The 10 Best Disco Records Of All Time, according to Kevin Saunderson

Though he’s best known as one of the leading pioneers of Detroit techno, disco music was integral to Kevin Saunderson’s formative musical years. Early trips to the Paradise Garage laid the sounds of disco within him and, though later on he came to be one of the fabled “Belleville Three” with schoolmates Juan Atkins and Derrick May (the originators of techno in the Motor City) he’s carried that love of the genre with him for years.

Ahead of a house and disco set Kevin Saunderson is playing in London this Sunday, check out his picks of the best disco tunes of all time. “I grew up in New York and moved to Detroit when I was nine,” Saunderson says. “I heard most of these tracks around the age of 16/17/18 via the radio in New York and when I first started to go to the Paradise Garage as I would go back every summer to visit my brothers who still lived in New York. I think I was 17 the first time I got into the Paradise Garage.”

1. MFSB – ‘Love Is The Message’

“It’s probably the most played, duplicated or covered track in the world. There are so many different versions of this. I grew up in New York and it was just huge. People would just stop what they were doing when this record came on and it grabbed me too. When you hear this track – stop what you’re doing and dance! It’s a marathon record, it’s long and had many different phases to it.”

2. Chic – ‘Everybody Dance’

“This was just was one of those tunes that made you wanna dance. The vocal was uplifting and hooky and gave you this energy, and the bassline was baaaaadddd. You just had to groove to it.”

3. McFadden and Whitehead – ‘Ain’t No Stopping Us Now’

“This was the anthem! A real positive track that just said this is our time as people, as youths. Whatever your dreams or ambitions were, you were going to get it done. It was so motivating and was played so much in New York.”

4. First Choice – ‘Love Thang’

“I always remember the beginning of this record as it was very catchy. Larry Levan played it in Paradise Garage and it was my jam. When that breakdown came it was off the chain!”

5. Cerrone – ‘Supernature’

“The first time I heard this was in the Paradise Garage, this was quite an eye opener in comparison to any other record during that time period. It was like it was made on a different planet, and they were onto a totally different vibe. It had this dance beat to it, and the early sounds of a synth. It was another marathon record that lasted and took you through different phases. One of my favourites. I actually ended up remixing it down the line and meeting Ceronne, which I never would have imagined in a million years was going to happen when dancing to this in the ’80s.”

6. Loleatta Holloway – ‘Love Sensation’

“Just the perfect vocal. So powerful hearing that voice come through radio and club speakers. Another one I got to experience at the Paradise Garage and it brought so much joy to people, including myself. It’s amazing what a track like this could do and how it could make you feel.”

7. First Choice – ‘Let No Man Put Asunder’

“This was a big record that was played in New York all the time. Another great powerful vocal. I heard it on all the mix shows and on WBLS radio. It was unique.”

8. Shannon – ‘Let The Music Play’

“This track was on the edge of being something outside of disco. Very catchy and very hooky. When I first started experimented with DJing it was one I played over and over.”

9. Mainline – ‘Black Ivory’

“This track brings back a lot of memories. I remember it played in the Paradise Garage so much. A nice groove and unique harmonies.”

10. Sylvester – ‘You Make Me Feel’

“Sylvester’s voice was so different – he has this range that was very unique as a male vocalist at that time. Kind of reminds you of Curtis Mayfield. Also the perfect vocal to compliment that track. It really bought chills to me when I heard this record.”

Kevin Saunderson plays Easter Sunday Disco Festival at the Pickle Factory in three days’ time – find tickets here.

The 10 Best New Leftfield Irish Electronic Acts, according to Wastefellow

Dublin singer-songwriter-producer Wastefellow, real name Diolmhain Ingram Roche, is a sharp new talent. Off the back of last year’s forward-thinking ‘Post-Human Potential EP’ that arrived on Ireland’s most-nattered-about label of the minute, Soft Boy Records, today he puts out new cut ‘Fizzy Lifting Drinks.’

A beautiful construct, it sounds something like if Tame Impala was exploring a breaks project. Based on a riff created for his noise band Frank when Wastefellow was 16, its immediate soporific quality sits within a ravey, dancefloor-minded packaging.

As the Soft Boy family exemplifies, theres a wealth of talent currently emanating from that part of the world. Wastefellow has just set off on his ‘Wastefellow World Tour of Dublin and Cork and Galway’ tour (no prizes for guessing whereabouts he’s headed) and below, he talks us through the best new leftfield electronic artists coming out of his homeland right now.

1. Clu

“Clu has been performing and releasing music for a good bit longer than myself, so while I shouldn’t be calling him a ‘new Irish electronic artist’, I love his work so much that I feel compelled to start this list with him. His 2016 EP on Gobstopper, ‘MOOD’, is a landmark record for me; I had never heard anything like it before, and I’ve heard nothing like it since. He mixes songwriting and warped club production effortlessly, creating a sound that is uniquely his. I can’t overstate the impact that those four tracks have had on me, and I’m very excited to hear his new material, which is apparently coming just around the corner.”

2. Maria Somerville

“I know it’s only April, but I feel pretty confident in saying Maria Somerville has already put out my album of the year, ‘All My People’. There is something to the way Maria writes songs that makes my heart ache and my spine vibrate with every listen. I had the pleasure of seeing her play to a sold out Bello Bar in Dublin a few weeks back (featuring my own drummer, Brendan Doherty), and I can safely say that the record is just as powerful when performed live. If she is playing near you any time soon, make it your business to go to the gig.”

