Brazilian jazz, 1940s children's records, classic Motown, neo-classical minimalism and all manner of strange Afro bizniss... welcome to the crazy musical world of Four Tet
SIX PEAKTIME FLOORFILLERS
Orch. DO7 Shirati Jazz - Mika
Owiti Gor (Makossa International, 1980)
"This is Kenyan, the music is
called benga and I've only just really found out about it. A lot of
people have been reissuing all the funk-influenced African music but
this stuff is heavy 4/4 drums and mad twinkling guitars over the top.
It's exactly the same tempo as a techno record it's been a surefire
roof blower in every setting!"
Caribou - The Bowls
"There's a new Caribou album
coming out this year and I can tell you there's a few big big club
tracks on it! He's a good friend of mine and I've had this for about
a year. It's another staple bomb - every time I drop it I'm bombarded
by people asking what it is. This is a heads-up!"
Jackie McLean & Michael Carvin -
De I Comahlee Ah (Steeple Chase, 1975)
"This is a mental jazz record.
It's a drum and saxophone affair but with a heavy beat beneath it.
It's very African-influenced and again, it just happens to be the
same tempo as a techno record. At first I thought 'I'll never be able
to drop this out' but then I did and it really worked!"
Nightlife Unlimited - Peaches &
Prunes [Ron Hardy Edit] (Partehardy, 2005)
"A Ron Hardy classic. He's been a
big inspiration to me over the years, exploring the legacy he left.
Edits are so popular nowadays but what Ron Hardy was doing is
unequalled. This is my favourite; it sits with everything."
William Onyeabor - When The Going
Is Smooth & Good (Wilfilms, 1985)
"I first discovered William
Onyeabor on a compilation made by David Byrne, but I wanted to find
out more. It's African music but it's done with synths. It's almost
like Kraftwerk or Throbbing Gristle but with happy vocals. I've got a
feeling that if I play it at the right time it'll really blow up."
Some Treat - Lost in Vegas
(Jonny Biscuit Records, 1998)
"I was such a huge fan of speed
garage and two-step so I've been going back to a lot of the old
records from that era. People go nuts to this; it's got a beat that
you might hear on a Burial record but a bassline from a Crazy Cousins
record. It's amazing!"
John Abercrombie - Timeless
"A truly beautiful record that
I'll love forever. I never considered it a warm-up record until I saw
Villalobos play at Fabric's birthday. He played four sets over 36
hours - one of them was at 4pm which was a surreal experience in
itself. The first record he played was a 14-minute John Abercrombie
record and people started arguing in the crowd! People were booing,
others were cheering - it was very surreal."
Lord Creator - Such Is
Life (Randy's, 1969)
"An old ska record. A lot of old
reggae records have been re-released and I just fell in love with
this. A lot of times when I play, the DJ before me will have it at
130BPM banging mania so I just change the vibe with something like
this. It's soulful, it's uplifting, it changes the mood completely."
D'Angelo - Africa
"Another mellow one. When I play
my long sets at Plastic People I'll drop this nice and early. It's
crazy mellow but as people are coming in a big warm record like this
works as a great beginning."
Pheeroan Ak Laff - 3 In 1
(Passin' Thru Records, 1990)
"I discovered this on a recent
Soul Jazz compilation called Freedom Rhythm & Sound. I couldn't
believe I'd never heard it and I HAD to have it! This works really
well early and later on it's just drums and has a powerful effect on
people; they just dance!"
Richard Pinhas - Variations III
"This is French electronic music
from the 70s. A lot of sounds came out of France at this time but
it's not been documented because everyone was looking at German music
at the time. Pinhas did some amazing records, with great pulsating
synths and drums. I play a lot of his stuff as a warm up."
Sabu Martinez & Sahib Shihab -
The Distorted Sioux Indian (Mellotronen, 2008)
"This has got a really heavy beat
but it's all about this saxophone sound that's been put through a
Moog. The sax almost sounds like a synth. It's the sort of record I
like to play before things get heavy. If I'm the first DJ on then
I'll take my time with the first hour or so; it doesn't need to be
pounding straight away."
Michel Legrand - Les Demoiselles
De Rochefort (Philips, 1968)
"Another French producer. He's a
legendary composer whose done all sorts of soundtracks and worked
with lots of people. I remember hearing this as a kid all the time:
it's a big band soundtrack and such a clever score. I've seen the
film 20 times, and it's one of those records I know I'll hear all my
Rockin' Dopsie - Ma Negresse
"This is a really great record -
it's almost dance in its make-up. Some of my earliest memories are of
my mum and dad dancing to this in the kitchen! It suddenly popped
into my head recently so I tracked down a copy."
The Velvelettes - Needle In A
Haystack (Motown, 1968)
"This is a Motown classic. I
remember my parents playing this at parties. It's the soundtrack of
my youth; whenever I hear it I just go straight back to those days."
Vince Guaraldi Trio - Oh Good
"Vince did all the music to the
Charlie Brown cartoons. When I was a kid I'd have these records with
books that you'd read along with it. There'd be a sound that would
indicate when you turn a page. This has had a lot of plays over the
last few years but it instantly takes me back. It's like an early and
contemporary influence on me!"
Milton Nascimento - Sentinela
"Milton is a really famous singer
in Brazil. It's another record my parents were into and always brings
back fond memories. It turns out this was Milton during his cheesy
80s period; I tell people about it in Brazil and they're like 'Oh
God, that's when he totally lost it!' I love all his records, though,
he's got such a great voice. This was my entry point so this
particular record of his is the real early influence for me."
