My First Record – Hashim – Al-Naafiysh

As the first of a new feature we’re bringing you some insight into the music that inspires and defines our DJ’s styles and informs their musical background.

This month it’s the turn of me, Menace, probably the oldest one out of all of us my musical history stretches way back into the depths of time having lived loud and proud through the 80’s into the 90s and beyond.

The record that started it all off for me was when I was aged just 12, we had this old department store we used to visit once a week called Woolco, it was your typical late 70’s early 80’s department store with junk you’d never dream of buying now (hence why it no longer exists) but at the time it was a mecca for parents to take their kids out to buy stuff they didn’t need. Well it was here in a tucked away corner of the store that I discovered my very own Aladdin’s Cave. The music department, before the days of Our Price (one for the kids) and HMV there was Woolco department store and local independent vinyl stores.

In this particular department store there worked a dealer, a dealer of beats and mystical noises from across the planet. He must of only been about 19/20 but damn he knew his stuff when all the old crinklies were going in there to pick up their copy of Neil Diamond’s latest he was peddling beats to anyone who’d care to listen. So it was, aged 12, I went up to the counter and asked him what I should spend my hard earned paper round money on. I’ve probably glamourised this moment way more in my head now but this was a seminal moment in my life so go with it, he looked at me, smiled and checked left and right slipping a hand under the counter and bringing out this shiny cassette tape (yes I didn’t own a turntable at this point I was 12!) and passed it over the counter to me – “this will blow your mind” he said – I was 12 so blowing my mind wasn’t really my thing but still he was this mystical figure at this point and I nodded and passed him my money.

I met up with my parents and back to my Nans we went with me eager just to get home and play my new treasure – Streetsounds Electro Volume 2

As a bit of an aside it’s worth mentioning here a little bit of history about Streetsounds the label as it had a huge impact on the UK electronic music scene.

Street Sounds is (still) a record label, music publisher, concert/event organiser and management company. It was founded in 1982 by Morgan Khan, and became pretty much the market leader of compilation albums at the time. They specialised in music of black origin, including all styles of street music. Of most importance, arguably, the label was responsible for introducing and pioneering various important music genres including Hip Hop/Rap and House music to the UK and European markets.

Go check out the Streetsounds website it’s a treasure trove of classic tracks.

Anyway I digress, I finally get home run upstairs to my bedroom, unseal the cassette and whack it into my stereo. I appreciate for the younger people here at this point words such as cassette, stereo, etc are all alien to you. Basically, I put some music on, you can go and Google all these old man terms!

So the first track is B-Boys – Two, Three, Break

Remember, I’m 12 at this point, prior this I’d been listening to standard pop and rock stuff with occasional listens to punk and prog rock which my parents encouraged – my dad was a massive Hendrix fan. So this stuff just blew my mind, the style, the beats, the vibe of it all.

Each track was like an epiphany in my brain, it opened up doors to places I never knew existed and then….

Hashim – Al-Naafiysh – I still play this out now, it’s an all-time classic. That beat, that bassline, everything about it is just dirty and loud and wicked fresh even 30 odd years later.

So that’s it, the tune that started it all off for me, needless to say, I pretty much bankrupted my poor parents as from that point on I became a massive vinyl junkie – I commandeered my parent’s old turntable – I bought everything Streetsounds produced I think I kept that little department in Woolcos running for a few years, then got into Hip Hop, Detroit Techno, Acid House, Rave, etc etc anything and everything with a beat and some sort of groove is pretty much me.

Thoroughly encourage you to check out the Streetsounds Label there are some hidden gems in their discography and who knows you might inspire another generation with tunes from yesteryear which have defined the music you listen to today.