Label boss and founder of Perfect Havoc, Adam Griffin, recently stepped into the studio to produce his debut record ‘The Sting’, partnering with label favourite Tobtok to create a club-ready house record with strong piano lines, hints of Miami-style electronic disco, and plenty of feel-good energy.
DMC managed to get the busy Griffin to complete a Back To Mine, and what a collection he’s come up with. Inspired by and reminiscent of 90’s club culture, a hilarious tale involving Laurent Garnier and a saxophonist, and receiving a note from Beyoncé, there’s a story for each selection.
It’ll be no surprise to learn Griffin has dabbled in DJing since the early 90’s, has a vast vinyl collection, and even used to put on parties at the seminal Hanover Grand in London. Whilst his history documents playing senior roles at imprints like RCA and INCredible – Sony’s influential dance label – his present is the real talking point. Perfect Havoc has now hit 100 million streams on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube thanks to its quality output of house and nu disco and the industry wide support that’s followed from the likes of BBC Radio 1 and KISS FM to name just two.
Now let’s see how a background like that would generate a Back To Mine like this…
1. Future Sound Of London – Papua New Guinea
An experimental masterpiece from 1991. An Innovative, creative number with ground breaking loops. It worked perfectly both in the clubs and then at the after parties. This is actually the main theme of my Back To Mine. I loved to play dance records and classics either from that night or previous ones on arrival home and reminisce on the moments and stories associated with them. I was lucky enough to go to many clubs at their high points suck as Vague, Cream, Up Yer Ronson, Moneypenny’s, Club UK, Renaissance to name a few. I still feel lucky to have been 18 in 1996 (when it really exploded!) and have a car (from my lovely parents) and a valid driving licence.
2. Laurent Garnier – The Man With The Red Face
A wonderful fusion of Detroit techno and jazz from the chef turned dance music legend. I was lucky enough once to see him do one of his epic 13-hour sets at Mr C’s and Layo’s The End. This was one of the best clubbing moments of my life. I was having a sensational night and had randomly been talking/raving with this wonderful dude I didn’t know and never saw again. We were dancing and laughing around the cool, round booth in the middle of the dance floor that made The End so famous, when the maestro himself, ol’ Larry Gardener, just handed him the saxophone to play it live right next to me, smiling at me throughout and laughing at the look of shock on my face. Let me hear you hum… Deedely dum dum dum, deedely dum dum and repeat.
3. Underworld – Rez/Cowgirl
Bizarrely this was never on an Underworld album. It actually came out on a limited edition pink vinyl with another
4. Orbital – Chime
Classic debut track from Orbital that laid the foundations for their seminal live sets, I was lucky enough to see their phenomenal performance at Global Gathering 1996. Always remember the headlights they both used to wear like miners at a rave. One of the best dance music acts ever and I followed them around the country religiously. On that famous night in 1996 I saw Leftfield, Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold, Sven Vath, Gayle San, The Prodigy and Orbital – insane… in the membrane…
5. Nuyourican Soul – Runaway
A hard choice between this and “Black Gold Of The Sun”. From garage/house legends Little Louie Vega and Kenny Dope Gonzales (better known as Masters of Work). It’s a cover of The Salsoul Orchestra’s “Runaway” and featured the vocals of Puerto Rico vocalist, India. It was particularly relevant to me as my Mum used to play it to me as a child having come out in 1977. It featured in original form the wonderful Lolleta Holloway.
6. Subliminal Cuts – Le Voie Le Soleil
An absolute beauty from the brilliant label XL. This was released in 1994 when I was too young to go clubbing but it was such an epic piece of music everyone was still playing it when I started in 1995. I heard it at so many great places I can never resist giving it a blast at home to chill and bliss out. Vintage oldie-but goodie like me, ha ha!
7. Basement Jaxx – Fly Life
The amount of different genres in this masterpiece is staggering. It combines ragga, disco and punk. I heard this the first time I ever went to Ibiza and Space on The Terrace as a plane went over. I chuckled at the timing and the relevance of the title thinking thank God for planes. It’s actually ‘Perfect Havoc’ in record form.
8. Goldie – Inner City Life (Rabbit In The Moon Mix)
A seminal release on London Records, FFRR, Inner City Life is a portion of the album’s first track, “Timeless: Inner City Life, Pressure & Jah”, which is a 21-minute opus. The song fuses the breakbeats and basslines common in jungle with orchestral textures and soul vocals by Diane Charlemagne. It was turned into legendary status by Rabbit In the Moon.
9. Beyoncé – Sweet Dreams (Dave Spoon Remix)
I was lucky enough to be product managing the “I Am Sasha Fierce” album at Sony and as
10, The Electric Prunes – Holy Are You
Now for something a bit slower, the incredible piece of music from The Electric Prunes, famously produced by the genius David Axlerod. It’s a strange and powerful piece of music from an incredible album that is completely removed from their original psych / garage classics.
Tobtok & Adam Griffin ‘The Sting’ is out now on Perfect Havoc