With a eclectic and engaging musical taste, Belgium’s favourite crate digger Lefto has strictly become one of Europe’s most enthralling and unique selectors. The bearded bossman has continued to staple his name into the global industry and his talent has led him to be heavily connected with highly influential platforms like Brownswood, Blue Note, Stones Throw, Worldwide Festival, Dour and many more.
His love for digging can be traced back to his early days working at the legendary Music Mania record store in Brussels, and his endless search for the perfect beat has resulted in a tidy collection of over 15,000 records at his home. He’s also pretty crafty behind the camera, having directed six-part documentary series ‘Lefto in Transit‘, in which he takes us into some of his favourite underground scenes of Los Angeles, Seoul, Brussels, Chicago and London.
Having already blessed sound systems in Los Angeles, Italy, Rotterdam and Switzerland this year, it’s The Big Smoke where we find Lefto next, as he heads to Printworks this August Bank Holiday weekend to spin alongside some of our favourite soul explorers, with Theo Parrish, Moodymann, Carl Craig, Fatima, Dam Funk and more in session.
Catching up with Lefto ahead of the gig, we asked him to share some of his favourite pieces of wax that he’s picked up along his DJ travels. Check his picks out below.
1. David Sancious & Tone – Prelude #3
Every now and then deejays/producers passing by Brussels ask if I’m around; most of the time i’m not, but it happens that i’m home. This one I found on a spring day in one of the many record shops we have downtown. I got this one recommended by Danilo aka Motor City Drum Ensemble with whom I was digging on that day. It is always nice to dig with other guys because we all have our own specialties in genres and it is sometimes cool to discover what’s sounding amazing in a genre that you’re not familiar with. This one from David Sancious has amazing synths and vibe.
2. Jellybean – Twilight Drone
It’s a record that I have been playing for a long time, kinda forgot about it but it resurfaced when I went through my records before a sale. The photo shows an official label but never found this copy, instead I found a test-pressing copy in the cheap bins of the electronic music section at Amoeba in Los Angeles. I couldn’t believe my eyes, and it wasn’t the first time I found a gem in those bins either. Not too sure who is behind this RR label from Chicago, is it Cajmere? I want to know…
3. Khalil Ahmed – Dance music (saya)
I don’t remember the store I bought it in Delhi, India but I was looking for 45s of Bollywood music but found this one and is actually from Pakistan. It is a pretty crazy track that feels like it’s divided in chapters and every chapter is a sample for a perfect underground rap hit, think of Madlib maybe… have a listen!
4. Orkes Kelama Ria – Ya Mahmud
This one was recommended to me in Jakarta, Indonesia in a very small flea market next to a river that looked more like an open sewer. The guy had a decent amount of records, some in bad shape but this one was in perfect state although there was no official cover for it, instead it had a brown clean sleeve with a photocopy of the original sleeve on it.
5. The Thomas Whitfield Company – Things that we believe (Volume 1)
I was in Chicago to film one of my Lefto In Transit documentaries and I was heading to south Chicago to find some good gospel records although I knew I probably wouldn’t find much as most of the local diggers I know already passed by the shops but I managed to find a copy of the great Thomas Whitfield gospel record; I was particularly looking for a song on it “Lord, You’re My Everything”. It was not only a record shop, it also converted into a chapel every sunday morning; it is featured in my tv episode on Chicago.
Record Vinyl Sleeves..
Catch Lefto at The Hydra’s Printworks party on August 25th.
More info and tickets here.
NEXT: Hyp 313: Lefto