Guestlist | Playlist: Todd Terry

House | Friday 12th June 2020 | Arren

We’ve got our hands on a massive playlist from a true icon in dance music, house music king-pin Todd Terry.

He’s a true dance music icon. Todd Terry, one of New York’s finest changed the game when he emerged in the 80s. The Grammy Award nominated artist brought a hip hop attitude to house and his unique style exploded around the world, giving a predominantly Chicago sound a New York edge. Mashing together sounds and samples from across the musical world, his music defined what house music was and is. He quickly became a firm favourite on dancefloors everywhere from New York’s Paradise Garage to London’s Ministry of Sound.

He effortlessly made it on the mainstream charts whilst holding on to the real essence of underground house music. Over his decades long career he’s been behind so many classic from 'Missing', 'Weekend' and 'Can You Party', releasing under many monikers including House of Gypsies, Royal House and the Todd Terry Project. His prowess in house earned him his stripes very early on in his career, both as a producer and a DJ. His name is certainly scratched into the very DNA of house music.

With at least three decades of experience behind him with stacks of material and two labels, Inhouse and Freeze his influence is ever lasting in a musical genre loved and celebrated around the world. Though he's not finished yet, and is still out here smashing it today. As recently as last month he helped launch a new London label, Organized Chaos with a track alongside James Hurr and Adam Griffin. 'Don’t Over Think It' is a killer tune, designed for the late night dancers and Todd’s undeniable groove out in full force.

He’s always a busy man, but we were blessed with some time to speak with him about 5 tracks that helped make his life complete. As he said "There would be no Freeze Records or Inhouse Records if I didn’t enjoy really good music". So lock in and check out these 5 epic cuts selected by one of the biggest selectors around, Todd the God. CAN YOU FEEL IT?!?!

'Betcha Wouldn’t Hurt Me' - Quincy Jones feat. Patti Austin

Before house, there’s records that I used to really love. Quincy Jones is one of my favourite producers. One of his songs, called 'Betcha You Wouldn't Hurt Me' was really inspirational for me as far as making sounds. I always appreciated great sounds in records. He had really definite sounds in there that you had to pay attention to, that’s what really got you into the record. Sometimes it can go rock, it can go pop, it can go funk. A key element for me was learning how to make sounds and using them in my house records. So 'Betcha Wouldn't Hurt Me', Quincy Jones and Patti Austin is one of my favourite records of all time.

'Sex Machine' - James Brown

Another record that I really got inspired by was James Brown’s, 'Sex Mahine'. We used to break dance to that record, it was definitely a funky time for us. Just hearing that in the club, everyone’s dancing and doing their best dance moves. There’s something about the beat and the funky bassline, how it goes up and down just moving around. Then the break part, I was always interested in break parts in records because that’s where you have to have your full release and I always thought that James Brown knew how to make that type of thing. His records have a really dope sequence to them, they knew how to come in and announce themselves, get into the hook, get into the break and get into the outro. He just knew how to break it down, and this one’s definitely one of my favourite records of all time.

'Missing' (Todd Terry Remix) - Everything But The Girl

Another record that really inspired me was a record that I remix called, 'Missing' by Everything But The Girl. I always knew that I wanted to do house music beats with alternative kinda rocky parts. I felt as though guitars, real sultry voices and great hooks would really work in house. I don’t think everything should be the same old subject like 'reach', 'touch me', 'feel me' and stuff like that. Some songs should have depth to it, so when you’re dancing on the dance floor you get more than just a good feeling, you get a little bit of a subject matter. 'Missing', I definitely had fun with that record. I was kinda bummed out as I don’t think the company liked it when I first handed it in to them. But a lot of key people in Atlantic Records backed me up and got that record out there and made it a smash. Sometimes it’s gotta be you and a team that makes it work so much respect to Atlantic Records, and Everything But The Girl, I still love this record.

'Move Your Body' - Marshall Jefferson

Another great record is, Marshall Jefferson - 'Move Your Body'. I actually sampled him and didn’t even know it was him! A friend of mine back in days, Traks, brought a record to me on cassette and was like, "you should make a beat like this". I was just listening to it like it’s just the same thing over and over again I could definitely do that and I ended up coming up with 'Can You Party' which turned into Jungle Brothers’ 'I’ll House You', so I owe a lot to Marshall Jefferson and his craft, definitely one of my favourite records of all time.

'A Day In A Life' - Black Riot

One of my other favourite records is another by me, I’m not trying to vain or swallow here, but I did really like when I put together 'Day In A Life'. I thought that was like a really interesting record for house music. I think that I definitely created a sound that was a good asset and a techno feel to last forever. The sample’s still being used today. That sample was from a freestyle group called Sequel. Lewis Martineé, he’s the one who produced it and it’s a little tiny part from one of their dubbed versions and I slowed it down and that became 'A Day In A Life'. Just one sound stretched out. It’s just incredible, how I was talking about sounds before sounds can make your life, it can make your whole career if you had that different sound. When people listen to my records they say "that sounds like some Todd Terry shit", that’s what I always wanted to create something that stands out from other people.

Todd Terry's latest tune 'Don't Over Think It' with James Hurr & Adam Griffin is out now on Organized Chaos - Stream

Todd Terry
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