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Baker's Dozen

Aides-Memoires: Ben UFO Selects 13 Favourite Records
Rory Gibb , December 4th, 2013 05:35

Ahead of Hessle Audio's three-room takeover of Fabric this Friday, the DJ and Hessle Audio co-founder rifles through his record collection and discusses thirteen particular favourites with Rory Gibb


Alpha Omega - 'Outer Dimensions'/'New Armageddon'

I'll probably talk about this one too, which is by Alpha Omega. That's the Reinforced house sleeve, I think it's pretty cool, it's not particularly restrained. [laughs] People talk about different eras of Reinforced, this was released in 1996, the beginning of the 'second wave' I think. Again, people don't really chat about much of this stuff. People like Seiji released records on Reinforced around this time, and I guess it was just before the shift towards broken beat started, which a lot of these producers were a big part of.

This track is pretty grimey... It's another interesting one in that Alpha Omega is still making music - he wasn't particularly a celebrated producer of jungle or drum & bass, I don't think, but he was successful and always made really good stuff. His name is Colin Lindo, and he started making broken beat stuff as Nubian Mindz but carried on doing drum & bass, and was present as a very prolific and approachable producer in that kind of era, when I was getting into the music. He's obviously doing really good, varied house and techno stuff now, working with Delsin and people like that. The trajectory of his career has been really interesting.

[I came across his stuff] at the same time as the [Paradox material] - very early, 16 or 17. I never thought I'd be into drum & bass, really. I think, like a lot of people, I had an idea of what it must sound like but had never really heard it, and when I did eventually hear it for the first time through Bailey's show, I was just like 'What the fuck is this? This doesn't sound anything like what I assumed it must be like, this is brilliant.' I had no conception of what it must sound like loud, and when I did eventually hear it loud, it was just like, 'Fuck!' That was the first time I heard music on a real sound system.

There was an internet community centred around this kind of music, which was the main way I learnt about it and kept in touch with it. Logos, who just released an album for Keysound, was someone I met initially through that website, and I'm sure he was one of the first people I saw talking about grime, actually. There's a forum thread somewhere where he's talking about grime and what he finds exciting about it. He links to a couple of radio shows, and I think I replied to him saying something extremely unguarded along the lines of 'This sounds really under-produced and boring'. [laughs] This was me as an 18 or 19 year old, completely writing something off that was eventually going to become really important to me. I can't get back into that mindset now; I can't imagine hearing grime and not hearing what I hear now.

I don't know if I've talked about this before in other interviews, but I definitely have with other people - a common thread through my changing tastes has been discovering music that I'd previously completely written off and just going completely 180 degrees and falling in love with it. When I was younger I was so convinced that I was 'right' about so much music, and when it turned out that I had actually not been at all - when I discovered that miraculously I was not the arbiter of good taste or whatever I thought I was - that was quite important for me. I never thought I'd be into dance music, I discovered that I liked drum & bass; I never thought I'd like grime, I discovered that it's fantastic; I never thought I would ever get into music with a thudding four-four kick and now I DJ mostly house and techno.