Guest Selector: Mallorca Lee
Scottish DJ and producer Mallorca Lee talks us through some of the tracks that influenced his new album Acid & Eve
On his latest album, Acid & Eve, Scottish DJ and producer Mallorca Lee celebrates 30 years of acid house and the equipment associated with its sound.
Of the new album, Lee said: “Acid & Eve is my take on acid house today, sequenced and recorded live on only Roland, Aria and Boutique equipment. I stepped away from the computer and used nothing else but the original vintage equipment, alongside Roland’s new range of equipment. It was these classic machines that got me into dance music in the first place.”
Lee talks us through some of the tracks that influenced the album and have inspired him throughout his career, from Frankie Knuckles to David Bowie.
Phuture – Acid Tracks
[Trax Records, 1987]
This track had a huge influence on my new album Acid & Eve. I just like the space between the hypnotic grooves, and the fact you are constantly trying to make sense of the composition even 30 odd years later. This track blew my mind and still does. It’s amazing to think that this track was the birth of acid house; the music that changed the world and gave us our own youth culture. All these early records had me wondering if the people that made it were aliens!
Simple Minds – Love Song
This track was dance music before I even knew what dance music was. I was too young to appreciate the first album, but once I got my hands on the New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84) album I was hooked. I loved the use of synths and drum machines alongside traditional songs and instruments, which is something I experimented with on my second album Computer Games. This record oozes Glasgow swagger. The music they made in the 80s will always be a huge inspiration to me.
Public Enemy – Rebel Without a Pause
[Def Jam, 1988]
I still am a massive Public Enemy fan, and getting the chance to work with Chuck [D] and [Professor] Griff has definitely been one of the high points of my career. When this record came out it just blew everything out of the water. It got played at raves and hip-hop parties.The first album was gold but It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back was jaw-dropping, sample-led and educational. It really opened my mind to rap with a message and, more importantly to me at that time in my life, to sample everything!
John Martyn – Small Hours
Most people will say Solid Air, but Small Hours is my favourite John Martyn track. It’s ambient house before anyone had thought about giving chillout a pigeonhole. It’s amazing that a piece of music can make you question your full existence. His use of effects and the way his lyrics become a melody has been a huge influence. On my track Pretty Precious Things, from my Computer Games album, I tried to capture that, but I think if I could ever write something as beautiful as this I would give up music completely.
Frankie Knuckles feat. Jamie Principle – Your Love
Although this track is not really acid house I think it captured the euphoria of peak time clubbing and still wrecks the place when you play it today. This is the original song by Jamie Principle, which is my favourite. I wanted to do a cover version of this track for my Acid & Eve album and got totally possessed with using the exact same drum machines and synths, tracking down the right Roland bass sounds and arpeggios to stay as true to the original as possible. My good mate Ross Ferguson really nailed the vocals. It’s a cover version made with nothing but love and respect for Frankie Bones and Jamie Principle.
Underworld – Skym
This track just stops me in my tracks every time I hear it, even listening back to it now I am staring at the speakers trying not to lose myself. Underworld really captured something special with this record, and the vocals by Karl Hyde just speak to your soul. Underworld have been a huge influence on everything I do; they are my generation’s Kraftwerk. Just listen to this on repeat, lose yourself in your thoughts and thank me later. I think it’s very important to still have a human element in electronic music, be it vocals or just turning the knobs as you feel the vibe; it needs that human injection or you run the risk of making elevator music.
Jon Hopkins – Light Through The Veins
[Double Six, 2009]
I really think Jon Hopkins is on another level from any of today’s electronic producers. From his work with indie bands like King Creosote to the soundtrack for the  film Monsters, it’s all epic and this track is just sublime. By the end of it you know that life isn't all bad and everything is going to be ok – it really is going to be ok.
David Bowie – A New Career in a New Town
I honestly believe that none of the records in my list would have been made if Bowie never released Low. You can hear everything in it – from Simple Minds to Jon Hopkins; Britpop to electronic dance music – decades before anyone else even thought about it. I love putting people on to this LP because it still sounds like it could have been made three months ago. There is someone, somewhere with this album in their studio trying to recreate its vibe. Bowie makes you want to give up while inspiring you at the same time.
808 State – Pacific State
The drum patterns were a huge influence on my Acid & Eve album; the Roland TR-909 drum just keeps the groove going. Me and my mates would go raving to this track back in the day and also chill out, driving about listening to this on repeat. Voodoo Ray was going to be in my list but this has A Guy Called Gerald on it too. This represents the loved up generation of ravers, dancing together without looking at the DJ – timeless. When it stops you just wanna hit play again.
Hans Zimmer – Cornfield Chase
[WaterTower Music, 2014]
The way this guy can use music to play with time is amazing. His soundtracks actually make me enjoy a movie even more, speaking more than any actor could say. With Interstellar, the marriage of music and film is at its very best. I could have selected Bladerunner (Vangelis) or Monsters (Jon Hopkins), but this is my favourite soundtrack to date. I even watched the bonus material on the Blu-ray, which goes into how he made the music with the organic sounds of breathing organs etc. The guy blows my mind and makes me think that everything I have ever done is pointless. In fact, don't buy my new album, just go and listen to any of the real artists that have inspired me.