Like his fellow Londoner, T. Williams -- who we spoke with this summer and will be sharing Bardot's DJ booth with him as part of the III Points Festival on Saturday -- Mosca (AKA Tom Reid) is a quintessential UK rave kid, weaned on that local scene's exorbitant diversity of electronic music styles.
"I came up on a fairly standard UK diet of jungle, reggae and dub, dancehall, hip-hop, etc.," Mosca tells Crossfade. "UK dance music is all about change -- we're impatient."
"Sometimes that's a good thing, but sometimes not," he adds. "Maybe it's the things I missed out on that are more important in terms of where my sound and selection are at nowadays. I never got into disco, for example."
In Mosca's case, that musical "impatience", as he puts it, is definitely a good thing. After all, the DJ-producer and BBC Radio 1 resident has emerged as one of the foremost new ambassadors of the UK dance music underground, thanks to a sound straddling the myriad homegrown flavors, from house and techno to grime and garage.
Though these days, Mosca thinks it's time to take it a step beyond just mashing up different styles.
"I used to think cross-pollination was the key," he says. "But as you get a little older and see stuff come and go, it's become less important -- for me, at least. A lot of the intentionally mashup-sounding stuff sounds a little contrived to me, like it's been done for the sake of it. But then again, so does my early stuff, when I listen back to it -- even though it wasn't at the time."
"In my eyes and ears, it all comes down to this: is the sum greater than the parts? Does it create something new? One plus one equals three -- that's the test. Jungle, grime, they were new and fresh and they could only have come from the UK. House and bass? Sounds a bit like one plus one equals to two, to me. The tracks I'm hearing could have come from Belgium or New Zealand, or wherever. But there's so much great music out there, I can't say it worries me at all."
Wherever his relentlessly forward-thinking sound may take Mosca in the future, there's no denying his influences from the past. So peep ten of his all-time favorite UK dancefloor destroyers ahead of Saturday's party.
10. Milton Jackson's "Breakdowns"
"This sounds very UK to me. It's got that little shuffle and it's refined -- no great big buildup, it just cuts back into the beats. Metalheadz sound palette, mad textures, as MJ does so well. I generally play fairly rolling stuff without any of these sudden breakdowns, but I make an exception for this -- it's a nice way to break up a set."
9. Prizna feat. Demolition Man's "Fire"
"I wanted to show you the Remarc remix of this, from 1996, and even though it did get a release later on, it's not on YouTube. So this is the original Prizna version, which is also firing. I play this on 45 or 33 RPM -- either works -- and the Urban Shakedown mix is also pretty good, but a bit over the top."
8. Simbad's "Soul Fever"
Not exactly a secret weapon, but who knows, maybe you haven't heard this one. This is Simbad, hands down the coolest guy in the music industry. I love pretty much any song with this synth, but this is extra special and crossed a lot of boundaries at the time. Can imagine this one going down well in Miami.
7. Ethyl & Flori's "Those Eyes"
One of the deepest tracks I can play that is also guaranteed to move a floor. This just has some special energy that people respond to.
6. Mikey Murka's "Ride The Rhythm"
"Some excellent UK digi goodness from back in the '80s. This one's got that balance -- the version is half menacing but half blissed-out Sleng Teng vibes -- and Mikey just toasts it so nicely.
5. Nyra's "Best Of"
"Incredibly dark but sexy warehouse music. One of those if you listen closely, everything seems to be about to fall apart -- tightrope business. This really inspired me when I first heard it, and still continues to.
4. Gant's "All Night Long" (Clay & Deller's Industry Standard Dub Plate Mix)
"How I like my UK garage -- on that darker melancholy side, but still full of sexual tension. This was a big inspiration on my track "Eva Mendes."
3. Bleaching Agent's "33ml"
"Mad music. Not really techno, not really house -- sounds almost like a live band. This is a dream to mix, and generally takes a couple of minutes for people to get into it. But once they click, game over."
2. Boards Of Canada's "Uritual"
"Not exactly a dancefloor destroyer, and not exactly from the archives either, but nevertheless, this gives me goosebumps. I'd love to get this same vibe on a house or techno track. Pure class from the BOC lads."
1. Pearson Sound's "Power Drums"
"I think this is the only time I've heard the energy of grime translate successfully into anything outside 140bpm, and it's not for lack of trying. Great work from David [Kennedy] here. Puts your faith back into minimalism! Plus, the outro will send a crowd sideways.
T. Williams & Mosca. As part of the III Points Festival. Saturday, October 5. Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The party starts at 10 p.m. Call 305-576-7750 or visit bardotmiami.com.
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