Calyx & TeeBee tell us about their vinyl collections
To drum & bass fans the world over the names Calyx & TeeBee are synonymous with high quality, perfectly sculpted music. Just as Michelangelo discovered statues in blocks of stone, so Calyx & TeeBee discovered the essence of D&B locked away in studio equipment; always forward-thinking and packed with as much integrity as energy; their music has had an impact on the scene for over fifteen years.
But have you ever wondered what mysteries lie in their vinyl collections? Read on to find out…
The Jimmy Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland
This LP completely changed my music taste and my direction as a guitarist. I was 13 years old and had never heard of Jimmy Hendrix until I found the Electric Ladyland LP in my dad’s dusty old vinyl collection. Now it’s an all-time favourite in my collection! Aside from being initially struck by the unreal artwork on the double-vinyl sleeve, it was undoubtedly my most profound ‘first listen’ of any music. I’d been playing guitar since I was very young, but until I heard Hendrix I had never conceived that a guitar could do things like that. I then set about learning how to play every note of every tune Jimmy Hendrix had played – he was a teenage idol of mine.
Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue
My most cherished Jazz record – I was 17 when bought the vinyl reissue of this LP and it played a pivotal part in my transition as a guitarist from Blues and Funk to Jazz. Kind of Blue is the biggest selling Jazz LP of all time. However, unlike other genres’ best sellers which are usually a lowest-common-denominator cliché, this album was a truly seminal LP for the genre and for me a a musician. ‘Kind Of Blue’ showed me that Jazz could take the essence of ‘the blues’ and evolve it into such a wider range of feeling and expression. Uplifting and melancholy at the same time, Miles Davis created the most intense and sublime ‘less is more’ moments I’ve ever heard in music.
Goldie – Timeless
Every superlative under the sun has been used for this aptly-titled album & buying this on vinyl played a pivotal part in me wanting to make Drum & Bass myself. I’d been into Jungle / DnB for a couple of years beforehand, but this album completely blew me away and cemented the genre as my new musical obsession.
Grooverider Presents – The Prototype Years
Released in 1997, this legendary LP had tracks I’d been wanting to get on vinyl for years – Grooverider & Prototype were notorious for keeping tracks unreleased & on dubplate for ages before they finally came out. I had started producing D&B during Prototype’s heyday & the distopian soundscapes and all-star-cast of this album had me absolutely possessed by the direction the genre was heading & obsessed by a need to become a part of it.
Any random pick from my old dubplate collection
Clearly I’m cheating a bit here as this is not a single record, but I can’t pick just one dubplate – they are all a collective of memories that embody the excitement I got from the days when sets were all about the exclusive dubs. Aside from the buzz of getting the first cuts of my own tracks, I was so lucky to get hooked up with loads of unreleased tracks (in many cases never-to-be-released) by my peers & heroes in DnB. To this day, just pulling random ones out & looking at them, seeing the marker-pen track names & above all, smelling that unique intoxicating odour of acetate – it’s a glorious, uplifting & overwhelmingy nostalgic feeling every time!
West Street Mob- Break Dance/Electric Boogie 7″ (Sugarhill Records)
This came out in 83, if I’m not mistaken. Hip Hop culture had just arrived in Norway and I was in awe of it. Seeing break-dancers for the first time about a year earlier had me completely baffled. I remember even saying out loud as a 6-year-old kid, “I’m never going to be able to do that!” Every free moment from then until I was in my early teens were spent trying to learn new Break moves. This record had it all for me, and I was so proud when my Dad took me to the record store to buy my first ever record. In many ways, it was also pivotal in my career choice. It had this one sound in it that I couldn’t put my finger on. Years later (think I was aged 10) I saw a documentary and there was a DJ scratching in it and I was like THAT’S THAT SOUND!! . I ruined my dads turntable needle that evening…
Beat Street- Beat Street Soundtrack
Where to start on this one.. Obv the movie changed my life and this was so packed of bonafide classics! I know my good friend Tony (former Future Prophecies) can still not pass on a copy from any record store. He has multiple mint ones! Again, it was that magical time of growing up, falling in love with music and the culture that comes with it. Grandmaster Melle Mel and the furious five’s “Beat Street Breakdown” is still one of the toughest records ever made. To be far, that and Santa’s Rap by The Treacherous Three where my favourites. Shoving my age a little I guess. It was also my first introduction to Arthur Baker, and I followed him way into my adult life on his various ventures.
The Prodigy – Experience
Talk about monumental. When I started out dj-ing at the local youth club when I was 12, I was mostly into Hip Hop still. But as the Rave scene entered scandinavia, paired with sneaking out of the house at night to go over to my mate Jens (Doc David/JAWX) house to watch Party Zone on MTV, I discovered XL Recordings. This record didn’t leave my turntables for about a year. I could never pick a favourite. It was the best of what I loved from hip Hop paired with something that I’d never heard before. I owe a lot to Liam, Keef (RIP), Leeroy and Maxim. Still play this album to this day!
Photek – UFO
I was already deep into the softer, more accessible side of Rave culture when I discovered Photek early on. His first few releases under the Photek name didn’t really do it for me. I was more into the stuff he was putting on GLR or Basement Records. But after PPRO004 I think “The Physical” things were getting interesting. When I heard UFO I lost it. Like LOST IT! Everything I loved rolled into one amazing piece of art that to this day has not been topped in translating title to feel of record. My love affair with Rupert is well documented and I’m lucky to call him my friend. When he asked me to remix “Ni Ten Ichi Ryu/Two Swords” I initially refused. As I thought that was like asking a relatively inexperienced Christian to re write the bible…. But 6 months later, when I delivered the first draft, he said it’s a wrap and to not even touch it again! I was over in the UK with Polar/K at the time as we just had our first releases out. We had no money for food as we spent it all on records. But that was ok because we had UFO!
Brian Eno – Apollo Soundtrack
Brian Eno is a visionary, legend, Icon, whatever you can think of, he is that. An absolutely monumental figure in music as a whole for decades. I’m a huge sci-fi fan, and also I early developed a love for ambient music. The contrast between what I listen to and work on most days couldn’t be further away from ambient whilst still drawing massive influences from it. There is no grid or counting bars without even noticing. It makes my mind free and relaxes me deeply. If you haven’t heard this record I suggest you go on Youtube, put on the broadcast of the APOLLO mission with no sound, and just play this record. Stunning!
Calyx & TeeBee have been locked away working on their new concept ‘Plates.’ Taking it back to the days of acetate, ‘Plates’ will be a series of releases themed around original dub-plate culture, both musically and aesthetically – culminating in an album of the same name. Their track ‘War Dub’ is out now and available to buy here