The man known to the taxman as Nick Douwma picks 36 of his all-time favourite tunes - and reveals his secret grunge past!
SIX RECORDS YOU WISH YOU'D MADE
La Roux - In For The Kill
[Skream's Let's Get Ravey Remix] (Polydor)
"Obviously this has been massive
recently but I just love the way Skream's done it. It's such a simple
idea - the acapella vocal over a dubstep backing - but it just works
so well. Love the D&B outro, too."
Spor - Aztec (Shogun Audio)
"A big drum & bass track at
the moment and as soon as I heard it I knew it would fit into my
sets. A big influence for me at the moment is trying to incorporate
the sounds I'm hearing in techno and electro into my D&B stuff,
and this is a track that's in that vein and works really really
Simian Mobile Disco - Synthesise
"I chose this because they've used
a classic old vocal sample from Todd Rundgren. I'd had the very same
sample sitting around for a while thinking 'I've got to use this' but
then I turned on the radio one day and found they'd beaten me to it!"
Major Lazer - Pon De Floor
"This is Switch and Diplo's
dancehall project and I've been really into all the tracks I've heard
but especially this one. The main riff is a tiny snatch of vocal
that's been stretched into a hook which is just a really cool idea.
I'm looking forward to hearing the album."
Chase & Status - Eastern Jam
"Chase & Status are friends of
mine and this is a big dubstep tune they did last year. Like the
Simian Mobile Disco one - not that I had this sample!- it's just a
great sample used really well and it's probably one of my favourite
dubstep tunes. I quite like the D&B/dubstep crossover. D&B
has always been a bit cut off so it's nice to have another genre
that's closely allied to it now!"
Daft Punk - Around The World
"This is just one of the all-time
great dance records I think. A couple of years ago I bought a talk-
though and realised that the phrase "around the world" is
one of the easiest to make intelligible with it! They're quite hard
to use because you have to put the tube into your mouth and things
with lots of Ps or Ts, for instance, are quite difficult. 'Around the
world' is very easy!"
Brian Eno - An Ending (Ascent)
"This is a classic ambient tune.
It's from the Apollo album he did to soundtrack footage of the
Moon landings. I listen to quite a lot of ambient stuff when I'm not
listening to dance music."
Massive Attack - Hymn Of The Big
Wheel (Wild Bunch Records)
"This is one of my favourite
Massive Attack tunes. It's kind of a dance tune I guess, but it's
just one of those tracks that always inspires emotion in me."
Friendly Fires - Jump In The Pool
"Friendly Fires are one of the
bands I'm most into at the moment, probably because they incorporate
elements of dance music so again this is quite dancey. I think I
first heard this on Annie Mac about six months ago and I just love
it. It's got really good rhythm and percussion."
Vangelis - Bladerunner OST
"Again coming back to the ambient
stuff and Vangelis is someone I listen to quite a lot. I think
historically he's been quite a big influence on drum & bass and
certainly a lot of D&B producers have sampled this soundtrack."
MGMT - Time To Pretend
"Along with millions of other
people I've really got into these guys over the last 12 months or so.
I haven't really got much to say about this, I just love the tune,
it's fantastic. And again I guess it's kind of dancey."
Sigur Ros - Staralfur (FatCat
"This is probably my favourite
Sigur Ros track. All their music I find very emotional and it's
something completely different from what I normally listen to. This
track in particular is quite orchestral."
RECORDS THAT NEVER LEAVE YOUR BOX
Sub Focus - Airplane (RAM
"Obviously this is one of my own -
one of my bigger tunes from a couple of years ago. It was about the
time I really started playing out a lot on the circuit: this was a
favourite of a lot of my friends and it still gets a great reaction
Fresh - Signal (RAM Records)
"A big big tune from about five
years ago now. It's just a really tearing drum & bass record that
stands up really well even now, sonically, and still always gets a
really good reaction whenever you play it."
Moving Fusion - Turbulence
"An all-time classic drum &
bass tune from 1997. Again, it still stands up sonically so you can
still play it and it also reminds me of when I first started DJing
when I was about 16. It was one of the first twelves I bought."
High Contrast - If We Ever
"This is a more recent track but
it's quite old skool-influenced and it just always works really well.
It's one of the tunes of the last couple of years that you can hear
going on to be an all-time classic."
Matrix & Fierce - Tightrope
"This was one of my favourite
twelves from the days before I was playing out regularly. It's a
techy roller basically and just a classic, classic tune from 2000. It
was a bit overlooked I think."
