1. Gat Decor | Passion (Naked Mix)
I heard this first through my best friends wall... His neighbour was a DJ and we'd rush to his house 5.30pm most days to listen to his neighbour spin when he got home from work. I remember hearing loads of amazing stuff, but this was when Passion was fresh and untouched and it always stood out. We plucked up the courage to knock his door one day and go listen properly, he offered us a can of Heineken and a cigarette, and that's the moment I first knew I wanted to DJ... I was only 15 and have never looked back. It still makes my hairs stand up to this day and always will. I also met Simon Slater who wrote it, in 2007 and I remixed Passion under my Dave Spoon guise... Some might say it's one of those records nobody should touch but I'm proud of what I did with it and I was respectful to the original feeling and direction of the original... I hope!?
2. Zero B | Lock Up (Monolith Mix)
This record means a heck of a lot to me and my girl... We both love it so much and it's one of those records that brought us together as friends and now after 11 years of friendship we got married! Anyhow... The first time I heard this I was again just 15, listening to a new radio show hosted by this new fella called Pete Tong on BBC Radio 1. I'd been to a Radio 1 live event in 1991 and I remember one of the cheesy Old Skool daytime DJs introducing Pete as the new boy. I checked out his show on his first night and was transfixed every Friday from then on. Since being lucky enough to work with Pete in recent times on our Tong & Spoon stuff, I realise how much this record means to him too... It's a record that truly has every type of moment in it and an energy thats hard to match. Forever a fan.
3. Goldie | Timeless: Inner City Life/Pressure/Jah
After Rave got Cheesy, I went the way of the Jungle and still love that era of beats today. In 1993 I first heard of Goldie via the Reinforced label and loved his stuff... But I remember hearing Inner City Life on an Essential mix and being totally mesmerised. It's the moment I realised how far we'd come in just a few years, from kids with whistles and glow sticks at cheesy raves to a Real Masterpiece offering something to the Musical World that could stand up to anything... And it was born here in the UK. If you listen to the 22 minute album version you can't fail to think it's something that can never be touched. Way ahead of it's time and it will never leave my memories.
4. 4th Measure Men | 4 You (MK Remix)
MK was on my radar already as the guy who made Burning and also who was part of the Nightcrawlers... But 4 You was amazing. It was hard in 1993 to peel myself away from the Ravey breakbeats and Jungle, but the odd House track here and there totally grabbed me away from the Crazyness and this was one of many. It was on blue vinyl and I remember picking it up from a friend's record shop. I was only 16 and although I knew House really well, I'd never heard a mute trumpet sound on a record, and used so boldly! It's one of those records that makes me think of my friend's record shop, and also of mix sessions at another friend's place with lots of weed. It's also one of those records that almost blew up car stereo's that we played our mixtapes on! Still never fails to please any crowd you play it to. 909 Programming is sublime and I dare you not to want to go find a copy on that beautiful blue vinyl. Amazing.
5. The Rolling Stones | She's A Rainbow
I'm including this as the Stones have made so many memories for me. I grew up with my mother but would go visit my dad, a besotted Stones fan still to this day, every weekend. I never thought they were cool, infact it'd do my head in sometimes but coming of age with a broader Musical taste in my 20's, it hit me what genius they are. She's A Rainbow was on a TV commercial here in the UK, for a Sony TV and I can't stop listening to this track since whenever that was. Genius songwriting, I guess capturing the late 60's as it was, Trippy, Colourful and Open Minded. Makes me smile every time.
6. The Prodigy | Experience (album)
When I was 15, I remember hearing Charly on the Chart Show, a UK Saturday morning TV programme that sometimes featured a Dance Chart... Loved it. I bought Charly on a 7" (I was only 14) and remember hearing there was an album on the way. I don't know how I found out but I got the release date and when the day came, I remember running home from school to drop my bag off then running even faster to the local record store to buy it on cassette. When I got home I never forget pressing play for the first time and hearing the first track Jericho right through to the last, the energy and vibe immediately hit me and as I write this I feel the same level of Excitement to this day about the whole album. It's something that will stay with me forever because at 15 I knew what it was I had to do with my life. I went to see The Prodigy live in my hometown of Portsmouth in 1993 and got to hang out with them. Nobody knew what they looked like so they were happy that we knew them and wanted to talk. Liam Howlett was already a hero by then so hanging with him was amazing. He huge took interest in the fact I was making Early Breakbeat Rave and Hardcore at school and asked me to send him some stuff. A hookup then came with XL soon after and Nick Halkes (who discovered and signed Howlett) sent me the most encouraging hand-written letter I think any A+R could have ever sent, considering he didn't sign anything from me! That whole 6 months from buying the album, to meeting Liam and him helping me is so significant to my Musical Journey and inspires me the same today as it did in 1992/93. A powerful album ,with powerful memories and links for me, and I frequently collaborate with Nick Halkes to this day on projects... The most recent being Bordertown on R&S/Apollo.
7. Dillinja | Calculus Beats
Another DnB moment... Dillinja always pushed the limits with his music and this was no exception, although it's not one of his more prominent releases. I was hanging with some old friends, one of which had big links with the T2 record shop in Southampton, and would consistently set the bar with new tunes. I remember him playing this in a smokey session at his house and thinking how the hell could a record like this pack so much power and feeling whilst being so subtle. The pitched up drums and pads made it sound like it might be on 45 rather than 33, but I guess the true contrast came because of the Amen break saturation at the time. I remember being totally wowed and instantly hooked on it... The vocal sample is genius too and really took DnB to another place in amongst the predictable 808/Amen goings on of the time. Still amazing, and Dillinja wherever you are... Thank you!
8. Daft Punk | Revolution 909
Another Ground Breaking album that needs no introduction, but Homework was one of those moments that I realised House is always King. I was in my friend's kitchen at a House-party and that's when he played it to me... I was blown away by the whole album. Everything about this track though was perfect on first listen. The Drum Programming and filtered Disco loops are so dope... And listening to the original vinyl copy you really got more of a feel for what Daft Punk were always about. Chunky.
9. Eats Everything | Entrance Song
This is the record that made me realise I could make my transition from Dave Spoon to Shadow Child. I already had String Thing made but had no platform for it. Eats was doing an interview with Pete Tong on the radio and he spoke so much sense. I'd never heard of him before and he was running through 3 tracks of his and chatting about his background. It totally hit home with me and soon as the interview finished, he played this. I instantly connected with it and it prompted me to send my unheard stuff to Eats. He loved it straight away and that's when my Shadow Child project was born. Entrance Song has every element that I love in Electronic Music, sublime peaks and troughs with the Analogue pads, skippy drums and 808 bassline. The vocal is the perfect compliment in what is actually a really simple record but it's so effective and captivated me equally with all the others here. Thank you, Eats!
10. Liquid | Liquid Is Liquid (Remix)
Liquid (Eamon Downes) is famous for the Anthemic CeCe Rogers sampling Sweet Harmony, but this is equally as Anthemic in another way. It's one of the earliest Dub/Rave collision moments with the Shadows J drumbreak riding over an infectious melody and some sampled Dub FX. In amongst all the kids TV sampling Rave that was all over the place in '92, this stood out to me as an Instant Classic with its feeling and class. Mr. Tong was again guilty of my first contact with it when I was 15, and it's one that won't go away from my collection all these 21 years later. If you ever need an Old Skool antidote to Smart E's Sesame's Treet (see what they did there)... Just find a copy of Liquid Is Liquid to get your sanity back. Timeless.