Playing all night long is one of the best tests of all true DJs and as Skream embarks on his second year of his Open To Close tour we ask him to reveal his secret weapons.
Last year's 'Open To Close' tour was my highlight of last year and actually, one of the highlights of my career. I love playing all night long because I like being able to control the dynamics of a night and dictate the way that the evening goes. I buy a lot of music from different genres and tempos that I don't usually get a chance to incorporate into my [normal] summer festival sets that are 90-120 minutes long, so I am literally collecting music all year round to play on the tour.
The music policy can be anything from funk, to disco, to house or techno, generally starting at about 100bpm and ending around 130bpm, but allowing the vibe inside the club and on the dancefloor to take me wherever it desires. Playing people new music the crowd may not have heard before is the most enjoyable part.
Favourite first record:
Burnt Island Casuals 'Theme From Easy Aces feat. Esa Mervin Granger Williams & Blinding Bill Docherty'
This track just gets me in the mood for an all nighter. It’s a real slow burner but gets the hips moving. The instruments, the groove. It just has it all. I have to thank Jasper James for introducing me to this one.
The tune you drop when you want to take it up a notch:
Love Drop - Party (Love Drop Edit)
I normally start the Open To Close show’s quite soulfully and build into more funk and disco and when I drop this one you know the party is about to start. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a huge disco fan and this track is me all over. Great groove and vocals and an amazing bassline.
Early doors classic:
Donna Summer ‘Bad Girls (Reflex Edit)
This is definitely one of my favourite disco tracks and reminds me of being at family birthdays and weddings as a child. I always believed the original was flawless, until I discovered The Reflex and his edits and reversions. He really is the only person I know who can better a classic!
Mid set curve ball:
Human League ‘The Thing Dreams Are Made Of (Original Dub Edit)’
A timeless classic that still sounds so fresh! Some people still ask me what it is expecting it to be something new. Crazy!
Hardest track you’ll play:
Skream & Billy Turner ‘Medusa’
This is a new track by myself and rising talent Billy Turner, a name you should definitely check out if you’re into the harder sides of techno. It’s forthcoming on my record label ‘Of Unsound Mind.’ It’s hard as nails and reminiscent of Dutch hard style.
When you want to take it weird:
Peter Van Hoesen ‘Voodoo Benny’s Wish Bone’
The track I play when I want to start taking things darker. The percussion is crazy and the track is just all over the place. There’s no real drum beat, just rolling shaking percussion so once you bring in the kick drum on the next track it’s guaranteed to send people crazy.
Get out of jail track:
Leftfield ‘Open Up (Skream Remix)’
Earlier on in the year, I had the pleasure of being messaged by Neil from Leftfield personally asking me to remix his iconic ‘Open Up’ featuring John Lydon. To be honest, I was originally going to say no as I really didn’t think I’d be able to do the original justice. Luckily I had a play around with the samples he sent and came up with my remix which has been my track of the summer. Everytime I play it the crowd go insane!
Party track for when it gets too serious:
Don Armandos Second Avenue Rumba Band ‘Deputy Of Love (Cratebug Edit)’
This track gets played nearly every set and is a classic that Crate Bug beefed up nicely. When I play this, I just dance and sing every word. The crowd go completely nuts when the chorus comes in. It just always feels right, regardless of what song was playing before.
Skreamizm ‘Let It Go’
I made this three years ago when I was going through a bad time. It’s a real emotional ten minute piece which builds up to these big orchestra strings and is the peak emotional part of my set and also a perfect way to say good bye.
For more info on Skream’s ‘Open To Close’ tour click here: www.skre.am