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Ratpack Information

DJ Lipmaster Mark and MC Evenson Allen first met in 1985, whilst Evenson was a DJ for Locomotion Soul Sound. Locomotion was a sound system with it’s own DJ’s, pretty much like the Soul 2 Soul sound system, consisting of four main DJ’s and playing: Soul, Rare Grooves, Hip-Hop/Electro and Reggae. At that time Mark was just 15 years old and was a Human Beat Box already getting recognition for his talents from DJ’s Tim Westwood and Mike Allen who would play his phrases over the radio. Human Beat Box is the art of making drum beats, percussions and effects with the mouth (just in case you didn’t know) He would also enter and win many beatboxing battles. Mark was introduced to Evenson, who wanted Mark to beatbox over his DJ set, after hearing him for the first time. It went down pretty well and wherever Evenson played Mark tagged along to do a bit of beatboxing. And that’s how they first started as a team. Locomotion soon split up due to individual commitments and in 1986 The RatPack Soul Sound was formed. Adopting the name from the more infamous Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr and Dean Martin, who were labeled The Ratpack by the press, mainly for their all night parties and wild times!!! At first Ratpack we’re playing around, doing house parties and the odd wine bar/club, but soon that was all to change, big time, because of a craze with a phrase……..Acciiiiiieeeeeeeeeeed. When the Acid House craze hit London, Mark and Evenson were hooked on the music (who wasn’t?). Warehouse Parties started up all over the place. Along with a sizable crew the now RatPack Promotions started hosting their own Acid Parties, called Trip City. “Basically, we knew some guys who would squat in unused warehouses, they were, in theory, protected by a law, more commonly known as “Squatters Rights” allowing them to reside there, and of course they would allow us to have the odd party there…How very nice of them.” says Mark. By this time Mark had started growing his own record collection and was warming up for the rest of the DJ’s such as Frankie Valentine, Steve Jackson and Evenson. Evenson was one of the main DJ’s of the night. At the time when, if anyone went on the Mic they was frowned upon, Evenson used to sing and toast (MC) over the records, but hyping the crowd was his skill and this is what he use to do whilst playing, and the crowd loved it rocking and screaming interactions with him, making his set unique and a main set of the night. One night whilst doing Trip City, one of the DJ’s didn’t turn up so Mark and Evenson filled in by playing back to back. Evenson continued to MC throughout the set and spent more time on the Mic whilst Mark did most of the mixing. Whilst Evenson would be on the Mic, Mark mixed him down and gave Evenson more time to interact with the crowd. The crowd rocked big time and after playing a few sets in this style together it wasn’t long before another promoter in the crowd booked them as a duo, thus making them “The first MC/DJ team on the whole of the scene” and the rest is… Ratpack as they where now known, soon started to get bookings from other promoters such as Labyrinth, Telepathy, Pure Organisation (Dance 91/92 and the legendary Rage @ Heaven London) and Rapido, and along side reputable DJ`s such as, Grooverider, Carl Cox, Kenny Ken, Fabio, DJ Rap and Micky Finn to name a few. The Ratpack had started to build up quite a following of regulars, who’d come and listen to them. They both pushed the RatPack sound and although they were making improvements they both had another ambition…Making the records themselves. In 1989 Mark, in his spare time used to play keyboards and made some of his own productions. Evenson would then sing over the top and they made their own demos. Taking them to various record companies, hoping to get a deal, RatPack got their first deal and release with a track called…wait for it…”Jaffa Cakes”. (Tee Hee) It was a gimmick record really, but still sold a few thousand. Although it was a gimmick, it gave Evenson and Mark the confidence to excel themselves and move onto more serious productions. In 1990 RatPack hooked up with Satin Storm, an established UK underground artist who had a couple of tracks out, which were doing quite well. After a session in the studio they released the combined project “Ooh Ooh Ahh Ahh” an early breakbeat choon that used snippets of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” This sold about 7000 copies and reinforced RatPacks’ ambitions. Record sales pushed RatPacks’ popularity even further. Throughout 1991 the boys toyed with a few ideas for their next record and came up with their biggest hit to date: “Searching for my Rizla” The record went straight in at No.1 in the UK and sat proudly on top beating the likes of Madonna and Kriss-Kross to the coveted spot. The record is now recognized as an anthem of that era, a view that is shared by most heads on the scene. This was quite an achievement especially as Radio 1 or other mainstream broadcasters, because of lyrical content, did not support the track. The success of Searching for my Rizla proved to be giants steps for RatPack as they was soon booked for just about every major event across the UK, such as Fantazia, Rezerection, Amnesia House, Perception, Pure Organization (Dance 91/92) and Interdance. Eventually RatPack got their first gigs abroad and have now played in Australia, Canada, Japan, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Greece, Poland, USA, Ibiza, Mallorca, Corfu, Crete and Rhodes. 1993 saw RatPack signed to Fantazia Music for their next hit single “Captain of the Ship” which is also now recognized as an anthem of its time. RatPack also managed to reach the charts in Australia and Germany with “Captain of the Ship” adding to their international status and demand. Logic BMG in Germany and Sony Dancepool in Australia signed up the record. Logic BMG also assigned a budget for a video which was played on MTV Europe The Box and VIVA. Ironically, the video was never released in the UK although it was used in a TV campaign for New Yorker (A store easily compared to Top Shop in the UK) throughout Germany. RatPack signed with Logic BMG for three years, a deal, which was to see them spend more time abroad touring just about every city, town and village in Germany. This kept them away from the UK for some time, with most people thinking RatPack had split up. Around 1996, RatPack finished their obligations and returned home to Old Blighty, and were soon playing back on the UK scene again. Playing Old Skool Classics (1989-1995) and Nu Skool Breakbeat, RatPack we’re once again rocking the crowds back home. Remembering some of the frustrations that we’re experienced whilst under contract with the major companies, RatPack decided it was time to grab the reigns and release their own records. This then prompted them to start their own label RatPack Music, along with an accompanying web site. www.ratpackmusic.net As “Retro” was the flava’ back in the UK, and as more and more promoters opened Old Skool arenas at their parties, RatPack continued to make choons with the Old Skool flava. Releasing “The Clipper EP” “Get you rocking” and "Brothers/Sisters" all of which enjoyed floorfilling success. In 2002 RatPack remixed an Old Skool version of “The Weakest Link” for the BBC on Bush Records. RatPack play at most UK, Old Skool, events such as: Global Gathering, Helter Skelter, Innovation, Moondance, Rave Nation, World Dance, Movement, Raindance, Slammin Vinyl, Flashback, Ministry of Sound, Stepback, United Dance, Dreamscape and many clubs nationwide. Summer seasons usually see RatPack visiting the holiday islands such as Ibiza (Es Paridis), Mallorca (BCM), Corfu (Tonic @ Futures & Trinity @ Futures), Crete (Spice/ Malia), Rhodes (Faliraki) playing a mixture of Old Skool 89, 92, and Old Skool D&B providing that party vibe for all the holiday makers. (2004) RatPack Music have also started their own merchandise/fashion range. which gets it’s launch pretty soon. Releases include Brothers/Sisters EP. A three track EP which is a huge smash in the UK nightclubs and Parties. RatPack Music is also releasing a “best of” album entitled Ratpack The History. After much demand, The History has all their classic choonz such as “Searchin’ for my Rizla”, “Captain of the Ship” “Clipper”, “Looking out my Window” and many more including previously unheard remixes. 

 

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Ratpack Events
2 events found
30th

Sunday 30th June 19

Sunbourne x Moondance Festival

Hainault Forest Country Park, Chigwell

28th

Sunday 28th July 19

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