1. Herbie Hancock – Rain Dance (from the album Sextant -1973)
I love the whole album by Hancock, and this piece in particular, for its experimental and avant-garde quality. The album hardly fits into any category, although in some respects it is close to the concrete-avant-garde experiments of the 1960s, the early Kraut experiments, or the electric period of Miles Davis himself. It was fundamental in my training process.
2. Billy Cobham – Spectrum (from the Album Spectrum – 1973)
I discovered this album at the home of a childhood friend. It belonged to the record collection of his elder brother. I was literally struck by the rhythmic section. Since then I have never stopped listening to it. A milestone!
Billy Cobham - Spectrum
3. Indian Ocean – School Bell (from School Bell/Treehouse EP – 1986)
I love the whole discography of Arthur Russell and the Sleeping Bag productions. This track in particular, with its disco, tribe-like minimalism, gives me a feeling of positivity each time I put it on.
Indian Ocean - School Bell/Treehouse
4. ESG – Moody (from the album ESG – 1981)
What can I say? ESG have influenced many musical genres, such as hip-hop, post-punk and disco with their rough, underground sound typical of 1980s New York. “Moody” remains one of the greatest precursors of the house movement. It is a ‘sensual’ track that exudes dub and femininity with its psychedelic “bass-voice” pair.
ESG - Moody
5. Konk – Your life (What u Want) (from Your Life EP 1984)
Another incredible album by Sleeping Bag Records. The dub version of Your Life is my favorite track. Percussion, slap bass, synth xylophone and Roland TR707! I always carry it in my record bag!
Your Life What U Want (Dub Version)
6. Burnt Friedman & The Nu Dub Players – Designer Groove (from the Album Can’t Cool 2003)
An experimental track, very much in the Friedman style. Jazz, electronica, dub. I bought the whole album in 2004 and eve today it continues to inspire me in my own productions.
Burnt Friedman & The Nu Dub Players - Designer Groove
7. Idjut Boys – Jesta (Dub) (from Idjut Boy EP – 1993)
First EP of Idjut Boys, released in 1993. When I first listened to it I realized that these two guys would have a revolutionary impact on the underground dance movement of the following decade. Sheer genius!
Idjut Boys - Idjut Boy EP - Jesta (Dub)
8. Peace Orchestra – Henry (from the Album Peace Orchestra – 1999)
The whole album is wonderful, but this track in particular gives me goosebumps each time I listen to it. Exploring sound worlds as diverse as downtempo, dub, trip-hop and sophisticated drum’n’bass, Kruder’s work proves to be fully developed as well as absolutely flawless. A masterpiece!
Peace Orchestra (Peter Kruder) - Henry
9. Flying lotus – Hello (from the album 1983 – 2006)
The debut album of Steven Allison. The tracks in the album exemplify a cross-breeding of styles and sounds, mixing electronica with black sounds and a unique, highly individual use of samples and synth. “Hello” is my favorite piece.
Flying Lotus - Hello
10. Floating Points – Shark Case (from People’s Potential EP – 2010)
I love all of Sam Shepard’s discography. What I like in particular is Shark Case from People’s Potential, one of my favorite tracks ever. A funk bomb, with a frenzied, constantly changing rhythm, and a fat bass to knock you off your feet.
Italian imprint Roots Underground Records launches its vinyl only series with a cosmic release from SofaTalk.
Founded by Marco Celeri in 2012, Roots Underground prides itself on releasing music from artists inspired by old school motifs, hosting the likes of Alex Agore, Roy Gilles and Miruga, whilst tapping up Kai Alce, Lady Blacktronika and Legendary 1979 Orchestra for remixes. The imprint’s debut vinyl outing comes from SofaTalk, an eclectic producer and hardware fanatic who’s appeared on Stevie Kotey’s (Chicken Lips, Bearfunk) Ambassador’s Reception and Love Sexy Records.
The release warms up with ‘Contains Sulfites’, an intro track complete with oscillating synths and quivering chords that unravels across its three-minute duration. ‘Dance Of The Cranes’ then delivers a cacophony of light percussive elements whilst serene notes operate throughout. Finally, ‘Fairy Dust’ features Kris Tidjan’s impassioned vocal to forge a poignant production that nods towards classic Detroit house.
SofaTalk ‘Fairy Dust’ EP drops on Roots Underground Records in Late April 2016.