1. Led Zeppelin – Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
If I have to pick one artist/band this is my choice, simply because I grew up with them. There is something special with the music I loved as teenager, is different. On my 14th birthday the presents were a CD player and their discography, I started the guitar because of the acoustic side of Page, who is literally under my skin.
2. Rage Against The Machine – Bombtrack
Self explanatory, one of my favourite albums ever, and my go-to for workout. There’s nothing better in terms of energy, not to mention how relevant it is still today, any track could be a perfect soundtrack for these days.
3. Tricky – Aftermath
My first steps into electronic, this was life changing, he brought me into that state of mind. ‘Smoking and Trickying’ has been my daily activity for a while.
4. Howie B. – Switch
The producer who influenced me the most when I started. He literally came to me one night as a vision: I was sleeping on the couch and I woke up with this video running on tv and I was like… wtf!
5. Frank Zappa – Trouble Every Day
Just a bit ahead of his time…sad irony. However, if I wanna have a good day I just put ‘Freak Out’ on.
6. Lee Perry And The Upsetter – Voodoo Man
Sometimes someone doesn’t need words to communicate, especially strong emotions.
7. PJ Harvey – Down By The Water
Probably the sexiest record that I know, hot.
8. Gnonnas Pedro Et Ses Dadjes – La Musica En Verité
It began in Africa. And to me rhythm comes first.
9. Roni Size Reprazent – New Forms
Still remember the freshness that I felt when I discovered this record. It was truly something new to me at that times, and today.
10 Public Enemy – Don’t believe The Hype
My brother had this on cassette and used to crank it up on the hi-fi system at home, I was 8 or 9 and went crazy for it, the beat, and that hi pitch sample that I called ‘the cat’, this was my early influence. I became more conscious about their powerful messages over the years, and hip-hop now is the genre that I’m diggin the most.
Nuel – Fantasia (Apollo)
As a long-time admirer of his work, R&S/Apollo boss Renaat has signed up Italian craftsman Nuel for a stunning concept album that finds the artist becoming “my own imaginary band” after ten years of personal growth and exploration. Nuel has been revered in underground techno circles for many years. He is a meticulous sonic sculptor who has made some of the most meditative and hypnotic electronic grooves of the last decade on labels like Semantica, Kontra-Musik and Sublunar. He also put out cult classic and highly sought after album ‘Trance Mutation’, which found him playing all the sounds himself on a wide array of instruments. It is that multidisciplinary ‘one-man-band’ approach he has taken again on ‘Fantasia’, which is the latest fruit of a lifelong personal quest to grow his skills, learn new techniques and go further than ever before in search of sound. “I wanted to master the art of production,” he says, “so I began recording and mixing as wide a range of music as possible.” As such, using guitars from his school days, bass from an ex-girlfriend, a Cajon from his uncle, and some newly acquired percussion, he set about experimenting and now serves up the beguiling results. Opener ‘Body Shock’ is a beautifully poly-rhythmic affair that jostles with vitality – you can hear fingers moving up and down the bass guitar as it drives the track along. Dancing cymbals, an arpeggiated lead and the Peruvian Cajon all bring worldly character to this supple rhythm. The uptempo ‘Guerrilla Habits’ is irresistibly compelling with its busy acoustic lead guitar, psyched-out chords and subtle sci-fi effects all coming on like some futuristic folk rave. ‘Pollyana’ is again defined by Americana-style guitar playing, but run through with synth meditations and uneven loops that trap you in the moment. ‘The Running Flow’ keeps up this magical fusion of organic and synthetic sounds; of the played and the synthesized, and is always building towards a peak that fills you with rapture. ‘Disincanto Road’ is a darker, more introspective track, with heavier drum hits and more taught bass twangs that ride a rugged rhythm. It’s a pause of the momentum before ‘On a Treadmill’ sets off on another fascinatingly unusual groove made from off-grid strings, riffs and drums that are in constant flux. ‘Quiet’ is a blissed-out and thoughtful closer with celestial acoustic guitar and lush sonic waves that ebb and flow and sinking you ever deeper into a state of calm. ‘Fantasia’ is physical, dance-able music but crafted from unfamiliar sound sources that make it as suited to a campfire gathering as an experimental club setting. It’s expertly assembled and utterly unique.