The 10 Best Examples of Chinese Instrumentation in Hip-Hop/Pop, according to GZ Tian
Teki Latex has been at the front of European electronic music for a long time. Best known today for his work co-heading club label Sound Pellegrino and curating web DJ show Overdrive Infinity, wind back the clock and you'll find Teki's name popping up in all sorts of places, be it blog-era electro house (via his involvement with the excellent and somewhat underrated dance imprint Institubes) to alternative rap (via his work in French language hip hop group TTC) to major label pop (his debut album 'Party de Plaisir' was released by EMI France, and featured, amongst other things, a collaboration with cult '80s French pop singer Lio). If you're a newcomer to Teki's work, you might not be familiar with just how many people he's collaborated with as a vocalist over the years, so here he recalls some of his lesser known team-ups. Check a few of his most underrated before he touches down in London to play GETME!'s eighth birthday party.
These days, some might know me as a DJ, or one of the co-founders of Sound Pellegrino, or the curator of web TV show Overdrive Infinity – but about a year ago I put a halt to a very diverse (some might say too diverse) and relatively long career as a vocalist. This is a collection of rare tracks and remixes I featured on, either as a solo artist, or as a member of TTC back in the day, as well as tracks that sampled my voice.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to include Diplo's 2003 remix of TTC's de Pauvres riches (Diplo's first ever discographic appearance), Zomby's infamous remix(es) of TTC's Travailler (until someone finds them on an old HD, the only remaining trace of them is on this old Dubstepforum thread), or my old (and a bit goofy) collaboration with Devin the Dude and NYC pop-funksters 33hz, but I guess it's already quite an impressive curriculum vitae.
Radioclit Mature Macho Machine (feat. Skepta, Tinchy Stryder, Ears & TTC) (2006)
This was primarily a collaboration between producers Radioclit and many MCs, including grime royalty Skepta, Tinchy, and Ears, as well as my old rap group TTC. TTC was all about exploring links between rap and electronic music, and when grime's first wave appeared, we instantly fell in love with it. To us, it sounded like Ludacris with gabber kicks and a minimalistic approach to it. The track ended up on Skepta's mixtape as well as Cuizinier's, but a 12" was also pressed on Switch & Sinden's short-lived Counterfeet Records with a legendary Sinden & Solid Groove (aka Switch) remix on the flip – even though my voice isn't technically on that one.
L-Vis 1990 Feel The Void (feat. Para One & Teki Latex) (2011)
Para One and L-Vis co-produced this track in my presence, in Paris, and it ended up on L-Vis 1990's unfairly slept-on pop project 'Neon Dreams'. I've been friends with James [L-Vis] for quite a long time, since his pre-Night Slugs days when Orgasmic and I remixed his United Groove track for Mad Decent, leading to my label Sound Pellegrino releasing his 'Compass/Zahonda' EP in 2009. He's a major inspiration for us, and a great human being.
Modeselektor Dancing Box (feat. TTC) (2005)
We met Modeselektor at Hardwax in Berlin soon after discovering their music via our friend Feadz, who was signed to the same label as them, bPitch Control. We collaborated with them several times, and Dancing Box was the first track we made together. They're a lot of fun to collaborate with because they always find some sort of twist to chop vocals into something else, and it's always quite entertaining to find out what the result of the collaboration is going to sound like. For example on Dancing Box they kept all of our bad takes, false starts, and the gibberish we rapped into the mic before starting our verses and constructed a big part the track around that. There was an awesome Sleeparchive remix of that track where he didn't keep our vocals.
Modeselektor 2000007 (feat. TTC) (Paul Kalkbrenner remix) (2009)
2000007 was another one of those Modeselektor/TTC collaborations, and this one got the remix treatment from Paul Kalkbrenner right before he became the biggest thing in the universe. It's just funny to think that we got remixed by Paul Kalkbrenner. Something to add to our portfolio, I suppose.
Para One Lean On Me (feat. Teki Latex) (Hrdvsion remix) (2012)
Para One is another one of my frequent collaborators, since we were both part of TTC. I did the vocals on several tracks from his 2012 album 'Passion'. The heavily garage-influenced Lean On Me was the first single, and I asked canadian genius Hrdvsion to remix it. The result oscillates between half-time, house, and a weird but cool Miami Bass bridge. Heroes of mine Salva and Max Tundra also remixed this track.
Para One Every Little Thing (feat. Cam'Ron, Irfane & Teki Latex) (Girl Unit remix) (2013)
We recorded this song with Irfane (the voice of many Breakbot hits, and Hudmo's new single), and the label execs thought it had the potential to be a strong single if a rapper could jump on the remix. Out of all rappers, Cam'ron, my favorite of all time, recorded a verse for it. As if this wasn't enough of a brain-melting, universe-re-modelling occurrence, one of my favourite producers, Girl Unit, ended up remixing the remix. Cam'ron re-sings the melody I wrote for the chorus, and it results in one of these collaborations that check all boxes in the bucket list.
Birdy Nam Nam Goin' In (feat. Teki Latex) (2011)
Para One was producing an album for turntablist group Birdy Nam Nam and they asked me to provide vocals for a handful of tracks on it. Goin'in was the first single, and for some reason Skrillex decided to re-release it on OWSLA backed with his own remix of it, which became huge. This led to Skrillex re-tooling his own remix to create an A$AP Rocky beat out of it, and that Wild For The Night line I recorded ended up being the chorus of the A$AP Rocky song of the same name.
EdIT Crunk de Gaulle (feat. Busdriver, TTC, D-Styles) (2007)
Cali producer EdIT made this track for his 2007 'Alphapup' album back in that weird pre-beat scene period of music when indie rap, crunk, state of the art turntablism, and IDM became one. Funny anecdote: I found out years after that this track was used by K-Pop boys band MBLAQ as a part of some sort of choreography for a Korean television dance-off show? Skip to 1.50 to check it out. K-pop street cred points through the roof!
Bok Bok & Tom Trago Time Master (2011)
When I asked Bok Bok and Tom Trago to get in the studio together and produce the first chapter in Sound Pellegrino's Crossover Series, little did I know that they would end up sampling Para One and I's infamous remix of Canblaster's Clockworks – resulting in that Time Master track.
Chilly Gonzales Let's Ride Megamix (feat. Teki Latex, Jarvis Cocker, Jamie Lidell, Feist, Peaches, Mocky, Philippe Katerine, Princess Superstar, So-Called, Ad Hawk, Abd L Malik, Taylor Savvy) (2008)
This is some sort of disco We Are The World orchestrated by Chilly Gonzales featuring 12 of his best friends. I'm lucky enough to consider Chilly Gonzales my mentor since he produced and composed my 2007 album 'Party de Plaisir' – I'm forever thankful for everything he has done for me, and including me on this rare 12-heavyweights-deep posse cut featuring legends from such diverse ends of the spectrum as Jarvis Cocker and Feist was definitely one of the highlights of our collaborative years.
Teki Latex plays GETME!'s eighth birthday at Corsica Studios, London on May 30th 2015 (tickets).