Magazine \ Features \ Features

Six By Six: Audiojack

36 of the Leeds duo's favourite records

2017 Nov 24     
2 Bit Thugs

Jamie Rial and Richard Burkinshaw talk us through some of the highlights of their record collections

Since forming in Leeds in the early 00s, Jamie Rial and Richard Burkinshaw - better known as Audiojack - have risen swiftly to the very top of the international house music tree. 

Their releases have appeared on many of today's leading house labels and they've DJ'd in some of the world's top clubs such as fabric (London), Rex (Paris) and Space in Ibiza, where they also run their own Sunday Social party. Making their debut on Leftroom in 2006, the duo have had a long association with Ralph Lawson's long-running 2020Vision imprint, as well as running their own highly respected Gruuv label. 

They've also released several singles on Damian Lazarus's Crosstown Rebels, and today sees the release of a new Crosstown Rebels compilation called Spirits, which features their track Reverie - a shuffling, percussive house workout that fits with the compilation's ethos of providing "a fresh psychedelic journey into the mind" perfectly. Also featured on Spirits are tracks from the likes of dubspeeka, Raw District, Majit Cocoon and Nico Stojan.

Anyway, with the album out today, we figured now would be a good time to get them to pick 36 of their favourite records and tell us all about them. So we did.

SIX EARLY INFLUENCES

Baby D - Let Me Be Your Fantasy (Production House, 1992)

Rich: "There aren’t many tracks that my 16-, 26- and 36-year-old selves would dig in equal measure, but this is one of them. A track which crossed over to the mainstream and helped turned me and millions of other teenagers onto the rave"

Joy Division - Transmission (Factory, 1979)

Jamie: "When I was about 13 years old, I used to go around to my mate's after school who was an avid music collector and the source of a lot my early music interests. Joy Division was one of those bands and Transmission was always one of my favourites. Such a simple arrangement which delivers so much seemed within the capabilities of a less experienced musician, and it inspired us to start a band (which admittedly didn't amount to much) but also gave my first appreciation that less is more, an aesthetic that has been constant in our music with Audiojack."

J.D.S. - Higher Love (Stompin Choons, 1995)

Rich: "I used to hang out with older lads in cars from the age of about 14. We’d drive round in a procession of pimped up Novas, Astras and Escorts, with a boot full of speakers pumping out hardcore, breakbeat, gabber and techno. Yep, I was one of them! This was one of my favourite tracks from those hazy distant days, and to be fair, in context it still sounds all right now..."

Depeche Mode - World in My Eyes (Mute, 1990)

Jamie: "Again, I first heard Depeche Mode during another of the after-school music sessions and it was the first electronic music I’d really been interested in. World In My Eyes is very stripped-back and has lots of sensibilities of the kind of music we're involved in today."

CJ Bolland - The Prophet (FFRR, 1997)

Rich: "As soon as I could blag my way into clubs I did. I loved this magical new world that operated under the radar of mainstream society. I don’t remember ever consciously deciding to become a DJ, it was just what we did. I got my first belt-drive turntables in '97 and this was one of the first records I bought, a track I think I picked up from a live tape recorded from the legendary Orbit in Morley, Leeds."

Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Take a Pebble (Atlantic, 1977)

Jamie: "For those that don’t know this band, they were a prog rock band from the 70s who were introduced to me by my dad. This band, and this track especially, taught me to appreciate being taken on a journey through music. Take A Pebble features long, evolving instrument solos allowing complete focus on that one sound alone in space."

SIX AFTERHOURS RECORDS 

Nightmares On Wax - Les Nuits (Warp, 1999)

Rich: "Carboot Soul is probably my most played album of all time. So many of these plays were during my rave heyday: post-club, joint in one hand, booze in the other, possibly trying to schmooze a young lady. I’ll always be a massive fan of trip-hop, and Nightmares On Wax has always been a favourite: a fellow Leeds native who, like Jamie and me, made the journey south to live in the Ibiza countryside."

Deyampert - Held Him First ft. Clover (Sonar Kollektiv, 2003)

Jamie: "Soulful and smooth R&B-style vocals with electronic jazz. It's the sort of music I like to put on in the background when I have friends over."

Mark-Almond – The City (Harvest, 1971)

Rich: "A personal track I might put on back at my hotel after a long night DJing in a city far away. Some gigs pass by in a flash, some feel like you were there days. Sometimes you play your set and leave and sometimes you crack on and don’t go back to your hotel at all. If it’s been a particularly hot and sweaty night and I’ve been a good lad and not stayed out, I might run a bath, get a nice pre-sleep tipple of strong booze and put on some tracks just like this."

