The Ovum founder is next set to bring his rave primed selections to Room One at Steve Bug’s Paradise Sold LP launch on 2nd June, so we tapped him up for a Crate Diggin’ feature tracing the origins of his sound. For his list, he sent us ten classic breakbeat and house records dating back to the 90s – where it all began for this celebrated producer.
What About This Love (The Even Deeper Mix) – Mr. Fingers [FFRR]
I fell more in love with Mr. Fingers in 1989 after I got my hands on the seminal What About This Love original on Chicago’s Alleviated Records. I was working at The Black Banana nightclub in Philly at the time, and I would use this original masterpiece to end most of my gigs. When FFRR licensed it and did remixes, I was like “you can’t touch this original”. This ‘Even Deeper Mix’ was a nice departure from the original, but created a funky ‘new break’ version keeping the deepness.
That’s How I’m Living (Extended Version) – Tony Scott [Rhythm]
I also heard this in 1989; it was a glorious mix of Chicago-inspired house and London hip house breaks and vocals. Deep and raw, yet with pumpin’ energy. People used to dance so hard to this with making the ‘gas face’.
State of Mind – Psychotropic 
I purchased anything that Psychotropic did. I was a huge fan! Only For The Headstrong was another contender to pick here, but I feel that I played State of Mind more. These two guys were ahead of the curve in my mind. Combining the deep, soulful side of Detroit techno with the ‘London’ take on hip house, but without the vocals. Hard beats, deep bass, rolling grooves and enough mind-tripping to capture me and any crowd!
Read Your Mind – Psylocke [Mutant]
X-Men’s records were a perfect mixture of the soulful Detroit techno sound and pre-UK hardcore mixed together. Very influential! I sought after and have all of X-Men’s records. Deep, raw and tough. How I liked it then, and like it now!
Galaxy – BFC [Fragile]
I LOVED and still love this raw emotional track! Pure Detroit! Pure Carl Craig! This was one of the records that stood out in a set, and a track I couldn’t wait to play at the club or the house. More raw, deep breaks! One of a few records I bought multiple copies of! Another very influential track for me on the nightly Transmat sub-label, Fragile.
Salsa House – Richie Rich [FFRR]
Another record I couldn’t wait to play during the night, and sometimes I would play twice. Raw breaks with a raw, sexy piano line and a Michael Jackson vocal sample. This was another record that I would close the club with. I never got tired of this sexy record.
Faster Than Fast (Hip House Ver.) – The Dynamic Guv’nors Present: Jazzy Jason [Blapps!]
Raw raw raw. I used to have two copies and loop the beginning for minutes and then finally I would let it play, and when the break hits… It would drive the crowds absolutely nuts. Jazzy Jason, another producer whose production and label I would flock to hear and buy. NYC-style house with raw breaks.
Don’t Lead Me (Medusa’s House Mix) – House Master Baldwin featuring Paris Grey [Future Sound R & R]
A remix of the ‘87 original, which features the classic Chicago acid house sound and Paris Grey’s sultry vocals. This version hit me hard when it came out in ’93, it was released on clear vinyl on Network Records. Breaks, with classic Roland TR-909 and TR-808 drums, yet now with a more Detroit feel. Sexy and groovy, and still played by me today.
The Phantom (It’s In There) – Renegade Soundwave [Mute]
Raw, chilling and basic. Eyes closed, head in the speaker, red siren and fog machine: that’s what this track conjures up for me. Great memories with this one. Rolling break, with an infectious bassline. Pure late 80s.
The Nervous Track (Ballsy Mix) – Masters At Work present Nu Yorican Soul [Nervous]
Louie and Kenny doing what they do best on this release, on the mighty Nervous Records. Pure, deep, funk and soul with a wicked live drummer break that comes hitting you over the head out of nowhere! All with classic NYC house vibes. I used to love to start my sets with this, and it would often get people on the floor running up to the booth asking me what it was. It’s as refreshing now as it was in 1993. Class!