This Friday, seminal Bristol production duo Smith & Mighty are putting out a new compilation of unreleased material from their most prolific period. Named after their famous studio in the St Pauls area, Ashley Road Sessions 88-94 marks 30 years since their first release, and also acts as an excellent primer for their pioneering hybrid sound which led them to work with artists such as Massive Attack and Neneh Cherry.
Listening to the compilation, the extent of the duo's influence on both the Bristol sound and the wider UK urban and electronic music scenes becomes staggeringly apparent, laying the foundations for everything from jungle and dubstep to UK rap.
Bass manipulator extraordinaire Rob Smith aka RSD has put together this excellent playlist of his own influences. From U-Roy and Dionne Warwick to Jah Wobble and This Mortal Coil, get stuck in below...
Ashley Road Sessions 88-94 is out 9th November via Tectonic / Punch Drunk, pre-order it here.
Dionne Warwick - Anyone Who Had A Heart
As a five year old, this song (sung by either Dione or Cilla) made me feel things I didn't understand, like nervous warmth or a soft vague agony. Similarly Gene Pitney's '24 Hours from Tulsa' and The Righteous Brothers' 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling'. They remind me of watching Emma Peel and Doctor Who in black and white. My elder brother had a veneered wood music centre which stood on four legs with a crystal glass cabinet on one side and a record deck which slid out as you opened the front. A faint glow from the valve amp at the back and stereo speakers along the base behind matted cloth grill which were at the perfect height for a kid playing on the carpet. Warm bass, reverbed strings and haunted melodies.