Busy P, aka Pedro Winter, is one of the most successful people in dance music — as a DJ, producer, label owner and artist manager. As a budding DJ in mid-’90s Paris he met a certain French duo, who had started calling themselves Daft Punk. They asked him to manage them, a beautiful partnership that helped catapult them to international success and continued right up until 2008 — they still remain good friends.
In the early noughties he set up his management company, Headbangers Entertainment (with a nod to his heavy metal roots), and then his label, Ed Banger Records, to put out music by some of the artists he was managing. Early releases came from people like SebastiAn, DJ Mehdi, Zongamin, Pedro himself, and a certain scruffy duo who called themselves Justice. The latter’s glitch electro sound soon brought them international acclaim — Pedro had his second set of international French superstars on his hands.
Many of the other artists on Ed Banger broke through in this second wave of French international success, although he tragically lost his great friend, Mehdi, in 2011 in a freak accident. Now, to celebrate the label’s 100th release, Ed Banger is putting out its first compilation since 2013 — ‘Ed Rec 100’ (out now). It features exclusive tracks from the bulging artist roster, including efforts by Breakbot, Busy P, Cassius, Mr Oizo, SebastiAn, and a remix of Justice’s ‘Randy’ by Boys Noize. The first single from the comp, Busy P’s poppy electro cut ‘Genie’ featuring Mayer Hawthorne, comes with remixes by Reckonwrong and Flow Machines, with more from KDA and Joe Goddard to come.
Here are the tracks that made Pedro into the walking, talking, busy music mogul he is today...
01. Kraftwerk ‘The Robots’
“You often speak about the music you hear when you are a kid, and not the music you listen to. I was three years old when ‘The Man Machine’ was released. My mum had a bunch of cassettes at home and one of them was this one, all red — I remember it so well. My brother and I loved it, it was music for us, easy to understand and the voices were weird and fun. Listening to Kraftwerk gave me goosebumps. It’s funny to imagine that 20 years later I will work for two robots (laughs).”
02. Deee-Lite ‘What Is Love’
“Probably the track that started it all for me. I was 14 years old and I fell in love with its repetitive, cold beats. Their fi rst album ‘World Clique’ was the perfect defi nition of what attracted me to club culture so much. It was all about freedom, fun and respect. We owe so much to the LGBT community and I feel lucky to have been adopted by Paris’ gay scene in the mid ‘90s. The most exciting parties and the best music came from clubs like Queen or Folies Pigalle.”
03. Beastie Boys ‘So What’cha Want’
“The band of my life. I wanted to be the fourth Beastie Boy, probably like a million teenagers around the world. This album was released on 21st April in 1992, my 17th birthday! It was a sign! It was my skateboarding years, skateboarding saved my life! At that time I was already into Run DMC, Eric B & Rakim and Cypress Hill, but I was also into Metallica, Slayer and Led Zeppelin. It’s also the year I went to my fi rst rave party…”
04. Underground Resistance ‘Amazon’
“I first discovered trance and techno in 1992 on Parisian radio FG 98.2 and at Laurent Garnier’s Wake Up parties at Rex club. Since then, I devoted my life to electronic music. We can only respect the work of Detroit producers like Carl Craig, Jeff Mills and Mad Mike. Techno is the spine of our culture. But I must say, I was more influenced by the New York garage and Chicago house scenes.”
05. Voices ‘Voices In My Mind’
“Released in 1994, it’s the first 12-inch of Louie Vega & Kenny Dope that I bought in my life. I own one of the biggest collection of Masters At Work records now. I was addicted to their groove. It was released on Ministry Of Sound, probably one of the first releases, I think. Ministry Of Sound was the ultimate club at that time. Fun fact — a year later I met Daft Punk, who were playing Live at Ministry Of Sound!”
06. Daft Punk ‘Steam Machine’
“In 1996 I started to work for Daft Punk. I’ve chosen this track from their third album ‘Human After All’ because no one really understood this record. I loved it. ‘Steam Machine’ is pure backroom music, I can feel the sweat and the groove, it’s addictive as hell. I love it when Daft Punk do mid-tempo stuff like that.”
07. J Dilla ‘B.B.E (Big Booty Express)’
“Beat-makers like DJ Premier, DJ Shadow, Alchemist, Pete Rock, Timbaland and The Neptunes are very important in my musical inspiration. J Dilla took it to another level.”
08. Nick Drake ‘Bryter Layter’
“Sad songs make me happy. I’ve chosen this instrumental one from Nick Drake, it reminds me of classic O.S.T composers Vladimir Cosma or François de Roubaix.”
09. DJ Mehdi ‘Tragicomehdi’
“He left us too early, and he is still with me everyday. He was the smartest man I knew, a wise man and an incredible music producer. I owe him so much. I was lucky to have met him. He is up there with Daft Punk and Justice in the most important chapter of my music and personal life.”
10. Isolée ‘Logiciel’
“In order to celebrate my eternal love for electronic and computer music, I choose Isolée. It was released in 2000, and it sounds like we are in 2050. I love everything about this album.”
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