Not too long ago, renowned DJ and producer Yousef announced his forthcoming album, 9 Moor Drive. As head of Circus Recordings, he and his label have released some of the biggest tunes in the genre, from both established and up and coming acts alike. While running the label and traveling the world playing some of the best parties, he somehow found time to work on his artist album, 9 Moor Drive. The album will be released August 16, but in the meantime, we asked him to give us some of the inspirations behind the LP, along with how they inspired him. You can pre-order the album here, which will be released September 20th.
Words by Yousef
1. Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here and The Dark Side Of The Moon
This album was the template for the opening title track on my album 9 Moor Drive. I used to listen to these on repeat under my covers at 9 Moor drive when I was a kid, it felt like the right place to begin to reveal my journey.
2. Laurent Garnier - Acid Effiel
Although almost none of the tracks on 9MD had musical reference points other internal messaging, I have to admit that Laurent Garnier's influence certainly floated about during three of the tracks ("I Don’t Understand," "Riches To Rags" and "One Sunny Sunday"). He’s a good friend and certainly a hero of mine.
3. Camelphat & Elderbrook - Cola
Again, I've known these guys for at least 18 years under their own names due to being in the same city. The influence here isn't the track but rather the dark chords that hide in the background and set the tone of the record. It’s something which opted me to use vocal track "Reminders," which features on the album.
4. Anything by Hans Zimmer for Christopher Nolan
I aimed to add layers of darkness and emotion and drama and even weird-out funk throughout my album 9MD but particularly in "I Don’t Understand," "The Only Constant Is Change" and "Vivienne." I added sneaky shepard tones in parts to build drama and then powerful strings to gather emotion. This worked well with many of the songs and lyrics I wrote for the project.
5. Chuck Roberts
From my early days as a just-about-into-teens raver, the voice of Chuck was absolutely synonymous with acid house culture. He truly spoke to the first generation of rave, like the Ten Commandments. He gave new ravers a blueprint of how to enter the culture in a positive way. When I heard he was looking to dust off his voice I got in touch, we spoke and I wrote the lyrics, which he then interpreted in making our track, "Genesis." Harry Romero came on board and slammed it to another level, so it’s now a three-way collaboration.
6. Strictly Rhythm Records
For me, this was THE record label when I was growing up and the imprint I wanted my music to be released on, although I've never managed it! The range and quality of their music, the chances they took and the personality they had was one of the few influences I had when starting out as a label owner. No limits, just good music. My album track "Give It To Me" is a direct tribute to Strictly Rhythm.
I think it’s impossible to be an authentic house & techno fan without paying tribute to Hardfloor. The German duo broke through in the ’90s but their sound has remained relevant ever since. All these abundances of acid techno records we hear these days lead back to Hard Floor. My 9MD track "The Mother Tongue" certainly nods to breakthrough acid house culture, as well as my own Egyptian roots.
8. DJ Pierre
To be honest anything he does or has done has had an monumental influence on me, particularly as DJ, his wild pitch sound in many ways sums up my style, it’s part house part techno, raw, energy and slick, confidentiality tripping between musical styles, but pulsating with house music all the way. His wild pitch remixes are for me, the blueprint of authentic house music, I've no idea why I've not had a Pierre tune on Circus Recordings!
9. Sasha & Yousef - Thunderbird
This is a track I made as a collaboration with Sasha, for the Circus Ten Year Album. Even six years later I'm still astonished how out there, trippy and huge it is, and even more amazed at how under the radar it stayed. For me, it’s one of my finest pieces of work and a brilliant techno record. It’s a track I've tried to emulate ever since, and I certainly had it in mind when I made "Riches to Rags" for 9MD.
10. Marco Lys - Raving - Circus Recordings
This is a track that’s been in my box for some months and went on to be a big one since I released it Circus Recordings with Marco. It’s been huge for a lot of DJ’s from Carl Cox to Steve to Lawler, to Matthias Tanzmann to Marco Carola. I thought I’d include it so you guys to can hear what I'm going to do to Factory 93 on Saturday when I close it out after Deborah!
If you're in LA this weekend, catch Yousef at Exchange.