Jim Baron aka Ron Basejam talks about Wild Wood Disco, his new album ‘Love Makes Magic’ as JIM and Crazy P


An interview with the Insider

Today I’m chatting to Crazy P founding member, Jim Baron, a demon DJ & producer, multi-musician, and vocalist on his newest project JIM. With Crazy P he has set global stages on fire with their high energy and politically charged live sets, under his Ron Basejam guise his releases are always a cut above on Futureboogie, Delusions of Grandeur, Razor-N-Tape, Eskimo, and WOLF Music.

Most recently the North Englander exercises his inner hippie a the sell-out album on Damain Harris’ Vicious Charm imprint. The album and the live performances – that he has worked so hard at to launch album – have received such high critical acclaim, he must be feeling pretty pumped. But what strikes me most is his humility and his warmth. Jim Baron is quite simply one of the good guys. Read on to hear about how experience has taught him not to worry so much, his new album ‘Love Makes Magic’, his appearance at the Wild Wood Disco Festival, and his former life as a criminal solicitor.

Ron is appearing at Wild Wood Disco alongside Dan Shake, Ruf Dug, Flying Mojito Brothers, Make a Dance, Itchy Rich and many more top class selectors. Grab your tickets HERE

Wild Wood Disco 2024

Hi Jim,

good to speak to you today.

Where are you at this moment and how are you spending the day?

Just got into the studio. Just off the back of three JIM live gigs and a Ron Basejam DJ gig at Fabric so it’s back down to earth with a bump. I’ve made a list of jobs (always helps, doesn’t it?!) which I’ll be attacking today. Fingers crossed for a productive session!

You seem to be forever on the go. How busy have you been the last few years been for you, and how do you feel about being constantly on the move?

I still really enjoy it though my increasing years mean I tend to take a different approach these days. Maximizing rest and minimizing hang overs is the modus. Being away from the family is difficult, but I do one weekend on and one off these days which gives me a good balance.

So you last gig was at Fabric then?

Fabric room 2 for La Discotheque as Ron Basejam. Not been there for years. It was great! They’ve moved the booth from the last time I was there and it’s a better vibe. The previous three nights I’d been playing with my JIM band which couldn’t be more different musically, so the afternoon pre-gig was spent screwing Ron’s head on and getting in the dance floor mood.

Where are you off to next?

Danielle and Chris are off to Pikes this weekend for our first dip into the Balearics this year. I’m next in action doing the Soundsystem show with Danielle at Binks yard in Nottingham on the 4th of May, then up to Leeds warehouse the next night for some DJ action…

The time you’re home must be precious. Do you have any rituals or regimes that you follow to keep up the power?

Not especially. The adrenalin gives you what you need for the gig. Good coffee, minimize the booze, grab rest whenever you can!

You have made a lot of music over your time, as Crazy P, as Ron Basejam, and JIM. Do you feel pressure to continue to improve upon what you do each time?

Not pressure so much, but there is a wish to keep developing your skills as a producer and writer. I’ve learnt so much doing all the different and varied projects, I hope it improves what I’m doing going forward.

How do you challenge yourself musically? How do you continue to increase the bar?

So many ways. I’m not quite at the Eno ‘oblique strategies’ stage, but I love to mix it up and generate ideas in different ways. Sometimes a sample, sometimes a musical idea, sometimes even just a concept. I’m currently really into finding sounds and a vibe from what some might consider to be sub-standard kit. I just bought a 90’s Cassio tone banks keyboard on eBay for twenty quid. Sounds off it have become the basis of an entire track.

You’ve been part of Crazy P for 30 years. Does it feel like you guys will still be at it in another 30 years?

Thirty might be a bit optimistic! I still think we’ve got a fair bit left in us.

What do you think are the best bits about being in a band from your perspective?

It has to be the feeling of playing in a group of people and the sense of togetherness that brings. We’ve always had the same line up in Crazy P. I feel like that’s a bit of an anomaly these days. I’ve travelled a fair bit on my own too and I often think how difficult it must be for solo performers. Give me a splitter bus and my mates anytime.

What are some of the challenges Crazy P has faced as a band over the years?

Just making it work financially in the earlier years was tough. At one point we nearly jacked it in, but we got a Southern Comfort advert the next week. The beautiful unpredictability of the industry.

We’ve been fortunate enough in the last few years to have carved our own little thing out and have a loyal bunch of supporters.

How do you manage your time: writing, creating, producing, releasing, performing. Must be quite a task.

I like the challenge. Preparation and good time management is key! I’m not a fan of procrastination (that’s not to say I don’t do it every now and again). I love to be busy and there’s plenty of variation in what I’m working on, so it keeps things fresh.