Cinematic Orchestra - All Things To All Men (Ninja Tune, 2002)

Jamie: "This track is my favourite of a band whose stuff I generally dig. I love the eerie intro that sounds like the arrival of an unknown entity in a sci-fi film, that then drops into an unexpected triplet rhythm when the drums come in and it unfolds into a dramatic crescendo."

Orbital - Belfast (FFRR, 1991)

Rich: "This record feels like it’s always been here. I’m sure a lot of people feel the same. The perfect last track to pretty much any after-party. Lots of memories and emotions attached to this one."

Mos Def - Mathematics (Rawkus, 1999)

Jamie: "This is from one of my favourite hip-hop albums of all time, Black On Both Sides, which was on heavy rotation during my first summer after uni which I spent in Greece. This track is an unexpected instrumental treasure that's quite rare in a genre where the vocals are the point."

SIX BBQ RECORDS 

Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 - Mas Que Nada (Fermata, 1966)

Rich: "BBQs are a sore subject for me at the moment! Having spent the last four years living in Ibiza, I recently moved back to the UK for family reasons, so my BBQ count has gone from about 100 per year down to maybe five. BBQ music is all about the playlists, though - no chef’s got time to be switching music up in between flipping the tasties, so this choice is a general nod in the direction of Brazilian bossa nova music, which is a great accompaniment to any BBQ."

Dubble D - Le Don (2020Vision, 2007)

No stream available

Jamie: "From the album Playing Out by Moodymanc, under his other alias Dubble D. I imagine this would work great for MCs to rhyme over as it sounds like a collection of hip-hop backing tracks to me. It's been on heavy rotation over the years when me and Rich lived together. Just the right vibes for standing over a grill in the sun with a cold beer in your hand."

Jurassic 5 - Concrete Schoolyard (Rumble, 1997)

Rich: "There’s something about BBQs and old school hip-hop that just feels right, and this is one of the classics. Feel good vibes and positive lyrics - the best kind of hip-hop."

Erykah Badu - Appletree (Universal, 1997)

Jamie: "I'm not really a fan of Erykah's current stuff but this older album is great: a fine blend of hip-hop, soul and R&B which is a great soundtrack for relaxed sunny days."

Titeknots - Wordy (Tru Thoughts, 2015)

Rich: "I was introduced to this track through Nightmares On Wax, so I should really pass the credit his way. Definitely recommend checking out his DJ mixes online - perfect BBQ music!"

Crazy P - Give It Up (Paper, 2002)

Jamie: "Crazy P are up there with my favourite electronic acts and Give It Up is one of their more downtempo soulful numbers. It's really smooth."

SIX NON-DANCE RECORDS 

Stone Roses - Fool's Gold (Silvertone, 1989)

Rich: "One of my greatest regrets was turning down the chance to go to The Haçienda. I was 16 and some older mates were driving over. I don’t remember why - maybe football? - but in the end I didn’t go and the club closed down the following year. Like many people around my age, bands like New Order, Stone Roses, Happy Mondays were a big part of my musical upbringing, and I could have picked any one of dozens of tracks to represent this part of my life. Definitely a daft choice for this ‘six non-dance records’ section, but you know what they say - daft as a brush, smart as a fucking duster! (that’s a quote from the Oasis Supersonic documentary by the way - recommended)."

Suede - The Asphalt World (Nude Records, 1994)

Jamie: "All my school friends were into Suede and I went to a gig with them. It was after I bought the second album Dog Man Star that I really connected to the music. It reminds me of sitting on my bedroom floor in my early teens, drawing and painting, as art was my main passion in early life and music was just the background. I had no idea it would become the most important thing in my life."

James - Laid (Fontana, 1993)

Rich: "James were one of my favourite bands during my teenage years, and I still dig them today. I went to see them live a few years ago: he has such a great attitude to life which comes through in their songs and the people at the gig were a real testament to this, with people of all ages dancing and smiling together. This song I particularly remember being sat on the school bus and figuring out the lyrics and thinking, 'Holy shit, did he just say that?!' Yeah, he did."

Manic Street Preachers - Faster (Epic, 1994)

Jamie: "I'm not really a fan of the Manics' later stuff but up to the Holy Bible album - before songwriter and guitarist Richey Edwards mysteriously disappeared, never to be found - I was a big fan. The lyrics on Holy Bible are gritty and cover some raw subject matter and I love each and every track, but Faster has a really positive uplifting vibe which stands out."

The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony (Hut/Virgin, 1997)

Rich: "This song reminds me of lads, football on Saturdays, the 90s, being jaded from a Friday night session or filled with anticipation of Saturday night! Football and raving seem a bit at odds with each other, but I’ve always been comfortable with both. The history of this track is fascinating and an example of the ridiculousness of music copyright/publishing. If you don’t know the story a quick Google search will fill you in, but basically the Rolling Stones were ‘inspired’ by a different band to produce a track that Bitter Sweet Symphony sampled. The Stones sued The Verve and subsequently got all their royalties from the record. The somewhat ironic title is the icing on the cake to a bizarre story."

