Stevie Wonder - Songs In The Key Of Life
“I’d have to say that my best all time album ever would have to come from Stevie Wonder, and an album called Songs In The Key Of Life. All the tracks are phenomenal, but one that stands out is a track called Another Star. It’s a tune which got completely ripped into house tracks by Joey Negro and all sorts of people that utilised this record in such a way that it still sounds very fresh today.
“Another track of the album that became very popular was Sir Duke. A lot of people will remember that record. It was a very happy/clappy track that Stevie did, and when you hear it you could end up singing it all day long.”
Common - Like Water For Chocolate
“I’m not sure if many people know Common, but he really is a philosopher and a poet when it comes to making hip-hop, jazz, and hip-hop with a funk groove. With his music you’d end up listening to what he was saying inside the music, and I loved that.
“A lot of these rap and R&B artists are shouting through the music or rapping really fast, and you have no idea what they are saying. Common cuts through all that and gets his message across.
“I stumbled across him at a party I was doing for Red Bull a few years back in Australia. They announced him and he came on with this full live band and I was like ‘Oh my god, this is awesome!’. Ever since then I’ve been a fan. I just keep playing this album over and over, it’s amazing.”
The Jackson 5 - Lookin' Through the Windows
“For the next album we go right back to my youth. Again, it’s a Tamla Motown release, but it’s the Jackson 5. As a whole, as a band, it’s amazing. Of course, it’s got Michael Jackson on, but I think he was, like, 13.
“It’s just the purity of his vocals and the band and the production, which is wonderful. I’d not heard the title track for a while but I listened to it recently on iTunes because I wondered what it would sound like today, and it still blew me away. Loved it.”
Beastie Boys - Licensed To Ill
“When it comes to hip-hop and funk and pure fun, these guys just rocked it, and they still do today. Every single track on the album is immense. I don’t think they’ve had a better album since, in my opinion. It’s a wicked debut and they really raised the bar with this album. It’s just brilliant.
“Tracks like Fight for Your Right To Party, Hold It Now, Hit it… the list goes on really. It was a landmark, especially for Def Jam records.
“I think it was overlooked, and not a lot of people remember this album these days, but as soon as you hear Fight For Your Right To Party? For sure, you know that, but a lot of the songs on there got lost. You go back to it now and it just sounds as fresh today as it ever did.”
Laurent Garnier - Unreasonable Behaviour
“He’s one of these guys… well, he’s French, so he can do what he likes. [Adopts French accent] ‘I make techno, but I can do whatever… make music for cathedrals…’ He gets inspiration from all sorts of people.
“One track I’d like to talk about is The Man With The Red Face. When he made that he really made a statement based on musicianship, based on feeling, vibes and just passion. It comes pouring out.
“Another track off the album which is in a league of its own for techno music and feeling is The Sound of the Big Babou. Wow. It’s still a ‘wow’ today. It’s noise, it’s brash, it’s French, it’s the lot.”
Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express
“This is still an ultimate classic and sounds amazing. Those old analogue synth sounds you can hear in there… very coarse sounding by today’s standards, but that was the beginning of everything when it comes to techno music.
“I don’t think I could have done this new album, All Roads Lead to the Dancefloor, without the groundwork put down by Kraftwerk.”
Carl Cox’s latest album, All Roads Lead to the Dancefloor, is out now.