10 Best
11.06.2013, Words by Aimee Cliff

10 tracks that have influenced me, by Todd Terry

American house legend and famed remixer (taking on everyone from Björk to Garbage) Todd Terry will headline Shoreditch’s FOUND festival this weekend, and to get you in the mood he’s compiled a list of 10 tracks that he feels helped to form his 90s-capturing sound. He’s often described as being a European dance music fan displaced in the US, who used his New York perspective on the scene to make a name for himself in England and the rest of Europe. And as you can see from the most influential tracks he’s chosen, Terry’s sound owes so much to classic American hip hop – from the “dirty” production of Wu-Tang Clan to the “amped-up” energy of Mobb Deep. Read on to find out which 10 tracks Terry feels influenced him above all else.

  1. James Brown – Sex Machine
    Todd Terry: “The title just says enough.”
  2. Nas – The World is Yours
    Todd Terry: “That’s a Pete Rock production there. Pete Rock made like 10 hits with this snare drum beat, which was on this old school record Long Red and we used to cut it up back in the day. It was crazy. Love it.”
  3. Quincy Jones – Razzamatazz
    Todd Terry: “Just a classic.”
  4. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo – Road To The Riches
    Todd Terry: “That the real shit right there. Kool G Rap, Spoonie Gee, Big Daddy Kane – those were the records. That was when rap was the best. Rap right now is just closed up.”
  5. Mobb Deep – Shook Ones Part II
    Todd Terry: “I remember the first time I heard this I was at Kenny’s (Dope) and he played it and I was like ‘ahhh they did it man this is crazy’, I was all amped up. This track gets me all amped up.”
  6. Slick Rick – Children’s Story
    Todd Terry: “To this day I love these type of records; you can put them on and pay no attention to the world, no matter the day or occasion.”
  7. Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.
    Todd Terry:RZA was taking the beats and fucking them up on purpose. They would be off and then on and I loved it. That was another element I love about hip hop. It’s not about a clear precise sound, it’s about a feel. Vocals don’t need to be clear and EQ-ed. This would influence me on how I would try to make my record a little dirtier, not so clear and perfect and polished – so that in a club they come through and the compressors make it sound so real.”
  8. Eric B & Rakim – Microphone Fiend
    Todd Terry: “Love the bells and the beat on this one.”
  9. Jay-Z – So Ghetto
    Todd Terry: “This is more about Premier’s beat on this one. Not knocking Jay or nothing. This record comes on and you just want to dance and push people around. The swing and the beat it is like the next level of swing.”
  10. Eric B & Rakim – Follow The Leader
    Todd Terry: “Eric B & Rakim are probably the greatest of all time.”

Todd Terry plays FOUND festival in Shoreditch on the 15th June; get more information on that here.

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