For the first IRL iteration of Record Store Recs since its launch in May 2020 to support record stores and artists during the pandemic, a few of the DJ/producers who played CRSSD Festival 2021 joined us at the Stellar Remnant popup. First up is London’s T.Williams, who began dropping grime records as a teen in 2001 and has continued to evolve his sound and create dancefloor bangers. These range from bass to breakbeat to a more classic house sound in recent years.
Sharing in the excitement of his first shows back, he shares his dance record selects with GRAMMY.com—along with his motivation to make music, what he thinks makes a great dance record, and more.
How’s your CRSSD going so far?
It’s going really good. I’ve just played and had a really great set. Actually, it’s my first festival back, so very special moment. I’m appreciating this moment, to be in a festival, to be around people and all the rest of it. I’m just so gassed. I’m having a really, really, really good day.
Yes! Any other sets you’re trying to check out while you’re here?
I wanted to check out Mood II Swing, but I missed it just now.
But Kerri Chandler, for sure. I’m a 100 percent big, massive fan of Kerry, I’ve got loads of his records, all the rest of it. And any opportunity I get to see him playing, I’ll take that. So hopefully I’ll get to see him today. Maybe Dennis Ferrer and Cassy, as well. That will be dope. And Moodymann, of course.
T.Williams shops Stellar Remnant pop-up at CRRSD | Photo: Ana Monroy Yglesias
When you’re digging—like you just were—what are you usually looking for when you pick out records?
When I’m usually looking for records, it’s two-tiered in my head. So, there’s one tier which is something I’m actually going to play in a set. It might be classic. It might be new, whatever it is. I’m now on a very specific sound of classic house, U.K. garage, the mixture between the two. That moment we would play those U.S. songs sped up in the U.K.
And, yeah, just going back to my heritage of the ’90s, also people in the U.K. that influenced me. People like Matt “Jam” Lamont, the whole Tuff Jam thing. Also MJ Cole, even back to MK, these guys that really influenced me in the ’90s and that sound. So, that’s one thing that I’m looking for.
And then, on the other hand, I’ve also got my producer hat on and am thinking about things that I can sample. If there’s a really nice kick or really nice break or something that’s in a track, or a label I know that released some really cool stuff back in the day. It could be something ambient I take from it or whatever it is by just looking in those two tiers.
And then I’ve forgotten to say there’s a third tier of this; just something that’s rare. I might look at this record and I see that it’s rare and I see it in a used section and that it might be a little bit cheaper. …….