Hailing from the UK, House specialist duo 99 Souls are quickly becoming one of the most talked about names within the current electronic music scene. Having recently released an official remix of Martin Solveig & GTA’s hit ‘Intoxicated’, 99 Souls have added a new stellar project to their growing list of wonders, including: ‘The Girl Is Mine’, ‘All Cried Out Remix’ and ‘Slowly Remix’ amongst others.
Their unique style and refined musical vision has landed them massive support from A-list names such as Annie Mac, Pete Tong, Danny Howard, Afrojack Martin Solveig and Laidback Luke, in addition to gaining extensive chart success. Aside from making a name for themselves for their productions, the tandem is also an in-demand name on the DJing front, touring worldwide and warming crowds at some of the globe’s leading events.
We’ve sat down with 99 Souls to go through some of the tunes that shaped their influences and artistic path. Here are 99 Souls’ all-time top 10 tracks…
2 Pac – Changes I never fully got into 2 Pac but this song was and still is undeniable. Even if he wasn’t the most intricate rapper, his lyrics were so digestible and heartfelt. The sad thing about this song is that it was recorded in the early 90s (but remixed in the late 90s) but there have been so few changes… Twenty-something years later and there’s still “war in the Middle East”, still a war on drugs and police are still celebrated for killing minorities… We’re yet to “change the way we eat” or “change the way we think” but like Pac said, “some things will never change”.
Caspa & Mr Hudson – Love Never Dies Somehow Caspa used to make Dubstep that would trigger the same emotional response as 60s Soul records. I always liked this track when it was an instrumental, but the Mr Hudson version makes me feel some kind of way every time I hear it.
Chris Malinchack – So Good To Me Whether it’s on the Soul II Soul original, the Malinchack record or the Fat Joe record, that Soul II Soul “ooooohhhh” is one of the best sounding things ever created. This is one of the most beautiful records I’ve ever heard. I can’t even judge it properly anymore because I rinsed it so hard. The first time I heard it, I listened to it from 8pm to 4am non-stop and thought that if I’d ever get married it’d be my first song at my wedding.
Daft Punk – One More Time This one makes me smile every time I hear it – one of the greatest samples on a Dance record. It’s hard to imagine a party where this wouldn’t go down well.
Moby – Porcelain Beautiful, chilled-out Dance track. Not many elements, but everything is just right. Moody strings, iconic piano riff and a deeper song than most Dance records. I can’t remember if I loved it on a first listen but it’s a real grower. The effect on the vocal is outstandingly beautiful.
Jimi Hendix – All Along The Watchtower Jimi Hendrix playing Bob Dylan! Bob Dylan is a huge inspiration as a songwriter, whilst Jimi Hendrix is one of my favourite performers ever. Incredible guitar work – check out all the different sounds and effects he manages to cram into one record. It’s hard to overstate the importance of Jimi to me as an influence. I still remember my Dad telling me he was the greatest guitarist before I ever picked up the instrument. It’s hard to pick just one of his records in a top ten. And I still can’t predict when the intro will come into the song after the 1000th listen.
Pete Rock and CL Smooth – They Reminisce Over You
The Tom Scott and The California Dreamers sample is just golden. They were a Folk group but had mad vibes. This is the perfect 90s Hip Hop record. A touching tribute to Pete and CL’s friend and one of the greatest sax parts in history. Guilty pleasure but Pop & Oak did the sample justice on J Lo’s new album as well (if it was cool enough for Nas to rap on, it’s cool enough for us to listen to!).
Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come Probably my favourite singer of all time. A stunning anthem of a song with a serious edge and a beautiful orchestral arrangement. Sam Cooke’s voice is always titanic, but a lot of his hit records are quite throwaway lyrically. On this one he put a lot of his personal experiences of racism in America into it. Apparently he was turned away from a motel during the height of his fame and got arrested. This record was his dignified and staggering response and became an anthem of the civil rights movement.
The Beach Boys – God Only Knows The Beach Boys are my favourite band. Incredible vocal harmonies and the production and writing are out of this world. Brian Wilson has this knack of writing a simple song, then taking it through different keys and changes that are very complicated, but never losing the original message. So clever to start a love song with the line “I may not always love you”. It’s relatively easy to write good music that sounds miserable but The Beach Boys always have a tonne of joy in their records. I’m always drawn towards vocals when I’m producing, and this kind of record is probably the reason why.
Souls of Mischief – 93 ’til Infinity All of these Hip Hop tracks I’ve included are from before my time but I guess if they transcend their era that’s the mark of a classic. This last place was painful ’cause it’s pure sacrilege to have no Michael Jackson, Isaac Hayes or Kanye… but I guess they have dozens of tracks fighting for the spot and it’s hard to pick one out. The reason why this record is so amazing – other than it sounding so good – is that its title was like a self-fulfilling prophecy – 22 years later and it still sounds so fresh, these guys really are chilling from 93 till infinity. Whatever mood I’m in or if I’m ever bored with music this still sounds refreshing the second it comes on. Honestly even the sample (Billy Cobham ‘Heather’) wouldn’t be out of place on this list, a real Jazz-Fusion masterpiece.