Best Selector: Guest Playlist Highlights

Some introductory listening from some of the North's best DJs and producers

Feature by The Skinny North | 19 Sep 2016

At The Skinny we regularly ask our favourite producers and local DJs to share a playlist of indispensable tracks. They might choose old classics, current obsessions or tip-offs of future talent:  the result is always an illuminating ride, taking us deep into our selectors' musical tastes and listening habits.

We've gone back through some recent charts from Northern DJs to cherrypick some cuts for you to explore, spanning everything from techno to industrial, Sheffield hip-hop to Liverpool psych – an ultimate playlist, if you will. Stick it on while you're getting ready to go out, or use each track to delve further into the scene. Listen to the full playlists at the links below...

Floorplan – Spin [M-Plant, 2016]
Chosen by Yousef

“I'm a huge fan of Robert Hood, especially in his Floorplan guise. His brand of techno has a housier edge to it and helps connects the dots in my sets – most Floorplan records are great DJ tools that simply smash it. I've played this track every set since early May.”

Yousef created one of Liverpool's most relentlessly successful clubs in the form of Circus (as well as associated label Circus Recordings), and has worn many hats during his career: DJ, producer, remixer, promoter... you name it. See details of Circus's next parties at

Hoodz Underground – How Do You Feel? [Trackshicker, 2006]
Chosen by thatmanmonkz

"Hoodz were like Sheffield's Wu-Tang Clan! They dominated the local hip-hop scene in the 90s and 00s, and this is a great piece of social commentary from them. On a different day I could have picked one from any number of tracks...”

A resident of Sheffield since the 90s, Scott Moncrieff – aka thatmanmonkz – is the boss of record label Shadeleaf Music and one of the city's finest producers. He's also a champion of Sheffield's lesser-known cuts; as he says, “there has always been a lot more going on here than just indie and bassline house!” Visit

The Mel-O-Tones – Burton Buzz [Probe Plus, 1985]
Chosen by Ade Blackburn

“Liverpool's finest really deliver with a slab of demented psychobilly. Out on the Probe Plus label in the mid-80s, they never got the attention they deserved but there's still time yet.”

Ade Blackburn founded the band that would become Clinic – one of Liverpool's finest exports – back in 1984. They began to make a name for themselves in the late 90s with a trio of immaculate singles on their own Aladdin's Cave of Golf label, marrying proto-punk twang and Velvet Underground scuzz filtered through dub, psychedelia and primitive electronica. Catch one of their exploratory gigs or DJ sets near you. Info at

Muslimgauze – Shadow of Hope Diminishing [Muslimtapes, 1996]
Chosen by AnD

“Manchester massive! One of the city's biggest ever talents, without a doubt. Muslimgauze was introduced to us about eight years ago, and his world is almost overwhelming due to his extensive discography. A very focused and talented artist with a very special take on industrial and ethnic music.”

One of Manchester's finest techno double acts with a penchant for the industrial, Andrew Bowen and Dimitri Ploumpidis (aka AnD) are producers, DJs and – crucially – sound designers, issuing aural explorations through their 100%-vinyl only imprint Inner Surface Music. Learn more at

Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force – Planet Rock [21 Records, 1982]
Chosen by Greg Wilson

“Planet Rock is a seminal record in the true sense of the term. It drew a line between the past and the future. Once that record had been made there was no turning back – it was headlong into the computer age.”

Hailing from Wallasey, Greg Wilson made his name playing soul music at two of the most fabled clubs in the North, Wigan Pier and Legend in Manchester. He keeps a personal blog reflecting on archival and current recordings – essential reading for anyone interested in clubbing history – and in 2014 set up a label, Super Weird Substance, to release primarily 'balearicpsychedelicdubdisco' music:

The Volcanos – (It's Against) The Laws of Love [ARCTIC, 1965]
Chosen by Richard Searling

Another stalwart of the Northern Soul scene, Richard Searling earned a reputation playing at the legendary Wigan Casino and Va-Vas in Bolton. When we asked him to reminisce, he chose this Volcanos tune as one of his defining records of that time: "Va-Vas was very modern and with such a small dancefloor and, on the face of it, it should not have worked. However, there was nowhere else, so the timing was perfect! From those days I have fond memories of titles like Laws of Love (The Volcanos), Easy Baby (The Adventurers) and Tainted Love (Gloria Jones)." 

These days you can find Searling hosting three specialist soul shows, including Friday nights (10pm-midnight) on BBC Radio Manchester. Details at