Your Musical Origin Story

  • My dad had an art degree, and my mom was a trained pianist
  • Exposed to music and instruments from a young age, also had private lessons.
  • Was a member of a “punk band” in my highschool years playing bass
  • I heard electronic music on college radio, after being exposed to metal and punk
  • Interested in the concept of electronic sounds, which to me, offered more freedom as a musician
  • Decided that one day I would make electronic music myself
  • With a “fast” internet connection finally, I discovered IDM in the early 00s, and experimented with my first DAW on a very limited computer
  • Stayed up late at night almost every night listening to, sharing, downloading, and discussing electronic music (the internet was much different then [I was much different, too])
  • Started downloading thousands of albums until my hard drives died, and then I’d repeat the process (now my backups have backups). I have strict policy of only purchasing music, currently
  • Had my first few netlabel releases on an alias I no longer use. It had a naive sound and aesthetic, but I learned a lot
  • Started buying vinyl, CDs, (later cassettes too) and building a physical collection. Also kept a close eye on new releases, which I still do to an extent
  • Someone online (that I’m indebted to) linked me to a new album called “Deepchord Presents Echospace - The Coldest Season”
  • After that ^ started listening almost exclusively dub techno and ambient sounds. Obsessed with the idea of deep music, and the DIY internet scene revolving around it in the late 00s. Became very familiar with the origins of the sound.
  • Started releasing my own music on different labels on a new anonymous alias, and I’m still doing so after some years, and many releases later, including digital, CD, cassette, and vinyl. I make a small amount of money from it, which I then pour back into my music habit.
  • Thanks for reading :wink:


and now I’m indebted to you for passing that album along. Listening now, great stuff!


I made this playlist a few years ago, going through some of the “formative” tracks for me since the year I was 3 or 4. Gives a bit of a glimpse into how it’s gone.

(1988 ish) Kylie Minogue - I Should Be So Lucky (loved this according to my parents)
(1990 ish) Desmond Dekker - Israelites (my dad liked old ska)
(1990 ish) The Beatles - I Want to Hold Your Hand (and Beatles, obviously)
(1991 ish) Lots of Amiga-music in between here
(1994 ish) Green Day - Basket Case
(1996 ish) Foo Fighters - Monkey Wrench
(1998 ish) Three Drives On A Vinyl - Greece 2000 (was very much into trance around here)
(1999 ish) Bad Religion - I Want to Conquer the World
(1999 ish) Sasha - Xpander
(2000 ish) Underworld - Shudder / King of Snake
(2001 ish) Fugazi - Ex-Spectator
(2001 ish) At the Drive-In - Cosmonaut
(2002 ish) And You Will Know us By the Trail of Dead - Days of being wild
(2003 ish) El-P - T.O.J.
(2004 ish) Manitoba - I’ve Lived on a Dirt Road All My Life
(2004 ish) Primal Scream - Accelerator
Lots of weird rock and hip hop in between here, as well as more electronic music.
(2008) Flying Lotus - Breathe.Something/Stellar Star
(2009) Mount Kimbie - Maybes
(2010) Ous Mal - Merilaulu
… and from there just more weird electronic stuff, and now it’s more broader just trying to find music I like.

The first concert I remember going to was some friends of mine when I was 14. I thought they were really cool. They played some Nirvana-like grunge. First real “wow” moment from a show I can remember must’ve been seeing Rancid back in 2000 or something.

Dabbled in Ableton Live in 2007. First hardware synth was a Monomachine in 2012. I got a lot of music from my brother up until I was 15, and then just found my own way from there.


Grew up in the East Midlands (UK), folks into Country & Western. I thought their records were the only records worth listening to until I got to maybe 5 or 6 and discovered the radio, and then Top of the Pops.

First time I heard house / electronic music was when Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley’s Jack Your Body got into the UK charts in early 1987. I was 11. It blew my mind. Then everything exploded, although for a couple of years I was still only aware of chart music. If it didn’t get into the top 40, I didn’t know it existed. Stakker Humanoid, Fast Eddie, D Mob, Beatmasters, Black Riot, Royal House.

Key release of those early years was Serious Records’ Best of House Megamix which I borrowed from a guy at school - still sends shivers down my spine. Bam Bam’s Give It To Me was the best thing I’d ever heard.

Then about 1991 I discovered John Peel. Second blown mind. I was just a bit too young, a bit too well-behaved and a bit too rural to go to any raves, but I started getting into things that weren’t top 40, especially Warp / Rising High / early XL / R&S, and then things like Reinforced / Shut Up & Dance / Kickin’, and then Go Bang! / ESP. There was a small record shop about 5 miles away from my village that stocked rave / hardcore 12"s, and I bought quite a bit of stuff blind, a lot of which turned out to be disappointing (I hated the novelty stuff, and some of it sounded lame even at the time). I was just within receiving distance of Sheffield Community Radio, which had regular slots from Astrix & Space.

Then Warp’s artificial intellgence stuff kicked off, which I got really into. The Black Dog, B12, Autechre, then GPR label stuff like Beaumont Hannant and Luke Slater. I was listening to a load of indie stuff at the time, too, especially shoegaze and American indie (Sonic Youth, Mudhoney).

I first started trying to make my own music on a Windows 3.1 PC at university, running Fasttracker and later Modplug. It was all pretty shit, objectively speaking, but it was great fun. No synths or MIDI, just using low bit-rate samples ripped from CDs. None of it survives, which is no great loss.

Edited to say:

“First time I heard house / electronic music”

I was a big Eurythmics fan from 1983-1987, so obviously I’d heard electronic music - I’m making a distinction between verse-chorus-verse electronic pop songs and the more repetitive chorus-free structure of house and techno, which at the time seemed revolutionary.

Also: first live experience of electronic music was mid 1993, one of the Megadog parties at the Leadmill in Sheffield. Aphex Twin was headlining (billed as Polygon Window, as far as I remember), and I’m pretty sure Drum Club and Orbital supported.


1988 Pet Shop Boys
1990 MC Hammer
1992 Metallica
1993 Faith No More
1994 The Orb
1995 Aphex Twin
1996 Bjork
1996 DJ Krush
1997 Orbital
1998 Amon Tobin
1999 Roots Manuva
2001 Autechre
2002 I can’t remember what happened in 2002
2006 Thomas Koner
2009 Colleen
2010 Demdike Stare
2011 Kraftwerk
2012 Basic Channel
2013 The Caretaker
2015 Taylor Deupree
2016 Richard Chartier
2017 Stephan Mathieu
2018 Eliane Radigue
2019 This year I’ve mostly been listening to white noise
2020 A sensory deprivation chamber will do me fine


One of my earliest memories is hearing Do You Really Like It on kids saturday morning TV, can’t remember if it was live & kicking or CDUK