CMU Playlists

Playlist: Wrongtom

By | Published on Saturday 25 September 2010

Producer and DJ Wrongtom has been involved in many musical projects, though in recent years became best known as Hard-Fi’s in-house remixer and tour DJ.

Two years ago, Tom was asked by Big Dada to turn in a remix of ‘Buff Nuff’, the first single from Roots Manuva’s 2008 album ‘Slime & Reason’. However, so impressed were the label’s people with the result that they asked him to do some more, eventually adding a whole bonus disc of Wrongtom mixes to that album, before asking him to create an entire remix album spanning the rapper’s career.

In creating that album, ‘Duppy Writer’, Tom tried to re-imagine each track as an ‘original’ version from an earlier decade, taking the Roots Manuva’s 21st century music back through 80s dancehall to classic reggae. He and Roots even found time to record a brand new track, ‘Jah Warriors’, which features guest vocals from Ricky Ranking.

With the album now out, we asked Tom to put together a Powers Of ten playlist for us. The ten tracks he chose are eclectic, to say the least; everything from The Smiths to Slick Rick and Lou Reed gets a look in. 

Click here to listen to Wrongtom’s playlist in Spotify, and then read on to find out more about his selections.

01 The Kingston Trio – Tic Tic Tic
This is where it all began for me. My dad used to play their ‘Live From The Hungry I’ LP all the time when I was a little kid and the two calypso tracks were my favourites. I’m pretty sure I can trace my thing for both Caribbean music and story telling songs back to this track.

02 The Beat – Over & Over

This is a bit of an anomaly for the 2 Tone scene. It’s great how all the bands gave the style their own spin but there was always something particularly different about The Beat’s material next to all the nuttiness and knees-ups which the brace-twanging fans frustratingly expected. ‘Over & Over’ is probably one of their more post-punk moments with steel pans clattering around a quasi-calypso beat and Dave Wakeling’s typically chilling imagery.

03 Prince & The Revolution – New Position

More steel pans, and I’m pretty sure the only time Prince has used them was on ‘Parade’. I’m a bit of a die hard Prince fan, I own doubles of everything from the 94 East album through to ‘Diamonds & Pearls’. I’ve even got the Mazarati and The Family albums (and I even listen to them).

04 Eugene McDaniels – Unspoken Dreams Of Light

Following the skinny-funk of ‘New Position’, we’re now at the other end of the spectrum with McDaniels’ brand of agit-soul. I’d be a fan of any artist that had their wings clipped by the Nixon administration only to bounce back and top the charts on a number of occasions, but when you couple those odds with proto-rap like this then I’m double sold.

05 BDP – Stop The Violence

Speaking of rapping, this is the record which won me over. I’d been listening to hip hop for a few years but something about this track really resonated. It’s the antithesis of what the media of the late 80s would’ve had you believe was all guns and hoes, plus KRS reworked Winston Riley’s ‘Super Rock’ rhythm for the backing track, which is perfect if you’re an 80s dancehall fan like me.

06 Slick Rick – Children’s Story

Slick Rick made the first record I ever bought. I almost put ‘La Di Da Di’ on here but ‘Children’s Story’ is actually a better track. He set the benchmark for story telling in hip hop here – funny, compelling and catchy without even needing a hook. He was born in Wimbledon too – Womble forever.

07 London Posse – Original London Style

I listened to this album inside out for years, one of UK hip hop’s few masterpieces and full of nods to dancehall and reggae. I was gonna do a straight up dub selection to tie in with ‘Duppy Writer’ but figured stuff like ‘Original London Style’ was more fitting, as it bridges the gap between reggae and rap perfectly.

08 The Smiths – Paint A Vulgar Picture

This might seem like a bit of a jump from London Posse but Morrissey always sounded like an MC to me. Another great story, which should be force fed to anyone planning on a career in the music industry just to keep them in check.

09 Lou Reed – Andy’s Chest

Somehow I didn’t hear ‘Transformer’ til a few years back but this one’s stayed with me ever since. More story telling (see a pattern forming yet?) with Lou sounding like a drug addled nursery school teacher attempting to wow the kids with a tale plucked from the haze of rehab.

10 Max Roach & Abbey Lincoln – Freedom Day

It didn’t occur to me til the last track just how homme-heavy this selection was, so rather than go back and rethink it I decided to leave you with this beautiful song by Abbey Lincoln who sadly passed away recently. Though it’s far from an obscurity I always felt like this album was overlooked by the peace-jazz fans next to the likes of Pharoah Sanders, Gary Bartz and their ilk. Maybe I’m mistaken, but who cares – it’s great.