Following the release of drum & bass producer Philth’s debut LP ‘Moments in Time’ on Dispatch Recordings, we caught with with the artist about the 10 records which changed his life.
From the dark textures of Ed Rush & Optical to the grooves of DJ Die, we explore the influences and pivotal moments behind Philth’s seminal new album.
For this playlist I decided to take a journey through my vinyl collection and pick out records that have influenced me as a fan, a DJ and finally as an artist. A trip down memory lane to show you how I got to Moments in Time.
Ed Rush & Optical ‘Medicine’ (Matrix remix)
Medicine remix is one of the first 4 records I ever bought (at Blackmarket Records) before I owned a set of decks, and this one holds a special place in my heart and has influenced everything I’ve done since. I love the creepy atmosphere through the build-up, unsettling and menacing. The drums are so so good – so much funk, the subtle edits and shuffles, and I became obsessed with the cowbell, finding out years later it was the Worm break which I can’t stop using in my tunes. Then the bass is just the epitome of rolling, and with a rough edge without being over the top. This one is still in my sets to this day, and I actually play a digital file ripped from my vinyl so the record is on the road with me at all times.
Bad Company ‘ The Pulse’
‘The Pulse’ brings up dear memories of my early days discovering this music… I grew up on the edge of London and used to listen to Kool FM religiously every Sunday, and one week Brockie played this mental tune with a stabby punchy bass and running drums so I decided I had to call up the radio and find out what it was called. Over the music blaring out in the studio he told me it was called “the pulse – like your heartbeat” and it went on my wishlist. A few months later they played it in Blackmarket on a packed Saturday afternoon and I pushed through to the front and managed to bag the last copy. Beautiful intro, savage drop – something I’ve tried to incorporate into my repertoire as a producer.
Another record shop memory… Scream Records in Southgate always had loads of fresh music from Hardware & TOV so I used to head up there on the 298 bus to get my fix of darkness. I got ‘Roadblock’ on white label and played it in my bedroom relentlessly, claustrophobic stomping tech that my neighbours loved. It wasn’t until years later and they stopped writing music and passed into legend status that I realised this was the first ever Konflict record – what a way to start your career!
Ryme Tyme ‘We Enter’ (Optical remix)
This was another of my early vinyl purchases, a track I learnt to beatmatch with. It’s so driving, the beats are militant with that clangy snare then the extra breaks and bass roll in around 2:15 and it really takes off. Ed Rush & Optical laid down the blueprint for a whole new style of DnB that some of us have never stopped playing. When I was first buying records, this style was all I would buy and earned me my nickname of ‘The Filthmaster’ which soon became shortened to Philth – big up Immerse for coming up with that name, it’s stuck for 20 years.
I could have picked ten tunes just by Marcus Intalex, and I’ve opted for one of the less famous tracks from the early 2000’s period where Marcus & ST Files were paving the way with this sound. They opened up the door to soul music for me, and I don’t just mean liquid, I mean digging through classic soul music wanting to know where they found all these incredible samples. I gradually built up a collection of these early liquid-funk records and started my journey into the deeper side of DnB, thanks to Soul:R and Artificial Intelligence.
Artificial Intelligence ‘Uprising’
I discovered AI at the same time as Marcus Intalex and realised there was more to DnB than just vicious techstep. I loved how the deep atmospheres in their tunes combined with the big bassline to still rock the dancefloor but take you to another place entirely. I’m lucky to now work with these guys as Phil:osophy and my musical heroes have become my friends. I always wanted to know how they got the bass in these tunes to be so big and heavy and one day asked Zula in a backstage room somewhere. The answer? Whack up the fader past the sensible level until the bass is louder than everything in the tune.
DJ Zinc ‘Casino Royale’
Playaz is a label and club night that was a huge influence on me growing up – their Fabric nights were my rave education. I love this track so much – at the time it dropped it was a breath of fresh air that the scene didn’t know it needed amongst all the hard music that was big in the raves. This was the track you came home humming, the one moment of light in a dark-dominated dance. For me it’s Zinc’s finest work.
DJ Die ‘Drop Bear’
Like ‘Casino Royale’, this is a tune that’s so simple but so effective – gets in your head after one listen and won’t let go. It’s special to me for two reasons…. First it reminds me of hearing it on Kool FM on a tape we recorded and rinsed for months on end, 3 reloads and 5 MC’s giving it their best ‘story’ lyrics. Then as a budding producer this track helped me unlock the code of breakbeats – I always wanted to know where these drums came from, then I discovered ‘Scorpio’ by Dennis Coffey and realised that all the jungle/DnB drums I love originally came from funk tracks and I’ve been chasing the breakbeats ever since.
Zero T ft Steo ‘Little Pieces’
Such a beautiful piece of music, one of my favourite songs in the last 5 years and one of the few modern albums I felt the urge to own on vinyl as well as on my USBs. Zero T has influenced me massively with his albums for Dispatch – the label tends to get pigeon-holed into the tech category but if you listen to Ciann’s albums there is so much beauty and soul in the music, and it showed me I could be myself and write deep emotional music as well as the harder tracks.
Philth & Wreckless ‘Raven’
The catalyst for my album, so it had to be on the vinyl release. I first met Wreckless at uni studying music tech, then after graduating we both moved into teaching music production alongside our work as artists, so we used to have a session every summer during the school holidays where we would spend a week binge-writing new music. I sent this one to Ant thinking it would be part of an EP, but he told me he wanted me to write an album and work closely with the label as one of the core artists. Since then I’ve played for Dispatch all over the world while writing my album and I’m so excited to see what’s in store over the coming years.
Stream Philth’s “Moments In Time” Album below.
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