Django Django: 5 Albums That Changed My Life
Django Django is out with their third record, Marble Skies, on January 26, and to herald its release, the band’s Dave Mclean has put together a list of some albums that shaped him. The Scottish-born drummer and producer certainly has some diverse influences, from Public Enemy to the ever-classic Beatles.
Public Enemy, Fear of a Black Planet
I had a lend of a skate video that was getting passed around the school. I think it was called ‘Attack.’ It was really cool, chopped-up mad footage, and it had an amazing soundtrack. I really wanted the music on it and I asked one of my pals what it was. He said Public Enemy (it was actually Bomb the Bass, I think), but I begged my mum to get me a Public Enemy cassette. One afternoon, I came home with Fear of a Black Planet.
I was pretty obsessed with it and listened over and over on my headphones at night. I’d wonder how they made the loops and beats. I didn’t know about sampling, I was only nine or 10, but it planted a seed in my mind and I remember thinking that I wanted to be a producer somehow even though I wasn’t even really sure how or what a hip-hop producer really even does. I just knew I wanted to do what they were doing.
The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
I used to borrow this LP from my mum a lot as a kid in the ’80s. I was especially interested in Ringo’s drumming on the title track. Also their use of sound effects. I played it over and over, trying to work out what was going on. I got that it was some kind of sound collage. I was into Monty Python and I likened the Beatles (and especially this LP and Magical Mystery Tour) to them. Using comedy and art and collage to make something new and exciting.
The Prodigy, Experience
I went down the road of hippy ’60s music for a long time as a kid. Taking my mum and dad’s albums all the time to listen to. Then hip-hop, Nirvana and grunge hit, and I loved them. But when I bought this album (again on cassette, this time from HMV in Dundee) it changed my perspective. It was like a whole shift in my outlook on music. Especially modern electronic music. It was fast and frantic and seemed so new and exciting to me. I hated it for about a month then it just clicked. Soon after, when I was 13, I bought decks and started buying techno records and learning to DJ.
I was really into breakbeat, hardcore. Whatever you want to call it pre-jungle. When jungle hit the front of Mixmag, it crossed over to mainstream soon after, but nobody was making albums. It was all 12″ tracks because that’s how underground dance music worked.
Then Goldie dropped this album and to me, it was the perfect record to sum up where hardcore came from and where it could go. I taped it and listened to it on the train to visit my brother in London on my own for the first time the summer it came out. I remember ‘This is a Bad’ was playing when we pulled into King’s Cross and there was a huge graffiti piece that just said ‘It’s a London thing.’ I knew at that moment I’d come here to live one day.
George Harrison, Wonderwall Music
I had a very up and down time when I left home to go to art college in Edinburgh in the late ’90s. My life was changing fast and I couldn’t keep up. I spent a lot of time day dreaming and listening to records in my flat. I was in second year when I bought this from an Edinburgh secondhand shop. I was a Beatles fanatic as a kid, but it was strange I didn’t have this LP and I’d never heard of it. Mind you, I didn’t have the Internet then! It reminds me of Edinburgh days and dark melancholic nights there. Bittersweet times.
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