The man bringing techno to the masses on the songs that shaped his life
What was the first song that you remember hearing?
Kylie Minogue – ‘I Should Be So Lucky’
“I don’t have a full memory of this but my parents bought me the 7” of Kylie Minogue ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ when I was about four years old because I apparently liked it so much. What a banger.”
What’s the first song you fell in love with?
Nirvana – ‘In Bloom’
“A friend of my dad’s made me a compilation cassette tape of Nirvana stuff that I would listen to over and over again whilst becoming a Street Fighter II Turbo master. In my bedroom. On my own.”
What’s the first album you ever bought?
“Due to lack of funds I would borrow CDs from Winton library most weeks – I rinsed that place. I can’t remember exactly but the first thing I actually bought with my own money would have been something like ‘Mellon Collie [and the Infinite Sadness]’ by Smashing Pumpkins. I still love it.”
What’s the first concert that you went to?
The Prodigy at Bournemouth International Centre in 1997 on their Fat Of The Land tour.
“I was eleven and my dad took me. It remains one of the best things I’ve ever seen. It felt like the foundations of the building were shaking. The idea of clubbing didn’t even enter my field of vision until many years later but something must have sunk in deeply during that experience. Keith’s recent passing is a tragic loss, I’m told that he was a top bloke above everything else.”
What song makes you want to dance?
Autechre – ‘Clipper’
“This one makes me want to dance whilst my legs buckle at the same time. Like walking down an upwards-moving escalator on my knees.”
What song reminds you of home?
Joy Division – ‘Isolation’
“When I was learning to play the bass in my bedroom at home I would have tracks like this on a continual loop. Every single note of it is engrained deep into my being. I was in my mid-teens when I first picked up the bass and for a number of years it was all I did. I eventually acquired a basic drum machine, an effects pedal and a simple four-track recorder which is how I first started recording stuff. I would love to hear those tapes again but I have no idea where they are…”
What song do you wish you’d written?
The Cure – ‘A Forest’
“The best proto-dub-techno record of them all. Most artists don’t come close to writing one song as good as this. The Cure have about fifty.”
What song changed your life?
My Bloody Valentine – ‘Only Shallow’
“The first time I heard Loveless [the album ‘Only Shallow’ is on] was a revelatory experience. It hit me on a deeper level than anything I’d heard before and I wanted to know everything about it. It stirred something inside me to try and make my own music rather than simply playing along to other songs.”
“I must have been about fifteen or sixteen when I first heard it. It was already cemented as a classic at that point but it was entirely new to me when I first put it on. It feels like being thrown into the middle of a dream – there are familiar elements but most of sounds entirely alien. Saying that, it has a comforting warmth to it that very few records are able to achieve. I still get exactly the same rush from it today as when I first heard it.”
What song do you listen to get ready before DJing?
Two Lone Swordsmen – ‘As Worldly Pleasures Wave Goodbye’
“I’ve been playing this one constantly recently. Keith and Andrew are heroes and, between them, have made a wealth of amazing music over the years. It’s enough to make your eyes water.”
What song by another artist reminds you of making Song for Alpha?
William Basinski – ‘dlp 1.1’
“The making of Song For Alpha dominated my life for five years and there were times when I got lost in some dark corners of my studio. Artists like Basinski helped drag me out and reset my thoughts. His music is the audio equivalent of taking a breath and moving a step back from the surface noise of life.”
‘Song For Alpha: B-sides & Remixes’ is out now on Phantasy