1. Daft Punk | Teachers
I was probably 16 at the time when I first listened to Daft Punk's Homework from start to finish and it blew my mind. The sounds, the grooves and the sampling, it just had everything I wanted to hear at that point in my life. It was fun, but dark as for Electronic Music it was still pretty warm. I know there were much bigger songs on the album. But the beat in Teachers was just so good. The worm bass that kicks in is just such a perfect sound and on a PA system it's just the sexiest thing out their. That album brought Funk back into Dance Music during a time when everyone was either doing Big Beats or Acid beats. This track was slow almost bordering on Hip Hop, but like Old Skool Hip Hop which was also pretty much unheard of a Dance producer doing during that envelope of time.
2. Wretch 32 | Forgiveness (feat. Etta Bond) (Todd Edwards Remix)
I have been a fan of Todd Edwards ever since I heard him on Pure Garage 2 (2000). His sampling still to this day has not been matched by anyone. The way he swings and shuffles his samples is just crazy. Todd’s ear for a good cut is also unmatched. Every track he does that involves sampling is so tender and heart felt. I feel every once of his passion in his work and by all accounts he is the nicest guy. This particular track is great because it's Todd doing what Todd does best, but with a very current artist. Bring that sound from 15 years ago right up to date for all the youngsters that may not be familiar with Two Step or even Garage. The two things I love the most about Todd and his music is firstly he is one of the best Garage producers on the planet, but he is from New Jersey! Garage has always been a very UK genre. But he totally owns it despite the culture difference. My other reason for loving Todd is that in a lot of songs he always manages to get a reference for God in their, or Jesus. I think he is quite a spiritual person and he likes to express that in his music. Although I myself have no faith or belief system, I still like hearing what truly inspires him. In a world of political correctness, his stance is stealthy and refreshing.
3. Twintapes | Reverse
I had the pleasure of having Twintapes be my opener at one of my New York shows last year. That absolutely blew me away live and they were such nice guys too. They gave me an EP and I thought I will listen to that in the car on the way to the next city and that’s what I did. I wasn’t expecting it to be some of the best music I had heard in years. The sounds were so beautiful. Pavel, the lead singer, made my blackened heart melt. His lyrics are so rich and his tone floats in and out of your grey matter like a dream. The EP kind of changed my life. It was the sound track to one of the highlights of my life so far, which was touring America. The EP is so well rounded and a wonderful body of work. I recommend these guys to everyone I meet if the topic of new music comes up.
4. Basement Jaxx | Red Alert
This song came from one of the biggest albums Remedy. I was listening to this around the same time as I was listening to Daft Punk’s Homework. It is such a great album. The first half of this album is ridiculous in terms of song ideas and production trickery. Visually they have always been out there and I feel they are one of the few bands where the visual really conveys their music. Every time I listen to this song I feel like sunshine and really that’s all you want your music to do sometimes!
5. Electric Light Orchestra | The Diary Of Horrace Wimp
This will seem to be a strange one to most people. But this is my nostalgia moment. When ever this song came on in the car I always used to think it was so different to anything else that was playing on the radio. The Funky vocoder/talk box and the stabbing piano countered by the ridiculous string arrangements were just so epic. Held together by a quintessential Rock beat. The song itself is pretty simple, but the energy throughout is consistent and demands attention. This song will always be a classic for me.
6. Perfume | Natural Ni Koishite
I have a thing for J Pop. Mainly because they take risks that the West steer clear of most of the time. Perfume are a huge girl group from Japan and I found out about them last year. I fell in love with the clean and jump up production. I have no idea what they are singing about and sometimes I really like that because as I am typing this I am listening to the song and because it's not in English I can still focus on writing this essay without being distracted by picking up and analyzing the lyrics. Everything is full on from start to finish with their music and the team that works on them have great taste. Each music video over the past few years is a total sensory overload too. I always listen to their music when I am working on anything that doesn’t involve myself making music.
7. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu | Tsukematsukeru
Here is another J Pop act that I am obsessed with. Kyary was someone I found out about from a lady I was sitting next to on a plane flying to Minnesota about 3 years ago. After she found out I was a music producer she informed me that music these days is terrible and she told me to go home and watch a video called Pon Pon Pon. So I did and much to my surprise it was amazing. It was ridiculous, but it was amazing for it. Full of color, pomp and a hyperactive overload of composite 3D graphics and outfits that came from some kind of sugary parallel dimension. It was fun and unapologetic. Tsukematsukeru is a song about putting on fake eyelashes. Of course it is! What else would it be about… It's just visually playful and the production once again is insane and totally pushing what is possible in a Pop forum.
8. Moon & Walker | Love A Little More (Ride The Universe Remix)
These guys are my friends and the coolest friends you could have. Ride The Universe are based in California and Germany and make sexy, chilled jams for your next pool party or road trip. This song epitomizes everything they do at their best. Dust off your DX7 and Telecaster because, hey, will be aching to jam all over this number. This song has bouncy baselines, sensual chords and synths arpeggiating and throbbing all around the stereo field. Pure bliss and an utter joy I can listen to on loop for hours.
9. Draper | Illusion
My visual director Danny Land played this EP to me 2 years ago and I just loved it. I find the sounds, the style and the final product is perfection. It has everything I need as a producer and a lover of music. Not much more needs to be said apart from for you should and go give it a listen. Home grown talent that needs to be heard.
10. M83 | Midnight City
I only discovered M83 a few years ago, but I am so thankful I did. He is my one true inspiration these days. From film scoring to Electronica, this guy does it all and, oh, so well. This is one of the big song from his last record and it's fantastic. The video series that goes with this song and others is truly remarkable, they are like movies and I am a big supporter of music artists having such a string vision in their visual projection. For me no one comes close these days in terms of talent and creativity to what this guy can do.