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Five Essentials: Deft

Five Essentials: Deft
Jack Smith

Straddling the divide between the Civil Music, Planet Mu etc-inspired dystopian half-tempo and the scene’s recent reinvention of Chicago footwork sits Deft‘s colourful oeuvre of work in 2014; a versatile and above-all supremely fine-tuned catalogue, from Voight Kampffs multi-genre abstraction on Project Mooncircle to the brutal Masquerade EP on Rwina and more recently the scintillating remix for Ivy Lab and Emperor on Drum & Bass label de jour Critical Music.

His is a sound that remains at once both experimental and engaging at both an emotional and synthetic level, so it comes as no great surprise that his latest EP on WotNot, Always Greener, follows suit. Crisp technicality across the spectrum of styles that leans towards the ambience in Deft as opposed to the savage we’ve seen in prior work such as the aforementioned Masquerade EP, Always Greener is yet another feather in an already sparkling cap.

_ Deft_Always_Greener_EP 2 Green HR RGB

So it’s with great pleasure that we introduce Deft to the UE fold as he presents us his Five Essentials – the five tracks that have most informed his approach to production and music in general. Enjoy!

Flying Lotus – Roberta Flack (Martyn’s Heartbeat Mix)

I first heard Los Angeles in September/October 2008, which would have been the start of my second year at Uni, me and one of mates on my course were in love with it for a long time, it was our opener to all the wonderful and glorious music coming out of the beat scene like AFTA-1, Dimliite, Dibiase the whole Beat Dimensions era.

Not long after the album came out, DJ Chef played this when I went to one of the Dubpressure nights in Brighton, and I was just blown away by it.  This track was my introduction to the ‘omg what is this track I need to know now’ culture.

Quantic – Tell It Like You Mean it 

My friend introduced me to a lot of lounge/trip hop stuff like Bonobo, the Hotel Costes compilations and Quantic when we were living together in halls at Uni, and this track really takes me back to the beginning of summer during that year. That drum beat, wheeze!

Bullion – Crazy Over You

I’ve always felt that Bullion’s more ‘hip hop’ orientated stuff had so much feeling and heart in it, and it was hard to pick just one to put in my list but I think ‘Crazy Over You’ demonstrates this very well. I’ve got a lot of time for his music and this track especially, I can relate to it but too well. I think knowing what he’s sampled makes the track that much more special – a musical genius.

2562 – Aquatic Family Affair

One of my favourite music producers and DJ’s. I think he’s the only person whose music I won’t have to listen to before I buy it. He manages to create such eerie and unsettling atmospheres that completely engulf you into another world. This works on a sound system and on your headphones. Oh and FYI, this track, as well as the whole album ‘Fever’, was made entirely from samples from Disco records.

Nils Frahm – Says

This is just such a beautiful track. It’s been my go to song recently for when I need to just escape and forget about everything. It will take you somewhere else, I promise.

Deft – Always Greener EP is out March 24th on WotNot Music. Stream the title track below and for the full EP head to XLR8R here.