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BOTW Playlist: Close

Rounding out our week-long love-in with Aus Music and Simple Records leader, and DJ extraordinaire, Will Saul, we asked the much lauded producer to take us on a musical tour of his life to date. From his formative years in rural Somerset, growing up on a diet of Paul Simon and Tangerine Dream, through to his adolescent discovery of hip-hop and on to the dance tracks that first taught him how to DJ, it’s a walk in the shoes of one of modern electronic music’s most prolific consumers.

1. Paul Simon – ‘Crazy Love Vol. II’

“I have strong memories of my dad playing the Graceland album over and over again in the car and I used to love it. I would have been about 8 when this album was released.”

2. Vangelis – ‘Le Singe Bleu’

“As soon as I could ride a bicycle I would head to the nearest record shop (no internet in those days kids!) – which for me was in Glastonbury as I grew up in the middle of the somerset countryside, and as a result of Glastonbury being such a hippy mecca it was filled with Vangelis, Tangerine Dream and all kinds of prog rock oddities.’Le Singe Bleu’ is one of Vangelis’s lesser known tracks but a real beauty.”

3. Tangerine Dream – ‘Hyperborea’

“See above.”

4. Top Gun – ‘Anthem’

“What a movie, what a sound track. I had this on tape and would listen to it multiple times a day. The bells at the start are the best bit. I recently looped them up and used them as an intro to a mix.”

5. Public Enemy – ‘Rebel Without a Pause’

“I was introduced to hip-hop and rap by the older kids at school as I was the oldest sibling in my family and didn’t have a big brother to show me the way. I think I hid the tape in case my mum discovered it and heard all the swearing to be honest.”

6. The Pharcyde – ‘Runnin”

“As I got more into hip-hop, I branched out and discovered The Pharcyde, J Dilla, Mos Def, Pete Rock, early Busta Rhymes….’Runnin” is still one of my all-time favourite hip-hop records.”

7. Deniece Williams – ‘Free’

“I then got into soul via hip-hop. This is one of my favourite soul songs ever.”

8. Sade – ‘Cherish the Day’

“This reminds me of when I’d just got turntables aged 18 – the perfect tempo for mixing into hip-hop and one of the records I learned to mix on. What a voice.”

9. Carl Craig – ‘Sandstorms’

“One of my all-time heroes and someone I count myself lucky to have worked with via my label Aus Music. There are too many amazing Carl Craig tracks/remixes to choose from but this one takes me back to my early days working in Koobla Records on Berwick Street market.

10. Close feat. Joe Dukie – ‘My Way’

“The second single from my album Getting Closer. I’ve wanted to work with Joe Dukie for as long as I can remember.”

- Alex Cull

Getting Closer is available from June 10 on !K7. You can order it here.

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