Routes 004: AxH
The 4th instalment of our weeky routes is straight from Tempa badass AxH, and takes us through some of his influences.
1. KLF 3am Eternal
I heard this song when I was 8 years old, and it has always stuck with me. My friends and I were big into roller skating rinks back in the 80’s. It was like a rave for us! We got to see a DJ and hear new music, play arcade games, flirt with girls on roller skates. I heard so many clutch tunes for the first time on roller skates.
2. C + C Music Factory – Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) (1990)
I vividly remember receiving this album on cassette tape for Christmas that year. I wanted it badly. I wore out the tape, but I definitely have it on CD, vinyl, and iTunes now. I know all the words. This one was a banger, say whatever you want haha. I even loved electronic drums and synthesizers at a young age. The music simply didn’t sound like anything else I’d ever heard. My parents were big into folk music, show tunes, classical, and classic rock, so everything else was just ear candy for me.
3. Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch – Wildside (1991)
This was pivotal. I was living in Boston at the time, so of course we repped the Wahlbergs. I had a cassette single of this, (‘On The House Tip’ on the flip). This was when I remember understanding what sampling was. I was familiar with Lou Reed and the original tune, ‘Walk on the Wild Side’, and my 10-year-old mind was blown. I wanted to hear more sampled songs… then came Wu-Tang…
4. Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthin To F’ Wit (1993)
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993) is in my top 3. The whole album. This tune was just greasy though. My favorite. Samples on samples on samples. Underdog! Fucking Underdog sample gets flipped and changes your childhood. I was definitely not allowed to listen to this album haha. I found a way.
5. Portishead – Wandering Star (1994)
Such a perfect fusion of everything I was already inspired by. ‘Sour Times’ was the tune that got all the radio play, at the time, but I sought out the rest of the songs. Another one of my top albums.
6. Outkast – Elevators (Me & You) (1996)
Personal anthem. I was living in NW Florida when this came out, and Outkast was everywhere. The beat, message, vibe. It’s a smoker’s anthem. Another production gem that got me inspired to make my own music. I learned a lot of cool production techniques from just listening to this one. Ahh such a legendary song.
7. Cirrus – Stop & Panic (1998)
I won’t be adding any breakcore, punk rock, or dub reggae songs to this list, but they are my favorite genres of music. I was big into skateboarding in the 90’s, and we listened to nothing but punk, hip hop, and reggae in the car, at skate spots, parties, etc. One day a buddy popped in the Cirrus album, ‘Back on a Mission’, and shit changed. A couple of us started making beats on a PlayStation shortly thereafter. Turning point!
8. DJK – Championz (2001)
A few years went by. I’d been going to raves and getting into DNB and new school breaks. In 99, my turntablist skater buddies put me onto this crazy style of jungle. New-school ragga shit, designed for battling! Holy shit. Music, to me, was like an onion. So much on the surface. Peel it back! My favorite music was hard as fuck to find, if you were even that lucky. N2O Entertainment. I fell in love. It was my favorite, and I am proud to have released music on all 3 of their labels as Prodigal Son.
9. Search and Destroy – Secret Weapon (2005)
Our Sound LP!!! Go and get this on vinyl immediately. Another pivotal tune. I heard this one first in a mix. Search and Destroy b2b Quiet Storm (Caspa), from like 2005-2006. Garage was ok, but not my favorite. Dark Garage had me listening, though. I love going back now and seeing the evolution of the Dubstep sound. If it weren’t for tunes like this, I wouldn’t have opened up to a new group of artists, radio stations, etc. I found out about Dubstep that same day. I got two mixes from a DNB buddy in the military, while we were overseas. The other mix was, thankfully, the legendary ‘Dubstep Warz’ mix from Mary Anne Hobbs’ BBC Radio1 Breezeblock show, January 2006. I’m convinced it was created by the government to convert people to Dubstep. It works. It’s proven. Which leads me to…
10. Skream – Midnight Request Line (2006)
Yeah, yeah.. You’ve heard it a million times, but MRL changed everything. It was the first Dubstep tune I heard that made me smile, and I was at the end of a long ragga jungle frown. It was refreshing music. Dubstep is all-encompassing for me. Everything that I’ve been listening to and creating my entire life has lead up to it. More importantly, I dug deeper and fell in love with Tempa Records. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be a Tempa artist myself.
*Thank you for having me! It was fun to rattle loose some good and bad memories 🙂
Follow AxH – https://twitter.com/AxHdubstep