War - Low Rider (United Artists, 1975)

Jamie: "One of my favourite songs of all time - you just can't listen to it and not smile. It just reminds me of strolling in the sun without a care in the world."

SIX PERSONAL PRODUCTIONS 

Audiojack - Motion Sickness (2020Vision, 2010)

Rich: "This is from our 2010 EP on 2020Vision recordings. While some records don’t stand the test of time and others you’re tired of even before they’re released, this one we still play today - straight-up, no-nonsense dancefloor energy."

Nancy Whang & Audiojack - Like An Eagle (Gomma, 2014)

Jamie: "LCD Soundsytem is my favourite band, I’ve been to see them play on countless occasions, so when we were asked by Gomma Records to work with Nancy on a classic disco cover you can imagine my enthusiasm! To reconstruct such a complex song by ear was the biggest challenge we've ever undertaken, but it was both an exciting and exhilarating process."

Audiojack - Plastic Dreams (Gruuv, 2012)

Rich: "It’s not easy to revisit classics, and neither should it be - people have a right to not hear their favourite music butchered, so it’s a difficult thing to do. This was originally just a remix we made for our own sets, but after we gave a copy to Seth Troxler we started getting loads of requests from people for copies, so after we spoke with Jaydee - the original producer, who approved of our version - we decided to release it as a cover, using all our own original parts."

Chris James - Song For Her ft. Ria Moran [Audiojack Remix] (Gruuv, 2012)

Jamie: "We signed Chris's All For Her EP to our label Gruuv and loved Ria's vocal so we decided to remix the lead track ourselves. As much as we tried we couldn't make it work with our style of music, and ended up doing five full, finished versions that all got canned. In our anguish we decided to try something totally different, with elements of R&B, trip-hop and dubstep and it remains one of my favourite productions out of our studio."

Munk - La Musica [Audiojack Remix] (Gomma Dance Tracks, 2010)

Rich: "I think this might be my favourite of all our remixes, mainly because it’s stood the test of time over the last seve years and we still play it now from time to time. It transcends genres and styles, which I think keeps a record from being too trendy and going out of fashion."

Audiojack ft. Stee Downes - Tunnel Vision (2020Vision, 2012)

Jamie: "Again, like the previous track this one strays from our normal style and we did so because we couldn't get Stee’s vocal style to work in a house track, so adopted a different approach. We were working on an EP for 2020Vision and we knew Ralph would be happy to release music other than house and techno as long as the quality was there."

SIX SECRET WEAPONS 

DJ Hyperactive - 25 Hours (Droid Recordings, 2013)

Rich: "A classic secret weapon for us that has destroyed many dancefloors over the last few years. The power is in its simplicity, just sounds amazing on a big system."

Josh Wink - Stay Out All Night (Ovum, 2008)

Jamie: "This is an energetic good-time record with a super funky bassline and Wink's signature hectic drum programming and little edits, which I love. It always comes out if we ever end up playing on after our original finishing time."

Savile - 3 Hours in The Meat Sink (Argot, 2016)

Rich: "Savile is a Chicago native and resident at the legendary Smart Bar. We’ve been playing this track loads over the last couple of years and it always gets a great reaction. Timeless simplicity, good vibes and energy."

Mark Henning - You’re Digging Into Me (Soma, 2012)

Jamie: "This is quite a different track for Mark Henning. He normally makes more drum-based techno but he's gone for a more groovy, synth-based sound on this record, with funky organ licks while still maintaining a tougher techno drum track."

Martin Dawson & Jay Shepheard - Kinds Of People (Retrofit, 2012)

Rich: "It was five years ago this month that Martin tragically passed away. He was a great guy and a fantastic producer. Martin made many great tracks over the years and we played some of his King Roc stuff in the early days, and later his original Martin Dawson stuff. This collaboration with Jay Shepheard still gets regular outings from us. Gone but never forgotten."

Inland Knights - Long Time (Drop Music, 2000)

Jamie: "An absolute classic for both us and our mates that has been hammered over the years and never fails to put a smile on my face. I'm a big fan of the Knights, so much so that I booked Andy Riley to play on my 30th birthday party at Back To Basics in Leeds. I think the last people left the after-party three days later!"

Words: Russell Deeks

Audiojack's Reverie features on the Spirits compilation from Crosstown Rebels, which is out today. Buy it here.

Follow Audiojack: Soundcloud Facebook Twitter

 

 

 

 

Tags: