Sara Simms is a DJ and producer based in the US. Her latest single ‘Kreator’ with Mellefresh is out now on Play Records. We asked her to run us through her top tracks.
What’s the first record you ever bought?
The first album I bought was Pussy Foot 007 Pussy Galore, a concept album inspired by James Bond, 007. It was released on Pussyfoot, a label that was started in 1993 by Howie B and Nick Young.
The album combines many genres, including drum ‘n’ bass, breakbeat, trip-hop and downtempo. I heard this record on “The Cup of Butter Show” on Toronto’s legendary university radio station, CIUT.
My Mum was cool enough to drive me to Rotate This, a record store in Toronto to buy the album on vinyl. The first cut off this album, Spacer’s Contrazoom is really cinematic and features vocals by Alison Goldfrapp.
The first single I bought on vinyl was The Herbaliser – The Road of Many Signs ft. Dream Warriors. I actually can’t remember if I bought this before the Pussy Foot 007 album or not, so I’m including both here. The Road of Many Signs was released as a single and on The Herbaliser’s Very Mercenary on Ninja Tune Records. The Dream Warriors are a Canadian hip hop duo, and their lyrics and delivery are top-notch on this track.
The first time you remember hearing electronic music?
Some of the first electronic music I heard was released on Ninja Tune.
At that time, the only way I could find out about electronic music was to hang out in record stores or listen to college radio stations.
I remember someone who was working at Rotate This gave me a Ninja Tune compilation. I listened to it on repeat. Around that time, Fatboy Slim’s ‘Right Here, Right Now’ had just been released. This was another early electronic album that I loved listening to; some of my favourite cuts on this release are ‘Right Here, Right Now’ and ‘Acid 8000’.
I’ve always loved the sound of the TB-303 and Acid 8000 was the first acid track I ever heard. Shortly after that, I went to my first rave where Bad Boy Bill was headlining and my life has never been the same since!
Your favourite ever record?
The Chemical Brothers – ‘Exit Planet Dust.’
This is a real gem of an album by The Chemical Brothers.
The album combines many styles of electronica, guitars, and turntablism. It has a laid back vibe that reminds me of California. Other favourite albums of mine include Tinashe’s – ‘333’ and ‘Aquarius’, Calvin Harris – ‘Motion’, Depeche Mode ‘Violator’, (Music for the Masses is excellent too) and Plastikman – ‘Sheet One’.
More recent favourites include Beyonce’s ‘Formation’, Charlotte De Witte’s ‘Selected EP’ and Deborah De Luca’s ‘Maybe I’m Wrong’. Another one of my all-time favourites is Trentemøller – ‘The Last Resort’. Everything about this album is just so good, the sound design is excellent.
The guaranteed floor-filler?
Deborah De Luca – ‘Oh Ohh’.
I think what makes this record so great is that it combines a recognizable vocal with an underground style beat.
Anyone who’s into techno can’t help but vibe with this track, and anyone who’s not into the genre can relate to the vocals.
Another guaranteed floor filler is the FJAAK Remix of Missing Channel (Robert Hood & Claude Young) Onslaught. It’s such a killer track!
The guilty pleasure?
Not totally a guilty pleasure but anything by Taylor Swift; she’s one of my favourite pop stars.
My choice for guilty pleasure runner up is Shawn Mendes. He started off as a student in my Dad’s high school music class before he went on to worldwide stardom. I’m a big fan of Mabel and Dua Lipa too.
The last track of the night?
It changes every set, but I feel like Ouri – ‘Down’ (FJAAK Remix) could work as the last track in a set.
The best chillout record(s)?
If I had to choose a chillout record from the 90’s, I’d say Massive Attack – ‘Protection’.
Tricky and Tracey Thorn are both featured as vocalists. This whole album is brilliant, it fuses together r’n’b, hip-hop, reggae and dub. This album always sets me at ease and helps me wind down.
Jacques Greene & Cadence Weapon – ‘Night Service’ is a great chillout track too. My friend Decklyn Dubs showed me this masterpiece, the ambience reminds me of clubbing in Berlin as the sun comes up.
I love the acid and 909 elements and Cadence Weapon’s vocals are perfect.
Khalid – ‘Free Spirit’ is another great chillout record. I’ve enjoyed listening to this album on so many trips, the minimal guitar production and Khalid’s voice are a great match. Khalid’s new single ‘Present’ is a great chillout track too.
The soundtrack to a lazy Sunday afternoon?
When I have some time to chill I listen to Tinashe, maybe something by DJ Snake, some Latin by my friends the Domino Saints, or some new deep house, perhaps something by John Summit.
I try to stay open-minded and listen to a wide range of styles to keep my ears fresh. When I need something more energetic, I listen to old skool techno mixes by Frank De Wulf.
The record you’re proudest of?
My track ‘Finally’ ft. JEI.
I really wanted to create a track featuring my friend JEI. She’s from Miami and is an amazing artist and vocalist. I wrote the track, sent her the beat and within a few hours, she sent me back her vocals.
They suited the track perfectly, and my friend John La Magna co-produced and mixed the track. The record has a really magical vibe. This year, Toronto’s Joee Cons created two remixes for ‘Finally’, released on my label Simmetry Sounds. His ‘Finally Phuture Remix’ is really good, re-worked it with a completely different groove. I’d recommend checking it out!
The future classic?
FJAAK – ‘It’s Time Again’
It was released last year and it’s a great tune that will stand the test of time.
FOLLOW SARA SIMMS
Sara Simms ‘Kreator’ is out now. Listen on Beatport.