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Baker's Dozen

Gremlins In The Machine: Terror Danjah's Favourite Albums
Rory Gibb , March 28th, 2013 06:39

Grime innovator Terror Danjah tells a story of UK sound system culture, house parties, Versace sunglasses and the evolution of jungle and grime, via the medium of 13 favourite albums


Soul II Soul - Club Classics Vol. One

I had to put a British band in there. Soul II Soul were the biggest influence. They even influenced America, I think that's what kicked the Americans in the arse. American music was crap before then, totally crap. People [now] don't understand - the UK was running the music scene. We only fell flat on our faces in '93, when - I don't know, I don't know what happened - but all of a sudden America just had enough. But before that we had Soul II Soul, Loose Ends, D Mob, and that's how Cathy Dennis blew up, and she's still big to this day, she writes all the songs for Kylie Minogue and that. So we had a lot of things going on.

Soul II Soul were one of the [bands] that was most obvious as an 8 or 9 year old growing up. You wouldn't come across it - it was in your face. Growing up in my house, having house parties in the house, having big speakerboxes in the house - that was the norm. Black folk didn't really go out to the club as such because you didn't really feel welcome, so you had to put on your own event. That's the kind of thing - actually buy a house with a basement, and have your own club in the basement. Nothing big, but just have a couple of speakers and things set up, and when the weekend comes and no one's playing out, just call round your mates and a couple of people and just have a get together. That's how it was!

My house had about 40 people, 50 people jammed up in the house, so tight you couldn't move, I was sent to bed but you could still hear the bass sound. Soul II Soul records and everything else was present there, so it wasn't even presented to me, it was like a staple diet! [laughs] I was force fed it, it wasn't like I needed to discover it. The music I grew up with I didn't even discover, it was 'here, you need to know about this', or 'whatever, you're going to hear it anyway'. The tapestry of my upbringing.