Welcome to a series where we ask some of bass music’s finest to choose five tunes from any era and in any genre that have inspired them, influenced them, and maybe even changed their lives.
I remember being given the tape by a kid at school, which was wrapped in an old rave flyer—that kind of stuff doesn't happen anymore!
Nirvana “In Bloom” (Geffen, 1992)
Hearing Nevermind for the first time for most people is a memorable experience, and for me Nirvana was one of the bands that put me on the musical path that led me to writing this today. It was from rock, metal and grunge that I had the desire to learn the guitar, and doing this really shaped my music, which I think is quite apparent in my style.
The Prodigy “Jericho” (XL Recordings, 1992)
I could have chosen anything off the Experience album. It’s the first dance music I listened to that I felt had the same energy and attitude as rock does. The Prodigy was my gateway to dance music from rock, which eventually led me on to D&B. I remember being given the tape by a kid at school, which was wrapped in an old rave flyer—that kind of stuff doesn’t happen anymore!
Bad Company “Oxygen (The Drilla Killa)” (BC Recordings, 2000)
This was the first tune that really got me onto the path to drum & bass production. I remember sitting with this track over and over again and listening to the sounds talking to each other in this robot alien language and thinking, “How the fuck do you make those kinds of sounds?” I literally had no idea about the existence of synths and samplers and what they could do. I have recently been lucky enough to be asked to remix this track—look out for this early next year.
Konflict “Messiah” (Renegade Hardware, 2005)
The kings of tech D&B. I could have chosen a few different examples of their work but this track is a great example of controlled, techno-inspired aggression. When it first came out you could guarantee that you would hear it 10 times a night in the clubs. Pretty much genre-defining and probably one of the greatest D&B tracks of all time, it sends people mental to this day!
Ed Rush & Optical “Fixation” (Virus Recordings, 1998)
The kings of neurofunk! If it weren’t for these guys a whole genre of D&B would not exist. Wormhole pushed boundaries and opened me up to a new world of dark, sleazy funk that captured my imagination—true pioneers! As a personal bonus I get to play back to back with them at Escape: Psycho Circus in San Bernardino on the Bassrush stage. Hyped for that!