Jerome Hill, sculpted by the London rave scene in the ’90s, has ceaselessly stayed true to those roots. His musical journey has led him to champion a variety of genres such as, techno, hip-hop, acid house, breakbeat, and UK bleep. He releases these sounds on his labels like his own Super Rhythm Trax, Don’t, and Fat Hop.
A DJ who doesn’t like to be tied down and follow the trends; his sets mix old and new influences to keep the audience on their toes. By staying hyper-alert to a genre’s history, his performances are often informative if you were to trace the threads from tune to tune.
His next DJ outing comes this Friday for Unbound Events and Loose Lips’ party at The Cause. Following their end of year party in 2018 with Skee Mask and Bruce, they return This Friday to the North London venue with another stellar cast of electronic talent, as Jerome comes joined by Juan Atkins, Makaton, and SPFDJ.
With the event quickly approaching, Jerome digs deep into his record bag to pick out some of his most cherished records over the years. See all ten of his picks below!
1. West Street Mob Breakdance – ‘Electric Boogie’ (1983)
I’m starting with this one because it was literally the first repetitive dance music that really grabbed me and made me physically excited. So much so that when I first managed to get a fraction of it taped off the radio station, I then made a very shonky tape to tape extended edit that was completely out of time at the loop points just so I could listen to it for longer.
There’ve been many uses of the Apache break but this was my introduction to it. I especially love the way it really makes you really wait for the riff to slam in. And that vocoder! Everything about it is perfect and still gives me the tingles.
2. Bomb The Bass – ‘On The Cut’ (1988)
Put aside the fact that the album ‘Into the Dragon’ boasts one of the finest sleeves ever designed, and skip past the brilliant but well trodden hits such as ‘Beat Dis’, ‘Megablast’ and ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’ and you’ll find this gem of a cut and paste cartoon B Boy Break Hip Hop medley. From the opening ‘We are ie’ sample, made famous a few years later, the track jumps around all over the place and hungrily devours never-ending samples and breaks whilst keeping things good humoured and very playful. Still love it.
3. Zsa Zsa La Boum – ‘Something Scary’ (1988)
This one made a lasting impression from when I first used to hear it being played on London pirate radio stations such as Fantasy FM. In fact it stayed with me so much that I was proud to have been able to reissue it on my label Don’t in 2012 with the blessing of Rembert De Smet who was responsible for so many New Beat classics and sadly passed away in 2017. Just a beautiful haunting track that will always make me long for those days where I was discovering all this music.
Also, check out the HNO3 ‘Doughnut Dollies’ track on the flip side of the Don’t reissue for more 1988 inspiration and RIP to Eric Powa B who passed away just a few months before Rembert.
4. 2 Kilos – ‘Mohammed’s Mind’ (1990)
A real evil and mystical track on a rare and now cult label… A massive jangling break beat, foreboding strings and evil acid with a ‘slowy down’ bit in the middle. Yes please !! Caned by some of the more adventurous pirate DJs at the time.
5. Hardnoise – ‘Untitled’ (1990)
A massive tune that’s often considered the UK’s hardest hip hop track. I still scratch and mix in the accapella of this over Renegade Soundwave’s ‘Phantom’ (They live together harmoniously in the same sleeve) and the instrumental mix is super solid too !! My holy trinity of UK hard hop was this one, Gunshot ‘Battle Creek Brawl’ and Hijack ‘The Terrorist Group’.
6. NRG – ‘Terminator’ (1990)
1990 was the year that I came in to this music and began taking note, buying and playing records, so many of my favourites are from this year as it seemed to be the most exciting year for music and with hindsight, for me it still is.
People were expanding upon the tested and solid templates of house and techno and many records started messing with the formulas. This was one of them and the break on it just thunders on a sound system. Absolute joy. This appeared on Chill, which remains one of my favourite labels ever, a tasty melting pot of Bleeps, Breaks and heavy Bass plus some Terminator samples …What more could you ask for ?
7. Autonation – ‘Sit On The Bass’ (1991)
This is one of my favourite Techno tracks ever written. It has it all… Known amongst many as ‘the poppodom track’ this is another i was able to reissue on Don’t and even (perhaps foolishly) remixed it. Just perfect arrangement and equal measures of funky drum programming and all out rave.
8. Subvoice – ‘Vampirella’ (DBX Remix)
Moving away from 1988-1991 now as i could stay there forever, another big influence for me has been Daniel Bell aka DBX. A master and innovator of the ‘Less is More’ school of minimal Techno . Instead of posting one of his classics i’ll post this one which has been back on heavy rotation in my sets recently; a remix he did on Shufflemaster’s Subvoice label.
Who needs elaborate modular synths and swathes of reverb when some Casio RZ1 drums, a vocal sample and a filter is enough to lock in a dancefloor for a solid 5 minutes.
9. Cristian Vogel – ‘Don’t Take More’ (Jamie Lidell Remix)
A huge and untamed beast that actually blew minds when it came out. Vogel and Lidell were a part of a small but significant cluster of UK producers rewriting the Techno rulebook that also included Neil Landstrumm, Subhead, Tobias Schmidt & Si Begg all of whom were and are ultra important to me and massively influential in the music I play. Words can’t express how important this track was for me but it was one of a few things that led me to name my own label ‘Don’t’ . Special mention to Landstrumm’s ’Tension In New York’ which i’ve probably played out more than any other track over the years.
10. Matthew Herbert – ‘Hidden Sugars’ (2005)
Herbert is possibly my favourite producer when he makes tracks like this. Completely freeform, made from found sounds and often with a warning message contained within.. In this case the samples are junk food based (a can of coke, a sugar shaker etc) . There’s many Herbert tracks in this vein but this one is especially epic with plenty of deft changes of tone and constant drama. Just genius.
I usually pitch it up a little. It’s quite a hard track to fit into a set but if you are blessed with an adventurous crowd and time it correctly, it’s very rewarding ! I like to imagine the next day random people in the club might have flashbacks to parts of it and wonder if they’d exaggerated it in their heads, where in actual fact no, it really was that insane and unusual.. A piece of dance music that risks everything whilst making perfect sense to those who are following it through.
Jerome Hill, Juan Atkins, SPFDJ, Makaton, Alex Downey – Loose Lips x Unbound takes place Feb 1st at The Cause.
Buy tickets here.