If you’ve ever flicked through Time Out’s event listings, you’ll recognise Gary Howard, Plan B resident and DJ of countless different nights. But what are his perfect tunes?
10. New Order
Emotionally-charged synth pop from the Manchester quartet, with remix work by 80s master Shep Pettibone. New Order are deities in dance music, and this is one of their finest tracks.
You know this man. That’s right, Norman Cook – AKA Fatboy Slim – collaborates with Ashley Slater to crank out a swanky big-beat tune with cheesy carnival-esque riffs. I’ve seen this track transform wallflowers into impromptu B-boys.
8. Paul Johnson
It’s A Boogie Thang EP
There is not one single dud on this four-cut EP. Each track is chockfull of filter-disco delight. The final track is the infamous ‘Boogie Til You Oogie’. This EP is nothing but funk ‘n’ groove, and rocks till the early light.
7. Basement Jaxx
It is impossible to hear Basement Jaxx and not feel the magnifi cent glory. Replete with Latinfl avored percussion, electro vocals, smooth-yet-driving bass and an acoustic guitar, ‘Rendez-Vu’ never fails to make the posteriors of the crowd move a bit. These guys have definitely more to their sound than the ‘punk garage’ that they make it out to be.
6. Chemical Brothers
Loops of Fury EP
Growling analogue synthesizers perch over booming bass breaks – that’s Loops Of Fury. ‘The Best Part Of Breaking Up’, with its combined electro and big-beat sampled breaks, works well as a DJ’s tool and makes for some very potent fuel for the fire. ‘Get Up On It Like This’ has 70s funk-style drumming, a great bass line, sampled guitars and analogue synths. And Dave Clarke’s remix of ‘Chemical Beats’ has great grunts, bass, big-beat breaks, and acid licks. I’ve personally gotten a speeding ticket because of this record.
5. Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode goes guitar with a stomping 6/8 beat, melding the suave with the swank. It was the era that they were onto something and this 12-inch single shows it perfectly, with the standout ‘Holier Than Thou’ mix.
Music Sounds Better With You
Thomas Bangalter is not only known as one half of the dancefloor legend Daft Punk, but also from his work with Alan Braxe and Benjamin Cohen under the moniker Stardust, whose only release, ‘Music Sounds Better With You’, became an enormous crossover success. Its disco hooks, filtered vocals and Chaka Khan samples send you right back to 1979.
3. Tori Amos
Whoa. The A-Side of this record is great – one of Armand Van Helden’s finest remixes. Combining a stomping house beat, swanky bass guitar loop and fragments of Amos’ seductive lyrics, he produces a funky, floor-fi lling anthem. The remix on the B-side is done by MK, whose chill-out garage flavour works well with lowkey disco-house.
Pump Up The Volume
A one-off joint experiment from members of AR Kane and Colourbox, ‘Pump Up The Volume’ remains one of the most infl uential cut-and-paste sampling records, along with Coldcut’s ‘Beats & Pieces’ and Beats International’s ‘Beat Dis’. Unlike the two others, M.A.R.R.S.’s classic stands up to the club test of the ages and still gets plenty of floor-time.
1. Gat Décor
This is without doubt my favourite tune of all time. ‘Passion’ can be considered one of the classic piano house anthems, or the fi rst progressive house record ever to be released. This timeless masterpiece was originally released in 1992, but if you listen to the original mix today you’d never guess. Everyone on the planet should be able to tell you the first time they heard this!
Gary Howard is PlanB’s resident DJ. Amongst other things, he plays each Tuesday ladies’ night at Plan B from 10pm-3am. Free entry.