Toddla T - Watch Me Dance: Agitated by Ross Orton & Pipes (Ninja Tune)

In 2007 Toddla T (aka Tom Bell) was working in a shoe shop in his hometown of Sheffield, then just 19 and living at home with his parents, he DJ’ed at weekends and was producing beats and tracks with his friend Scott as Small Arms Fiya. Just four years later and Toddla T is DJ’ing around the globe, has a slew of remixes under his belt (Hot Chip, Gyptian, Gorillaz, Major Lazer for starters), released two acclaimed albums, and has launched his Girls Music label. Toddla T’s productions can be described as a combination of dub-wise street-soul for the clubbers. As he explains, “A bit of the Soul from Soul II Soul Club Classics and a bit of the Left-field from Leftism. I’ve been listening to those now and again, they took in a whole load of club music and made an album that summed something up and were great to listen to at the same time.”

When Toddla T was asked if he fancied the label commissioning producers for a remix album of of his second album Watch Me Dance, he had a much better idea. He asked two legends of the Sheffield underground music scene – Ross Orton and DJ Pipes to agitate, smash and rebuild his album in the manner of the scene that shaped his sound. A renowned designer as well as DJ – and instrumental in the Sheffield underground music scene for well over a decade – Pipes has been described by Toddla T as his number one inspiration. Orton, meanwhile, in between working on the Toddla T records, was a member of Fat Truckers, the drummer for Jarvis Cocker, and, as the Cavemen (with Steve Mackey of Pulp), wrote and produced MIA’s “Galang.” He has also remixed and produced everyone from The Kills and Kelis to Tinchy Stryder and The Arctic Monkeys. Together the pair have taken Toddla’s record and agitated it with the essence of Sheffield bass culture – running from a dub reggae take on “Fly” through a bleep-tastic version of “Take It Back” and taking in everything in between – a true Steel City re-work of the original album that goes much further and has way more coherence than a series of unrelated remixes.

Fort Knox Five - “This is wicked!”
Tim “Love” Lee - “Nice. I really enjoyed this a lot. Hard to pick a favorite.”
DJ Sabo (Sol*Selectas) - “Nice dubwise agitations … big ups Toddla T!”
Ben Mono - “‘Take It Back’ is my thang!”
Azaxx (Tru Thoughts) - “‘Fly’ is amazing. I like the dub vision of this really good track.”
Kid Gusto - “I’m feeling it.”
Quincy Jointz - “Love it. Hard to chose the favorite tune.”
Pablo Contraband (Disco Deviant) - “BOOOM! I’m loving this sound so much. Hats off to Orton & Pipes for the stunning reworks. I’m going to cane this hard.”
Vinyl Ritchie - “Smashing.”
Andy Wilson (Ibiza Sonica FM) - “Some great bass ‘n’ bleeps business. ‘Streets Get Warmer’ and ‘Fly’ work best for me with their reggae flavor, and ‘Cherry Picking’ is the one for the dance floor.”
Florian Stumpf (Rhino Soundsystem) - “Mind-blowing stuff … love it!”

Available now from NinjaTune and iTunes.