YouTube Sessions: ItaloJohnson

Little is known about ItaloJohnson – the Berlin-based trio prefer to let their music do the talking. First appearing in 2010 with three untitled percussive house tracks released via their own label, the anonymous DJ/production group have continued to remain in the shadows. Fast-forward to today, and ItaloJohnson have 10 releases in their self-titled vinyl series that all work under the same principle: no track titles, no fancy artwork, just individual catalogue numbers and hand stamped 12-inches of the finest house and techno. With the recent revelation that they are in fact ‘The Ghostbusters’, and their 10th release coming after nearly a year of studio silence, the trio have successfully managed to remain secretive and still become one of the most sought-after acts in dance music.

Extensive sets at the likes of Trouw, fabric and Panorama Bar, as well as a stellar Resident Advisor mix and Boiler Room appearance, have proved their finesse behind the buttons and, ahead of their appearance at this year’s Farr Festival, we thought we’d invite the trio to share some of their favourite YouTube oddities. It’s a serious throwback, ranging from vintage Bone Thugs-N-Harmony freestyles to Photek’s sword technique to classic scenes from Eastbound & Down. As ItaloJohnson say, “Everything was better in the old days”.

1. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony live in Amsterdam

Bone is without a doubt one of my favourite bands of all time and Krayzie is definitely one of the smoothest vocalists that has ever been in the rap game. This isn’t a freestyle though, the lyrics are taken from his 2006 release Streets Most Wanted, from the track ‘Yall Ain’t Know’. I prefer this stone-cold Krayzie live radio version over the original though. Please don’t mind the Dutch radio host, he can’t help being a dill.

2. Bone Thugs N Harmony Rap City Freestyle

And another one straight off the Bone. Clearly this is freestyle and Bizzy is absolutely killing it. I wonder what’s in his cup? PS. This is what I call a dirty beat.

3. Ride With You (Italo Johnson Remix)

Not as cool as DBX – Electric Shock at Detroit’s New Dance Show in 93, but we were quite flattered when we saw this.

4. Goldie – Innercity Life

Listening to this one on my shockproof discman back then, made me feel like I will never ever listen to anything else other than drum and bass for the rest of my life. I was in love with Diane Charlemagne’s voice and her style in this video is beyond belief .

5. Method Man – All I Need (Razor Sharp Remix) ft. Mary J. Blige

Back in the day when music videos were directed like movies I had to stay up quite late so I could record the uncensored version on VHS from MTV. Really want those Fila Grant Hills that Meth is wearing!

6. Photek – ni ten ichi ryu

“Everything was better in the old days” try to debate this point after watching, ‘Ni Ten Ichi Ryu’.

7. Blade (1998) – Opening Scene

Still can’t get enough of this scene and much love for Traci Lords and Pump Panel.

8. A Tribe Called Quest – Electric Relaxation

R.I.P. Malik – One Love!!!

9. Kenny Powers Meets Ashley Shaffer

Kenny: “I thought Ashley Schaeffer was gonna be a woman”. Ashley: “I love women, so I’ll take that as a compliment”.

10. Brownstone – If You Love Me (Live)

Favourite ballad of all time! These girls have been hurt, that much is clear. Obviously no playback here, too bad the video quality is so low.

Farr Festival takes place in Bygrave Woods, Hertfordshire (25mins from Kings Cross) 14/15/16 July.
Weekend & Day tickets available here.