3. Blusher

“Patrúin are a label I’m really excited about, they’re putting out some of the most forward-thinking music around right now, and Blusher’s debut Tren Rezno is a steaming hot prime example of this. The full record features moments of dense ambience and acoustic guitar, alongside some b a n g i n g warped club tracks ‘that are just as likely to make the listener weep as they are to make them dance’. Five of these tracks are showcased on a vinyl sampler, which I really recommend picking up (the vinyl also features some stellar design by Mel Keane, who designed the Maria Somerville album).”

4. Dreamcycles

“Dreamcycles’ work sounds like the future of music; she treats sound in a way which is very much her own, merging and colliding the recognisable so as to create something that is wholly new and transcendental, whether that’s via her productions, installations or DJ sets. I feel extremely blessed to have her opening my Dublin show in The Button Factory later this month. I’ve linked a recent mix and a recent Nirvana cover, to give an idea of the breadth of her work.”

5. Brién

“Soft Boy, Pear Boy, and rumoured to have a few releases coming on a very influential label soon (boy), Brién is a musical wunderkind. He’s a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist with an uncanny feel for earworm hooks and irresistible rhythms. I’ve had the pleasure of watching him work on a few occasions now, and each time has been an inspiration. He’s also just started doing live sets, which feature him singing over some seriously sexy R&B bangers – a must-see.”

6. Matt Finnegan

“Another of my Soft Boy Fam, Matt is an incredibly versatile producer, whether he’s making hip-hop, house or breakneck hardcore. He’s also hands down one of my favourite DJs. The man has a few scary club anthems lined up for release later this year, and I am confident they will be cauterising dancefloors far and wide once they drop – keep those ears open wide kids.”

7. Ozwald

“One of the Wriggle crew, Ozwald makes an irresponsible blend of bassline and UK funky that absolutely w r e c k s the club. He’s a deft producer who seems to be able to create a hook from anything, and make it look easy in the process. I play out his ‘Captain Jack’ bassline VIP when DJing every chance I get, and will continue to do so until I go deaf.”

8. lullahush

“Having made a name for himself with leftfield pop production for AE MAK and Elkin, as well as attending the final (sob) RBMA in Berlin last year, lullahush is just now starting to release his own material, and it is oh so very beautiful. So far he’s been shown off some blissed-out tunes for dreaming to, with incredibly detailed, twisting production. I’m really looking forward to his album, and I think you’ll be hearing his name a whole lot in the near future.”

9. Ian Nyquist

“I’ve known Ian for a few years, but the first time I really heard his music was when I saw him open at the launch of J. Colleran’s album ‘Gardenia’ last summer. I was blown away… we’re talking blown through the wall and left sprawled in the street type blown away. Ian’s work sits in a tradition of haunting ambience and warped field recordings that is very much a part of my musical makeup. His recent album ‘Cuan’ is essential listening, a great record to stick on the headphones, then go for a long walk and get lost in.”

10. Fat Pablo

“Fat Pablo are a unique entry on this list, because rather than being an artist, they are in fact, six artists (a band, I think they call themselves). Each member of the band brings a distinct element to the table, and this coalesces into atmospheric, psyched out rock music, with a deeply electronic backbone; I adore them and the music they make. They are also an absolutely cracking band live, and if you don’t believe me, you can very conveniently catch them playing at my Dublin show in The Button Factory on the 26th of April! Gee whiz!”

Listen to Wastefellow’s ‘Fizzy Lifting Drinks’:

The 10 Best Live Electronic Acts, according to Guti

It’s one thing to make electronic music and DJ, but being able to play live is a whole other business. Someone who knows a thing or two about the art of performance is DJ-producer Guti. Attuned to music from an early age, the Argentinean is a classically-trained jazz virtuoso and became a national rock ‘n’ roll treasure in his native country.

The music he makes today, though, is less about jamming and more about crafting high-class house beats. Having just dropped his ‘The Year Of The Conga’ album on Cuttin Headz, which fits percussive 4×4 workouts side by side, Guti continues to infuse his cuts with his Latin and jazz roots. Below, he selects his favourite live performers to watch, from Bulgarian hardware wizards to reggae bands.

1. Cobblestone Jazz

“They are incredible! The connection they have when they play is just outer space shit!”

2. Maayan Nidam

“She is so talented and does it all! I remember we played together in New York at one of the Wolf and Lamb crazy parties they use to have there.”

3. SIT

“Love them! I’ve been in the studio with many musicians and they are one of my favourite people to jam with!”

4. Francesco Tristano

“One of the geniuses of our generation. His live sets take you everywhere. I love when he does piano and electronics. This song is a masterpiece and I have never heard it live… I wish!”

5. Mathew Jonson

“Swag! Matt is one of the most magnetic performers if not the most. I love him, I love his music and can’t stop watching him play the whole show, again… magnetic!”

6. Pulshar

“Crazy duo of Spanish people singing dub in English… Pablo and Sergio are amazing producers and this project is/was super cool.”

7. Martin Buttrich

“Now it is rare that Martin plays live as he started DJing but I was there when he use to do… and it was the best. You know every song and sounds just better and clear and amazing. I am such a big fan.”

8. Dancing Mood

“This was one of the first bands’ live acts I ever seen. Is a bunch of jazz, reggae and rock musicians getting together to jam standers. They will play every week in a shitty club next to my house, now they do stadiums! Viva Hugo Lobo! Later in life I recorded with some of them in many of my rock bands. Very good musicians.”

9. KiNK

“KiNK does it all. Creative, innovative and completely crazy. I don’t like everything he does but I do enjoy watching perform and some songs are amazing. Viva KiNK, viva la locura!”

10. Akufen

“He played after my band with Francesco Tristano “Another Paradise” for Mutek Festival in Buenos Aires. He is such a hero. Pioneer genius and the coolest guy ever.”

