MJ Cole is a garage legend. Here, he reveals the ten tracks he’ll love forever…
1. LTJ Bukem – ‘Music’
This record says everything about the latter half of my raving days. Reminds me of sitting out in the sun on the Greek islands, or driving back from raves at 8 in the morning. This is liquid, fresh-air style. Warm pads, classic drums and a minimalist style chime that cements it all together.
2. Angie Stone – ‘Wish I Didn’t Miss You’
Summer is here and this track brings back memories of 2002. I was soaked with garage at the time and this was the perfect antidote. Masterfully smooth and a very solid use of a great sample – something I didn’t realise until later.
3. Hyper on Experience – ‘Lords Of The Null Lines’ (Foul Play Rmx)
This takes me back to my bedroom DJ days. I was busy playing classical music at the time and never thought the turntables would become part of my life. This was a cheeky 10″ back in the early 90s; everyone loves a dubplate-sized piece of vinyl. Impresses your mates, too.
4. Tower Of Power – ‘What Is Hip’ (1973)
The ultimate funk workout. The videos of live versions of this online are unreal. Pure musicianship, pure funk. The tightest horn section in existence. I played keys in a funk band at one time and this was always the jam. Written before I was born; I’m not that old after all.
5. Radiohead – ‘Jigsaw Falling Into Place’
Have always been a massive fan of Radiohead. ‘In Rainbows’ is one of their top albums; it stands up to repeated listens, on so many levels. Reminds me of slogging it out at the gym, and has been a permanent fixture on my iPod for years now.
6. Masters At Work ft India – ‘To Be In Love’
I had the honour of remixing this record at one time. It’s always been a favourite of mine. The Kenny and Louis skippy drums with live bass and soulful vocals really inspired some of my earlier music. Another summer favourite. Classic.
7. The Tommy Chase Quartet – ‘The Message’
Stumbled across this in an ex girlfriend’s record collection when I was about 16. It’s always rung true to me. She liked Super Noodles – I liked jazz noodlings. We both liked the other.
8. D’Angelo – ‘Brown Sugar’
The master. Highly influential on my productions in the late 90s. I challenge you to let this pass you by without a head nod. Amazing groove, vocally astounding, musically next level.
9. Madeon – ‘Icarus’
A much more recent record. There’s loads of this kind of gear around, but this is the one that does it for me, and I’ve been known to slip this into my sets of late. Really fuses well with some of the more skippy four-to-the-floor stuff. I especially love the majestic flourish of chords at the start. So bright, so colourful, so good.
10. Erykah Badu – ‘Other Side Of The Game’
Another groove from heaven. Pure American class. Tight as anything. I love the lyrical content of this – she’s so in love with the wrong kind of guy. Quality Fender Rhodes playing too.