The Innocence - Mairzy
Doats And Dozy Doats (Karma Sutra, 1943)
"This is a really silly kids
record. I had my own little toy turntable as a kid and my parents got
me all these 7-inch records with silly songs and stories on them. I
look back at that crate as a massive early influence!"
Tom Johnson - Nine Bells
(India Navigation, 1982)
"I've picked some weird-arsed
records for this section! Tom Johnson suspended nine bells in a room,
each one with a different sound. He then drew out patterns to walk
around them, striking each bell as he passes it. You can hear his
footsteps as the chords of the bells ring in a beautiful way. I love
amazingly defined concepts."
Benge - 1981 Yamaha CS70M
(Expanding Records, 2007)
"I don't know much about Benge but
he put out one of my favourite albums of 2007 called Twenty
Systems. He got 20 different old synths and made a track on each
of them. They're all beautiful solo synth compositions - thoroughly
Laurie Spiegel - Patchwork
"A spaceship was sent into the
depths of space with a load of information about Earth. On the
spaceship is a record, a golden record with lots of examples of
music. Everything from Elvis to Beethoven is on it but the first
track is by Laurie: she got equations of the orbits of each planet
and transferred those equations into tones and played them all at
once. It's this weird electronic noise, and it's the sound of our
Stephen Scott - New Music
For Bowed Piano (New Albion, 1999)
"Another contemporary minimal
classical piece. The concept of this was loads of people huddled
around a piano bowing the strings. It's very bizarre! A lot of people
know about Glass and Reich but Scott shouldn't be overlooked when it
comes to modern composers."
Arnold Dreyblatt - Propellers In
Love (Stasch, 1986)
"The same vibe as the Stephen
Scott piece. It's really rhythmic and melodic but based around very
unorthodox tunings and sequences. I think he might've even made his
own string instrument!"
Mort Garson - Plantasia
"This is a synthesizer record that
was made to play to plants to help them grow! I thought it was weird
when I got it but I've since found another record for plants. They
came up with such crazy records in the 70s!"
L'Infonie - Mantra (Polydor,
"I picked this category because I
didn't know if you meant records to hear on a plane or records to
escape the planet! I chose the more psychedelic concept and this sums
it up perfectly. L'Infonie are from Montreal, and did these crazy
prog records. This is psychedelic mania - it takes two sides of the
vinyl. It's like what The Boredoms are doing now, it's very ahead of
Group Bombino - Guitars From
Agadez Vol 2 (Sublime Frequencies, 2009)
"One of my favourite albums of
last year. Sublime do lots of different compilations that collect all
these mad sounds from around the world. Some of this one is quite
acoustic and lo-fi but I promise it will take you away. I recommend
the album in general; you never know what to expect!"
Joyce - Aldeia De Ogum (Odeon
"Another Brazilian thing. Joyce is
a famous Brazilian singer and this is pure uplifting joy. It's a
beautiful record to play at the end of the night: there's no words,
just this really cool scat singing. It sounds bad but trust me it's
M'Boom - Re:Percussion
"A percussion ensemble from the
70s. I think they did about four albums. There's two drummers, two
percussionists, a vibraphone and xylophone. It's almost a blueprint
for bands like Tortoise. It's jazz but percussion-led, and they made
some really beautiful music. There's footage of them online - check
it out, it'll blow your mind."
Roland Young - Isophonic Boogie
Woogie (EM Records, 2005)
"A very weird mix of mix of jazz
and minimalist classical, with African instruments playing repetitive
riffs. It's a really mad clash of genres, a totally unique record."
O.C. - Time's Up
(Wyld Pitch, 1994)
"Some old skool hip-hop for you
here. I thought I'd put something totally different in here to mix
things up. I'm still heavily influenced by 90s hip-hop production and
still mix my records with those techniques in mind. Trevor Jackson
put this up on Facebook recently and it just took me away. The
vocalists work in such a different way. Refreshing!"
Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid -
Arrival (Domino, 2008)
"This is a track off the last
album we did, NYC. I love working with Steve but of all the
stuff I've done with him this is my favourite. All my old records are
wrapped up in nostalgia, even ones as recent as this."
Fridge - Kinoshita (Go Beat,
"This was really influenced by
two-step. We were obsessed by MJ Cole at the time and this was our
take on it. A lot of the ideas I pursued on this record are ideas I'm
coming back to now!"
Four Tet - Glasshead (Output,
"Of all my early stuff this is one
I'm most proud of. It did a lot of things I was trying to achieve at
the time. There's this crazy mix of Kraut ock and jazz influences in
there which I think sound well. It's crazy that these records are 12
Roger O'Donnell - The Truth In
You [Four Tet Remix] (Great Society, 2006)
"This seemed to slip through the
net; it's one of my favourite remixes but no one has ever heard of
it! Hopey people will pick up on it after this feature. This is quite
dubby and minimal - I'd have to be in Germany to get away with this
on the dancefloor!"
Babe Terror - Summertime Our
League [Four Tet Remix] (Phantasy, 2010)
"This is due out very soon. Erol
signed Babe Terror, a guy from Brazil who I'd been following on
MySpace. I bumped into him in a record shop and he told me all about
him. I told him I was already a fan so he asked me to do a remix. I'm
looking forward to it being released."
Burial & Four Tet - Moth
"I'm so proud of this. Me and
Burial were both really happy. It's nice to hear the final results of
a collaboration and feel that we've both got exactly what we had in
mind. I'd been playing it at Plastic People before it came out and
people didn't seem that bothered, but now it's out and people
recognise it I get this mad cheer the minute the first chords come
in. We didn't do any promo - the only hype is from general fans. I