Purchase Guti’s ‘The Year Of The Conga’ here.

The 10 Best African Carnival Tracks, according to Patoranking

Since 2009, Nigeria’s Patoranking has been at the forefront of a globally coveted strand of afrobeats-infused dancehall sounds. Putting out the single ‘So Nice’, which promptly stormed the globe, before a slew of heatedly-received singles and his debut album, his sun-soaked sounds and hyper-smooth flows are destined for festival – and carnival – play.

Ahead of Lagos’s Gidi Culture Festival, West Africa’s biggest festival, this year – where Patoranking is headlining – he shares his favourite carnival cuts primed for the summer months.

1. Patoranking – ‘Available’

“These are my top ten songs… Every time you see me in any African carnival or festival – like Gidi Fest this Easter – these are a must-play, so big up every DJ, Patoranking say so… The first song is ‘Available’, produced by DJ Catzico and Vista from South Africa. It’s highly influenced by the gqom sound from South Africa. This is a song that when it comes up everyone gets on their feet, you know, it is a must you dance to this song.”

2. Starboy – ‘Soco (ft. Terri, Spotless, Ceeza, Milli, Wizkid)’

“The next song is from Nigerian Starboy. Wicked tune still. It’s everyone’s favourite song. You know we all just want to dance, move our body, the ladies want to move their waist to this song.”

3. Patoranking – ‘Suh Different’

“This is different from every other African song, it’s a song that has its own feel. You’re gonna love it from the intro, you’re gonna get hyped from the intro all the way to the outro of this record. It’s produced by Ghana’s finest producer called Mix Master Garzy. Yes this is so different.”

4. Davido – ‘If’

“‘If I tell you say I love you’ Yes! That is a banger, that is a hit right there, that’s an African hit song. It’s timeless. Day, night, anytime this song comes up, everyone turns up to the song. Just a wicked record.”

5. Patapaa – ‘One Corner ft. Ras Cann’

“This guy is from Ghana and I’m a big fan of his work, Patapaa. If you play this song anywhere, say you play it at the at the airport, you’ll see someone dancing in the corner close to the plane, everyone is looking for a corner to dance in. This is a big record, I love this song. I Love this song.”

6. Toofan – ‘TERÉ TERÉ’

“Big big record from West Africa to the world, this is a song that everyone loves to dance to. You must stand up and dance, it’s a MUST! Big shout out to Toofan.”

7. Afro B – ‘Drogba (Joanna) [prod. Team Salut]’

“The next one is a big one. One of the galdem favourites. Afro B is from the Ivory Coast and is now based in the UK. It’s a big song, the galdem love it.”

8. Tekno – ‘Pana’

“This is a song that every girl on the continent loves to dance to and loves to sing to. I love this record as well, I still remember the first time I heard it. Massive tune, big up Tekno.”

9. Babes Wodumo ft. Mampintsha – ‘Wololo’

“The second to last song on my list happens to be a show-stopping song. Called ‘Wololo’. Big record.”

10. Tiwa Savage ft. Duncan Mighty – ‘Lova Lova’

“Last but not least this is ‘Lova Lova’, a song that I love so so much. Tiwa Savage is amazingly talented, one of the wickedest singers out there. Big record.”

Patoranking plays West Africa’s biggest music festival, Gidi Culture Fest, on 20th April 2019, alongside Wande Coal, Ray BLK, DJ Neptune, and more. Find tickets here.

The 10 Best Missy Elliott Videos, according to Knucks

There’s no denying that – both musically and visually – Missy Elliott is an absolute icon. From her refusal to conform to the expectations placed upon female rappers throughout the ’90s and ’00s, to her envelope-pushing productions, empowering lyrics and arresting visuals to boot, she’s always been a pro at setting the bar high.

Someone who’s been a fan of Missy’s work from day one is rising London rapper/producer Knucks. The Kilburn artist deals in R&B-leaning production complemented by a laidback flow – his latest offering being the ‘Rice & Stew’ single which dropped along with a visually appealing video. Having been captivated by Missy’s videos since childhood, below Knucks shares the ten visuals that have stuck in his mind as a result.

1. ‘Beep Me 911
’

“I like this video because it’s one of Missyʼs more colourful and effeminate visuals. There’s a lot of hot pinks and a shiny glossiness to it. I also like the concept of the backing dancers being dolls with ‘toy joints’ painted on their knees and elbows.”

2. ‘I’m Really Hot’

“I picked this video because of the aesthetic and the obvious Tarantino references. If you know your films, you’ll be able to notice straight away the nods to Kill Bill from the Asian dancers in suits to even having Uma Thurman’s infamous ‘pussy wagon’ truck in the intro. Subtle but effective.”

3. ‘One Minute Man’

“I wasn’t always the biggest fan of this video but coming back to it much older, I just had to appreciate the clean and crisp look. The location and hotel alone makes this video stand out, each room looking more wacky and eccentric than the last in true Missy nature.”

4. ‘She’s A Bitch’

“What makes this video so iconic isn’t even Missyʼs usual quirkiness but it’s more so the statement she made with it. The main scene is Missy in an all-black outfit completely bald with shades, which I take as her showing that she’s not trying to conform to whatever image was expected by female rappers at the time. Remember this was late ’90s, early 2000s…”

5. ‘Sock It 2 Me’

“I may be biased because of how much I mess with the song, but I enjoy watching the visuals to this one also. It may be the amateur-style special effects throughout, it reminds me of those old monster/disaster movies where they used green screen and miniature cities. It’s also fun and playful as most her videos are.”