Crazy P ‘live’ is such a powerful and renowned force in 2024. How do you go about keeping things fresh in the live?

We’re soon to be in a new album campaign so it’s a very topical question. We’re always looking at new ways to stage things. How to get the maximum effect out of what we do. Lighting and visuals are becoming increasingly important and, in those terms, it’s about finding effectiveness in simplicity.

I’d love to talk to you about JIM. Who’s in the band, what do they do, what do they play?

I sing and play keys, and I’m joined by Huw Costin (acoustic/ vocals) who I play with in Torn sail. Ben (B.J.) Smith is on guitar and vocals, John Thompson (The Selector, Bent) on the noble low notes and Mat Klose (Crazy P) on drums.

It’s a heavyweight ensemble and I’m pinching myself to be playing with them all. We’ve all worked together over the years on different projects but never in the same band so that’s exciting.

Where does this sound come from? Has there always been a West Coast Cali come Balearic hippy inside of you?

oh yeh, I’m an original North Welsh hippy. I love listening to that sound at home. Part of the impetus for the album was to see if I could do something in that ball park.

‘Love Makes Magic’ was your debut album as JIM. Sell out album I might add! Big congratulations on this magical project. I’d love to hear about the initial idea for album. When did you first approach the concept and what was your intention with it?

I’d wet my whistle with the EP that came out on NuNorthern soul in 2021 and got a taste for it. In lockdown I obviously found myself with loads of time to get stuck into something and I’d wanted to have a go at a JIM album, so I had a mad 3 months, working on it every day. It’s a bit of a haze now when I think back on it. I was so invested in it, loving every minute.

What was most important for you to convey through the album? Do you think you succeeded?

The songs are all personal so it was about trying to convey those feelings in a way that would enable the listener to connect and come inside with me. Both musically and lyrically.
I succeeded in the sense that I was really proud with what I’d produced.

What are you most proud of with it?

The way that it sounds on record. It has such a different sound to my other work. I felt getting another set of ears, more in tune with this sound, on the mixing would really take it to sonic places I would be unable to go. I was proved correct. The album was mixed by Ric Peet and mastered by Simon Mills who have done an amazing job in bringing my recordings to life, particularly on the vinyl.

Are there any plans to repress or are you going to leave it where it is?

I think a cheeky re-press has been discussed.

The remixes are in full flow. How good is that X Press 2 rework! You must have been thrilled with that. Are there any more remixes to come?

I really was. Buying their records since the early nineties, it was great to get them on board. The remix album has just been released with an all-star cast including Rug Dug, Crooked man, Begin, Generalisation, Mang dynasty, Chris Coco, Flying mojito Bros and Brown fang. Each one has done a sterling job and added plenty of newness to proceedings.

This album marks a lot of years in the game. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how your creative process has changed over the years. Do you approach anything differently now?

These days, I’m a lot less likely to censor myself early in the creative process and worry about whether it’s any good later down the line. Just get it all out there. I’ve also learnt that if it ain’t happening no amount of staring at the computer will change that. If the magic isn’t happening there’s always something to be doing that doesn’t quite need that spark. Sampling, admin, record shopping, so just do that instead.

What drives you to continue creating?

My love of music and making it.

You’re riding solo at the Wild Wood Disco festival with a Crazy P Sound System set. Have you played at the Wild Wood before?

I’ve done it a couple of times as Soundsystem and it’s been great. Lovely festival put on by lovely people. The main arena is a special spot and at the right time of day the natural lighting can take your breath away.

You’re playing on the Paradise Lost stage as part of the Flash takeover on Saturday night. What kind of vibe can we hope to hear from you in your set?

I’ve known Guy Williams, who does the Flash parties, for years. It’ll be fun I’m 100% certain of that. Set wise, it is hard to know at this point exactly where the land will lie but I’m sure I’ll have it worked out by the time I go on!

You’ve had a lot of practice being in field. How do you feel about sleeping in tents these days?

Generally happy. Experience brings many hacks!

What’s your top tip for festival survival?

Don’t fear the Reaper. Also, don’t forget to remember.

You’ve spent your life working in music. If you didn’t do this, what do you think you might have done instead?

I was a criminal solicitor before I did music full time but christ, I wouldn’t be doing that. Maybe have a nice tea room in the Welsh hills…?

For more on Ron Basejam and Wild Wood Disco check:

Ron Basejam Facebook
Ron Basejam Instagram
Ron Basejam Twitter/X
Wild Wood Disco Facebook
Wild Wood Disco Instagram
Wild Wood Disco Website

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