London-based drum n bass label Hospital Records was launched by Tony Colman and Chris Goss in 1996, with the company’s initial releases coming from their own projects, Peter Nice Trio, Dwarf Electro and London Elektricity. Following the success of the latter’s debut album, ‘Pull The Plug’, in 1999, the label began to expand and sign other artists, including Landslide, Danny Byrd and High Contrast.
In 2002, Goss retired from the studio in order to concentrate full time on running the ever growing label, with Colman continuing London Elektricity as a solo project. As well as signing some of the best electronic producers on offer, the label also launched the first of its various popular compilation series, ‘Out Patients’ and ‘Plastic Surgery’, with a club night, Hospitality, following in 2005 and the company’s award winning podcast in 2007.
With a new compilation to mark the fifteenth anniversary of Hospital Records, featuring classic, extended and previously unreleased tracks from the label, out on Monday (28 Nov), we asked Colman to look back through the Hospital catalogue to select ten favourites for this week’s Powers Of Ten playlist.
Colman explains: “We’re celebrating fifteen years of Hospital Records this year so I’ve picked some of my highlights from throughout the last decade and a half; from club anthems to deep electronica on [experimental spin-off label] Med School, one-off releases to remixes, all these tracks in some way come together to form the sonic identity of Hospital Records”.
TONY COLMAN’S TEN
Click here to listen to Tony’s playlist in Spotify or listen via multiple sources on Tomahawk, and then read on to find out more about his choices.
01 Dagga – Laughing Gas
A proper one-off release on Hospital, this twelve-inch came out in 2002 and it’s been in my record box ever since. A perfect Bristolian roller, 170bpm funk at it’s finest. Dagga has stopped making music, he is now a plasterer. A real shame for music lovers but probably a boon if you live in Bristol and need an unsung dnb hero to do up your kitchen!
02 B Complex – Beautiful Lies
Matus B Complex makes unique tunes inspired by the folk music of his homeland Slovakia. He not only came good with ‘Beautiful Lies’, a track nestled in the bosom of volume one of our ‘Sick Music’ compilation series, this track has over the last three years become our most downloaded tune on Hospital.
03 Unquote – Hide Your Tears Because We Are In Heaven
Unquote is part of a growing body of artists from St Petersburg who make achingly beautiful EDM, loosely classifiable as dnb or dubstep. Unquote’s music to me is like modern church music, cathedral like in texture and sound. His album is titled ‘Reverberation Box’ and that describes the cavernous sound of his music perfectly.
04 London Elektricity – Just One Second (Apex Remix)
Apex remixed what was essentially a dnb indie pop track from my album ‘Syncopated City’ and turned it into a Hospitality anthem. I very rarely enjoy having my own music remixed but Rob Apex broke the mould with this, and the simplicity of his production belies a perfect listening/dancefloor sensibility.
05 Seba & Paradox feat Robert Manos – Move On
This is blissed out sublime vocal dnb at it’s best. Released as a one off single around 2004, this is the best tune you could ever end a set with. If a massage followed by a long bath followed by a night of passion with Valerie could be turned into music, this would be the tune.
06 Logistics – Together
One of the two biggest club tunes ever released on Hospital, this is one of those very rare tracks where every single element is perfect, and the sum of the parts results in a mesmerising and almost spooky experience when you listen to it. Uplifting and melancholic and, crucially, I’ve never met anyone who has ever tired of this tune.
07 High Contrast feat Dianne Charlemagne – If We Ever
The other of our two biggest club tunes! A timeless slice of intelligent jungle with parts that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle of an Escher painting… if that makes sense! Lincoln Barrett claims he made it in a couple of hours but we don’t believe him.
08 Mistabishi – No Matter What
I am a big fan of Mistabishi. ‘No Matter What’ is like raving with the wrong drugs – it should lead to a personal meltdown but somehow it doesn’t, it takes you to a totally different and very good place instead. Bishi is always original and despite the sad fact that we had to part ways with him, I suggest you check out his new album ‘The Trip’ out on his own label.
09 LAOS – Panda Style
I have always loved novelty records and this is as close as you will come one in dnb. We released it on a limited edition white seven-inch which is now selling for £40 and upwards. The tune will put a smile on your face and make you jiggle. It’s my five year old’s favourite dnb tune, and it’s one of this 50 year old’s too!
10 Danny Byrd – Weird Science
I can’t get this out of my head even now, some four years since the release. A perfect example of vocal cut ups over an uplifting funky dnb rhythm track. Danny is the master of fun and funky dnb and all his tunes have arrangements so subtle and complex they’d make Quincy Jones proud.
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