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Five Essentials: Oliver Yorke

Five Essentials: Oliver Yorke
Jack Smith

Deliciously abstract within the cavernous 170 mould, Oliver Yorke‘s latest single on Italy’s Retrospective Recordings pushes the artist’s name within the same aural sphere as counterparts such as Ruffhouse and Clarity, those who have come to define this sound of recent times. With only a handful of releases on esteemed imprints including Alignment, IM:LTD and Broken Audio, ‘Digital Native’ / ‘Lose Yourself’ is a remarkably assured release from someone relatively new in the game. We caught up with the London-based producer to give us his Five Essentials, the five key tracks that have come to shape his taste in music and his approach to music production during his lifetime.


Dave Brubeck – Unsquare Dance

A classic bit of 60s jazz, introduced to me by my dad, from when I was playing keys a lot when I was younger and started exploring other genres of music. Actually pretty challenging to play as it’s in 7:4 time, but has an sick interplay between the two hands and an amazing side stick solo ending in a kind of ‘drop’ back into the piano.

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Mobb Deep – Cradle To The Grave

This could have equally been ‘Survival of the Fittest’ or ‘Shook Ones Pt II’ – for me the whole album really is one of the most important in hip hop, and an awakening in how the right combination of understated beats and samples creates a real atmosphere of moody urban grittiness.

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Dom & Optical – Concrete Shoes

A real stand out track as I was discovering D&B, and still stands up today in its originality, depth and the journey it takes you on. I first heard it on a tape from a Grooverider radio show. The soundscaping, the drums, the reverb on the snare at the end of the bar… drool.

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Konflict – Messiah

I don’t really need to say anything about this one – we all know it and the politics that go with it; it’s the epitome of dark d&b, and has hypnotised me on and off the dancefloor ever since it first started being played.

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SpectraSoul – Melodies

A top release on one of my favourite labels – dBridge’s Exit Records. For me it symbolises the crystallisation of the kind of ‘alternative’ D&B that the Autonomic movement gave rise to and created a place for. A real lush blend of alternative drum patterns and pitch shifted vocals on top of a perfectly restrained baseline.

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