Basher takes some time out from cooking up some burners in the lab and running Proximity Recordings to give us his take on the tunes that have not only shaped his sound, but literally transformed his life at the very moment he was ready to throw in the towel.
MASSIVE ATTACK - UNFINISHED SYMPATHY – WILD BUNCH (1991)
My dad was a big fan of Massive Attack and in particular their debut album Blue Lines that dropped around the turn of the ‘90s. He would often play the vinyl indoors and the track Unfinished Sympathy was always my favourite. I would say to him, "Put it on again, Dad," as I was not allowed to touch his Technics record player (irony). Although I was too young to realise at the time it was of course subconsciously turning me onto breaks music and when I hear the track now it always takes me right back.
THE PRODIGY - OUT OF SPACE – XL RECORDINGS (1992)
I was introduced to The Prodigy’s music in 1992 when I was just a ten year old kid with a Walkman. A friend of mine lent me a tape with the word ‘Experience’ crudely written in red marker on it. I don’t recall where I was when I first played the now legendary album but I do remember one track in particular stood out from the rest: “Out of Space.” It was unlike anything I had heard before and I was blown away and instantly hooked on their sound. It was a direct result of this that got me into listening to and playing old skool hardcore in the early ‘90s.
ORIGIN UNKNOWN - VALLEY OF THE SHADOWS – RAM RECORDS (1993)
By the mid ‘90s I was extremely passionate about hardcore music like many people I’m sure. Most of the raves back then would host Happy Hardcore and Jungle in the same room alternating between the genres and it was in this transition that I fell in love with jungle music. My standout memory of this time was hearing Origin Unknown’s “Valley of the Shadows” or “31 Seconds” as me and my friends used to call it back then. It used to get both hardcore and jungle ravers going crazy on the floor and I felt something I had never felt before in hardcore music: "BASS." After that there was no going back, I had found a new passion and soon started DJing jungle/drum & bass music.
THE FUGEES - READY OR NOT – COLUMBIA (1996)
This track had a massive impact on my life in the late ‘90s as it was the track that turned me onto producing music. My dad was a big fan of Enya so I recognised the sample that the Fugees used from her track “Boadicea” straight away. Also DJ Zinc had done a drum & bass mix around the same time and something just clicked in my brain and I just had the desire to make my own music. I had come into some money so got myself a basic studio setup and started sampling music. The first track I ever made was actually a remix of Ready or Not (sorry, no audio).
BASHER – LEACHCRAFT – FREQUENCY (2006)
I know it is my own track but since writing Leachcraft my life has changed so much it would be a crime to leave it out of this article. In the days leading up to producing the track I had been having major doubts about my future in drum & bass as my local record shop had just closed down and I was no closer than I had been a decade earlier in achieving my dream of getting signed to Ram Records. I was essentially just a bedroom dj/producer with nothing to show for the time invested and money spent (apart from the good times, of course). I told myself it was time to call it a day and sell my gear and move on. However after getting a last minute burst of inspiration I fired up Logic Pro and within four hours I had the first half of Leachcraft. I left it at that and sent it to a few heads in the scene and after getting good feedback plucked up the confidence to send it to Andy C. At 2 a.m. the same night I got a call on my mobile from Andy saying he wanted to sign me, funny how life goes sometimes.
As told to: Chris Muniz
With forthcoming tracks for Ram and a remix of Hype’s classic Peace, Love & Unity in the pipeline, keep your eyes and ears peeled for more of that heavy Basher sound yet to come.
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