It's been some time since our last Influences podcast, last coming from Superpitcher. Up next is Rob Ellis, the Bristol-based DJ-producer known more commonly as Pinch and for his exceptional taste in dubstep, a genre that he was instrumental in establishing and fundamental in its continuation during a period when public interest shifted sharply towards house and techno.
Ellis first appeared in 2005 before dropping 2007's Underwater Dancehall, an exceptional and pioneering debut album via his Tectonic Recordings, the most consistent of dubstep labels and home for much of his solo and collaborative work, including that with Adrian Sherwood; as Sherwood & Pinch, the duo have two full-length efforts, the latest coming just last year. A quick root through the label's discography will also reveal high profile compilations and solo contributions from Skream, Flying Lotus, Scientist, 2562, and Peverelist—plus the new Walton LP, chosen as The Guardian’s contemporary LP of the month—the latter of whom Ellis worked on the recent Smith & Mighty compilation. On a collaborative front, Pinch has also worked with Shackleton, releasing via Honest Jon's in 2011, the same year Pinch delivered the 61st Fabriclive mix; and Jack Adams (a.k.a Mumdance), another symbol of Ellis' veering away from dubstep towards grime, techno, and, more lately, UK bass, too. Elsewhere, Ellis also heads up Cold Recordings, a vinyl-only label intended as "an outlet for new movements in the ever evolving UK hardcore-continuum."
Ellis' Influences podcast is, arguably, one of the most wild and eclectic podcasts we've put out in some time; it's not often that you hear Technotronic's "Pump Up The Jam" next to Jimi Hendrix and Rage Against the Machine. It takes a little time to settle in, opening with a cacophony of Ellis' favorites, all blended together, but from there on in it's an enjoyable and eye-opening journey through just some of the records that have touched Ellis along the way, conveniently divided into sections—chapters, if you like, of Ellis' musical development. Whatever your musical preference, you're sure to discover or rediscover some gems in here.
"When I was about seven years old, I was given a ghetto blaster for Christmas. It had a twin tape deck and a radio. I got into the habit of recording the Top 40 Sunday night charts on BBC Radio 1 and spending hours re-recording those tapes across to another, creating compilations of my favorite tracks for myself and friends. Some basic level junior DJ business.
"So, this is the sonic story of my musical influences—covering the earliest moments when I first really became aware of music and started to seek it out, leading up to the moments before I started making/DJing dubstep as Pinch back in 2003/4. It’s not all going to fit in there and it’s not all in the right chronological order exactly, but the overall mood and direction feels accurate.
The jist of this story involves cartoon theme tunes, pop music, soft metal, and early chart rave hits from the late 1980s; discovering and becoming obsessed with Jimi Hendrix; getting into my older brother's On-U Sound/dub records; buying/swapping/copying hardcore and jungle tape packs; Smith & Mighty, Massive Attack and the whole "Bristol Sound" movement (nobody say "triphop!"); hearing Leftfield play live in 1996 (still the most amazing concert experience of my life!); electronica / Aphex Twin/ Squarepusher; drum & bass tunnel vision (I used to play under the name DJ Fume)—all right up to the moment I walked into my local record shop and heard Rhythm & Sound "King In My Empire," which changed everything for me.
That day, around early 2002 I think, I stopped buying drum & bass completely and started exploring Basic Channel and related forms of techno, and mixing them with UK garage and early grime instrumentals, opting on the DJ name Pinch, as I was playing a “pinch” of this and a “pinch” of that! I soon discovered dubstep at FWD>> around late 2003 and set about on the beginnings of my career pathway, fixating entirely on dubstep for the next several years. It’s a similar set of influential ingredients that informed my music in the post-dubstep period of productions, aiming to take those moods and ideas to run at techno tempos. I really enjoyed putting this together, it’s been fun to walk down memory lane." — Pinch
Due to temporary issues regarding the GDPR, EU readers can download the podcast here.
01. Intro section:
Features Intro theme music from Transformers, He-man, and Thundercats, ‘Under The Bridge’ Flying Pickets (cover version), Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers ‘Swing Time’, Bananman Intro Theme, Kylie Minogue ‘I Should Be So Lucky’, Def Leppard ‘Animal’. Guns N Roses ‘Welcome To The Jungle’, Beavis & Butthead cutup, Prefab Sprout ‘King Of Rock n Roll’
02. M.A.R.R.S "Pump Up The Volume"
03. Blackbox "Ride On Time"
04. Technotronic "Pump Up The Jam"
05. Jimi Hendrix "Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)"
06. Dub Syndicate "Stoned Immaculate"
07. Peter Gabriel "We Do What We’re Told (Milgram’s 37)"
08. Rage Against The Machine "Killing In The Name"
09. Leftfield "Storm 3000"
10. Squarepusher "Iambic Poetry 5"
11. Scientist "Your Teeth In My Neck"
12. Mad Professor "Cutting Edge Dub"
13. Massive Attack "5 Man Army"
14. Aladdin "So Good"
15. DJ Mayhem "Storm Trooper"
16. Flowers "Bust That Groove"
17. Grooverider "Sinister (Remix)"
18. Aphex Twin "Windowlicker"
19. Smith & Mighty "Closer"
20. DJ Die "Reincarnations"
21. Digital & Spirit "Phantom Force" *with parts from Photek ‘UFO’
22. Dillinja "Silver Blade"
23. Rhythm & Sound "King In My Empire"
24. Basic Channel "Pylyps Trak II/II" with Another Endless Groove "Stone Cold"
25. Wiley "Morgue"
26. Wonder "What"
27. Youngster "Pulse X’/ Youngster ‘Bongo"
28. Cyrus (Basic Channel) "Recall"