With his partner in crime, Calyx, having dropped knowledge on us with his own selections on Monday, we thought it only proper to turn the tables over to the one and only TeeBee for a glimpse into the cuts that have inspired and continue to influence his sound to this day. It’s a full-on masterclass in breakbeat and bassline education, one that advanced listeners are sure to appreciate when Calyx & TeeBee step on deck and wreck shop at Beyond Wonderland this Saturday.
This didn’t leave my turntables for the better part of six months! I wore out three copies and played the tracks back to back all day, driving my parents crazy.
West Street Mob “Break Dance (Electric Boogie)” (Sugarhill Records, 1983)
This was actually the first record I ever bought. I was 7 years old when I bought it and I still have the 7-inch to this day. I begged my dad for it after attending a breakdance course the week before. Hip-hop had just arrived in Norway and b-boy culture was exploding. The intriguing thing about the record for me was this indescribable sound that I’d never heard before. I was obsessed with it. That sound and the breakbeats smashed it and it wasn’t until a year later that I discovered just what that indescribable sound was by going to the movies and seeing [the film] Beat Street.
Grandmaster Melle Mel and The Furious Five “Beat Street Breakdown” (Atlantic, 1984)
Beat Street changed my life. It still to this day plays a key role in my approach to music culture and is a major part of my identity; it shook up something in me and made a rebel out of someone miles from the ghetto of New York. I’ve always been drawn to music with a real “street” feel. It’s impossible to describe—it’s just something you know when you hear it. I own multiple copies of this record in mint condition but I’m not as bad as Tony Anthem [Future Prophecies], though. He can’t pass a copy and not buy it! It was also the first profound hip-hop record I heard. I didn’t understand all the lyrics, but the delivery was different to any other rap record I’d heard at the time. I remember being so sad when b-boy culture essentially died a horrible death a few years later, and it became “uncool” to still b-Boy. I kept on it, though, for years by myself. I still do!
LFO “LFO” (Warp Records, 1990)
I started off DJing mainly hip-hop and practiced turntablism in its purest form until this record came along. The very birth of rave culture in Norway came in the late ‘80s and the start of the ‘90s, and this was the track that drew me in. That bassline—that deep bassline and the coldness of the track was unheard of for me at the time. It steered me off my original path and into brand new territory. I’m still here today.
The Prodigy ‘Experience’ (XL, 1992)
I was a huge fan of XL Recordings’ early releases, but this just blew it all out of the water for me. This didn’t leave my turntables for the better part of six months! I wore out three copies and played the tracks back to back all day, driving my parents crazy. I remember being mesmerized by the energy and attitude and so I started hunting down more of the same, and in that search found my true calling: hardcore/jungle.
Photek “UFO” (Photek, 1995)
I started dabbling in production in 1994, and that’s when I first heard this on a mixtape that somehow had made its way from London to a mate’s house [in Norway]. Never ever had I heard something that spoke to me like that track did at that moment in time. It was pure future music with so much feeling and tension buried in it. It probably helped that I’m a massive science fiction fan, and this just drew me in to an alternate universe. It made me obsessed with production, and I declared Photek the one to beat right at that moment and got to work on my own production skills. Needless to say, when he called me up years later wanting us to join forces, it was more than emotional.