5 records I wish I still owned

my record collection
I still have a bunch of records!

A few years back I decided I needed to trim down my record collection, for both space and money reasons, so I ended up selling a lot of the tunes I had, across all kinds of different genres (and my Death Sentence mix was even inspired by the selling process).

Since I got it in my head that I needed to be ruthless, part of this process involved getting rid of entire genres’ worth of stuff …

Meaning no more hard house …

No more hard techno …

No more tech-house …

No more electro …

No more breaks …

Some of these decisions I’ve never really regretted (for instance, I’m not particularly bothered about having liquidated my hard house collection), but over time I’ve really come to wish that I hadn’t gotten rid of so many electro, grime, and breaks tunes. Dumb decision!

This is especially so because over the last year or two I’ve gotten quite into the nascent UK Bass scene which has emerged from the confluence of dubstep, UK Funky, grime, and other styles of music. I’ve been dabbling in buying a bit of the stuff (funds allowing, I’m a dad now after all!), which has made the regrets stronger, and I even got to play a set of it at my friend Al’s birthday party last week (grab his great Machines Ate My Vinyl mix if you’ve not got it yet!), which just made the regret stronger.

Having been moodily contemplating this stuff over the last few days, I thought I would chuck up a post on five records that I used to own, sold (often for pretty shitty amounts!), and now wish I still owned. Pheh.

Reservoir Dogs – Buddah Finger

First up is this cracking tune from Reservoir Dogs (? OK, me neither), as featured on my Get Squidgy mix from ages back. This was a stonking example of the relatively short-lived (but great!) breakbeat garage genre, as also exemplified by DJ Zinc tunes like ‘138 Trek’ and ‘Go DJ’. I was never much of a fan of garage (that combo of ‘slinky’ 2-step beats, bullshit rnb stylings, and coked-up shitty attitude never did it for me), but I did pick up a few of the tunes over the years, and this was one of the better ones.

Breaks, bass, kung-fu samples … simple yet deadly.

Why did I sell it? I couldn’t tell you!

Plasticman – Aqua Riddim

Here’s another tune I wish I hadn’t sold: Plasticman’s ‘Aqua Riddim’ (ignore the YouTube credits, the uploader got his sides confused, ‘Be There Or Be Square’ was on the flip and was a totally different tune). I didn’t totally liquidate my grime collection, but I did sell off a lot of it about three years ago for pretty pitiful sums … pretty fucking stupid considering that a lot of early grime is now quite valuable on vinyl!

Never sell in a down market, kids.

Anyways, unlike garage, grime was something that I loved pretty instinctively. OK, the mc-ing was and is mostly the usual bullshit (variations on “I’m great/I’ll kill you/I sell lots of drugs/Where I live sucks, but if you say so, I’ll kill you”), but the beats … fuck, the beats were awesome. Totally raw, angular, and weird; like strange digital sculptures. Early grime was almost certainly the strangest ever street music. I’ve been promising for a long time to put together a mix of grime instrumentals, and I’m still promising, but maybe one day.

This particular tune was an early effort from Croydon’s Plasticman, who is today better known as Plastician, one of the world’s leading dubstep dj’s. It’s simple and sparse, and I like it. I shouldn’t have sold it!

Drexciya – Aquabon

Drexciya made some of the greatest Detroit electro. Most of their stuff was weird and cold (since they had that whole aquatic beats thing going on), but this track (off their 1997 album The Quest) was a very nice example of wonky electro-funk. Bizarre robotic funk – music to make faces to.

DJ Zinc – Go DJ

I mentioned this one earlier, but this is a great DJ Zinc track that I got rid of when I liquidated my breaks collection. Simple and effective stuff – it still slams years later.

Neo-Tech – Valves

To finish up, here’s a track that I had and sold a while back, and which I have now decided was a pretty dumb idea! I’ve kept a big chunk of my darkside drum n’ bass, but one of the tunes I did get rid of a while back was this one, a one-off collaboration that between Ed Rush and Dom Angas (of Dom & Roland fame) which came out on Moving Shadow back in 1997. It’s a bit of an odd one, in the sense that it’s not obviously a dancefloor track, with its strange combination of shuffling breaks and deep bass. Top tune.

Finally, for those of you who are record nerds, here’s my setlist from my roughly 50 minutes of a set at Friday’s house party:

Walton – 808 Vybzin (Hyperdub)
Julio Bashmore – Ribble To Amazon (3024)
DJ Zinc – 128 Trek (Bingo Bass)
Cosmin TRG – Twilight Riddim (Tempa)
Lil Silva – A Million (Night Slugs)
Sticky – Jumeirah Riddim (Mixpak)
DJ Zinc – Wile Out feat. Ms Dynamite (Bingo Bass)
Joy O – Wade In (Hotflush)
Jam City – Aqua Box (Night Slugs)
Photek – UFO (Addison Groove Remix) (White)
Boddika – Grand Prix (Naked Lunch)
Modeselektor – Art & Cash (SBTRKT Remix) (50 Weapons)
Boddika – Breezin’ (Nonplus)
Addison Groove – Footcrab (Swamp 81)
MJ Cole – Volcano Riddim (Prolific)
Champion – Lighter (Formula)
DJ Zinc – Nexx (Bingo Bass)
Roska – Time Stamp (Rinse)
Contakt – Not Forgotten (Local Action)
Joy Orbison – Sicko Cell (Swamp 81)
Instra:Mental – When I Dip (Nonplus)
Royal T – Orangeade (Butterz)