5 Old-School Tunes That Changed My Life: Crissy Criss
5 Old-School Tunes That Changed My Life: Crissy Criss

Crissy Criss, or Chris Williamson to his mum, will forever be a fixture in drum & bass history. This modern-day Renaissance man hit the decks before hitting puberty and was practically bottle-fed breaks and basslines. Nurtured by his step-dad, the legendary DJ Kenny Ken, Crissy was raised amongst the greats and got his industry start at an early age.

From his formative years as a broadcaster and DJ—who gave many dubplates from new artists a fighting chance on BBC Radio 1Xtra—to his successful side projects, he’s always up for a new challenge. As we speak, Crissy is heading Stateside for his North American tour, pulling double duty performing as himself, DJ Crissy Criss, along with his lower tempo alias Dead Exit alongside partner Sammy Porter.

His latest DJ mix, Altitude, clocks nearly a full workday shift worth of beats with seven heart-pumping hours of pure drum & bass goodness (grab it free here). Mastering the art of D&B and jungle has been Crissy’s life passion and so it is in that spirit that we take an exclusive peek into the top five old-school riddims that made an impact on his life.

I like to play a lot of old-school stuff in my sets to teach the kids of today where this music came from.

Splash “Babylon” (Dee Jay Recordings, 1994)
It’s hard to find words for this track as it speaks for itself—ultimate amen destruction! This track just sends me wild whenever I play it or someone else plays it. I like to play a lot of old-school stuff in my sets to teach the kids of today where this music came from.

Find it at Discogs

LTJ Bukem “Horizons” (Good Looking Records, 1995)
“The horizon leans forward offering you space to place new steps of change.” It’s a work of art, simple as that. This one moves me and pretty much everyone who hears it. I’ve been playing an unofficial remix by Komatic for the last year which has been going down great.

Find it at Discogs

Tek 9 “Slow Down” (Nookie Remix) (Reinforced Records, 1995)
Got to big-up Nookie on the remix with some original 1993 hardcore business just as the jungle sound was coming through. It’s a simple but very effective riff right from the start that catches me; the pianos mixed with that chopped vocal is just beautiful. I don’t get to play this out much, but it’s definitely a track I like to play in my spare time.

Find it at Discogs

Ed Rush, Optical & Fierce “Cutslo” (Prototype Recordings, 1998)
You can never go wrong with these legends. “Cutslo” being the flip to the huge “Alien Girl”—which also is a massive personal favorite—I thought I’d go with this one as the middle breakdown into the deep, dark and twisted reece just takes me back to 1998 when I first starting DJing on Kool FM pirate radio. I currently play an unofficial Mr. Explicit remix in my sets which sounds wicked.

Find it at Discogs

Omni Trio “Renegade Snares” (Foul Play Remix) (Moving Shadow, 1993)
No matter how many times I’ve heard it or played this one out over the years, as soon as the “take me up” vocal drops on the intro it sends shivers through my body. People ask me “What’s your favorite track?” and my usual response is, “That’s just impossible!” but deep down this possibly could be it. It’s a great track to mix and tease ­when the piano drops its hands in the air. I’ve probably played it every set I’ve done!

Find it at Discogs