Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

13. Fierce & NicoInput

This is not an album, it’s only one song by producer Nico, but that song is one of my favourite drum & bass songs ever and one of the first I ever bought. It just makes all of the sort of drill & bass stuff that was happening around that time sound like wacky student music basically. It’s just proper dark. There’s atmospheres and darkness and there’s darkness with a capital D that’s just relentless doom and that track is the epitome of that.

It’s the best one on that label [No U Turn] and I thought he was an intriguing character. Quite early on he was going for again, that quite grungey, gloomy sound where he’s pushing all of the equipment through one box. I read an interview where he used one stereo output intentionally so it sounds really claustrophobic and kind of lo-fi. They just roll and roll, the drums on that track. I can have that on loop for hours. The bass on it’s just so good it’s just tearing.

I don’t know if you can play it now, it’s antagonistic; it’s not friendly music. It doesn’t feel like music that people can collectively get together and have a happy time to. It’s more evil. I would play this when I’m getting pumped up again, but more in a scowl-y way, scowling around the house and just saying ‘yes!’ to myself with clenched teeth.

I’m 35 now and I think I was 15 when I bought that and I remember being 15 and feeling exactly the same way as I do about it now and that just says something. I don’t know if it’s universal, but to me it says it’s a very potent piece of work. I still listen to it and it still conjures up the same combination of emotions. It’s not like it’s tinged in nostalgia because I didn’t listen to at raves; it was just in St Albans – you would go to shit clubs where they were playing bollocks and then have to search out better records to listen to on your own in your bedroom and that was one of them. They didn’t release a whole lot of stuff on No U Turn; there’s all the Ed Rush stuff, which, up to a certain point, I really love a lot of that, but it was Nico. This track is the archetype.


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