Logistics - Girl From Mars
"This is another one of those
tracks that not a lot of people play but it's just a classic sound. I
always end up reaching for it if I'm playing late in a night, it's
just perfect for a certain time. It's very simple and it just works
Michael Jackson - Thriller
"All of these are records that
represent stages in my musical development. Michael Jackson in
general, not just this track, is the first music I can remember
liking. I was born in 1982 so I was pretty young at the time! This
was almost like my intro to music."
Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
"Again, just Nirvana generally
really. This was the first music I got really obsessed by - Nirvana
and a few other grunge-type bands when I was about 11/12/13. I'm
still into Nirvana now though, which you can't say for a lot of the
other stuff that I liked at that time."
The Prodigy - No Good (Start The
"My introduction to dance music
really. I had a tape my friend had done for me with the first two
Prodigy albums - I think he'd called it 100% Prodigy Mania or
something! I liked the Chemical Brothers as well but that was a bit
M-Beat ft General Levy - Incredible
"Thiswas the first jungle tune I
heard and it just sounded so completely different from anything else
that I was immediately drawn in and started to seek out other things.
I've read since about all the controversy it caused but that's
surprising, cos it's not a sell-out or commercial track in any way.
It was my route into D&B in the way that, say, Pendulum will be
for younger kids now."
Sub Focus - X-Ray (RAM
"This was the big breakthrough
track for me back in 2005. It really opened a lot of doors for me: I
did this track it did surprisingly well and then things really
started kicking off for me. I was suddenly playing out every
weekendâ€¦ and I got asked to remix The Prodigy as well which was
obviously a massive honour!"
Bobby Peru - Erotic Discourse
"This is moving forward to my
current listening which in the last few years takes in a lot more
house, techno and electro. This was one of the first records in that
style that really caught my ear and led me down that slightly
different path which has started to influence my D&B productions,
too. I'm inspired by a lot of the house and techno sounds."
Lindstrom - I Feel Space
"A lot of these records are things
I associate with going to afterhours parties back at someone's house
after DJing. That's where I first heard I Feel Space. This one
could also have gone in the 'records I wish I'd made' category!"
Nathan Fake - The Sky Was Pink
[James Holden Remix] (Border Community)
"This is another after-party
favourite. It's just got this amazing melody and it's very emotional
for that kind of music. I'd love to get one of my tracks remixed by
one of these guys but it's a bit of a stylistic jump!"
Dusty Kid - Mantrakoma (Kling
"This is a slightly more obscure
track that's got this messy, druggy, afterparty kind of sound to it.
It's based around this weird reversed vocal and it's a really good
example of that 4am messed-up kind of feeling."
M.A.N.D.Y. Vs Booka Shade - Donut
"A slightly more recent track. I'm
a big fan of Booka Shade and I remember first hearing this at a Get
Physical party in Ibiza last year."
Audion - Mouth 2 Mouth
"This is basically the inspiration
for my last single Timewarp. Andy C played me it first cos he
knew I was listening to a lot of this kind of stuff and I loved the
kind of rising sound it's got. I wanted to try recreating that feel
in a drum & bass track. A lot of D&B tunes have a rise before
the drop - I wanted to use it as the main hook."
Gui Boratto - Beautiful Life
"It was hard to pick a Gui Boratto
track cos I'm just generally into his stuff. I remember putting this
on at a house party, though, and it inspiring total chaos. Just a
very beautiful track with a major key feel to it that's quite
Nero - Do You Wanna (Viper
"This is a track that's
forthcoming on Viper. It's in triplet time - that swingy kind of beat
like on Bodyrock or something. I'm a big fan of Nero's stuff
generally and this also goes really well with Timewarp which
is also in swing time."
Fresh - Talkbox (RAM Records)
"Another forthcoming track that
features Fresh on a talkbox, surprisingly enough! It's got a very
electro-y sound to it which is something that I'm really into at the
Sub Focus - Rock It (RAM
"This is my new single and my
intro track at the moment. It's inspired by Daft Punk's Robot
Rock: I've recreated a lot of the sounds from Release The
Beast by Breakwater which is the 80s track they originally
sampled. It's taking that electronic disco boogie sound into D&B
and there's some talkbox action too!"
Chase & Status - Is It Worth
It VIP (RAM Records)
"This is an alternative version of
the closing track from their album. They've changed the album version
to be a much straighter stepper than the original and it really takes
the floor by surprise. Big, big track!"
Pendulum - Ransom (Warner)
"This is a recent D&B track
that they've done - it's probably their first straight-up drum &
bass track for a while, and let's not forget that they're very good
Sub Focus - Vapourise (RAM
"This is a track I did about six
months ago and that I put on my Essential Mix recently. It's quite
experimental-sounding - again, it's in triplet time and it's got a
very minimal techno kind of sound to it as well. When I first played
it people didn't really get it but it seems to be gaining momentum
now with MCs asking for rewinds and stuff which is great!"