The Bass Culture Records boss picks his all-time favourites, from the James Bond theme to Prince.
What’s the first record you ever bought?
The James Bond theme. I was eight years old and a big 007 fan. I remember buying a cassette of the soundtrack to The Spy Who Loved Me which had some disco interpretations of John Barry‘s sound. Basically I discovered music through movie scores and since then I’ve always been interested in composers such as John Barry, Lalo Schifrin, Nino Rota and Ennio Morricone to name a few.
The first time you remember hearing electronic music?
Back in 1988 with The Jungle Brothers’ ‘I’ll House You’. I heard it in this teenager club where the DJ was playing mostly hip hop and funk. That song really stood out. Around the same time I also heard Royal House by Todd Terry (which is a sort of instrumental version of ‘I’ll House You’), so Todd Terry was the first house producer I’d been exposed to. Then came the big house records that were in the charts such as S’Express, ‘French Kiss’, ‘Pump Up The Volume’… But the first house records I bought were Joey Beltram’s ‘Energy Flash’ and Robert Armani’s ‘Circus Bells’.
Your favourite ever record?
Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue. I’m not a jazz specialist but I have all of Miles Davis’s albums and this one is the classic amongst classics. I recommend it to anyone who wants to get into jazz and doesn’t know where to start. I discovered Miles quite late. His universe is very diverse and complex. Some albums like Bitches Brew go very far in the experimentation. However, in my opinion, Kind Of Blue remains his masterpiece and one of the best albums in the world.
The guaranteed floor-filler?
The Roy Davis Jr remix of Phuture’s ‘Inside Out’. One of few tracks that never leaves my box. I always loved Wild Pitch tracks. With this sound DJ Pierre filled the gap between the New York house sound and the techier European sound. I was exposed to this style when I moved to New York in ’93. There were so many amazing tunes coming out on Strictly Rhythm at that time. Hearing them played by Junior Vasquez on the Sound Factory’s system definitely had a huge impact on me.
The guilty pleasure?
Prince – ‘Take Me With U’. This isn’t my favourite Prince song because there are some seriously cheesy elements to it, but I can’t help loving it anyway. Prince’s albums from ’82 to ’88 were the biggest musical influence I had as a teenager. From them I started to dig into Prince’s own influences and I discovered George Clinton, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and Miles Davis.