It's funny, reading through the tracks that Jack's selected as his 'favourite Hessle tunes' ahead of him joining the lads in Room One this Friday (6th March) because I'd've picked a completely different set myself.* Now, Jack's a wide reaching and learned DJ - that much is pretty much a given after he was pronounced the DJ of 2014 by DJmag - but it's only when you revisit the tracks he's chosen, that you remember them for yourself all over again and he makes you question your own picks. Obviously that’s testament to the strength of Hessle’s back catalogue as much as it is Jack’s influence, but the point still stands: there’s more than a fair few to pick from.
Untold - I Can’t Stop This Feeling
Jackmaster: The first time I ever played Room One was after Skream, at the height of the La Roux era. I was doing the last hour trying to keep the crowd in and it was like the bloody parting of the red sea when Ollie finished. I could see swarms of people just walking past either side of the booth. I think there were about 10 people on the dance floor by the middle of my set and half of them were mates I had brought down from Glasgow for my 'big, Room One debut’ - that really deflated me. Then I turned round and the Hessle guys who I had never met at the time had been behind me watching my set and handed me a copy of this record, which really cheered me up. I put it on the deck when I got home on Sunday night and I could hardly believe what was coming out of the speakers. This shit was fucking bonkers. This was alien music from another planet entirely, so original and powerful. My mind was blown.
Pearson Sound - Lola
This came out at a time when I was pretty down and disinterested in UK music. Everyone seemed to be copying each other, but as is quite often the case, Hessle and Pearson Sound stepped in to save the day. And equally as common, David did the opposite of what I was expecting from a new Pearson 12”. ‘Lola' always reminds me of David remixing one of the pan pipe tunes they play in my favourite late night Chinese restaurant in Glasgow. That is a very good thing!
Joe - Claptrap
Sometimes I find myself wishing Joe would release more records, but then whenever he hits out with something, it’s as close to perfect as you can get - and then I realise why he only does a couple of releases a year. His tunes are always clever, but this one seems to become more intelligent every time I listen to it.
Bandshell - Rise Em
No disrespect to Bandshell, but this is probably a bit of a left fielder when it comes to choosing your top 5 Hessle tracks. It’s a simple tribal rhythm that just works and ranks up there with the likes of ‘Lighter - Skanker' and the early Roska productions for me. The key lies in it’s simplicity I think. I used to love using this one to transition between funky and techno - an underrated and understated beast.
TRG - Broken Heart (Martyn’s DCM Remix)
I used to hate dubstep. I really disliked it to be honest. A lot of my best mates were bang into it and would bring it out at after parties, which always deaded the vibe for me, because all the birds would leave for one. Alongside Joker, this Martyn remix taught me that it wasn’t all just ‘wub, wub’. It taught me that dubstep could be about melody and as a genre, it had a really unique ability to evoke real emotion in me.
* aside from 'Claptrap' that is, naturally.