Considered nothing short of a, “genius”, by his friend Levon Vincent, its safe to say that Fred Peterkin is held in pretty high esteem. Born in Brooklyn, at first Peterkin was grouped into the wave of New York based producers such as Vincent, Jus-Ed and DJ Qu that started turning heads around the end of the last decade – an understandable but rather mistaken association. Although friends with the aforementioned, his style is uniquely personal – based around a raw and resonant strain of electronic Soul. Across his three most known aliases; Fred P, Black Jazz Consortium and Anomaly, its this quality that serves as the common denominator.
Before Peterkin takes the terrace at Studio 338 down his own musical rabbit hole this Saturday, we hit him up for this week’s edition of YouTube Sessions. Giving us a tour through his musical upbringing he provides a killer selection of tracks from the mid 70’s to the 80’s, taking in Kraftwerk, David Bowie and Grace Jones amongst others.
B.T. Express – ‘Express’ (1974)
My earliest memory of Funk is this tune my parents played quite often around the house. The feeling of it captured the time and vibration of the people. The musicianship and raw emotion stands true, this is a truly timeless piece and very influential for me as it is part of my roots and upbringing…
Kraftwerk – ‘Trans Europe Express’ (1977)
This song sounds like any Sci-Fi film today and it’s 38 years old. When I was a kid I was glued to the radio when I heard it. There was nothing like this. It created a genuine moment in my mind. Machines and mind connected and gave a snap shot of the future. This tune was not only influential for me but a generation. This song connected everyone across genre and cultures and continues to do so today. Very important record..
David Bowie – ‘Ashes To Ashes’ (1980)
This is my earliest memory of being curious about Rock music. I have been a David Bowie fan ever since. I saw the video on television on Halloween, if you can imagine, it’s 1980, it’s dark, and I had been watching horror films all night. At the time I had no clue of who David Bowie was, my parents did not play his music around the house, but after seeing ‘Ashes to Ashes’ I never forgot the images, the sound… the music was quite effective. Big influence to this very day.
Taana Gardner – ‘Heartbeat (Larry Levan Club Mix)’ (1981)
The Summer of ’81 this tune was the only record on the radio. At least that’s what it seemed like to me, every station was playing both the radio version and Larry Levan remix. This tune really brought people together at the block party and the cook out in the park. Everyone would dance TOGETHER. This is one of the songs that has a timeless quality that captures a moment that we all can share universally. Today this song is still ridiculously dope from a musical perspective. Arrangement, musicianship, mixing, it’s perfect in my opinion.
Afrika Bambaataa – ‘Planet Rock’ (1982)
This tune changed my life and how I listened to music. This record ushered in the beginning of Hip Hop culture on a cosmic level and became the anthem for all B-Boys to this day. You hear this song and see how it spawned a genre of Electro hybrids. Very influential tune. I have memories of dancing and battling for hours to this one record. ‘Bam is truly a genius for bringing this historical classic to life..
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five – ‘The Message’ (1982)
This tune is self explanatory as it speaks of the ills of the times as a result of the systemic inequality for a population under consistent pressure. The lyric, “…a child is born with no state of mind blind to the ways of man kind”, is beautifully poetic and tragic at the same time. 33 years ago this tune was made and it still stands true today. Very important record..
The Art Of Noise – ‘Beat Box’ (1984)
Simply one of the most wickedest tracks I ever heard in my life. I played the ’45 until I wore it out and had to get another copy. Complete madness this track is. I love it still to this day.
Grace Jones – ‘Slave To The Rhythm’ (1985)
I love this song because it captures the vibration of the times. This tune is massive and had such a huge impact on me. ’85 was a year of extremes and that came through in Pop culture. Work hard play hard, all the while this tension in the air. This is a classic that captures this sentiment perfectly. One of my favorites.
Tears For Fears – ‘Everybody Want To Rule The World’ (1985)
It’s all about melody for me. I would hear this song on the radio every morning before school. It literally stayed in head and I began to follow the group unconsciously. I really got in to their music and I think the biggest influence is the chord structure and how simple is always better when expressing complex things. This tune is one of my all time favorites by this duo.
Eric B & Rakim – ‘Check Out My Melody’ (1986)
Hands down all time Hip Hop classic and a big influence on my approach to drums and edging samples. This slightly lo-fi mix of drum loop cuts and scratching creates a raw aggressive atmosphere that Rakim flows effortlessly over and paints the most amazing picture from the window of his mind. This record has been imitated but never duplicated. I have to say I learned a great deal from it and I’ve been inspired by it to this very day. This tune marked a turning point in Hip-Hop culture…
Fred P plays alongside Call Super, Kowton and ItaloJohnson at the Studio 338’s opening party this Saturday 7th February. Buy tickets here.