Sims) with a 4-part disco edit EP that breathes heat, soul, rhythm, and grooves. Here we bring you the first track off the EP 'Back For More'.
Away from his busy DJing schedule, we had a quick catch up with the man himself to discuss his music-making ways and what the future holds for Ron Bacardi…
This particular release is made up of 4 disco edits. When it comes to producing music, do you find making edits or starting from scratch more enjoyable?
To be honest, as I started out trying to make Hip Hop in my teens, using samples and my record collection for source material has been quite a major feature of my productions since day dot and I tend to work better or get a vibe going quicker when digging through my 'to sample pile' than starting from scratch.
I still do tracks without samples at all, obviously, but rarely for the RB project.
When it comes to making edits, how do you go about searching for the original tracks / samples?
They’re largely from my collection but I buy records most days and there are always bits I pick up purely for sampling or edits. I guess I still think like a Hip Hop producer in that way, constantly searching and digging for beats, loops, riffs etc. I just never actually made any Hip Hop i was happy with. Maybe one day...
If you had to save one piece of music equipment from the fire, what would it be and why?
I used to distort and filter all my beats/loops through vintage analog synths, either a Roland SH-09 or a Korg MS20. i still own both but these days my go-to unit is the NIIO Iotine Core analog saturator. It's been on every track and edit I've done since i got it so right now it definitely feels like I couldn't produce without it.
You’re also better known as Ben Sims in the electronic music world. Do you think that the Ron Bacardi alias has allowed you as a DJ to be a bit more experimental in terms of genre and style?
Yeah, definitely. Once I'd established myself on the international Techno circuit in the late '90s it became very difficult to play any other styles, even if i was billed as playing an 'alternative set’. As i've been collecting black dance music for over 30 years, that can be frustrating as Techno is only a small part of my passion. Starting a new alias has really opened up the doors for me to play whatever i feel like in the RB sets as there isn’t really a fixed style, it can be Disco, Italo, House, Electro, Boogie - whatever suits the mood. That's really refreshing for me.
And lastly, what does the future hold for Ron Bacardi?
I'm happy to just let the project naturally progress. Right now, i'm finishing up a more straight up House EP while putting the finishing touches to another edit EP too. Gig-wise, I'm just trying to do an RB show once or twice a month and recently have done places like Panorama Bar and Concrete so it's going nicely without forcing it in a certain direction and i'm having a lot of fun playing to different audiences.
Words by Hugo P