Mampi Swift, aka Philip Anim, is a breakbeat sage. Having invested in the foundation of drum & bass back in ’97, his label, Charge Recordings, debuted with early releases from Sigma to Fresh, and has grown to include current artists like Turno and Coda.
Widely known as the man responsible for crafting some of the most memorable, vibe-filled rollers of all time, it’s no doubt Swift’s influence has touched every seasoned D&B fan, from casual listener to straight up raver. Having provided the soundtrack to many unforgettable nights turned mornings, Swift walks us down memory lane to give an in-depth look at four tracks that forever changed him—and the course of drum & bass as a whole.
Metal Heads “Terminator” (Synthetic, 1992)
“The first time I heard this track was in 1992. I was completely blown away as I had never heard anything like it. You could liken it to the best movie and piece of music rolled in to one. It was obviously themed after the movie Terminator, which made the track resonate more in my mind. I went to a rave called Elevation, where on this night I was fortunate enough to meet Goldie. Knowing he made the track I basically said to him, ‘That track is the greatest thing I’ve heard in my life.’ He humored me by giving me his time and what would happen next would blow my mind!
“Now keep in mind, I was just 16-17 years of age and had spent a good hour chewing Goldie’s ear off, telling him how amazing I thought the track was. He turned and said, ‘Meet me tomorrow at Swiss Cottage station [at] 3pm. ‘DONT BE FUCKING LATE!’ So the next morning I got to Swiss Cottage at 2:30, waited around for 30 minutes. Then at exactly 3pm a car pulls up; it’s Goldie, his friend, and his black pit bull dog. He hands me three 12-inch records and amongst them is ‘Terminator.’ I think that is one of the most significant signs I had telling me I was on the right path.”
Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg “Still D.R.E.” (Aftermath/Interscope Records, 1999)
“I could probably put down any Dr. Dre track for inspiration, as I’m inspired by him as a producer. The first time I heard this track I walked in to a record store in New York City. The combination of classical instruments, bass, and fat drums was something I’d often thought about making but just never got around to. I didn’t have the musical skill to apply the level of expertise that was required; this particular track wasn’t sample-based.
“I was so strongly influenced that I decided to take the time out to learn how to create music and melodies with beautiful sounding instruments that were more classically based, something that will be heard on my new album, History to Future.”
Mampi Swift “The One” (Charge Recordings, 1997)
“I made this track almost 20 years to the day and it is still one of the biggest tracks I play and what many other DJs play. I basically had a studio session [booked] from 8pm-8am. The session sucked; there was no magic happening, mainly because for some producers when working out of a studio rather than your own home, you put yourself under extra pressure.
“It got to be 8am and I thought, ‘Let me make a track for dubplate, I’’l just get a simple loop, vibe off it, and it’ll be cool for mixing.’ An hour later at 9am the track was finished. The following day I went to the most legendary music hub probably in drum & bass history, the place where everyone in D&B used to cut their dubplates, Music House. I put the DAT tape on and he started to EQ it, he turned around and said, ‘Swift this is the one!,’ to which I responded, ‘I actually made it in an hour and you’ve just called it the one, sounds like a pretty amazing title to me.’ Twenty years later it’s still one of the biggest D&B tracks of all time.”
Dizzy Rascal “I Don’t Need a Reason” (Mampi Swift Remix( (RAM Records, 2013)
“I was asked to do a remix for Dizzy and knowing his D&B history, I knew I had to deliver something special—and I had about five days to do it! I had the intro popping and I then got to the drop and hit a massive brick wall. On Sunday afternoon, I was thinking, ‘Oh shit, you didn’t deliver and slightly flopped!’ Funnily enough a carpet cleaner was booked for the Sunday before the track had to be submitted, which I didn’t know about. My studio was the room getting done next! I was extremely pissed as it ruined my session, or so I thought.
“I stopped sulking and just waited an hour and then got back into the lab. Something just clicked and everything sounded clear again, the break was needed. I worked from 4pm until 10am Monday morning and emailed it to Dizzy and his team, then slept for two days! I was proud of what I had made and within myself knew it was going to be a hit. I believe it was literally a couple of days after, I knew it had been sent out and went on to Twitter and realized it had been played on radio by everyone who you would want playing it. To this day it’s one of my biggest and best produced tracks.”