6. ‘Get Ur Freak On’

“This one is the most infamous for me as it was my introduction into the world of wild videos. Even though it’s pretty dark, Missy finds a way to keep it light hearted and she threw some legendary cameos in there. My favourite scene is the shot in the car on the beat switch up. That ‘spit it out’ part always rattled me though.”

7. ‘Pass That Dutch’

“This video is a madness, from the dancers in the scarecrow/cornfield scene, the VHS-style dancing scene based on ‘Good Timesʼ and the scene of Missy and the big women in the Jeep, there’s a lot going on. A shot that always stood out for me was when one of the women in the car with Missy pulls a soldier into the window, eats him then dashes his bones out. I was shook.”

8. ‘Work It
’

“The thing I like the most about Missy Elliot’s videos is how they complement the punchlines in the song which are usually very funny. This video is the epitome of that. For example, the scene where she talks about Kunta Kinte and shows a slave on screen literally slapping the white of his masters face. If that’s not iconic then what is right? Also, I have to note that whoever picks the dancers for Missy’s videos deserves an award.”

9. ‘Lose Control’

“This one is one of my personal favourites. It’s fast-paced and very cool. It’s not the most colourful or eccentric of her videos but I feel it’s carried by tight choreography and sick composition (for example, the shot with the hoods and glowing eyes). It still has Missyʼs humour in there, like the opening scene where they cut and paste her head on an obviously slimmer dancer. I always loved the end bit where she’s dancing, balancing on a log while floating around like there’s zero gravity. I remember being gassed at a young age watching this.”

10. ‘The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)’

“Now last and definitely not least, in my humble opinion, this is the most Missy Elliot a Missy Elliot video can get. The cinematography in this video is flawless and the authenticity of it bleeds through. So many iconic shots in this video but my two favourite things are the use of the fish eye lens and the jittery sped-up movements everyone had throughout. I did notice it was used a lot in ’90s videos (for example TLC ‘No Scrubs’) but it definitely stood out more to me in this video. It also has all the other things that make a Missy Elliot video; quirkiness, vibrant set design and choreography. My favourite scene is of course the one with the ‘black bag and bike helmet’ outfit with the swinging clogs in the background. I don’t feel I need to explain that. Legendary.”

Watch the video for Knucks’ latest single, ‘Rice & Stew’:

Related: Missy Elliot’s 10 Best Productions

The 10 Best Female Video Game Composers, according to Lena Raine

Having worked on video game soundtrack composition for the past 12 years, Seattle’s Lena Raine is an authority on the art form. Best known for her music for platforming indie game of 2018, Celeste, the BAFTA-nominee won big at The Game Awards last year, performing live with Hans Zimmer at its opening.

Her debut artist album, ‘Oneknowing’, has just arrived on Local Action – a ten-track record of ambient pop that embraces highly personal themes such as dreams and significant places through the media of Rhodes piano, zither, as well as various hardware synthesisers. A beautifully-arranged work of gentle electronics and shimmering melodies, the tracks are weaved together using Raine’s own vocals, creating something that transcends game music altogether.

Shining a light on the other women who have been and are instrumental to the composition world, below Raine shares the ten female artists who have inspired her the most.

1. Emi Evans

“Most famously known for her vocal work on the amazing NieR game series, Emi’s work has inspired my own in so many ways, including her made-up languages and ethereal singing. While she wasn’t the composer on the soundtrack itself, the game’s music has her influence everywhere, and wouldn’t be the same without her involvement.”

2. Michiru Yamane

“No composer would have as much influence over my extremely goth teenage years as Michiru Yamane and her work on the Castlevania series from Symphony of the Night onwards. Her music always feels rooted in the past, but brought inexplicably into the future and I love it for that.”

3. Saori Kobayashi

“While I’ve never been a huge player of the Panzer Dragoon series, I’ve always had a fascination with their soundtracks. The way they blend the organic and technological in unique and interesting ways continually inspires me. In this excerpt, the ending theme from Panzer Dragoon Saga, she employs those beautiful ethereal voices that I always love, plus some wonderfully driving rhythms.”

4. Sachiko Miyano

“This name might not ring a bell, even if you’re a huge game music nerd like me. I actually had to trace her influence in the orchestral soundtracks that I’ve loved, but she’s almost everywhere, working as one of the most talented orchestrators and arrangers in the industry. Her work, especially on Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Valkyria Azure Revolution, catches my attention every time and has gotten me to know and seek out her name.”

5. Sarah Schachner

“Sarah has been exploding in the AAA games scene for a number of years now, and she continues to release things that totally blow my mind while still holding their own in that music space. Her work on Anthem took me by surprise as she debuted the title theme at the Game Awards last year, and I was so glad to have met her in person so I could pick her brain about the super cool vocoder ‘choir’.”

6. Yuka Kitamura

“Responsible for taking over the Dark Souls franchise and really elevating the third entry with her beautiful orchestral and choral writing, Yuka Kitamura continues to show that she knows how to wrench emotions out of wildly chaotic and devastating themes.”

7. Origa

“It’s such a tragic loss that Origa still isn’t with us today continuing to bless us with her beautiful voice. What she has been involved in, in anime and games, has been nothing short of remarkable. I’ll forever cherish the songs she’s released.”

8. Yuki Kajiura

“While she primarily works in anime, Yuki Kajiura’s work on the Xenosaga series (after original composer Yasunori Mitsuda left to do other projects) still stands out to me as some of her strongest compositions. She’s always worked in collaboration with wonderful vocalists, and that focus on melody really shines through in all of her writing.”

