This Friday night is pretty special for a number of reasons: namely the return of both Hessle Audio and Critical and the aforementioned live set from 2562; but anyone with a passing interest in the lineup should’ve spotted just how concise Room Three’s lineup is. Featuring just Alexander Nut (and emcee Double O) it’s another one of those opportunities for the personalities behind FABRICLIVE to live out something truly special and ask one of their favourite DJs to completely control the vibe of the mezzanine space all night and to spin from a whole six hours.
As the pilot of a pretty freewheeling Saturday afternoon Rinse FM show and with him being one of the guiding forces behind the Eglo label, Alexander Nut’s already proved himself to be someone with impeccable taste. With that in mind we asked him to compile some of his favourite mixes, picking some audio artifacts that have helped inspire and steer a little bit of the way he plays so we could a) get some tips on awesome stuff to play in the office and b) help build anticipation for his deep searching DJ set this Friday.
This is what he picked…
Funkmaster Flex - 60 Minutes of Funk. Vol.1 // 1995
This is the mixtape that really made me want to start DJing. I was 13 and had plenty of mixtapes already, but the way Funk Flex cut everything up on this, it made me want to actually put my hands on the vinyl and fuck with it. It just seemed like so much fun. I brought this mixtape with the money from my paper round. I'd heard Flex on Tim Westwood’s Radio 1 rap show a few times before. I remember weighing up what to buy in the shop and thinking "well this Funk Flex mixtape has like 40 tracks on it, so I know I’m getting my money's worth" so I brought it and I still listen to it to this day. It took me another 3 years before I managed to get my hands on some turntables. But when I did I still wanted to emulate this mixtape just as much as when I first heard it.
Massive Attack - Essential Mix // 1994
My friend Arron gave me this tape recorded straight from the radio when I was 15 or 16. This is another one that made me want to put my hands on a records; like to actually, physically touch the sound and move it back and forth and lay a new beat over a different tune. It was the first time I heard that TLC 'Creep' Jermaines Jeep remix too, which is a classic for me. But the whole energy of the mix is great; there was defiantly a UK/NY vibe around that time that I was very much in tune to. I’m not sure exactly who is behind the decks on this but I’m guessing it's either Milo (DJ Nature) or Mushroom.
Bugz In The Attic - Essential Mix // 2004
Again it's those UK bruk vibes and this is a killer mix. It's got the love in the music that I feel is missing from a lot of stuff these days and it’s very much an extension of the UK sound system and club scene. Tightly mixed music to make you dance and holla! The Eesential mix was a big thing back then too; if you'd come up from the underground it was quite a platform, you were getting a whole hour on BBC Radio 1 at a prime time. So people always dusted off their Sunday best.
Theo Parrish - ??? // 1996 (?)
I don't know exactly when or where this mix is from, it says 1996, which is possible, it starts with ‘Children Of The Drum’. I'd love to know where it’s from but it comes in two parts, 2 hours long. I was given it by someone online a year or two ago. It captures the spirit of a classic Theo DJ set, flowing in the tradition of Larry Levan and the fore fathers of house and disco. Obviously Theo’s the man, but you knew that already. If you didn’t, definitely check it.
Benji B - Live in Canada // 2008
This is the vibe I love... Benji is no doubt one of my favourite DJs and this mix really highlights the reasons why. It's that soulful, heady basement, red light atmosphere. Definitely on that old Plastic People tip. Makes me think of plenty of parties thrown by Nonsense or the jam Kay put on at Melange; those classic sessions. The sound of a master craftsman at work right here…
Burial & Kode 9 in the mix for Mary Anne Hobbs // 2010
For whatever reason I’ve always associated this mix with that Massive Attack one, mostly because I think my tape was so worn out and had so much hiss and fuzz running through it that the atmospheric sounds of this Burial/Kode 9 mix somehow make some kind of association in my head. Besides that I do just love this mix for the amazing tunes and vibes it throws up. It introduced me to Theo Parrish's 'Soul Patrol', which I love. Mary Anne Hobbs presented some great mixes back then, even before her own show she had 'The Breezeblock' which for me was an essential source for hearing DJs and new music. There are sounds and tones in this which make me think of the UK when it’s cold and wet and being really inspired and equally depressed by my environment growing up as a kid - which again brings me back to that Massive Attack mixtape. Some Freudian shit!
Africa Hi-Tech Live on Rinse FM // 2011
One of the more recent selections in this list, it's great to still be inspired by new things, because after living through the evolution of so many sub-cultures and sounds you can become a little jaded as you see patterns and cycles repeat themselves. Mark Pritchard and Steve Spacek are two of my favourite artists and this mix is killer. I definitely feel some kind of kindred frequency running through what they do. I love how they bridge the relationships in afrobeat, highlife and dub with house and electronic music.
Dego - Live on Rinse FM // 2012
This is the first of two mixes on this list which I’ve picked from my show. Dego is a godfather of many styles and it was an honour to have him on to spin. Something really grabbed me about this mix, he's got some magical sprinkles that he drop on all his stuff in terms of production and DJing. The man’s a legend. It's great to hear broken beat, that was made like yesterday presented in this way. It’s not a retrospective or blast from the past. It’s right now. Broken beat is alive, trust me.
Dez Andres - Live on Rinse FM // 2011
It’s a bit biased I know, but I’m including this simply for the fact that Dez is a dope DJ and I listen to this mix all the time, he's another DJ that bridges genres perfectly and he does it with hip hop swagger. It was great having him on the show; this was a couple of days after we had him play at the Eglo birthday for us in 2012, where he also tore it up. I love the influence of his Latin roots which flows through his style also.
Waajed: T5 Soul Session Vol.3 // 2005
There's no stream for this I’m afraid, you'll have to cop the CD, but it’s a killer mix of everything from Kraftwerk to Common.