Hello mate!!! Yeah I’m so sorry to knock on your door in such strange times, rest assured this is only my astral projection so no viruses will be passed, I just need some bangers, is that all right??? OH you’re a DJ whose record collection stretches from Dub Techno to Dancehall, fantastic! That will get my actoplasm right back up to peak virility in no time. What’s your name, Hanz? Great great, I hope you don’t mind me gathering a spotify playl- oh they're pretty much all wax-only?? Fair enough, Spotify is a bit wank anyway I guess. Ok sweet, well I’ll just settle into the foetal position on the floor whilst you talk me through the vibes if that’s all right. Cheers, take it away…
It’s a pleasure to have been invited to be part of the Loose Lips Picks collection. My record collection consists of music from all different genres and eras, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to share most of it with different crowds over the years. As one member of the Strange Riddims crew based in Manchester, there’s no real boundaries on what can and can’t be played so that allows me to feel comfortable playing all sorts of music. That being said I carry that ethos into all of my individual sets so if you have ever seen me play you might recognise some of these tracks.
My picks consists of 2 tunes from 5 different sections of my record collection. The songs relate to a moment in my life or just have a strong attachment to me. Some will be nostalgic because right now that’s all we’ve got to remember the shubz and some will just be outright riddims. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
I have always enjoyed Dub Techno, its not for everyone and its not exactly the most “exciting” music but there’s just something about the hypnotic grooves and slow moving stabs and all of the dub echo loops that just takes you away. It’s perfect music for me to work too and for chilled out times as well. The big basslines add the punch and sound amazing on the right rig too. This is both for the home and for the club.
Steve O’Sullivan’s Mosaic label is one of the best Dub Techno labs out there (although there are many). Steve has produced countless classics either as himself or under one of his many alias’ but the Mosaic output boasts a strong line up of producers and is packed with huge releases. As far as dub techno goes this one from Jorge Zamacona is pretty fast paced but for me it it ticks all the right boxes for groove and hypnotism at the same time.
J.S.Zeiter is a legend in the game and one of my favourite dub techno producers. He is from Manchester which I originally didn’t know he could have been from anywhere his music was just so good. After being served by him for years in vinyl exchange I later learned that he worked there. Complete mastery of the sound and the deepness involved with dub techno. I love this track that was brought out on revoke a few years ago, deep and groovy as you like. It doesn’t get much better than this!
The next two songs are in a section I usually go to for bar and radio sets although it’s not solely for those purposes. Its filled with music from around the world and has loads of different stuff in it. I have been listening to both these records over the lockdown periods probably because they remind me of not being in England and having the opportunity to get out and travel I don’t know ha!
This first one is a mixture of cultures something I love to see especially when both compliment each other rather than one using the other. It was a song first heard when I started travelling to Manchester to go out when I was younger, always a go to on the Sunday when you're on the way down. I've found myself coming back to it more and more over lockdown after neglecting it for a few years. Its reminiscent of days gone by whilst also being able to take you to somewhere far away from the shit show we’re in right now. There’s something about both the female and male vocals that are really calming as well. Taken from Mala’s Mala in Cuba album which was a collaboration with different cuban musicians whilst Male spent time in Cuba released on Brownswood and Remixed by none other than Theo Parrish you can’t really go wrong with that combination can you.
This one is up there with one of the happiest records I own. When the trumpets come in you can’t help but smile. Play this first thing in the morning and you onto a winner. All the instrumentation is spot on and it just gets your feet going!
If you know me then you know I love Dancehall, I was brought up on it. Theres so far too many songs that I could pick for this list so I’m going to choose two from my Das’s collection, don’t worry Henzo the mix is still coming! My dad used to own his own recording studio and was part of the whole 2 tone movement in Coventry back in the day so he used to get promo’s from loads of different labels in Jamaica with Charm and Island being part of them. A few years ago I found his old bags and had a dig and found some absolute gold so here’s a couple to keep you going. My mate Chris just bought me a dancehall book from the Soul Jazz crew filled with loads of pictures and info from the 80’s scene its a great place to start! Big up Chris for that it means a lot.
This one is a classic but this version is a serious club mover. Perfect for both bar sets and shubeen’s alike.
I tend to lean towards the ragga dancehall from the 90’s cause it hits harder and the beats are cold and fulll of energy. The DJs were wicked then, terror fabulous is one of them but there’s so much more to it than that, from lovers rock to dub to soca there’s so much good music from Jamaica its unreal. It’s a rabbit hole waiting to be fell into if you don’t know much about it.
Speed Garage & UKG
I listened to both Speed Garage and Garage as a teenager my brother used to Dj on the radio and in clubs and it was also in the mainstream as well and people used to MC on top of it all the time. Ive dived deeper into It over the past 5 years or so but the new resurgence of producers has brought it back into the limelight over recent years. Its a sound that embodies uk culture with so many different elements contributing to its formation.
This was the first record I ever bought on discogs I think and is probably one of my favourite eps as well. Every track is huge and covers different sides of UKG. It’s just been repressed on Dr.Banana but will have probably sold out by now. My copy has been rinsed in many a dance mainly the A1 which is a big warper but I could listen to this stepper all day long. The chords and baseline just get me every time.
This one was introduced to me by Craig who is also part of Strange Riddims. We spent nights searching for it all over the internet and I eventually grabbed it of a lad from Scotland on Ebay. Gets reloaded almost every time I play it. It’s a little later on than the OG speed garage era and has elements of baseline in it but it’s still a serious tune. Hold tight Craig, the rest of the SR crew and all the extended family can’t wait to be back in a sweaty basement playing all sorts of nonsense and searching for who ate the pasta bake soon.
I didn’t get into jungle till a lot later on compared to the others. I missed out on the jungle raves and rise when I was younger but its something that has always interested me and I’ve spent a lot of time learning about the early years and the people and events that were involved in it’s making. Listening to Jungle Joe’s passion for it really made me want to find out more myself the guys a walking encyclopaedia and if you ever get a chance to catch him play your in for a real treat. Again another sound that embodies part of the UK’s music culture not to mention the level’s of production these guys had especially back when Ableton and Logic were just a twinkle in the eye. Shouts to Joe and Anna two of the sickest humans and both constantly inspiring.
First one is a Tango classic RIP recently released by the MPS (Music Preservation Society) who have loads and loads of classics and unreleased dubs remastered and up for grabs. Tango was one of the early dons and big on the circuit as well crazy talented with loads of good hardcore and jungle under his belt. This one’s a work of art.
I picked this one up a few years ago from Vinyl Exchange in Manchester for like £3 I saw it on the counter as I was about to buy some other records and they hadn’t graded or priced it yet and due to the sticker being a bit worn they let me have it for cheap I took it straight to work and tested it on the sound system before a night and it played sound I was buzzing. Suburban base records are responsible for a lot of massive releases as well!
The Special Extra
This isn’t just one song but a whole ep but due to the nature of just how good it is I needed to add it in at the end. Henzo’s Not Like That, Not Like You release on Dj Python’s New Worldwide unlimited label is packed full of low slung wobblers. The songs have been staples at the Strange Riddims parties ( & after parties) for so long now its great to finally see them get the time of day they deserve not to mention the artwork is massive! Serious Tip! Henzo is a close friend and someone else who is constantly inspiring and has helped me develop as selector throughout the years. Theres so much more coming from him so keep your eyes peeled for more murmurs from him.