9. Yoko Shimomura

“She’s absolutely the composer I’ve had accidentally had the longest following of, thanks to an unexpected title from my past. When I was six or so, one of the first games I ever played was Adventures in the Magic Kingdom, an NES game that Yoko Shimomura did the soundtrack for. Twenty-nine years later, I’m still listening to her work as it continues to grow over her long and wonderful career.”

10. Yoko Kanno

“It’s so hard to choose just one piece that Yoko Kanno has written to sum up what she means to me as a composer. Her style is wild and varied, influenced by every genre under the sun. But it’s always when she collaborates with some of the most amazing vocalists (herself included, as Gabriela Robin) that it seems like she has the most fun. A beautiful soul writing beautiful music.”

Stream Lena Raine’s ‘Oneknowing’:

Purchase the record here.

Related: The 10 Best 32-Bit and 64-Bit Era Video Game Soundtracks, according to Etch

 

The 10 Best Tracks That Made Me Say ‘WTF Is This?’, according to Mr. Mitch

The job of any selector worth their salt should be, as well as keeping the floor moving, to surprise the audience. A good DJ set should contain at least one ‘WTF moment’ – where clubbers are left scratching their heads, unable to process what they’ve just heard.

Ahead of a party where south London DJ and producer Mr. Mitch will be doing just that – GETME!’s 12th birthday bash at Tola next week – we invited the spinner to name the cuts that have caused his head to go into a spin.

“This list is not in any order and is by no means the only tracks that have made me say ‘WTF’, but they are the ones that sat at the front of my mind when I thought about putting together this list,” Mr. Mitch says. “‘WTF is this?’ is always a good reaction, even when it’s not because it means the music is more than wallpaper and doesn’t just blend into the background. This is a list of the tracks that had made me say it in a good way.”

1. Bruce – ‘What’

“WTF? club tunes for me are the ones that can transport me to somewhere else completely. I forget who I am or where am and just get lost in the moment. ‘What’ does this to me every time, whether I’m DJing or dancing, or both.”

2. Joker – ‘Purple City’

“Was listening to a Rinse FM show driving around somewhere and this came on and blew me away. I’d never heard funk and melodies used in these ways on grime/dubstep and he completely changed the game, for me at least.”

3. Randomer – ‘Bring’

“I can’t remember where exactly I was the first time I heard this but I definitely said, “What the fuck is this?” (in a good way).”

4. Pearson Sound – ‘XLB’

“I like tunes that sound like doing balloons, to be honest, and this accomplishes that perfectly.”

5. Palmistry – ‘Vapore’

“I heard this when I was in the process of making ‘Parallel Memories‘ and it felt like he was in exactly the same place as me sonically but at the same time like nothing else I’d heard.”

6. Portishead – ‘Machine Gun’

“Whenever me and Social State get together to make tunes we get to the end of the session and then we’re like, ‘Oh fuck we’ve just made ‘Machine Gun’ again.’ Their ability to make something feel so noisy and abrasive but super clean through Beth Gibbons vocals is what draws me to this.”

7. Nesha – ‘What’s it Gonna be? (Sticky 2 Step Mix)’

“Less of WTF moment, more of a this is the greatest song ever moment. I first heard this when I was 10 or 11 on a DJ Spoony Twice as Nice in Ayia Napa CD. Sticky quickly became one of my favourite producers in the early 2000s.”

8. Trey Songz – ‘Can’t Be Friends’

“A strange one, but this song was the beginning of my love affair with [Ryuichi] Sakamoto. I even cried to this song in a hyper-emotional state the day after my first son was born eight years ago.”

9. Zapp & Roger – ‘Slow & Easy’

“I remember discovering this going through my dad’s record collection when I was younger. You could easily mistake this for someone making a grime edit of an R&B song, it’s even 140. Troutman’s use of unusual percussive sounds on this made me prick my ears up as a kid.”

10. Brothomstates – ‘Adozenaday’

“Heard this first of all from a Sprite advert in the early 2000s and just assumed it was a song that had been made for the advert. Me and my cousin became obsessed with it and made a bunch of grime/garage tracks around this melody.”

Mr Mitch plays GETME!’s 12th birthday alongside Sherelle, Lixo and Lumi on April 5th at Tola in Peckham – find tickets here.

Related: Listen to Mr. Mitch’s Dummy Mix

The 10 Best Chill-Out Room Tracks the World Left Behind in ’96, according to Nathan Micay

Bring back the chill-out room. Once a staple in clubs, the magical break-out zones have somewhat disappeared from clubbing culture since the ’90s and early noughties. Toronto-born, Berlin-based DJ/producer Nathan Micay – formerly known as Bwana – is one of those people who wants to see the chill-out room making a comeback.

Having burst onto the scene with an impressive run of releases as Bwana on Aus Music, Cin Cin, LuckyMe and 17 Steps, he’s further impressed under his birth name, releasing on Whities, ESP Institute and his own imprint, Schvitz Edits, as well as reworking Bob Moses. Ahead of his fantasy narrative-inspired debut album, ‘Blue Spring’, dropping on LuckyMe in May, Micay has compiled the below list of his favourite chill-out room era tracks the world left behind in ’96.

1. Higher Intelligence Agency – ‘Influx’ (1993)

“The most under-appreciated act of this era in my opinion. Every release is beautiful and immersive. This is just one track out of many I could’ve picked. They’ve been kind enough to upload it all to Bandcamp for purchase in the last year or so. Go treat yourself and have an hour of bliss. Take that Discogs sharks!”

2. Trans-4M – ‘Surfacing’ (1992)

“A long-forgotten album. This is the blueprint in my mind for good early ’90s chill-out room gab. Trippy, beautifully naïve and child-like. Pulls you in. Sounds so simple but it’s anything but!”

