It’s a very special version of Take 10 this issue. Usually we ask people to talk about the 10 tracks that have influenced them over the course of their lives, but seeing as pioneering French electro label Ed Banger is 10-years-old this month — and releasing a big comp to celebrate — we thought we’d get Ed Banger boss Pedro Winter, aka Busy P, to talk about 10 landmark Ed Banger releases.
Making his name initially as Daft Punk’s manager from 1996 onwards, Pedro set up a management company — Headbangers Entertainment — in 2002, through which he also managed French acts such as Cassius and his late, great friend DJ Mehdi. Starting Ed Banger in 2003, the label grew in parallel with the rise of early signings Justice, and Pedro became a DJ/producer himself too.
“I am a happy boy now,” Pedro tells DJ Mag in his inimitable thick French accent. “It's been 10 years of fun, travel, hard work and discovery. I feel lucky too — I met some strong artists who ended up making some great Ed Banger records.”
Ed Banger’s diversity and willingness to explore new styles and forms are some of its strengths, and Pedro is super-optimistic about the future. “My main goal is to keep challenging ourselves,” he says. “We love house music, hip-hop, techno, rock, and we are spitting it our way. We are an alternative label, we are free to go wherever we want.”
Mr Flash ‘Radar Rider’
“It's the very first record we ever released on the label. I love the DJ Shadow twist of this record, I was a massive fan of Mo'Wax back in the day, and James Lavelle is someone I really respect.”
Justice vs Simian ‘Never Be Alone'
“The record that made us who we are today. After Daft Punk and DJ Mehdi, Justice is the most important thing that happened to me in my musical life.”
Uffie ‘Pop The Glock’
“A nice accident. Feadz was looking for some vocals, he asked his girlfriend, and Uffie was born. She then had her album produced by Feadz, Mr Oizo, Sebastian and Mirwais.”
DJ Mehdi ‘Lucky Boy’
“It's the first album we released on the label. I met Mehdi in 1998 in New York, and since then we always worked together. He was my best friend, and the coolest person on the planet.”
SebastiAn ‘Smoking Kills’
“He is the Ian Curtis of Ed Banger Records, he is the dark side of the label. His music is sharp like a sword. Probably one of the most talented producers I ever met. He is now producing music for other people, I think he'll become one of the hottest producers in the game.”
Mr Oizo ‘Lamb's Anger’
“When Oizo joined the Ed Banger crew, people were surprised. How can he leave F-Com, they said? I think we managed to bring back the fun and joy into his music. He became a DJ and toured the world. This album was just perfect — a weird banger.”
Busy P ‘Pedrophilia’
“I’ve only released two EPs on the label, I am very slow. I'm not in a rush. I've been playing with my MPC 2000 since 1997, but you need time to find what you want to do. I found a studio in Paris and a good partner to produce my tracks, Boston Bun. We are sharing the same studio and he helps me to go where I want to go. You can expect some more Busy P noises in the next few months...”
Justice ‘Waters Of Nazareth’
“I have to tell the truth, the first time I heard this track I looked at Justice with a very surprised look! ‘What's wrong with you guys?’ I said. Ha ha ha ha ha! After a couple of listens, I knew we had something special. So proud of this record now, it’s how to make noise sound funky!”
Breakbot ‘Baby I'm Yours’
“When people thought Ed Banger Records would only stick to one noisy sound, we went back to the funk. This man is pure love.”
Cassius ‘I Love You So’
“I’ve known these cats since 1995, it's a long friendship story. We were in Scotland at Rockness festival when we decided to listen to some demos on their computer. Then they played me ‘I Love You So’ the next day, and I asked them if I could release it on Ed Banger. It became a massive hit, thanks to Skream who did the perfect remix. Kanye then sampled it for the Jay Z album. What a record!”
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