Dark Heart & Neverspace Records presents Tracks in Time
What are the tracks that shaped your life? We ask Future Garage producers across the board to tell us the music that made them who they are today.
TRACKS IN TIME//GREENCYDE
Pink Floyd – On The Run
One of the first tracks I remember. My dad said to me “Put these headphones on, you can hear the train run through your head from one ear to the other.” My earliest memory of bonding with my dad and the beginning of my obsession with music. This track still sounds like something else now, it must’ve been mindblowing back then.
Pet Shop Boys – Rent
Yeah yeah I know, it’s the Pet Shop Boys in my list. I was 13 when this band hit the charts. I know years later the band became incredibly cheesy. But back in ’86 this duo came on to the TV, the lead singer just stood there stationary in a black suit and white scarf, and the electronic whizz stood behind him dressed like a futuristic B-Boy. Their tracks were dark, proper dark for electronic charts and the first group I became truly obsessed with until 93 and then they ruined it all, haha.
Roxanne Shante – Roxannes Revenge
Up until the moment I was introduced to this track I like many kids was only listening to anything fed to me by the top record labels, and lapping up anything from the charts. A kid at school had an older sister that introduced me to the Electro albums, this track stood out high above the rest, I’d never heard anything like it.
Public Enemy – Night of the Living Baseheads
Music to bring down governments. I can’t remember the first time I heard Public Enemy but they made a huge impact on my life. Intelligent lyrics with 2 powerful frontmen. This is also a moment that I could say was my earliest DJ’ing experience, I was booming this out into the streets back where I grew up in Slough, just outside of London, when I looked out of my window there was a whole bunch of teenagers dancing to it in the street. Can’t remember what I followed it up with though. 😀
Phuture – Acid Trax
No one had heard anything like it when this hit. It sounded like it had just landed from outta space. 2 guys who bought a 303 machine in a second hand shop took it home and showed the world that it could actually do a lot more than just make beats. I was playing this stuff at the time and not realising it had a name for the genre. I just used to spend all my paper-round money in Slough Record Centre and walk out with beauties like this.
Lil Louis – French Kiss
Hypnotic. This track runs and runs. Lots of music back then had a verse, a chorus, and a catchy melody. Lil Louis just came in with a repeated rhythm that just kept on giving. This track was way ahead of its time. I could quite happily listen to this track on loop for hours.
Massive Attack – Daydreaming
I remember first seeing this on Normski’s Dance Energy show and running to the shop to buy the vinyl. This track is really a cover that Massive Attack MC’d over the top of but with fatter beats. I didn’t realise this til recently but still, what a track. Shara Nelsons vocals “I quietly observe standing in my space” and MCing like I’d never heard before, actually making British MC’ing sound cool, which imo was hugely lacking at that time apart from Silver Bullet/Silvah Bullit, and bringing in a Reggae/Dub element to their sound too. This group influenced everything I do from how my music sounds (so I am told, even though I struggle to hear that myself) to how I dress. It’s all about the hats. 😉
The Orb – Blue Room
The original release of this track is 39 minutes 57 seconds. I originally heard this band on an Ambient compilation on cassette that I’d picked up in Slough a couple of years before with their track ‘A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain that Rules from the Centre of The Ultraworld’. Best title for a track ever imo. Blue Room is an ambient masterpiece and shockingly innovative, I mean even the beats at one part of the journey through the track sound like a snooker cue hitting the ball and then being knocked around the table. And Sister Aisha’s ‘The Creator’ vocal sample dropped in there is a beauty! This to me was what the future should sound like.
Genaside II – Narra Mine
The sound of bad boy London. The beginning of Hardcore. For me such an exciting time, I’d just left school and started working with a guy who was out there playing with sound systems so I was straight out there willing to help out, it was a time when you had a whole heap of sounds working together, from House music to the sub bass driven Bleep era (that imo should’ve lasted longer) and Hardcore Breakbeats making an entrance. This track to me is a front runner to Jungle that was about to explode in the next two years. Just when this track feels like its run Killer Man Archer comes in and tears it up. The original 12″ mint vinyl is one of my favourites in my collection. “Look at the country now, empty heads are feeling proud.” Somethings never change.
Gary Numan – Sleep By Windows
Apart from the well known tracks Are Friends Electric and Cars I found Gary Numan quite late. I’d not long moved to the Brighton area and didn’t if I’m truthful have a lot of friends at the time. I found a Gary Numan track in a record shop, took it home, and soon started picking up all I could find from him. He seemed to speak straight to my heart. Beautiful songs, winding synths, and a vocal with so much emotion. When others in the late 70s/early 80s were making twiddly little pop songs this man was a giant standing tall above the rest. “We are just sound, We are just noise.”
Joy Division – Dead Souls
Dark, melancholic Post Punk sounds. The bass is unique, the beats are unique, the stage presence of Curtis was off the scale. This band went from making ok Punk songs to something so much higher in such a short time. Just everything about this band is true perfection. I could put so many of their tracks in my favourites list.
Leatherface – Springtime
In ’94 I started a new job in Burgess Hill near Brighton and met my mate Olly there, since then he’s been one of my besties. I was listening to a little bit of Punk back then but not a lot, Olly passed me the Leatherface – Mush album and introduced me to a whole new world and a huge underground Punk scene I knew nothing about. Give it a few years and he’d convince me to pick up the bass guitar I had at home laying on the side, learn to play it and start a band. I didn’t really bother with the learn to play it part but I did start a band with him. 😀 Years later and quite a few bands later I can say it did change my life. Leatherface and Snuff remind of the best times, following the bands around and stood in the pit singing my head off.
Goldie – Timeless: Inner City Life/Pressure/Jah
I first heard Jungle when I briefly moved back from Brighton to Slough. A bunch of guys were playing it in the place next to my dads. At first I couldn’t quite work out what was happening, the beats/snares were unlike anything else I knew. A few years later when I was hitting every Jungle club I could in Brighton this track came in and changed the game. Pitch shifting, intelligent beats, and stunning vocals. I remember playing this more than any other track in the 90s.
Chase and Status – Blind Faith ft Liam Bailey
This track reminds me of recent times, playing gigs in London, and the feeling I get when I hear or drop the track. Its a huge feeling, like a nation has just been united. Big tune, hits every emotion.
King Tubby – Satta Dread Dub
I remember being obsessed with Dub Reggae coming out of a block of flats on the Northborough Estate in Slough near where I lived. A few years later while in Brighton my friend Melanies dad introduced me to that music I could hear pumping out of those flats back in Slough. Music like no other. My obsession with bass comes from this, and the reason I had a bass sat in the corner of my room, I dreamt of playing Dub in a band. I love a lot of music, so many genres, nothing comes above Dub in my life. It is the reason you hear it in most of the Future Garage tracks I make.
Burial – Shell of Light
Like Joy Division I could put most of Burial’s back catalogue here. I never tire of listening to him. Its my soundtrack driving back home from every gig I’ve ever DJ’d at on a dark night, finding my way through the small country roads of Surrey, Kent, and Sussex, or finding my way around London, and eventually back onto the A23 or A27.
The artist that helped me find a whole community, which led me to the start of the recording label/s, and making many friends in the process.