3. Space Cat – ‘Spiral’ (1993)

“A darker side of this sound and era. More driving, more ‘trancey’ but definitely still atmospheric enough to save for the chill-out room. Rest of the album is worth checking too.”

4. Ministers of Dance & GSP – ‘Tiny’s First Journey’ (1992)

“A unsung classic that’s starting to get the recognition it deserves”.

5. Space Farm – ‘The Dawn of Birds’ (1995)

“A psychedelic journey that will haunt your dreams. Entire 12” is next level but this cut has a certain level of ‘eeriness’ that is hard to come by. The percussion is amazing too. I think that’s one of my favourite aspects of this era… no fear for using many types of drums!”

6. One Dove – ‘White Love [Guitar Paradise Mix]’ (1993)

“If you’ve heard my Beats In Space from 2018 you’ll know I love the Scott Hardkiss (RIP) version of this. However, it’s hard to argue against Andy Weatherall shredding on a guitar with a delay pedal over a silky groove and hot bassline.”

7. Slope – ‘Planet H’ (1995)

“Float away… to Bandcamp where you can finally buy this digitally. Then float away some more… both sides of this record are complete bliss.”

8. Krash – ‘Funk 200’ (1999)

“Ok getting into some harder territory now with the drums but still an absolute chiller of a track. It’s the odd one out on an otherwise very hard breaks EP. But then again, this era provided lots of room for experimentation and exploring more laidback sounds on those B2 tracks.”

9. The Horn – ‘Villager’ (1996)

“Pray for the fool that doesn’t cry when this is played in the club”.

10. Dr. Suess – ‘Green Eggs & Smack’ (1994)

“Saved the best for last. My favourite label of this era, Holistic Recordings. Every release is such a curve ball and always so out there and weird. This track highlights the dubby influence on a lot of the music made for the ‘chill out room’. Yet it still sounds so rave!

Nathan Micay’s ‘Blue Spring’ drops on May 3rd via LuckyMe.

The 10 Best Freak House Tracks, according to Dance System

Sometimes you just want to unleash some slamming house bangers. And that’s exactly what Night Slugs co-founder James Connolly aka L-Vis 1990 is doing under his Dance System guise. He’s returning to the moniker to explore more raw, jacking, warehouse-flavoured sounds that wouldn’t fit under his hyper-futuristic production work as L-Vis. Previously, these Dance Mania-influenced sounds have graced Clone’s Jack For Daze and Ultramajic, while his newest effort is an outing for Monkeytown.

Ahead of the new ‘Wind ‘Em Up’ EP arriving on Modeselektor’s label, a four-tracker that’ll (as the name would suggest) wind up a crowd, the producer and DJ selects the ten cuts he’ll dust off to twist out a dancefloor.

1. Cajmere – ‘Percolator’

“Without doubt this is one of the most important trax ever to me as a DJ. It hasn’t left my box since the moment I first heard it. There is just no arguing with the Percolator, it works on any dancefloor. The simplicity of that swung bubble popping riff and Mr Velvet’s vocal hook just connects with people. It’s fun and ridiculous and at the same time hard/serious, this is my blueprint for making house music.”

2. L.I.A.M / Marcus Mixx – ‘Psychousic’

“Of all the flangers in the world I think this might be the craziest and most fucked up I have ever heard in house music. The track makes you feel like you are spiralling into into this never-ending void. The track was made in 1987 but it still sound so futuristic, I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to hear this in the Chicago clubs back then.”

3. Thomas Bangalter – ‘What To Do’

“‘Trax on da Rocks’ was one of my first records I bought when I was 15 and is still so influential for me to this day. ‘What To Do’ is just pure madness, the perfect blend of my two major loves – ghetto house and jungle. The chopped up amens and banging Deeon-esque beat just destroy every dance.”

4. Paul Woolford/Bobby Peru – ‘Erotic Discourse’

“There are some records that are so important to you that you remember the exact time and place where you first pulled it. I remember picking up a test pressing of ‘Erotic Discourse’ in Rounder Records in Brighton in 2006 and it blew my mind, it was just so out of this world. I loved the feeling of finding a record like that, you felt like you had just unearthed some magical treasure. You don’t get that feeling downloading an MP3 on Beatport these days.”

5. Eric Martin – ‘Emergency (Steve Poindexter Re-Edit)’

“This track always makes me laugh every time I hear it… it’s just so fucking ridiculous. That siren sound, the reversed drums and of course the secret sauce for any crazy house track, flanger. I love how raw it is, you can hear Martin turning on and off tracks on the mixer and stopping and starting drum machines, experimenting like some mad ghetto house scientist. If I really want to twist crowds up I’ll always pull for this one.”

6. Armand Van Helden – ‘Necessary Evil’

“Armand Van Helden at his hardest and wildest. I love this record so much. You can tell he just wanted to make a track to fuck with people on the dancefloor and it really works. I recently listened to his Love Nation set from 1999 and he opens with this on two decks and just goes back and forth with the saw for three minutes until the crowd are going to to explode. So much fun.”

7. DJ Rush – ‘Lucious Lon Pt. 2’

“There are so many DJ Rush tracks I could have chosen for this. Rush is the undisputed king of madness for me. This one in particular is really pushing the limits. The twisted polyrhythms and that double-time beat really screw with your head, I always enjoy watching people try dance to this one.”

8. Basement Jaxx – ‘Fly Life / Fly Life Extra’

“This is probably one of the more straightforward tracks in my selection but this tune still stands out in any set to this day. The relentless horn stabs and rumbling bassline are so powerful. ‘Fly Life’ is one of those tracks that can push your set into another realm. The ‘Extra’ version is just something else though. The crunching metallic SFX and mad siren sounds really elevate it. I remember hearing Soundstream play it at Panorama a few years back, gives me goosebumps thinking about it now.”

