~ John Ramar ~

Beyond casual exposure to Francoise Hardy, Fleetwood Mac and The Goombay Dance Band, John's first music culture quest was prompted by breakdance's creeping arrival in UK's NW London suburbs, and guided by Streetsounds and the eclectic list of classics in Mr Fresh & The Supreme Rockers's Show You How To Do It. In his corduroy B-Boy crew of one, he began to fixate on the technics of electronic sound, drawing his own fantasy synthesizers on taped-together paper, all oscillators and parameters attended to - later trading the craft for tom-tomfoolery on Atari's earliest soft synths and drum machines.

John's musical path took its main diversion towards dance culture in '92 signposted by pirate stations Kiss and Girls FM. Days deferring mid-decade studies to man the counter in a Bristol new & used record emporium were spent trawling the racks to discover sounds from Highlife to Hi Energy and many in between. DJ spots, residencies and event co-promotions charted a return to (East) London by the start of the new millenium.

Voices were raised on the dancefloor at London's seminal Plastic People as Balance regulars DJ Alex, Cedric Woo and John's afterhours sessions overflowed into party ventures, before long returning the trio to their favoured club soundsystem to hold residencies from 2003-2010.

Cresting on the naughties' resurgent waves of Disco, Leftfield, Cosmic and Balearic influences, Voices introduced Eric Duncan (Rub N Tug, Still Going), Mark Seven, Woolfy, Gerry Rooney (Black Cock) and Joel Martin (Quiet Village) to the UK underground scene. Other friends welcomed as guests by Alex, John and Cedric have included Daniel Wang (Balihu), Victor Rosado (Paradise Garage/The Choice), Sean P (BBE), Gatto Fritto, Nick The Record, DJ Kaos (DFA) and Dennis Kane (Disques Sinthomme).

The three were initial volunteers with the devoted crew for David Mancuso's London Loft party who would later formalise as the Lucky Cloud cooperative. The power and integrity of Mancuso's musical ethic provides a fundamental precedent for Voices in the specification of high fidelity sound and acoustic space, and care attended to the dancer's mood and nourishment. Towards this end, the trio assembled a heavy mobile soundsystem integrating 4 x 15" ATC Bass drivers and ATC's legendary soft dome midrange, housed inside speaker cabinets built by the renowned Roger Quested, and sought out dance spaces to meet the criteria to make a party happen the right way.

Voices Collective were first profiled in transatlantic style monthly i-D Magazine in February 2006, followed by an interview in February 2008 in a feature devoted to vinyl obsessives, sharing a clutch of pages with Joel Martin (Quiet Village), Phil Mison (Cafe Del Mar) and Mark Seven.

Towards the end of the same year, i-D captured the trio along with trusted sound engineer Mickey and the mighty Voices sound system in party set up mode in Dalston, for their 'Disco DJ' article - alongside David Mancuso, DJ Harvey, Soft Rocks and others.

After sound-tracking a course through S India, SE Asia, Oz and W Coast US, Don't Be Cold/Baby Tiger is now a fortnightly transmission from Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

~ website ~ http://www.voicescollective.com 

~ Em@il ~ Email John Ramar