Hard at work in the studio polishing off the final mixdowns on the highly anticipated Calyx & TeeBee LP for Ram Records, Kmag convinces Calyx to take a breather in order to fill us in on the tunes that have transformed his world.
THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE - VOODOO CHILE – REPRISE/TRACK (1968)
This track and the LP it came from completely changed my music taste and my direction as a guitarist. I was 13 years old and had never heard of Jimi Hendrix until I found the Electric Ladyland LP in my dad's dusty old vinyl collection. It was undoubtedly my most profound 'first listen' of any music. I'd been playing guitar since I was very young (mostly classical), but until I heard Hendrix I had never conceived that a guitar could do things like that. I then set about learning how to play every note of every tune Jimi had played - he was a teenage idol of mine!
MILES DAVIS - SO WHAT – COLUMBIA (1959)
I was 17 when I first heard this and it played a pivotal part in my transition as a guitarist from Blues and Funk to Jazz. 'So What' is the opening track on the Kind of Blue album: the biggest selling Jazz LP of all time. Unlike other genres' best sellers which are usually a lowest-common-denominator cliché, this album was a truly seminal LP for the genre and for me as a musician. 'So What' showed me that jazz could take the essence of 'the blues' and evolve it into such a wider range of feeling and expression. Uplifting and melancholy at the same time, Miles Davis created the most intense and sublime 'less is more' moments I've ever heard in music.
WES MONTGOMERY - WEST COAST BLUES – VERVE (1964)
Wes Montgomery is my favourite and most influential guitarist (closely followed by George Benson). His style is so unique and unconventional; his improvisation so pure and inspired. He couldn't read music but was technically incredible; playing so effortlessly, and without ever being contrived or showy. His use of chords is just so far beyond the vision and talent of any guitarist before or since, and this track is a classic example of that. I used to listen to his solo on this track over and over again. As he often does, he progresses from single note improvisation through to an incredible section of octave work and then plays a vast section of chords that create melodies mere mortals could only conceive through playing single notes. Wes is THE DON!
THE ORB - BLUE ROOM – BIG LIFE (1992)
The Orb provided the soundtrack to some mind-blowing weekends in my late teens - free festivals, warehouse raves, coming up and coming down - horizons were being expanded! I had a few really profound moments watching The Orb perform live in the early nineties - partly because I was invariably out of my mind, but also because these were my first experiences of four-on-the-floor-music in the context of a rave or festival - the amazing feeling of collective unity with those around you: a shared experience of being taken on a musical journey through a spectrum of emotions, and uniquely for me, it was all without a conventional instrument or microphone in sight. This period in my life, and The Orb's music in particular, definitely sowed the seeds for my love of 'dance music' and d&b.
DILLINJA - SILVER BLADE – PROTOTYPE (1997)
I'd got into d&b through the softer and more 'musical' end of the genre in the mid-90s - firstly through LTJ Bukem and producers like Wax Doctor and Peshay. I then progressed to the more twisted sounds of Source Direct, Hidden Agenda and Photek, but then along came Dillinja! I'd already started trying to make some d&b but Dillinja's music and this track more than any other, made me know that I absolutely had to be making and releasing drum and bass - his combination of musicality with darkness just gripped me. D&b was on fire at the time and it felt as though everyone was collectively creating a soundtrack for a twisted, dystopian future. Hearing 'Silver Blade' in a club in 1996, after it had been rewound and started from the top - the moment those huge foghorn sounds rang out over the Vangelis strings - my hairs stand on end just thinking about it!
As told to: Chris Muniz
Keep checking in with Kmag for updates on the as-yet-unnamed Calyx & TeeBee album from Ram. With a tentative release date sometime this Autumn, the LP teaser in the form of 'Scavenger' and 'Stepping Stones' will have to tide you over until then.
The Breakologists Launch UK Export Records
The Breakologists recently sold their Breakology event and launched UK Export Records, we spoke to crew member Spinout to find out why.
Top 10 Videos July 2014
Our run down of the best videos from July features the likes of Enei, Ayah Marar, Histibe, Rockwell and Benny Page.
SB81 Guest Mix
Having just unleashed his new EP for Metalheadz, Kmag touches down for a mix and chat with SB81 about everything from growing up near Goldie's hood to the meaning behind his new name.
Top 5 Free Tracks
Our weekly guide to the best free tracks to download features Judda, BTK, G.H.O.S.T, DJ Dubsta and Puzzle.
G.H.O.S.T are a new outfit consisting of four producers. Their releases have been picking up support from many of dnb's finest so we got in touch with Lewis, Matt and Will to find out more.
Top 5 Free Mixes
Our weekly guide to the best mixes features Mr Joseph, DJ IBM, Kulak, Deekline and Eskmo.
Botchit and Scarper To Release Leukaemia Charity LP
Beats and bass label Botchit & Scarper are to release Push Play, a compilation with all proceeds going to the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust.
Callide and Intraspekt Interview
Callide & Intraspekt's Outbreak EP is set to drop on Crissy Criss' The Zoooo imprint so we had a chat with them about it plus time travel, Ziggy-Wiggle-Robo-Pop-Step and reading each other's minds.
Kmag presents Fluid Los Angeles
Kmag is proud to partner up with West Coast affiliate Chris Muniz as he launches Fluid Los Angeles on Sunday July 27.
Free Bass Music Stage Visuals Kit
Accent and bass music clothing label Dataset have teamed up to release a free stage visuals kit designed specifically to be mixed with bass heavy music.
Kmag Presents Soul Flex Digital
Our next Kmag Presents session at Cafe 1001 is on August 8 with Soul Flex Digital to launch their new 'Vintage' LP. We caught up with Dubsta to find out what's in store from the night and the album.
In The Studio: Break
Break is giving other producers the chance to add a bit of his magic to their music with his Symmetry Drum & Bass sample pack. Here Break reveals how he works in the studio.
KG Gives Away Massive Preset Bank
Drum & bass producer KG is giving away his Drum N Bass Preset Pack For Massive, find out how to get your hands on it...
Since we last spoke to Technicolour & Komatic they've become Technimatic, signed to Shogun Audio and have written the 'Desire Paths', which is about to drop. High time for another chat then...
Top 10 Free Tracks
It's Tuesday so time for ten more tracks you can download for free. This week's list includes Spirit, Evol Intent, Makoto, Digital Niyabingh, Indivision, Dawn Raid & Jungle Drummer and more.