9. DJ Deeon – ‘Freak Like Me’

“It wouldn’t make sense to not have this in this list. ‘Freak Like Me’ is a tune you can play to audiences and it drives people nuts. The vocal hook is so infectious… I love to break my sets down to just that vocal loop for a couple of minutes hysteria before letting those hard ass 909 drums loose.”

10. Soundhack – ‘Devils Run’

“Soundhack/ Soundstream is probably one of my favourite producers of the last 20 years. Everything Frank makes is so simple and effective. He captures the real essence of those freaky Chicago trax but puts his own spin on it that feels super fresh and exciting. This track is all about anticipation and anxiety, it never quite gives you the full payoff you might expect but thats why it’s so devastating in the middle of a set. An audience really pays attention when you drop this one.”

Listen to the EP’s lead single, ‘Wind ‘Em Up’:

Dance System’s ‘Wind ‘Em Up’ is released by Monkeytown on April 12th 2019 – pre-order it here.

The 10 Best Male Singers, according to Cassy

Growing up in Vienna and raised by an Austrian mother and father from Barbados, Cassy enjoyed a very musical childhood. Jazz musicians like Sun Ra and Archie Shepp used to stay at her parents’ B&B when they were in town for festivals – and they left a huge impression on her. Though now firmly established within the dance world, the singer, producer and DJ’s wide love of music in all its forms has undoubtedly contributed to her being a cut above the rest.

She’s part of a new remix project of Teddy Pendergrass, which arrives alongside a new documentary about the Philadelphia soul singer, where she’s reworked his classic ‘Only You’, alongside re-rubs by Jamie Jones, Damian Lazarus, DJ Pierre, and Francesca Lombardo.

A vocalist herself, Cassy has put together a list of the male crooners that have made the biggest impression on her from throughout history. “Here we have three generations of incredible male singers,” she says. “I started from the ’80s which is when I consciously started to listen to and appreciate the voice, as well as the music itself.”

1. Al Jarreau

“Al Jarreau is one of the most incredible singers ever to have lived. He is actually more of a jazz singer than a singer in general, but he sang pop and had his hits. I had all his albums, and probably still have them somewhere and have listened to every single song he recorded hundreds of times. His voice means the world to me. I saw him in concert a few times together with my dad, these moments I will never forget, and I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

2. Al Green

“Al Green was my dad’s favourite singer. I listened to him driving in my dad’s car, and this is where I listened to a lot of music. We drove from Austria to England in the summers to see all our relatives and those car journeys were golden, all the songs we sang, and we listened to. A huge part of my musical upbringing.”

3. Luther Vandross

“My god, how amazing is he??!! David Bowie knew exactly who to ask to be on stage with him when a young Luther was doing backing vocals for him once upon a time. This man is in a league of its own, a smooth and soft genius.”

4. James Ingram

“James Ingram is another one from my dad’s tapes and summer drives. I didn’t really know who he was until I was older and understood that he was one of the most respected vocalists. He died not long ago and really needs a mention. He is a fantastic singer.”

5. Teddy Pendergrass

“Again, one from my dad’s tapes. His voice is so unique and hot and incredible, so sexy and strong. Love songs galore! I appreciate him more now than I did back then, maybe because I understand the loves song lyrics more in my adult life.”

6. Marvin Gaye

“Marvin Gaye was one I listened to the most with my dad because we listened to him over the longest stretch of time, especially the ‘Sexual Healing’ album. Also, myself later in life. His voice is very distinct, and you immediately recognise it. He almost doesn’t need a mention because it goes without saying that he is one of the best male singers of all time.”

7. Robert Palmer

“Maybe it’s because I am a kid of the ‘80s and I grew up listening to him, but to me he is one of the most incredible singers ever. His tone of voice is everything, he is an extreme icon. If you’re white or black, you’ll say he is amazing. He was also a very tortured soul as many genius artists are. One cannot mention enough how important he was.”

8. George Michael

“Obviously, a genius. What he did across his career is staggering. Being a super young pop star with Wham! to then convincing people he was a serious artists and not just cheesy pop star. He had so many fazes in his career. Also coming out as gay at a tough time. George really cared about things and he wasn’t afraid to speak up. He never felt pressured and walked to his own beat.”

9. Bryan Ferry

“Such an iconic singer, and so important to so many women. As a male singer, if you have an appreciation coming from the female fans, it’s a very good sign. The way he sings, his tone of voice, a modern ‘80s pop crooner who oozes sexiness, style and presence all through his voice and that is very rare. He is a role model and so many have tried to be like him.”

10. Maxwell

“Maxwell is the next generation. He is still doing albums and working incredibly hard as a singer. Another that oozes sexiness, and a huge sensuality. Again, a reason why he has such a huge female fanbase. I believe it is incredibly important as a male singer to be able to seduce with your voice as it’s very unique. You can never listen to enough Maxwell.”

Listen to Cassy’s Teddy Pendergrass remix (and stream the entire project here):

Related: Read Cassy in conversation with King Britt

The 10 Best Jungle Tracks of All Time, according to General Levy

Few artists have done as much for jungle as General Levy. The ragga MC started chatting on the mic when he was at school, and by the age of 14 he was forming sound system crews and was putting on parties around the capital. Coming with his own style – the hiccup-type sound that is now his calling card, the MC made a stamp for himself on his link-up with M-Beat, ‘Incredible‘, which ended up crashing into the Top 10 and – helped by its Ali G inclusion – isn’t likely to ever leave the collective UK consciousness.

