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To Shape The Future #7 Books

Alexander / Photography by Paige Ofosu

With a forthcoming 12" on Detuned Transmissions and enjoying the success of The 'Ensō EP' on the Ortem label, we delve into the five tracks which have influenced the producer known as Books.

Initially creating a stir with his remix of DAAT's 'Sub', Books has gone on to secure a series of legitimately hench releases in the form of his 'Ensō EP' for Metro's hotly tipped Ortem imprint and a solo 12" ready to go for Detuned Transmissions. His remix work has also picked up attention beyond Drum & Bass, with official remixes commissioned for Manchester's Hip Hop collective The National Curriculum. But what were the sounds that led to Books finding his own musical identity? There's only one way to find out.

Erik Satie - Vexations (Not On Label)

Most people will be more than well aware if not sick to death of Satie's world famous Gymnopedie no.1. As a kid I always found that simple, measured melody would draw me in. There is something about the piano; I just think it is the ultimate instrument. Its depth and tone just have an affect on me, which focuses the mind. As I understand, in his lifetime Satie was not a celebrated composer and by the sounds of it he was an eccentric man. I love the idea that he was out there doing his own thing without the cause of approval. He wrote Vexations in 1893 after a woman left him. I have read that this was Satie's only long term relationship which lasted just six months. So maybe that has something to do with the way the piece sounds and his designs on its performance. The piece itself was never performed in his lifetime but he wrote as an instruction on the manuscript…

‘To play 840 times in a row this reason, it will be good to prepare in advance and in complete silence, through serious immobility’

The piece ambles through a short but repetitive refrain that doesn’t really ever resolve. Played 840 times it could potentially be the sound of Satie going mad. Something about that idea, the place where he’s coming from just takes me away. Deep!

Radiohead - All I Need (TBD Records)

There’s not much you can say about Radiohead that hasn’t been written, but music is a personal thing so what the hell. In many ways this is a tune that I think people mis-understand until they listen closer, I did anyway. When it clicks it just blows you away and for me it encapsulates what it is I love about them. The dark and the light, the intense beauty, ethereal melodies and a feeling of intense love for a world worthy of love and hate in equal measure, that makes you want to cry your eyes out but stand on top of a mountain with both fists in the air.

Burial - Ghost Hardware (Hyperdub)

My mum bought me the Burial album for Christmas (on vinyl. Go on Ma!) about nine years ago. At the time I had to move house in Manchester so me and my best mate Ape moved in just before new year. Due to the estate agents being closed we didn’t have a card for the gas so the house was absolutely freezing. After heading out for new years eve (maybe to Audiosalad, I’m not sure) we returned home. Set the decks up in the lounge and put the second Burial album on having not heard any of his other music. Needless to say our lives were changed forever. We sat there wrapped in blankets and duvets listening to this ridiculously deep tapestry of sound and couldn’t believe what we were hearing.

That was an incredible listening experience that hit me with a lot of power. I actually found it difficult to listen to after that just because it was so deep. Something that struck me was how cohesive and complete the album was and his body of work overall. The recurring themes and palette of sounds made me realise a lot about my own music and the whole point of it. You could choose any Burial tune really because they are all brilliant but this one is as good as any.

Metallica - Orion (Elektra)

You can’t deny this tune. It has always been a favourite of mine although maybe a slight guilty pleasure. You can listen to it again and again and find something else that catches the ear. The opening chords as they fade in sound absolutely amazing and create such a moody atmosphere and when the opening riff kicks in it sounds massive. The riff is just so satisfying to my ears and makes me want to plug my guitar in and rinse out to it all night. The production may sound a bit dated on some old Metallica records now but I don’t think this could come across any better, its immense! When the guitars come back in with that odd time signature (that I can’t work out) at 2 minutes 14 seconds it’s just so heavy, the overdrive on the guitar is killer! Then you’ve got the all these different sections, the instrumentation, drum lines and layers, obligatory bluesy solo; then the thrash section, shame about the fade out. A certified banger in my book.

Future Cut - 20/20 (Future Cut Remix) (Trouble On Vinyl)

Brockie, Det, Slammin’ Vinyl is what this tune says to me. This may have been in every Brockie set ever but for a good reason. I just used to go absolutely mental to this tune every time it train tracked into one of his sets. This was part of a number of tunes of the era that were lethal to mix together and to hear at the rave. Funnily enough this was when I was at my raving peak, good times! The fill at 1 minute 51 seconds is my favourite bit; thankfully this comes in a few times. And at around the 4 minute mark when the bass is on its own, fully sick! I spent quite a lot of money trying to get this on vinyl having bought the original, the Chase & Status remix and some odd Digital tune also called 20/20. Regardless it captures that energy, which is one of the most endearing things about the genre I love. Its something that stays with you. You either get it or you don’t. The simplicity of this tune is what is so great about it. I mean there are thousands of rollers out there but few come close to this.

You can catch Books performing at One.Seventy on 23rd October.

For more information about One.Seventy please click HERE