The Two. Fifteens: The Records That Influenced The Sound And Aesthetic

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The Two Fifteens are the production duo of brothers Abe and Andrew Two. Fifteens. The two have produced and remixed under different aliases over the years but settled on this name late last year with the release of The Two Fifteens Present ... " EP.

two.fifteens

This list is not so much a "hi fidelity" style, all-time favorite definitive album list, “that would take longer than we originally took on this (much longer),” as brothers Abe and Andrew put it. Think of this more as a look at the records that influenced much of the sound and aesthetic behind The Two. Fifteens project as it stands today.

Dr. Dre “2001” (Aftermath) MP3:

When we first went to master the first Two. Fifteens EP for release, we went to a few different mastering studios before the one we settled on. At one mastering session, the first note of the record that became Tap Dance Massacre pretty much blew out the studio speakers. When the session was over the mastering engineer seemed pretty pissed. He escorted us out the building, handed me a burnt disc of the session, and said, Here you go. You’ve got a master LOUDER than Forgot about DRE, you happy? We were.

DJ Quik “Rhymalism” (Arista)
DJ Quick

You could go with any Quik record but this one especially inspires a lot of our work. Tracks like Down, Down, Down and Speed not only take stuff like 8-bit, 2-step, and jungle and flip them into something completely different, but they also sound better than most tracks being produced today.

Avalanches “Since I Left You” (Modular)
Avalanches

This record has always been a big deal to us, especially when we’re sequencing a track listing. We really like how all the different samples tell a full narrative story.

Scientist “Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse of The Vampires” (Greensleeves)
Scientist

As The Two Fifteens, we really appreciate how dub producers like Scientist used the studio as an instrument. We also like how the art direction on every Scientist record presented him as a superhero / super producer getting into a new adventure every cover.

Dizzy Rascal “Boy In The Corner” (XL)
Dizzee Rascal

We still put tracks like Vex’ed and I Luv You next to our tracks in DJ sets and guest mixes. The production on this is still impressive, but it’s also the first record where I realized that they had hoods like the South Bronx and South Central, in South London, and in South London they weren’t necessarily happy with them..

Outkast “Stankonia” (Arista)
Outkast

I think everyone knows why this record is a big deal.

Pink Floyd “Dark Side Of The Moon” (EMI)
Pink Floyd

Our Dad played this around us a lot growing up, and we still come back to a lot now. It’s a record where the production flourishes (the clocks on Time, the cash registers on Money, the synth arpeggios in the intro) tell the narrative of the album just as much as, if not more than the lyrics, and the songs. We always watch the making of documentary a lot when we start working on mix downs near the end of a project.

Young Jeezy “Thug Motivation” (Def Jam)
Young Jeezy

In Electronic or IDM circles this probably isn’t as cool a choice as Caustic Window or something, but if you really listen to music you realize it’s a pretty big influence across the board. The 808s and synthesizers on Bottom of the Map are as about as dark and heavy as you can get on any record, whether it’s Hip Hop, Eski or Dubstep.

Clark “Turning Dragons” (Warp)
Clark

A few years back reading an interview with Chris Clark where he was talking about recording the sound of scissors and hair clippers for the percussion on his records, and I thought to myself Really?. This guy is full of shit Then one day after that we were driving back from LA to Orange County listening to one of his records and I suddenly heard the scissor sound come in on the track and it tripped me out.

Missy Elliot “Da Real World” (Elektra)
Missy Elliott

This is another record that made us want to produce records. We still listen to this record at least once a year just to pull little techniques and ideas, but I remember when this record came out it was perceived a lot darker, and different than the Timbaland and Missy stuff before it.

Tap Dance Massacre