New Order, Jean Michel Jarre and a-ha are on the playlist of the Manchester-based techno duo’s Top Tracks

What’s the first record you ever bought?

Paul: I remember saving up my pocket money for Jean Michel Jarre’s Rendez-Vous on cassette. I already had a copy from a friend but even back then I preferred to own the real thing. The next three or four records I bought were also by Jarre. I wasn’t one for straying too far from my musical comfort zone.

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The first time you heard electronic music?

Paul: It’s very likely it was Kraftwerk, Vangelis, or even the synth bits on Queen’s Flash Gordon score. My first fascination with electronic sounds was brought on by Oxygene – more Jarre, do you see a pattern forming? – and a weird video I saw for ‘Chase’ by Giorgio Moroder as a child.

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Your favourite ever record?

Paul: A really tough call. I think I’ll opt for Spanners by The Black Dog. So inventive and otherworldly, both in 1995 and now. Filled with unusual melodies, seemingly unquantised percussion and more ideas than most artists manage in a whole career.

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Al: Artificial Intelligence II. Incredible Warp compilation from 1994, with all their key artists of the time represented. I still play it every week 18 years later.

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The guaranteed floor-filler?

Al: Vitalic ‘La Rock 01’. I don’t think there’s a single occasion we’ve played this where the crowd hasn’t gone crazy.

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Paul: ‘Blue Monday’ by New Order is a track we play a lot, too. Search for any videos of our sets on YouTube and 99 per cent of the time you’ll hear it. It’s not even my favourite New Order track, but if it doesn’t make you dance then there’s something seriously wrong with you.

The guilty pleasure?

Paul: I love the Scoundrel Days album by a-ha… there, I’ve said it. Although a-ha were seen as some teeny-bopper boyband, they made some very dark records, both musically and lyrically. It captures a time and a place for me: living in a windswept seaside town in dark, wet winter. This really was the ideal soundtrack to my environment.

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25th June, 2012

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