Most of the time, we can hear slight nuances of influences in an artist’s work, but we never really know the full breadth of what got them to where they are today. With that in mind, we’ve asked our Resident Artist to share five tracks that influenced him when he was just starting music, and five tracks that currently inspire him today.
What Inspired Me When I First Started Making Music
Method Man – “Bring the Pain”
This was my first Wu-Tang experience. I heard it in a skateboarding video. It just didn’t sound like the hip hop i’d been listening up til then. More than any other, the Wu-tang clan made me want to try and make my own hip hop beats.
Gangstarr – “Full Clip”
Dj Premier was and is a big influence as a hip hop producer. Just listen to his drums. I wish my drums hit like that. He got me into chopping up my samples and generally being more creative with my sampler.
DJ Krush – “Duality” (feat. DJ Shadow)
This is how i discovered DJ Shadow. I’d heard DJ krush on Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide show and got the album. Duality is a peculiar collab. You can clearly hear the first part was made by DJ Krush and the second was DJ Shadow (those drums at the end are amazing). On the strength of that song i bought Endtroducing in the shop without even listening to it. Oh boy i still remember listening to ‘Building steam with a grain of salt’ for the first time… amazing.
Photek – Hidden Camera
I heard this in bed in the middle of the night on the radio… Blew my mind. Those drums are ridiculous. Even to this day. I never went on to make any drum and bass type music, but it was all around me when i went to University in Manchester in Enlgand. Some of that bled through into what i do i think.
Gwen McCrae – “All This Love I’m Giving”
One of the best things hip hop gave me, was the curiosity to dig up all the original samples used in all these great tracks i’d. I often found that the original songs were actually better! Gwen McCrae song wasn’t actually sampled by any hip hop i knew, but my french house outfit Cassius. Whilst French house had some influence on me, my dance music of choice when i was at university was Soul and Funk. This song is so good. It has the added bonus of having a synth bassline. I always drop this in DJ sets.
What Inspires Me Now
David Axelrod – “The Dr. And The Diamond”
David Axelrod’s catalogue is ridiculous. So many samples were lifted from his work. His sonic palette is great – its drums, piano, strings, horns etc – and can be very cinematic. I’ve taken a lot from his arrangements. My next album contains an homage of sorts to him.
Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians
I’ve listened to a lot of Steve Reich over the past few years. It’s so compelling. I love the clinical nature of the performance. He’s my favourite minimalist composer for sure.
Floating points – “Sais”
Floating Points has been a huge influence over the past few years. I love his jittery drums and how the track builds and progresses. It’s brainy dance music at its best.
Four Tet – “Lion” (Jamie XX remix)
Since Jamie XX is all the rage these days, thought i should name drop him. The beauty in this track is the space he allows for all the elements. Nothing is rushed. It’s amazing.
Jon Hopkins – “Breathe This Air”
Graceful and beautiful yet gritty and muscular all at once. I want to make this music…