Since that 1994 single and ensuing success, General Levy’s career has gone through a series of highs and lows, but he remains a much-loved figure of the UK music scene, and is coming into 2019 with a certain energy – with two releases under his belt already. Ahead of his appearance at Love Saves The Day in Bristol this May, General Levy lists the most gargantuan cuts from jungle’s deep and storied history…

1. M-Beat – ‘Shuffle’

“M-Beat has got some great tracks and I could have picked so many of them, this track reminds me of when I used to live on Bow Road with my first daughter’s mum and we used to go to Telepathy and we also used to babysit for the young grime MC Godsgift.”

2. Firefox & 4Tree – ‘Warning’

“This is a serious tune from back in the day, reminds me of getting ready to go raving when Commander B used to rinse this tune on his night flight radio show on Choice FM.”

3. Deep Blue – ‘The Helicopter Tune’

“Goes down a storm, first time I heard this was in the Astoria at Jungle Mania I think, when it dropped it was crazy.”

4. Congo Natty ft. Peter Bouncer – ‘Junglist’

“This list wouldn’t be complete without Congo Natty and here with the excellent Peter Bouncer, a classic tune that everybody loves. To me it was the perfect fusion between reggae and rave heads, another classic tune from the raves – when the bassline drops the whole place was skanking.”

5. Leviticus – ‘Burial’

“All-time classic, bad tune, makes the gal them skank, used to love watching the reaction from the gals, beautiful tune.”

6. DJ Zinc – ‘Super Sharp Shooter’

“Bassline to die for, definite banger. One of the most influential tunes that really helped stamp the jungle scene on UK urban culture.”

7. Ray Keith – ‘Chopper’

“Bad bwoy tune, when this tune play the bad man start skanking. We used to go mad on this tune MCing, it was great for all the MCs to go mad on.”

8. DJ Hazard – ‘Bricks Don’t Roll’

“Never grows old – nutty tune, I just love the way the crowds react to this tune. This is a perfect example of how innovative UK production is.”

9. Aphrodite – ‘Stalker’

“Could turn Hare Krishna into a badboy – Human Traffic, nothing more I can add to this!”

10. Deekline – ‘I Don’t Smoke’ (Ed Solo Mix)’

“Fire remix! This tune gets me naturally high – makes me laugh and skank at the same time, ‘cos my name’s Paul.”

General Levy plays at Love Saves The Day 2019 – find the full line-up here.

The 10 Best Paris-Inspired Tracks, according to Lolo Zouaï

Born to French and Algerian parents in Paris, raised in San Francisco and now New York-based, Lolo Zouaï embodies qualities from all three of the cities she’s spent her life in. Although she’s very much a Brooklynite now, her French side refuses to quit – her wardrobe is firmly French, while ‘High Highs to Low Lows’ has a whole verse sung in her native tongue.

Where the aforementioned 2017 track put Zouaï on the map, she’s followed it up with a string of glossy pop cuts with a kick that show off her silky yet powerful voice. She’s recently been touring Europe (check out her tour diary here), and 2019 is looking like her breakout year, having already bagged a Blood Orange collaboration on her January release, ‘Ocean Beach’.

Paris is typically a place that has inspired a wealth of literature, music and film, and the French-American singer below lists her favourite tracks that have been inspired by the city of lights.

1.Françoise Hardy – ‘Tous Les Garcons’

“Françoise Hardy was the original Parisian It Girl. She’s a big inspiration for me both lyrically and stylistically when I want to write in French. I love this song because she’s talking about everyone around her being in a relationship as a young adult except for her.”

2. Brigitte Bardot – ‘Harley Davidson’

“Brigitte sings about how she doesn’t need anyone else when she’s driving on her motorcycle. It’s empowering and badass especially considering when it first came out.”

3. Edith Piaf – ‘Sous le ciel de paris’

“This has to be one of my favourite melodies of all time. It’s a classic love song. It makes you want to fall in love in Paris.”

4. Henri Salvador – ‘Jardin d’Hiver’

“This song reminds me of my childhood because my older sister and I used to dance around to it. Henri Salvador is one of the best musicians to listen to on a Sunday morning.”

5. Claude François – ‘Alexandrie Alexandra’

“My mom used to play this all the time so it’s engrained in my brain. The video makes me laugh so much, though, with the choreography.”

6. Vanessa Paradis – ‘Joe Le Taxi’

“Her voice is very unique and childlike, even as an adult. Kinda enchanting and weird at the same time. People used to tell me that my voice sounded really young which bothered me but then I realised that sounding young meant I’d have some form of eternal youth, haha.”

7. Moi c’est – ‘camélia Jordana’

“I love her voice so much and remember hearing this song on the radio when I’d go to France as a kid every other summer. You don’t even have to understand the words to feel this song.”

8. Amel Bent – ‘Ma Philosophie’

“Amel Bent was like the French Mariah Carey to me. As a kid I looked up to her (being a French-Algerian singer). The song is about being true to yourself, which stuck with me.”

9. Diam’s – ‘DJ’

“Diam’s was the only French female rapper I really knew. I wasn’t in France that much growing up so I didn’t have a ton of knowledge on popular music. But this song was always on the radio.”

10. Yelle – ‘Ba$$in’

“I started getting into Yelle when I was in high school. She has always been super experimental which I admire a LOT. I love her albums. ‘Bassin’ means bottom and there’s the word ass in it so it’s a play on both languages (something I like to do).”

Watch Lolo Zouaï’s video for ‘Lose Myself’:

Related: Read ‘The 10 Best Parisian Artists Pushing Pan-African Sounds, according to Poté’