Delivering the latest piece in our ongoing Crate Diggin’ series, the latest selections come from Liverpool’s rising star, and Hypercolour’s most recent signee, Friend Within. Having totally aced that metropolitan flex with releases on Claude Von Stroke’s Dirtybird imprint and working with the likes of Karma Kid and Disclosure, the young dynamo resides perfectly in that class of home-grown bass-aware producers that are becoming impossible to pigeonhole. So before he sets his sights on our Charterhouse Street locale next month, Friend Within has picked out ten of his most influential tracks, picks from rave compilations and Grand Theft Auto soundtracks stretch onto pieces by Prince, Ben Simms and beyond…
This playlist is all about firsts. Records that mean a lot to me and opened my ears to something brand new....
Wildchild - Legends of the Dark Part 2 (Renegade Master Mix) This was the first 12” I ever bought. I’m still proud to have it and it took on a brand new meaning to me when I sampled it in my own track ‘The Renegade’. I was surprised how many people still knew the rap in it considering this came out in 1995. There have been a few other versions since then but this Wildchild one is the originator.
Herbie Hancock – Rockit The first music video I ever remember seeing. My Dad used to tape shows like The Tube when I was growing up. He still has them all on VHS - numbered and catalogued. This one always stood out for me as the song was incredible and the video was mental. You can’t beat a song with a vocoder in it too.
DJ Bang – Emotional This is the first track I bought on Derrick Carter and Luke Solomon’s seminal label, Classic Music Company. It was one of the first times I heard a track that was funky yet not obvious or cheesy. It helped open my eyes to more underground house music. From then on I was hooked on this label and Derrick Carter and co.
MJ Cole – Guilty My first foray into UK Garage was this beauty by MJ Cole. I got this on test press from a shop called Record Basement in Reading which was the outlet of Vinyl Distribution that pressed a lot of garage labels. UKG has a life of its own now but as the name suggests it stemmed from US Garage; so the early (and best tracks in my opinion) were all 4 to the floor. One great thing about the UK music scene is it never sits still. All genres evolve and morph into new things.
Prince – Gett Off The first album I heard by Prince was Diamonds & Pearls from 1991. It believe it was this album that made my brother a huge Prince fan and he’s since gone on to see him literally one hundred times. His Prince collection is immense. Anyway, some of that had to rub off on me. ‘Gett Off’ is the lead track but also check out ‘Money Don’t Matter 2 Night’. Indeed I wanted to feature that track but it wasn’t on YouTube, probably due to Prince having it taken down.
Grand Theft Audio – Long Time This track is the earliest release I have on Drop Music which is the label I have most of in my collection. A truly brilliant deep house label run by Andy Riley and Laurence Ritchie AKA Inland Knights. This tune is co-produced by them and is a proper stunner. Funky basslines and awesome sample cut-ups were the order of the day on Drop Music. Get to know the catalogue people!
Ben Simms – Manipulated (Adam Beyer Remix) The first techno track I ever bought. I still remember buying this import double-pack. It probably cost about £12! It’s great to think names like Ben Simms and Adam Beyer are still massive 14 years after this came out.
Disclosure – I Love... That You Know This is from the first EP I (and many others) heard by these 2 music genius brothers. They look extremely fresh-faced in this video. Needless to say they’ve been a massive influence on the Friend Within sound and the whole worldwide dance music scene. They may be good at making music but they’re rubbish at Words With Friends. Nobody’s perfect!
Parliament - Motor Booty Affair Firstly, I do take umbrage with the fact someone has uploaded the whole of this album but I’ll forget that for now. This was the first piece of album artwork I remember being fascinated by. Sadly the digital age has meant there are fewer and fewer amazing packages now-a-days but we can appreciate the older stuff even more. This came with a pop-up gatefold sleeve, freaky cartoons and a picture disc of George Clinton listening to a boombox dressed as a cowboy water skiing on two dolphins. Does it get any better than that?
Maximum Rave compilation This track, Urban Hype - ‘Trip to Trumpton’, was my favourite track off this compilation which was the first cassette I ever wore out by playing too much. I remember buying it in Woolworth’s somewhere on the way from Liverpool to Cornwall as my family and I went on holiday. It pretty much remained on repeat 24 hours a day from that point; in between my brother playing Prince. Bless Mum and Dad for putting up with it!